30 March 2011

Back to Life...Back to Reality

Well, I'm off to the grocery store and have a giant pile of dirty laundry waiting for me.  {Not to mention, a suitcase that hasn't been unpacked yet.}
Vacation is most definitely over.....ahh, it was fun while it lasted!
A special thanks to Mom, Dad and Ryan for being wonderful hosts and for taking such great care of us.

And, a very unspecial thanks to US Airways for tacking two hours onto our wait time in the airport.  But, bless the stewardess who moved our seat companion and let us have a row to ourselves.

She met a friend and after 30 seconds gave him the biggest hug ever!

Please say one of those is our plane!

Mmmmm, right now, I would give just about anything for another YoLove yogurt treat.

Happy Wednesday from the Central Coast!

28 March 2011

It's a Zoo Out There

We made our second trip to the Phoenix Zoo today and it was just as wonderful as the first!

I guess Dad's hand is where my face should be!

The 80 degree weather made for a gorgeous day and we all managed to get a little sun.

Some of you may remember this little ditty that my brother did after our last zoo visit.  Well, he had a little more fun today.  Check out the newest movie trailer here.

Happy Monday from the Valley of the Sun!

25 March 2011

Friday Photos

I am currently about 100 pages into Lincoln Lawyer and it is sooo good.  {It doesn't hurt picturing Matthew McConaughey as Mickey when I read either.}  Mom finally got Olivia to sleep {oh how things change when you are on a trip} and all I want to do is curl up with Matthew, err, I mean Mickey.  But, I also need to share some of these pictures with you, so bear with me as I just post pictures and captions.

In the last two weeks, I've purchased Olivia 4 new pairs of sunglasses.  But, I've spent less than $20 total.  Can we say obsessed?

Puppy love.  Or just another little thing she can boss around.
No Peyton.  No barking, Peyton.
But the cutest is when she squats down, gets right in his face and says, Hey Peyton.

Love that sweet face.  
Would love it even more if she looked at the camera every once in awhile.


Poppy built Olivia a play house out of a huge cardboard box.
What a sport Poppy was to climb in that box and play house with her.

Poppy playing in the Ryder Cup this afternoon.
Let's kick some Canadian ass.

Without a clip in her hair, Olivia pushes her bangs out of her face at least 50 times a day.

How amazing do these look?
My dad built a huge outdoor grill and made grilled chicken and veggies for supper.

He totally is.

Happy Friday from the Valley of the Sun!

23 March 2011

Gone Fishin'

Well, like last time, it might take a few tries {or a new fishing hole} for us to catch a fish...it certainly didn't happen tonight.  But, we did have a nice time in the warm Arizona sun.

Happy Wednesday from the Valley of the Sun!

22 March 2011

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

When Olivia and I come out to visit Mom and Dad, we share the guest room.  Technically, her Pack N Play is in a little nook in the room {aka the walk-in closet}, but we are pretty much in the same room.  When I come into the room at night after she's already been sleeping for a few hours, it is SO hard for me not to scoop her up and bring her into the bed with me.  {It's especially hard when David isn't here and I don't have anyone to snuggle with.}  It always sounds like a good idea in my head even though I KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt how it is going to turn out - neither of us ends up sleeping well and she wakes up at least an hour before her normal wake-up time.  Last night, despite knowing what the outcome would be, I barely fought off every urge to have her sleep with me.

And so when she started fussing and calling for me in the middle of the night, it took me NO time to jump up and rescue her.  Let me just tell you how that played out...

1:23  Olivia wakes up and calls for Mommy.
1:24  Mommy brings Olivia into the bed and cuddles up with her.
1:26  Olivia has been laying still for two minutes and Mommy thinks to herself, Wow, this might actually be okay.
1:27  Mommy gets slapped in the face.  {Accidentally, of course.}
1:28  Olivia gets settled again for another two minutes.
1:30  Olivia sits straight up and asks for water.
1:32  Sippy cup is officially drained.
1:35  Three minutes of tossing, turning and searching for Mommy's Do Not Disturbs.
1:38  Olivia starts crying for milk.
1:40  Nana to the rescue.

I'm pretty sure Mom rocked her for a good fifteen to twenty minutes or so before she convinced her to get back in her crib.  Thankfully, she slept until almost 8 this morning and is taking a nice long nap this afternoon.

And, tonight, when I have the urge to scoop her up again, I'm going to come back and read this blog post.  And if she's still fussing when I'm done, I'm going to just fast forward and get my mom.

{From a few weeks ago}
See how sweet she is when she sleeps?

Happy Tuesday from the Valley of the Sun!

20 March 2011

All My Bags are Packed, I'm Ready to Go

...'Cause I'm {we're} leaving on a jet plane!!

I'm not even kidding when I say my bags are {90%} packed!  And, I don't leave until tomorrow.  That NEVER happens.  I guess we can blame it on the rain. {Um, yeah, that would be the 2nd song I'm quoting tonight.}  It has literally rained non-stop since Friday night and we have pretty much been stuck inside the house the entire weekend.  I am definitely ready for the warmth and sunshine in Arizona.

My amazingly awesome brother is spending a week+ at my parents and graciously offered to buy Olivia and me a ticket to fly out there and visit too.  Olivia is so blessed to have an uncle who spoils her so much and I am just lucky enough to reap some of the rewards too!  A special thanks to Uncle Rhino and the RCF for subsidizing our trip!  

Hope you all have had better weather this weekend and have something fun to look forward to this week.

Happy Sunday from the Central Coast!

18 March 2011

Lucky Number Twenty-Three

It's so hard to believe that in {less than} a month, our precious little baby will be turning TWO.  How is this even possible?  It seems like just yesterday we were bringing her home from the hospital and fretting over her every move and gurgle.

Sadly, it is not only possible, but also the reality.  Lovely Little Livi is growing and changing right before our very eyes.  Things that hold true with her one day may be completely different the next.  Some moments are beyond all possible expectations while others leave me with little patience and a few more gray hairs.  But, no matter what, I love that precious peanut like no other.

Because I'm tired, she's currently taking her first nap in like THREE DAYS and I have an actual opportunity to lay down myself, I'm going to sum up some of her favorites as quickly and concisely as possible.  My bed is comfy and calling my name.  Sorry Baby, Mommy needs a break.

Olivia's Favorite Books:  Some of these books I can pretty much recite by heart.  In fact, I can't remember if I've shared this or not, but when we stayed at the Fess Parker, Olivia woke up earlier than usual and I pulled her into bed with me hoping she would go back to sleep.  She didn't, and being too tired to get back out of bed and get Bonjour Butterfly, I simply "read it" from memory.  Since then she has pretty much moved on from Fancy Nancy and is loving all the Olivia the Pig books.  She also loves the Angelina Ballerina books.  Never in my wildest dreams would I have expected her to love books the way she does.  She can sit and look through stacks of books and retell them in her own way.  Other Olivia favorites are Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon {I love, love, LOVE this book}, Just the Thing, The Secret Plan and any and all Coco books.

Olivia's Favorite Foods:  Olivia is pretty good at eating most things.  She loves fruits - fresh and dried and, of course, she loves her carbohydrates.  She had a tortilla and eggs the other morning for breakfast and on her own she rolled up the eggs inside the tortilla and ate it like a taco!  True to self, the next morning she wouldn't touch the eggs.  She loves quesadillas, edamame, lima beans, peas, yogurt, meatballs and salad.  Her favorite thing right now seems to be these "squeezers" that I sometimes get.  They are great on-the-go snacks/meals, but to her they are better than chocolate!  We went to Target today and had some popcorn and when she saw me pick up some squeezers, she wanted that over the popcorn.  I can't complain since it is pretty much organic fruits and veggies.

Olivia's Favorite Toys:  Olivia is still loving her Fisher-Price Little People doll house.  David picked up a little F-P barn for her the other day after a random stop at a garage sale and she is enjoying that as well.  She loves anything that has to do with imaginative play.  She is a great mommy to her dolls and stuffed animals, she loves to make pretend meals and her newest thing is playing dress up.  She's also fabulous at bossing Magnum around.  At least 50 times a day I hear, Get in your bed, Magnum and No, Magnum and Get down, Magnum.  But she is also great at giving him treats and sometimes even letting him lick the peanut butter off of her fingers.

Now that is gross love.

Her {almost} Birthday Celebrations:  Olivia celebrated the day in style - it was St. Patrick's Day, after all.  She had a morning walk and playground date with Kendall, an afternoon play session with her boyfriend Jacob, a dinner date of Woodstock Pizza and salad with Kendall and a stroll through the Farmers' Market.  And, did I mention she stayed up until 10 {with no nap}?!  Party animal.

Happy Birthday, Sweet Girl.  
I love you so much.

16 March 2011

Taste the Rainbow

Knowing that tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day {and also a day we meet for walks with friends and go to Farmers' Market}, I decided to make David's Once a Year Corned Beef and Cabbage.  And, because I love sweets and a fun Mommy & Me project, I also tackled these Rainbow Cupcakes.

Let's just say that they ended up being exactly that - a whole lotta Mommy and a whole lotta ME.  Good thing Olivia is great at entertaining herself because these were very time consuming and she got bored very early on.

She did help out a little bit, but got very frustrated that she couldn't "bite it" all the time.  Patience is a virtue, my child.  Even with cupcakes.

This is seriously her favorite part of baking.  She absolutely loves it.

Like I said, making these cupcakes was a lot of work.  You have to divide the batter evenly {which ended up being a little of 3/4 a cup per bowl in case you have about 3 hours to spare one day} and then color the batter and then put just a little forkful of one color at a time into the muffin pans.  And, to get that pretty rainbow effect, you have to gently spread the batter over to the edges.  And after about 2 colors you pretty much wish you had just made green cupcakes.

Here's a sort of before/after shot of the layer between blue and green.

In the end, it really was worth it.  We were watching them bake in the oven and they just looked SO pretty.  Who even cares what they taste like?! {Oh wait, I do.}

Of course after making 12 cupcakes, I had a little bit of batter left and decided to make minis too.  I was less picky about how they looked, but I still went for the rainbow look as opposed to the tie-dye look.  {But think those would be cool for a 70s party!}

I thought they looked so pretty, I didn't even want to ice them.
But, I did anyway.

Naturally, I had to let Olivia have one {or two by the end of the day} and she thought it was the best thing ever.  All day she talked about Rainbow Cupcakes!!  We delivered some to our neighbor and the Schwan's Man was lucky enough to get one as well.  We also plan on making some special deliveries tomorrow up in SLO.  The fewer there are in the house, the better!

Excuse the picture overload, but there were WAY too many cute ones to decide on which ones to put up.

So, do you want to see what the cupcakes look like on the inside?  You know you do.

Love it!

Alright, let me deviate from the rainbow theme for just a minute {but sort of not since she is wearing a rainbow outfit}.  Our friend Maren emailed me the other day asking if we would be interested in getting a Little Tikes car that her neighbor had given her and she didn't have room for.  Ummm, yes please.  Olivia loves those things.  How many pictures of Olivia have I put on this blog of her sitting in one of those cars at Parent Participation??  

I surprised her with it this afternoon and she was so excited.  She sat it in for awhile and then pushed it up and down our street....literally, she pushed the thing ALL the way down the street.

And since someone decided not to take a nap today, she was pretty much tuckered out by the end of the night.....and so was I.

Happy {Early} St. Patrick's Day from the Central Coast!

15 March 2011

Real Parents

I posted this as my Facebook status the other day, but today I really feel as if this needs a much larger audience.

If you have a child, no matter how old they are, tell them today how much you love them.  I'm giving Olivia every bit of extra love I can.  I feel so blessed to know that both David and I love her more than anything in the world and will ALWAYS support her, cherish her, and put her needs before our own.

Real parents think about their children day and night - even when they are grown.  Parents love their children in a way that no one will ever understand.  Parents will be there for their children when no one else will.  Parents will listen to their children and will be there to pick them back up when they fall or make mistakes.  Parents would take a bullet, stand in front of a train, and ask God to take them instead of their child.  Real parents LOVE unconditionally and eternally.

13 March 2011

Lazy Sunday

I'm enjoying a lazy Sunday {thanks in part to Olivia staying up until almost 11 and waking up at 5am requesting a rocking session from her Mama for the next hour} while David entertains Olivia at the park and the Farmers' Market.

I have a few pictures from our class on Friday and last night's fun dinner playdate with Jacob and his family that I wanted to share.  This is about as productive as I plan on being today!

Trying to impress Olivia...

{And, a kiss too...}

Hope you are enjoying a lazy Sunday too.  Or, maybe you are being productive.  If so, good for you!!

Happy Sunday from the Central Coast!