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28 September 2012

Skype'n Sydney

When Olivia was younger, she used to Skype with her Uncle Rhino ALL the time.  It's amazing now how we can do FaceTime with him whenever and wherever we want as long as we have our phones with us.  But, sometimes it's still fun to Skype on the computer.  A few nights ago, Olivia spent the night at Nana and Poppy's and Sydney got to Skype with her Uncle Rhino all by herself.  I thought this little screen grab was too cute.

A Little Bit Brave + A Little Bit Foolish

Well, ladies and gentlemen {dad}, we are about to embark on a nice little journey up the California Coast with our two littles.  As my mother-in-law pointed out, we are either really brave or really foolish.  I think we are a little bit of both!

My brother scored us {grandparents included} free tickets to Disneyland + California Adventure AND got us VIP tickets to the Ellen DeGeneres show, so we are taking off on Sunday for a good old-fashioned Griswold vacation.  And, we couldn't be so close to our friends on the central coast without popping up for a quick hello.  And, since we'll then be so close to our friends in the Palo Alto area, we just had to add that to our adventure as well.  See, brave and foolish.

I swear I have been packing the girls' suitcases for the past week.  I haven't touched mine.  David has been out of town on business the last few days and he'll return about 16 hours before we leave.  So, the bulk of getting everything ready has been up to me.  I woke up at 5am this morning writing out the instructions to the house sitter/dog sitter in my mind and couldn't get back to sleep for two hours.

Olivia is super excited.  Disneyland and California Adventure two times in less than 6 months?  That is one lucky girl.  And, she gets to see her friend Kendall again?  And, this time she gets a playdate with Jacob too?  She's never going to want to come back.

Wish us luck as I'm sure I'm going to lose some precious sleep and gain some gray hairs on the trip, but there's no doubt we will be adding some amazing memories.

Working on our paper chain.

Getting Out of the House

The heat in the desert has yet to really subside.  At least not during the day.  The evenings are cooling off and so it is at least bearable to be outside after 5:00.  A few more weeks and we should be good to go, but until then, we are burning our energy indoors.  {And if we're not burning energy indoors, we're spending money indoors, so it's better to burn that energy.}

Today, we met some friends up at the children's museum.  I got a little scared as I pulled into the parking lot and saw 6 big tour buses outside, but it really wasn't that crowded inside.  We spent the first little bit in the 3 and under room.  Despite Olivia's incident there a couple times ago, that room is one of my favorite places to be.  It is {usually} so quiet and peaceful.  We had a quick lunch after that and then the place pretty much cleared out.  I love that the big kids are back in school now!

Practicing her pirate face

It amazes me how much the kids love scooping foam balls into a fake cone.

They did so great playing together today!

As much as I love the children's museum, I am really looking forward to just walking a few blocks to our local outdoor playground to let the girls play.  SOON!

First School Picture

I don't even know how this is possible, yet somehow it has happened.  Olivia has had her first official school picture taken.  I know I'm biased, but I think she looks adorable.  And, of course, I had to dress her in a themed outfit, because, duh, that's what I do!

She's so grown up!

And, as if that weren't surreal enough, I also attended my very first parent-teacher conference for her.  I have to admit, I was more nervous being on the other side of things.  She got a great report and I'm so amazed at how much she has learned in only a matter of 5 weeks.  She is practicing writing her name and it is almost legible!

25 September 2012

We're Just Celebrating Birthdays Around Here

My sweet baby girl is growing up so quickly.  She's 13 months old today and has turned in to quite the walker.  Seriously, that is all she wants to do these days.  And, I've got to say that it's pretty much the cutest thing.  Seeing her just walk into a room like it's just blows my mind.  She especially loves to go walking with her Poppy.  And, she's so particular about how it happens.  She does not want to hold the whole hand...just the pointer finger.  She will physically take your hand and make it so that she is only holding your finger.  Love that girl.

Here are a few more things she's been up to:

Bike rides in the Chariot!
{Helmet on the way...}

First Hawaiian Shave Ice 
{just ice}

She learned how to climb on the bike in one night.  And, she loves it!
Today, Liv got on the bike and then Sydney pushed her around all over the house from the back.

Sydney went shopping with me and my mom on Saturday 
and the second we got in the car, she did this.

And, then there's this.
Bless her sweet heart.

And, speaking of birthday celebrations....
My very dear friend, Amy, just gave birth to the most beautiful baby boy today.
Meet, Baby Ben.
{Baby Ben is Sweet Caroline's little brother.}
Congrats to Amy and Ryan and Caroline.
{Have I mentioned that babies born on the 25th are absolutely the BEST?!?!}

19 September 2012

San Diego or Bust

A couple weeks ago, David and I took our first kid-free trip since Olivia was born.  And, seeing as how  I got pregnant on our honeymoon, this was pretty much our first mini-vacation without kids in our arms and/or in my belly.  And, let me tell you, it was pretty darn nice.  My main agenda?  SLEEP.  And, did I ever get it. Oh man, fluffy pillows+down comforter+blackout curains=heavenly sleep.  My other main agenda?  Soak up as much Dave as I could.  And by Dave, I mean my other lovah, Dave Matthews.  And, oooh weee, he did not disappoint.  And, I guess if I got to hang out with my husband without fighting two other girls for his attention...well, that was just the icing on the cake.

Oh California, this Hoosier sort of felt homesick for you.

Oh yes.  A room that someone else cleans!

Our view to the right.

Our view to the left.

David had some work to do during the day, so after sleeping in and having breakfast in bed, I spent over an hour of uninterrupted time primping myself.  And, this was the best I could do.

{Gave myself a mani/pedi after all that too}

All that makeup was pretty much ruined shortly after because I got the phone call about Sydney's mass and her need for surgery.  That was definitely a low point of the trip.  I was so grateful to know that my parents were watching her and could give her the all the lovin' that I wasn't able to.

The Dave show that evening was wonderful.  It was a bit of a somber setlist as it would have been LeRoi Moore's 51st birthday had he still been alive.  But, for me, that made it pretty special to be there with the rest of the band that night.  {I know I sound like such a weirdo talking about them like they are family or something, but I've been to at least 75 shows over the last 17 years.  They have played a huge part in my life, so they sort of are like family to me.}

After getting back to the hotel late on Friday night, we definitely enjoyed sleeping in on Saturday morning.  We debated on walking around San Diego or going to Sea World during the afternoon and I'm glad to say that Sea World won out.  I had been wanting to go for a LONG time and I can't even begin to tell you how easy it was to do it without kids!  No diaper bags to pack! No strollers to push around and then store!  I know the girls would have enjoyed the different shows, but it was nice to be able to walk hand-in-hand with David and go at our own pace.


A hilarious Sea Lions show

A delicious treat

Oh my word.  The dolphin show was amazing.  

David made me sit in the splash zone {because I refused to at the orca show} and of course I got wet and he barely did.  And then he made me ride the Atlantis ride two times and I got soaked.  He can be such a little devil sometimes! ;)

David told them it was his birthday and so he got some free fish to feed the sea lions.
See what I mean?

We watched a dolphin training session.

And, this guy was a lot closer to me than I wanted him to be.

We had a blast on our weekend away.  It was really good to have some adult time and to be able to get some good sleep!  This mama needed it.  But, we sure were happy when it was time to head back to our babies.


It took me 41 months to become a soccer mom.
And about 4.1 minutes for us to realize soccer isn't your thing.
Love you just the same.

Happy 41months (and 2 days) birthday.

14 September 2012

Is It Ketchup or Catsup? Actually, It's Catch Up

So, my iPhone keeps telling me that I'm about full on storage and I just uploaded about 550 pictures to my computer.  So, here are a few pictures to catch everybody up on our happenins.

+ Pump It Up might be Olivia's new favorite place hang out.  Two big rooms with a bunch of different bounce houses in it -- she loves it.  We met up with Michael and Jessica a couple weeks ago and were pretty much the only ones there.  It's super fun and a great way to let her burn off energy.

YES!! Cyclone wind tunnel!

Even Mama got in on the action.

+  My sweet sister-in-law and her three rowdy boys came to town and stayed with us for a couple of days.  In addition to going to the Children's Museum, we took them to a fun indoor/outdoor restaurant.  Olivia loved having her cousins here to {ahem} horse around with. 

+  Olivia's hair was pretty much turning into a rat's nest, so we went in for a little trim.  And we got a little sparkle action too.

+  We've been having fun with Peyton.  And, Sydney is even starting to say Peyton's name.  

+  And, my heart exploded.  {In my parents' car.  Sorry about the mess.}

11 September 2012

Ready to Close This Chapter

David and I left for a weekend away to San Diego on Thursday evening, but before we left, I took Sydney in for another ultrasound on her arm.  After our last consultation with the pediatric surgeon, we decided we needed to have some concrete data to see if the bump was getting smaller.  We got a call on Friday from the doctor letting us know that the bump wasn't getting smaller and was, in fact, getting larger.  It had gone from about 3cm x 2cm to 3.2cm x 3 cm in just a matter of a couple months.  And, they still didn't know what it was exactly.  So, the logical next step was to take it out.  

She scheduled the surgery for today, which was actually nice to only have a couple of days to worry over it.  We went in around 9:30 to sign a little bit of paperwork and then waited and waited and waited until about 11:30 when they took her back.  Thankfully, our little area had some fun play toys to keep my hungry/tired baby occupied.

She was not happy to go back with the nurse and resident.  She cried and I cried.  It wasn't a pretty sight.  Thankfully, the surgery went really quickly.  By the time we got something to eat and got back to the waiting room, the surgeon was out telling us how it went.

Sydney did great and she was able to get pretty much the entire mass.  She sent it off to pathology, but it was basically an intermingling of blood vessels and fatty tissue cradled right on top of her bicep muscle.  They put some stitches in her arm as well as a layer of super glue + a paper strip on top and sent her into recovery.  

Bless her heart, when we went in there she was so out of it.  Mother's guilt immediately kicked in because I am no longer nursing her and couldn't comfort her.  She wiggled and squirmed and cried on and off until we got to the car where she fell asleep.  I was able to keep her asleep and napped with her for about an hour and a half once we got home.  She woke up in a great mood and after some food she was her usual self.

They say tomorrow morning may be tough as the numbing agent will have worn off and her arm will be more sore.  There's already a little bit of bruising going on and we'll need to keep a close eye on it for the next couple of weeks, but I don't expect this to hold her back at all.  I will be so glad once she is all healed up.

We are so grateful for all of the positive thoughts and prayers sent our way!  Thank you, friends!

And, I have to add this:  Olivia wanted to know what was in "The Bump" and I really didn't know how to explain it to her.  She kept asking over and over and so I finally said, "It was blood vessels and fatty tissue."  She sat for a few seconds and said, "But a tissue is what you blow your nose with."  Yup, it is.  And, it doesn't belong in Sydney's arm!  So, good riddance.

03 September 2012

What One Year Olds Do

Here are a few things that my sweet little Sydney is up to these days:

+  BOOM:  She's walking!!!  Yup, just like that she started taking a few solo steps.  Today, we counted 13 solo steps.  Won't be long before she walks without looking like a drunken baby Frankenstein.

+  She climbs everywhere.  Her favorite thing is to climb onto the dishwasher.  Crazy little monkey.

+  She faces forward in the car seat.  I seriously have felt so bad for her not getting any air blown on her  in the car, so I'm glad she is finally able to travel comfortably.

+  Well, I typed this up last night and then she didn't follow through, but for the most part she is sleeping through the night.  Thank you, sweet girl.  Mama really appreciates this.

+ Her favorite time of day is bath time.  So, sometimes bath time happens three times a day.

+  And, as of tonight, she is off the boobies.  Wahhh, wahhh.

My Birthday Girl

Last Saturday, my sweet baby girl turned one.  Talk about a year moving at warp speed.  Oh my word. It went too quickly.  All that chaos of trying to juggle two kids {emphasis on the word trying} and enjoying all that they have to offer really made time fly.  And, it makes me a little weepy, because that newborn stage, oh that newborn stage, there's just nothing like it.

We celebrated her day with pizza, presents and cupcakes.  I'd say she was a little overwhelmed by everything {especially the cake}, but I'm pretty sure she was thrilled to spend the day being loved on by her family.

Birthday dinner while Skyping with Poppa Peter!

Telling him all about her party.

She was not a fan.

After dinner and desert, we went out back for a little birthday photo session.  Unfortunately, I got like zero good shots of her by herself.

Oh, my sweet little Sydney.  I love you so much.  You are such a gift.

And, of course, we had to have a little birthday slideshow to honor my little sweetum's first year.  You can also see it here.  

Sydney's 1st Birthday from Amanda Michelson on Vimeo.