20 September 2013

School Stuff

Olivia has been trucking right along in Pre-K!  I'm really so proud of her.  It has been a bit of an adjustment for all of us - her going 2 afternoons a week for 5 hours a week to going 4 mornings a week for 4 hours each day.  She has gotten into the morning routine a little bit better.  I haven't had to wake her up for about the last two weeks.  So, gone are the days of her sleeping until 9:30, even on the weekends.  {Insert sad face here.}  We still struggle a bit with getting out of the house easily, but thanks to our command center we haven't forgotten our homework folder, our backpack, our lunch or our water bottle once!  Three cheers for that!

She's had a couple really special days at school so far...Grandparents Day and a on-site fieldtrip for Fire Safety.  I think she really enjoyed the Grandparents Day with her Nana and Poppy and I just feel so blessed that they are able to spend so much time with her and can be such active participants in her growing up.  My mom has volunteered in her classroom twice already and my dad is a regular at picking her up {we won't mention the time he forgot to bring her backpack home...she was so distraught. ha.}  Every Thursday afternoon, my dad picks her up and takes her out for either ice cream or shave ice and then takes her to their house to play.  My girls sure are lucky.

From their date this week.

For Grandparents Day, Olivia's class sang two songs and made some cute crafts for each set of grandparents.  {Poppa Peter and Grandma Irma, you have a set coming your way once I get to the post office!}  


With her teacher.

I'm not sure how great the quality of this video will be...I'm doing the lazy way of uploading it and I don't think it is that great.  Sorry...

I'm a little jealous that the special day for the grandparents involved singing and treats and my day to be with her for the fieldtrip involved being outside on a 100 degree day.  At least there were firefighters?  {Doesn't really count when they weren't that cute and we were sweating and miserable.}






She was not about to let that firefighter get her down off of that truck!




I really love her little preschool. 

16 September 2013

My Dave Weekends {And Lots of Pictures of Brad}

I had very good intentions to write about my first solo trip since becoming a mom {that happened waaayyy back in December} and revolved around a couple Dave Matthews shows {are you surprised?} and my very dear friend, Brad.  Well, that clearly didn't happen.  And, since that time, David and I have taken another trip involving Brad and Dave Matthews and are you seeing a theme? Anywho, you are going to get some pictures and stories from both of those trips.  Right here, right now.  {Different band altogether.}

So, yeah, back to December.  My friend Brad threw out the idea a few months earlier for me to fly out to see the first two nights of the winter tour in New Jersey.  He promised the show was only "like an hour away" from his house in Philly.  I got the okay from the husband and the grandparents and just did it.  

As much as I missed my babies {and my husband}, it was really nice having a little break from our regular day-to-day grind and it was fabulous getting to spend time with Brad.  He is a laugh a minute, that one.


The above picture was from our first night out at his favorite Mexican restaurant, El Vez.  I had half a glass of wine before we left and a glass of sangria while we were out.  The next morning, my head hurt so bad I didn't think I was going to be able to enjoy the show.  Jimmy John's, 3 Advil and a large diet coke later, I was a completely different person.  Speaking of different people...when you see what Brad looks like now, you will wonder how only 9 months have passed since that picture was taken.

The concert in New Jersey was definitely not an hour from Brad's house, as he promised.  The first night we went with another couple and after taking 3 different trains, we finally met them for two more rounds of trains and a shuttle bus.  That concert was great and it was the first concert where they played every single song off of the same album {their newest one}, so that was pretty cool.  We had seats on the floor, but I was the only one who wanted to be super up close.  I made Brad promise that we could get up close the second night.  {I mean, the shows are ultimately better when you can make eye contact with Dave and Stefan.}  And, since I'm on the subject of Stefan, let me just show you what I woke up to on my second morning.  

3% battery FTW!  And, I totally think I'm cool because Stefan Lessard follows me on Twitter.
{Not really, but it made my morning.}
{Fine, it sort of makes me feel a little bit cool.}

Back to the shows...So, the second night, we rented a zip car and drove it to a train station, took a train and then the shuttle bus again.  Seriously, this venue was out in the middle of Nowhere, New Joisey.  Planes, trains and automobiles for my favorite boys.  And, standing out in the freezing weather before the doors opened so we could get our spots down front.  I'm crazy like that.  We ended up being about 3 rows back, front and center.  And once we got there, we never left.  Sometimes you just have to be hardcore.


I'm pretty sure it was right after I got home from that trip that Brad started planting the seed about going to see the Boys at The Gorge for Labor Day weekend.  I mean, that has sort of been on mine and Brad's "list" for awhile, but there were always things like weddings, babies, breastfeeding, babies, and more breastfeeding standing in our way.  So, after some grandparent persuading, we decided to get tickets, book hotels, and start searching for airline tickets.

And, then nine months later, it was time to go.  We did have a little snafu with our itinerary...we thought we booked a 10:30 AM ticket, arriving in Seattle around 1:45 PM when in actuality, we flipped the AMs and PMs.  Oops.  So, Brad got to Seattle 12 hours ahead of us and instead of heading to our hotel in Ephrata, he checked into one near the airport.  Planes, trains and automobiles.


The next morning was rough.  My body was thrown off and I had another headache {damn you wine on the plane}, but fortunately some Denny's white toast and a large diet coke cured my ailments.  We had a beautiful drive into The Gorge and actually ended up heading straight to the amphitheater instead of checking into our hotel room.  I literally changed clothes in the backseat in the middle of everyone tailgating and put my makeup on using a 2inx2in mirror.  I'm sure I was looking rough considering I was barely able to stand up in the shower that morning.  

It didn't really matter though because even at my most beautiful, I would have been nothing compared to the views we saw as soon as we got inside the venue.  These cell phone pictures do not do it justice.  It was breathtaking.  And, no joke, Brad teared up.

My boys!







We stayed up on the top of the lawn for the first opener, Lord Huron.  I had been listening to them for a few weeks upon the recommendation of a couple friends and was so excited to see that they were opening for Dave and the boys this weekend.  They were amazing.  I cannot recommend them enough.



We sort of snuck into the VIP section the first night and it was amazing.  They had real bathrooms! And the above view!  And food that wasn't chicken fingers and fries!  We hung out there during the second opener.

It was great to be at the show and especially to be there with Brad.  {Not that I don't love having my husband ask me all sorts of questions about the band during the show. :/ How old is Dave?  What's the name of the guy on the trumpet? Is Carter wearing those golf gloves?}  Brad and I have been friends for about 12 years now.  And, I realized that 10 years prior to this Labor Day weekend {on the same dates no less}, Brad had flown out to move me from my parents' house in Columbus to my first apartment in Indianapolis.  He then dragged me kicking and screaming to the Stripped/Justified tour with Christina Aguilera and Justin Timberlake.  {Which, was fantastic by the way...especially Xtina!}  I am so lucky to have such a wonderful friend in Brad and I felt really blessed to be able to share this experience with him.  {Sounds so cheesy, I know.}

We decided to leave the show during the encore because we didn't know how far away our hotel was and we didn't know how hard it would be to get out of the parking lot.  On our way out, I saw two guys standing to the side of the folding chairs with giant tags on lanyards around their neck.  I joked to Brad that they were from Lord Huron and he did a 180 to go ask them.  Sure enough, it was Karl Kerfoot {a guitarist/vocalist} and the tour manager.  We talked with them for awhile and put in a song request for the next night and promised to be down front supporting their set the next two nights.  And, then we posed for pictures.  Because, duh.

Worst picture ever, probably.  But, what it is what it is, as my dad would say.

We slept in the next morning and then went into the town of Ephrata to eat breakfast at a place called Wanda's.  It was one of those hometown diners that you just knew was going to be delicious.  It did not disappoint.  In fact, we went back the next morning for more.  While our stomachs settled, we walked around the town a bit and then drove through some of the most beautiful scenery...I wish I had taken some pictures, but seriously, it wouldn't have done it justice.  We also had to make a pit stop for some ice cream.  Completely stuffed, we went back to the hotel, rested and then got ready for round 2.


Brad recommends the banana milkshake...it tasted like Not Yo Mama's Banana pudding!

We kept true to our word and went down to our seats to watch Lord Huron open.  They are seriously so good.  We had fun yelling for Karl {poor thing, being the object of our affection is not always easy}, but man it was hot in the sun.  Once they were over, we walked around and got some of those chicken fingers and fries.  {David and I got into VIP for a quick bathroom break, but Brad was too scared to try again.}



Just call me Casper.

Day/Night 3 was pretty much the same as night 2.  It was great hearing Lord Huron again {and we saw Karl and chatted with him a little bit more} and the DMB setlists were great.  I wore a pair of pig earrings I found at Target before we left in the hopes of hearing them play that song and it worked, so I was pleased.  


Brad and I had a short list of songs we wanted and we got almost all of them, so we were really happy.  We did hear a few we could have done without.  {See picture below} But, overall we were ecstatic.  And again, that venue.  It's just breathtaking.  

So glad he doesn't read my blog.  There's a picture of me on his phone rubbing his feet because I lost a bet that would make the rounds on the interwebs if he knew I was posting this.  {But, seriously, why does McDonald's have a double quarter pounder?  Wouldn't that be a half pounder?!}

We had to get up extra early on Monday morning to drive back to Seattle for our morning flights and it was super fun listening to Brad sing every Sheryl Crow song known to man.  {Insert sarcastic face here.}  But, I would do it again in a heartbeat.

If It Makes You Happy....

Don't tell the grandparents just yet, but Brad is already planning Labor Day weekend at The Gorge 2014.

14 September 2013

Sydney's 2nd Birthday Party

We celebrated Sydney's birthday with a relaxing day at home.  It was definitely not Pinterest-worthy, but we all had a good time hanging out with each other and smothering our favorite two year old with love, affection, presents and cupcakes.





➹ Best family picture we could get... ➹

Favorite Food:  Edamame
Favorite Show:  Bubble Guppies
Favorite Toy:  Balls
Favorite Person {Besides Mommy}: Poppy 
Favorite Animal: Peyton

We love you, sweet girl!

10 September 2013

And Just Like That, She's Two


Two weeks ago, my sweet, darling baby turned a whopping two years old.  I can hardly believe it.  I truly think I've been in a state of denial about it.  While it doesn't really seem like it "was just yesterday" that she was born, it certainly doesn't feel like two whole years have passed since that very first birth day.





I knew from that very first day that she was the sweetest of sweets.  She was just so easy-going and laid back from the very beginning.  I mean, no other baby could have been passed from nurse to mama and back again 25 times to film a commercial on her first day of life without making so much as a peep.  And, no other baby would have allowed their big sister to lay down in their little bed with them and wrap them up in their tiny little arms without even making a little fuss.  No other baby but our sweet little Sydney girl, that's for sure.



While I am sad that these baby days are over, I am also excited for all that is yet to come with this baby of the family.  She is growing and blossoming like crazy these days.  The shy little one who preferred to be held by either her mama or her poppy now gives out hugs to mom friends and babies alike {although she is still a little hesitant of new people}.  Her vocabulary has really taken off in the last couple months and I'm excited to not only have conversations with her, but to overhear conversations between her and Olivia.  For the longest time, she really only said mama, daddy, nana and poppy, but she is now stringing multiple words together and is really trying hard to communicate with us.  I just love hearing her little voice come out.  When she says to me, Pay to, Mom, I just see these glimpses of her as a teenager grabbing the car keys and thanking me as she runs out the door.  {Mom, Sydney?  Mom?  Can't we go with Mommy for at least another year?!}


One of my favorite things about Sydney is how loving she is.  I swear she would give us hugs and kisses all day long if we let her.  {And sometimes we do.}  She is the perfect little cuddler and I have to admit that it makes me a little sad that I don't still rock her to sleep at night.  She loves to hug her sister, although sometimes those can get a liitttttllee aggressive. ;)


Sydney does a great job with independent play as well.  If her independent play is a little too quiet, I know she is up to something.  The girl is obsessed with water.  She loves to play in the bathroom sink and she can be sort of sneaky with cups pouring water all over the bathroom floor.  She's really taken to swimming and while most of the time we make her wear the floatie, there are times when she flat out refuses.  We've let her sort of jump in {while we are in the pool} hoping that she realizes she can't float without it, but it doesn't phase her.  She loves to swim back and forth between me and David and she holds her breath under water, keeps her eyes open and kicks until she gets to one of us.  I'm sick to my stomach and swelling with pride all at the same time.





Before you start thinking that she is completely perfect, I will let you know that she's not quite achieved that status yet.  She can be a little stinker...she likes to mix Magnum's food with his water, she pretty much refuses to sit in her high chair anymore {or let me feed her, for that matter} and she is capable of throwing itty bitty tantrums when she doesn't get her way.  But, honestly, those tantrums are few and far between.


We love our little Sydney girl and we are truly blessed beyond measure to have her as the baby of our family.  What a bright future we hold getting to watch her grow up.  May we always be the recipients of her never ending hugs and kisses.

Happy 2nd Birthday, Sydney!

And, now, if you aren't sick of seeing pictures of this beautiful girl, here's a little video slideshow of pictures of her from the last year.  {Still want more?  Here's her first birthday slideshow.}



Sydney's 2nd Birthday from Amanda Michelson on Vimeo.