31 October 2010

My Sunday Smiles {Volume 14}

Happy Halloween!

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays - even though I HATE dressing up myself.  I love the whimsical decorations and all the crafty things that go along with this holiday.  Plus, I just adore seeing all these little babies dressed up in cute little costumes.

On Thursday, Olivia and I participated in the Munchkin March Halloween Parade - an event designed to teach kids about the importance of giving and volunteering and benefitting the Food Bank Coalition of SLO County.  It was a great opportunity to get dressed up, have some fun and do some good!

Here are a few pictures of my munchkin!








And a few other munchkins:


Recognize that little monkey costume??


Happy Halloween from the Central Coast!





26 October 2010

Pumpkin Hats, Play Doh, Playgrounds and the Dalai Lama

Last night we headed over to Meow Meow's house to give him his dinner and it hit me that fall is officially here.  Yeah, the orange pumpkins and all my Halloween decorations didn't do it.  It was the chill in the air.  I promptly headed into Olivia's hat box and pulled out a few of last year's favorites.  Thankfully, they still fit!

She's wanting me to feed Meow Meow more.

Nothing like getting right in his face, Olivia.

Call me crazy, but we had Play Doh (inside!) at our Halloween party last weekend.  Incredibly, it all made its way back to the proper containers and Olivia is now officially hooked!  We moved our coffee table over to the tile and covered it with a plastic party tablecloth in case of spillage and haven't moved it back yet.  We had a little fun with that colored dough this morning.



Olivia and I spent the afternoon at our local playground.  She was seriously in heaven.  We had the whole place to ourselves and she just went for it.  




Doesn't she look so sweet and precious here?


Love her to pieces!


And, in more worldly news....Oh! My! GOSH!
That's not six degrees of separation, folks.  That's TWO!
Holla, Hala!

Happy Tuesday from the Central Coast!

25 October 2010

Party On, Wayne! Party On, Garth!

I am party pooped!  So, in short, here are the details!

The Yummies:




Candy-coated pretzel rods

Toddler-friendly "sweets" -- Apple Pumpkin Bars

Candy Corn & Peanuts - one of my favorite Halloween treats.

The Belle of the Ball:

Trick-or-Treat?  This one's a treat for sure!

The Babes:

Maren and Avi -- Michael was the fisherman!

The Partyin':
Have you guys ever seen a bumblebee on a giraffe?
Check it:

What else can you do when the fiesta is on one of the 15 days of the year that it rains in California?  Party in the Playroom!

Lovin' these adorable little bugs.

Uh-Oh, the boys found Olivia's room!


Brycen was a football player and his baby brother, Everett, was a football.
I'm lovin' those family-themed costumes!


Dr. Jacob relaxing after a long day at work! 

The Whole Gang:

Xander, Jacob, Brycen, Olivia, Avi and Kendall
Clearly we follow the "boys on one side, girls on the other" rule in this house.  And it will stay that way until Olivia turns 25.

We had a blast with everyone here.  I'm thinking we need to make this a yearly Halloween tradition...except maybe next year we'll order up some sunshine.

Happy Monday from the Central Coast!

24 October 2010

My Sunday Smiles {Volume 13}

Seven Toddlers + One Newborn + Fourteen Adults = One Happy Halloween Party!

Pretty sure we got some better pictures than this!  
Stay tuned.

Happy Sunday from the Central Coast!

22 October 2010

One Baby's Joy is Another Dog's Misery

I don't know who he hates more...her for pulling him or me for putting him in wagon.






In other news:  In the next few days, I'll be switching the setting on my blog over to private.  If I haven't heard from you and you would like to be on the approved list, shoot me an email at amandamichelson{at}hotmail{dot}com with the email address you would like to use to log in.  I promise to make it worth the extra few steps you'll have to take to read it!  

Happy Friday from the Central Coast!


17 October 2010

Happy 18 Months, Olivia Cole!

Time definitely flies when you are having fun...it's hard to believe that from this day forward, you will actually be closer to TWO than you are to one.  Can we hit the pause button for just a few days?  As you say it, "Peees?"  I've spent too much time putting together this slide show to be ready with updates on what all you are doing these days {feel free to call me a slacker when you have a toddler of your own}, but I hope to get that on here in the next couple of days.  Just know this, your daddy and I love you more than words could ever describe.  You are the most important thing to us and we feel so lucky to be your parents.  We have surrounded you with love from the moment we found out about you and will continue to do that for as long as we live.  You are beyond blessed to have so many people who truly love and care about you and fill your life with love on a daily basis.  Happy Birthday, my sweet, beautiful baby girl.


Olivia's 18 Month Birthday from Amanda Michelson on Vimeo.

14 October 2010

Long John Silver

After three nights of unsuccessful fishing, we FINALLY caught a little sucker tonight!  We actually had two large catfish prior to this {thanks to changing our bait to chicken livers}, but the line broke both times I tried to reel him in.  fun times at the Old Folks Home!


Happy Thursday from the Central Coast!

13 October 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday, Baby Blog!

It's hard to believe that it's been two years since I started blogging.  Last year, I spent a lot of time and calculated how many posts, comments, mentions, etc that I'd done.  Well, sorry folks, I don't have time for that these days.  Instead I thought I would fill you in on the one thing that gets blogged about the least -- me!  Kind of ironic, huh?   Here are 50 {if I can come up with that many} random facts about yours truly.

1.  When people send these types of forwards out, my name is almost always next to the phrase "person least likely to fill this out."

2.  I check my email first thing every morning...kind of like reading the newspaper for some people.  Notice I said "check" and not necessarily respond.

3.  I slept with my baby blanket until I was a sophomore in college {when it was almost torn to shreds} and then switched to the teddy bear that I sleep with now.

4.  I have one of our credit card numbers memorized.

5.  I have a secret addiction to online shopping.  Shhh, don't tell David.

6.  My first major in college was business....because I was good at math and liked the professional looking clothes at Ann Taylor.  No joke.

7.  I was in a sorority in college.

8.  By second semester of my senior year, number 7 wasn't true anymore.

9.  I am dying to go to Sea World.

10.  I can watch a movie and completely forget pretty much everything about it two weeks later.

11.  I would much rather bake than cook.

12.  The only time I skipped school in high school was Senior Skip Day.  I made up for it my sophomore year in college.

13.  I love the beach, but am scared of swimming in the ocean.

14.  My first car was a 5 speed Pontiac Sunbird...with only am/fm radio capabilities.

15.  My favorite nail color is Passion by OPI.

16.  I have {hands-down} the best parents on Earth.

17.  Same goes for my brother.

18.  And, my husband and daughter aren't too shabby either.

19.  My best round of 9-hole golf was a one under par, 35, at Seymour Elks.

20.  I have at least five different email addresses, but only use two.  One is the most complicated and still uses my maiden name.

21.  I have a secret love affair with karaoke.  {But, you knew that already.}

22.  If we ever get another dog, I want it to be a Great Dane.

23.  I started babysitting when I was 10.  I have a hard time letting a college student babysit Olivia.

24.  After watching THIS* video, I am petrified of having my wisdom teeth taken out.

25.  I detest mornings, but could stay up until after 11 each night.

26.  I still have {very realistic} dreams about my grandparents who have been dead for over 10 years.

27.  My dad was my 7th grade Industrial Arts teacher.

28.  I coached middle school golf and middle school cross country.  {You can go ahead and pick your chin up off the floor ...}

29.  My all-time favorite song is the Soulive featuring Dave Matthews version of Ani DiFranco's Joyful Girl.

30.  I have flown more times in the last 5 years than I had in the first 28 years of my life.

31.  I don't have the greatest time management skills.

32.  My grandma was 32 when she had my mom, my mom was 32 when she had me, and I was 32 when I had Olivia.

33.  There are only two vegetables that I like both raw and cooked - carrots and bell peppers.

34.  I like raw cookie dough better than baked cookies.  {But, really, who doesn't?!}

35.  I usually have about 5 craft projects going at once...some never get finished.

36.  I have a brand new sewing machine just waiting for me to learn to use it.

37.  The thing I miss most about teaching isn't the students - it's my colleagues.

38.  I have to have at least one piece of chocolate every day.

39.  I LOVE photobooths!

40.  A diet coke is my morning coffeee.

41.  I love taking showers, but hate the getting ready process.

42.  I have seen every season of Project Runway.

43.  I watched every season of Lost up through the very last one.  I have zero desire to even know how it ended.

44.  One of my greatest friends is someone I really only talk to through texts and emails -- love ya, girl!

45.  I really miss being in close vicinity to my good friends.  Especially those with babies of their own.

46.  Target is my favorite "go-to" store.

47.  I used to play the guitar.  {Kinda}

48.  I love making mix cds for people.

49.  Pink is my favorite color.

50.  I have always wanted to be a mom.

YOWSA!  That was a lot harder than I thought!  Thanks for sticking with me for another year...I hope to keep this blog up as long as possible.

*I've tried a few times to link the youtube clip and it's giving me problems.  If you want to see it, search "Brother and Sister Dental Odyssey" on youtube and it should show up.  It's actually quite funny.
Happy Blog Birthday from the Central Coast!

11 October 2010

Happy Birthday, Magnum!!

It's hard to believe that 10 years ago, our little Magnum's Platinum Run came into the world.  I can only imagine how sweet and precious he looked as a puppy.  Sadly, we were not is first set of parents.  In fact, we weren't his second set either.  It seems that three is Magnum's magic number {for a couple reasons} as we are his third and final set of owners.

As I have mentioned before, we sort of rescued Magnum from our friend Jill who had a lot on her plate after losing just about everything during Hurricane Katrina and had a new baby and dog to boot.  I met Magnum shortly after I met Jill and fell head over heels for him.  I used to borrow him for weekend sleepovers and day trips to my school.  When David met him, he was equally enamored and I'm pretty sure the feeling was mutual.  Magnum has pretty much been our constant companion and has been on almost every trip that we've taken.  He loves to go for rides -- in fact, just asking him if he wants to go is the easiest way to get him to pose for pictures.  He may not be the perfect dog; he definitely has his quirks.  He gets overly excited around other dogs, he is a finicky little eater, and has an uncanny habit of breaking his leg, but his ability to cuddle up in our laps and love us unconditionally {even when we bring a tiny little human into the mix} makes him the perfect dog for us.

I thought it would be nice to let Magnum's former owner say a few words about him as well...so, let me turn the mic over to Jill for a few:
Several years ago I adopted a beautiful blue or fawn (I know David and Amanda like to argue this point) Italian Greyhound.  At the time he had what I was told was a sore on his leg but several hundred dollars, some steel screws and a metal plate later, we realized his body was actually rejecting the hardware from a surgery he had gotten as a pup.  Apparently Iggys think they can fly as puppies and this one didn't get the memo that his bones were practically hollow and not unlike pretzel sticks. Mmmmmm pretzels.

Anyway, he was beautiful, neurotic, and had a burning passion to ummmm shall we say "dominate" any other dog he came into contact with.  My young marriage was provided hours of entertainment watching Magnum and my pomeranian Fairway play together, their personalities couldn't have been more opposite.  My husband Jeremy would play National Geographic narrarator as the hungry lion (our cat, Richard Parker) would silently hunt the unsuspecting gazelle (Magnum).  No one needed a heating blanket when Magnum was under the covers and we would joke about the "All seeing eye" that could always be seen poking out from under a pile of blankets.

Amanda and David fell in love with Magnum and as my family grew to include babies and more (and BIGGER) dogs, I realized that Magnum was not unlike a celebrity and would probably flourish in an enviornment where he was the only child...er celebrity.  Plus I think they always loved him more than I did.  So I handed over the leash and have never regretted my decision because I know they have given him a loving home and spoiled him rotten (just like he likes it).  Although I think he misses wearing pink, just sayin.

Thanks, Jill.  I'll try to get a pink sweater for him once we get back home.

I put together a few pictures of Magnum for his little birthday slideshow.  Enjoy!

Happy Magnum's Birthday from the Central Coast!

10 October 2010

My Sunday Smiles {Volume 12}



When I was a little girl and would get upset, I would call for my Pappaw.  When Olivia's upset, she calls for her Rhino.  So, we just knew we had to jump at the chance to come see him on his quick trip out to Arizona.  I decided that I wanted to keep our trip a secret {because I just LOVE surprises} and hoped that my parents and I would be able to pull it off.  It became difficult after Olivia's cry-fest on Wednesday night where we had to get Ryan on Skype at 10 his time to appease Olivia's whines.

Our flight got in about 10 minutes before Ryan's and so we rushed from picking up our bags to the other terminal to pick him up.  He was waiting outside reading a book and I was able to jump out of the car and ask him if he needed any help with his bags before he realized it was me.  Olivia was just as excited to see Ryan as he was to see her!

Sharing the details of the surprise with their peeps.
The visit so far has been wonderful.  Olivia and Uncle Rhino have had lots of bonding time.  In fact, she fell asleep on his lap yesterday evening while we were out on a ride on the golf cart.  We were sad to see him leave today, but are thankful we still have a few more days out here.


Even the dog cousins had a little bonding time over the weekend.


I can't remember if I have mentioned how difficult it is to eat out with Olivia these days.  If I haven't, let me just say that while it isn't impossible, it certainly isn't enjoyable.  It was a nice experience today having four adults and a dvd player to entertain her.
I think having the Hello Kitty bento box filled with strawberries and grapes helped too!
That nose wrinkle is quite possibly our new favorite facial expression.


We spent part of this evening at a local playground and then made our first attempt at catching a fish at the pond by the clubhouse.  Needless to say, I have a feeling we will be back to both at some point this week.



Since I have had a free babysitter out here, I've had some time to perfect my craft.  Remember my Valentine's Day fruit bouquet?  Well, I've finally figured out the secret.


Happy Sunday from the Central Coast!