29 September 2011

Oh Happy Day!

Uncle Rhino is in town this week and has been spoiling both his nieces rotten with new clothes, toys and lots of play time.  {And, he's spoiled me by being Olivia's babysitter.}

They also did play-doh!

They've had fun in the pool and we even hit up the Phoenix Children's Museum on Tuesday.  Here are a few pictures from the museum.

Crazy, scary climbing structure.

She was very brave!

Making Mama some ice cream!

Look at that concentration!

Perfect day to wear white shorts...

I love peeking down and seeing this sweet little face!
{Totally out of focus, but that's a hard picture to snap by yourself.}

I am really loving being able to reuse some of Olivia's newborn clothes with Sydney.  Here she is modeling two of my favorite outfits!

{We were inside - that's why she's not buckled up}

Last night, David took Olivia out on a little daddy/daughter date.  She got all spiffed up for the occasion!


We are heading out in a few minutes to pick up my fabulous friend, Michele, from the airport.  It's been about a year since I've seen her and I'm so excited to have her all to myself for the next for the next SIX days!

Happy Thursday from the Valley of the Sun!

27 September 2011

It's So Hard To Say Goodbye

One of the hardest parts about leaving California was not the consistently gorgeous weather {although, I will NOT miss the chilly mornings and evenings that were a constant year-round} or the delicious fruits and vegetables we got from the various Farmers Markets {but, Willy and Maria, we will definitely miss your strawberries, pluots and oranges}.  No, it was leaving behind the great friends that we have made and the truly special little people that Olivia and I have come to know and love.

The Saturday before we left, we met up with most of Olivia's {closest} friends and their mamas.  It was really bittersweet - it was great watching Olivia play and really interact with the kids, but it was so sad knowing that it would be awhile before we saw them again.

Kendall was clearly not happy with the news that her "Lulu" was leaving.

I know that I have said it before, but I am so grateful for these girls and their moms.  Living in the small town of Nipomo, there was really no one that we connected with who had kids, so meeting these moms in a strolling class was one of the best things that happened to us out there.  We will really miss watching these sweet babes grow up.  Thank goodness for Skype, Facebook and Blogger!

Can you tell that the professional photographer took this one??

 Big hugs for Macy!

 Kisses for Jacob - Olivia's first "boyfriend"

 I would have to guess that Kendall is Olivia's best friend...she is really going to miss her.

Fear not though, we have been out here less than two weeks and we have already met some cool people.  On Saturday night, we went out to dinner and met a family with a girl around Olivia's age and a boy a year or so older.  We exchanged phone numbers and randomly ran into them the next morning at a playground!  The mom is from California and spent part of her college years at Cuesta in SLO!  I think it's a sign!

Happy Tuesday from the Valley of the Sun!

26 September 2011

Our Big Move

So, as I briefly mentioned in my last post, our little family has moved!  Before Sydney was born we started packing up a lot of our belongings and 3 weeks after her birth, we loaded them up into two large U-Hauls {and a small trailer} and headed out to Arizona.

We are getting to be pros at this whole moving thing {not quite as good as my friend Jill who has moved more times than she has fingers and toes} seeing as how it was only slightly less than four years ago that we moved from Indianapolis to California.  And before that?  Well, I moved from Columbus up to Indianapolis.  I've gotten pretty good at meeting people, making awesome friends and then saying goodbye a few years later.  I'm not singing a sad song here - I am very blessed to have such great friends scattered all over the US.  And, now we are here and ready to start all over and make some new friends.

But, back to our move.  I remember flying out to California and moving into our house there and crying one night to David because 500 miles was a long ways away from my parents {who had, only 3 days earlier, moved from Indiana to Arizona}.  I never in my wildest dreams would have imagined living that far away from them.  He told me that we didn't know what the future held and that someday we may live close to them again.  Well, that "someday" opportunity came for us.  I like to say that all the stars aligned. And while the timing wasn't perfect {seriously, who wants to move 3 weeks after giving birth to their second baby?}, it was an opportunity that we didn't want to pass up.

Finding a house out here was kind of tough.  Before Sydney was born, I couldn't fly out to Arizona to look at places and there was no way I was going to let David risk missing the birth of our new baby to scope out potential houses.  My mom was in California with us helping out with Olivia {and Sydney, once she was born} so she wasn't able to look at houses for us either.  So, that left things up to my dad.  To say that the house hunt was stressful is pretty much an understatement {especially when you factor in a hormonal mama and the stresses of packing}.  We had found several houses that looked great online, but once inside we discovered that they weren't quite living up to the pictures.  After looking at several houses online and in person {via my dad}, we finally found the perfect place.

The house is less than 2 miles from my parents' house {woohoo} and is in a neighborhood filled with young children and lots of play areas!  The layout of the house is perfect for David to work from home - he has a huge office in one corner of the house and the girls even have their own playroom right off of the kitchen/family room area.  I love the location of the playroom because I can see Olivia playing while I am working on dinner.  And, of course, this house has a gated pool.  I have a love/hate relationship with the pool.  I love it because it is going to be so nice during the hot months {umm, like right now} and because Olivia loves it so much.  But, I hate it because it scares me to death every time Olivia is near it.  The only reason we even considered this house with the pool is because it is completely gated, so she can be playing in the grass area of the back yard or on the back patio, but can't get into the pool area.  This house also has about 5 different fruit trees that are already loaded with fruit -- oranges, grapefruits, pomegranates, lemons - but won't be ready until December or January.

It has been so nice being so close to my parents.  I can't express enough gratitude for all that they have done for us over the last couple of months.  My mom was out here searching for houses with my dad before she came to California.  Once out there, she took care of a very pregnant me and a very needy 2 year old.  She also helped us pack up the rest of the house that we hadn't already packed up.  Once Sydney was born, she continued to be my right arm woman and helped in any and every facet imaginable.

My dad stayed out here and missed the birth of his second granddaughter so that he could physically check out the houses that we were sending him to.  And, then once we secured this house, he came over multiple times to paint the girls' bedrooms and clean the place before we arrived.

And, since we've been out here?  OH MY GOSH.  We would be a mess without them.  They have been over here every single day helping to unpack, clean, move furniture, hang pictures, stain patio furniture, make dinner, hold babies, put toddlers to sleep, and on and on and on.  You name it - they've done it.  And, I can't stress enough how helpful/nice/wonderful it is to have someone to run errands with.  On Friday, I took Sydney to the doctor and then picked up mom and Olivia {who had her second sleepover with them the night before} to go run some errands.  It was enough of a nightmare with the two adults and I can only imagine it to be impossible if I had tried to do it myself.

As much as we are going to miss our good friends back in California {a blog about that soon...}, being this close to our family is truly the best gift we could give our girls.  Not only do my parents live out here, but so does my cousin {and his wife and kids}, my aunt & uncle {part-time} and my aunt's sister and her husband.  Not to mention, my brother is out here all the time and so it will be so nice for him to see all of us when he comes to visit.  We are really looking forward to being around family again!

After being in here for a little over a week, we are finally getting a little bit settled.  I'm now working more on organizing areas instead of just focusing on unpacking.  Just in time to start pulling out all of our Halloween gear...

Happy Monday from the Valley of the Sun!

25 September 2011

Happy One Month Birthday, Sydney

Oh Sweet Sydney,

Today you turn one month old!  Time is moving way too quickly already.  It seems like it was only last week that we were bringing you home from the hospital.  {And, I still haven't had a chance to write down the labor story yet -- I will soon.}

You are seriously the SWEETEST baby.  You are so, SO good.  We couldn't have asked for a better baby.  We've had A LOT going on since you arrived {even before} and we are so lucky that you are the kind of baby who can just go with the flow.

When you turned three weeks old, we packed up our house in California and moved out to Arizona to be closer to your Nana and Poppy.  Your Nana and I brought you and Olivia in our car and took a two day trip bringing you girls {and Magnum too} out here.  You were such a good little traveler.  We did have one little screamfest right as we hit L.A. traffic and you were ready to nurse.  I pulled off on the closest exit and turned into the first parking lot I could find.  It turns out it was a fairly popular restaurant and the parking attendant wanted me to pay to park for 20 minutes to feed you.  I won't go into the details, but your Nana was NOT happy with that man and told him there was a special place for people like him.  Despite his attitude, I got you fed and we were all much happier once we got back on the road.

I can already tell that you love being out here.  There is always an extra set of hands around ready and willing to hold you.

You have been eating and sleeping like a CHAMP!  There have been many nights where you have only woken up once to nurse and you have never woken up more than twice.  You are still sleeping in the little Snuggle Nest between us, but I may switch you into the Pack & Play soon.  Your crib just seems way too far away from me for now.

I took you into the pediatrician on Friday and you have grown an inch already and weigh almost 2 pounds more than you did when you were born.  You are already up to 9 pounds, 9 ounces!  Hooray for you.  And, speaking of eating,  today your sister attempted to nurse you herself!

The doctor also gave us some medication for your case of baby acne.  It has broken my heart seeing the little bumps all over your face.  The two nights before we went in, you were very fussy and I have a feeling it was because they were bothering you.  Your face is starting to clear up and you haven't fussed at all since we started putting the medicine on. 

You are starting to smile and coo and look more like a baby and less like a newborn.  Your sister loves you to pieces and it is so cute to hear her say, "Hiiii Sugar" or "Hey Syd."  But, I am telling you what.  I can already picture the drama we are going to have in this house with two girls because as it is right now, once one of you starts crying, the other one follows suit immediately.  I am looking forward to the day when those copy cat sounds are of laughter instead of cries.

We are so happy that you are finally here.  You are the perfect addition to our family - we love you SO much.  And, I am ending this little letter right here so I can go and snuggle with you for awhile!

Happy One Month Birthday, Sydney!

20 September 2011

Pure Joy

Want to know what pure joy looks like?  Take a look at these pictures!

Want to know the best part?  This is in our new backyard.  More details to come once we get a bit more settled.

And, here are a few pictures of someone else who brings me lots of joy!

Love this little munchkin!

Two Days Late...

...that is, if I finish this post tonight.  Not sure that's going to happen.  But, I want to still try and document some of Olivia's monthly birthdays.

{And, this is as far as I got last night since my friend, Jill, who lives in Guam hopped on to FB chat and distracted me.  Read about her latest drama here and say an extra prayer for her and her family, please and thank you.}

Anyway, I wanted to document a few of Olivia's latest antics on here.  Lord Have Mercy, she can be so funny sometimes!  So, here we go with the bullet points again.

-- When Sydney gets the hiccups, Olivia will say, "Does she have the hook-ups?"

-- Sydney's black stub from the umbilical cord really seemed to bother Olivia.  {To be honest, it bothered all of us.}  If Sydney would cry when I changed her diaper, Olivia would say, "Does she not like her belly button?"

-- Sometime last week we were all sitting down together for dinner.  Strangely, David was without a glass of wine with his meal.  Olivia asked him if he wanted to have some wine with his dinner and he said that no, he didn't.  All of a sudden, Olivia started SOBBING hysterically.  Through her tears, we could decipher this, "I want Daddy to drink his wiiiiinnne!"  He gladly obliged.

-- And, speaking of tears, the other day I put Magnum away while we went to run some errands.  Olivia began sobbing again and begging for him to be able to roam about the house instead of being cooped up.  Magnum, you owe her one.

-- 2011 marks the first year that I haven't seen a DMB show since 1994.  So, we have been listening to a lot of DMB music lately.  Olivia is a pro at naming the songs and even has special requests for certain ones.  Her favorite is American Baby.  See videos here and here.

-- Sometimes Olivia will request that we sing her {or Sydney} songs, but she will usually say the whole song instead of just the title...like, "Can you sing me The Itsy Bitsy Spider Went Up The Water Spout, Down Came The Rain and Washed The Spider Out, please."

-- Olivia is STILL obsessed with my Do Not Disturbs, but now when she holds on to them, they tend to leak milk.  She does NOT like that at all and so the other day at naptime when her hand got wet, she quickly wiped it off and said, "I think I'll just hold on to your neck."  Good idea, Babe.

-- Olivia's most recent favorite book is the Berenstein Bears Go Out West which we've been reading with a western accent.  Olivia does a pretty good job recreating that accent.  Listen to her say it here.

Happy 25 Months, Olivia!

09 September 2011

Do We Really Need Words?

A play date with Avi


Sweet Baby

Happy Friday from the Central Coast!

07 September 2011

It's Wednesday! {And, I Can't Think of a Title}

Well, I had every intention of detailing my labor with Sydney on Labor Day because, seriously, could there be a better day to do that?  But, the day got away with me, as have the following two days and I still haven't found the time to write about it.  But, I promise all of you who are anxiously awaiting it {Jill}, that  I will get to it one of these days.

On Monday, our neighborhood had a little Labor Day picnic and we all ventured up the hill for it.  They had rented a bounce house and once all the bigger kids went to take a swing at the candy-filled pinata, Olivia and David had it all to themselves.  I think they spent at least 3 hours going in and out of the bounce house.  She was worn out for sure by the end of the day.

I took Sydney back to the doctor today for another weight check - she is up to 8 pounds and 7 ounces!  I just about jumped for joy!  It is so hard with breastfeeding to know if she is getting enough food.  My mom is constantly reassuring me that if she were hungry, she would be screaming and crying all of the time.  My thinking was that she was so hungry that she didn't have any energy to be awake!  Our minds are good at playing tricks on us, aren't they?  Anyway, the doctor said she was doing great and I now know that I was just blessed with a baby who loves to sleep.  She is still waking up only twice through the night and I am usually waking her up around 8:30 or so because my You Know Whats can only handle so much pressure.  TMI?  Just wait until you read my labor story.  

Happy Wednesday from the Central Coast!

03 September 2011

Bath Baby

Sydney had her first bath tonight {well, third, if you count the one at the hospital and the sponge bath} now that her umbilical cord has fallen off!  Oh what a happy day that was {it actually fell off in the middle of the night} when it came off!

Anyway, we set the little bath tub up and had Olivia sit up on the counter to be close to Sydney.  They both did great!  Sydney LOVED the bath!!  She didn't fuss or cry at all.  Again, can I emphasize that she is SUCH a good baby.  Mmmm, I just love her so much already!

Could that be any more precious?

Happy Saturday from the Central Coast!