Monday, August 11, 2014

Dear Andie... You're 15 months old!

My beautiful baby girl,

I refuse to call you a toddler... yet!  I can't believe it's been 3 months since we celebrated your first Birthday.  You are changing and developing right before our very eyes and it is truly a pleasure to watch.  Sometimes, I just love to stare at you.  Your compact little body and the way you waddle when you run, goodness, I would freeze time if I could.  I am scared that I will someday forget the way you look and the way you sound right now.  You have the cutest little voice and your noises make us laugh.  I try to get them on video, but it's almost impossible because you are very aware of cameras and cell phones and immediately want to play with them.

You are saying several words now and it's fun to teach you new ones.  You say: mama, dada, baba, what's that?, nuts (when you fall or drop something), and hi.  If we ask you "what does a dog say?" you respond with "woof woof".  You are very aware of what we are saying.  If we say bath, downstairs, outside, ride in the car, time to eat, nigh nigh time, or let the dogs out you know exactly where to go to do what we are saying.  If we ask you where your ball or baby is, you will go on a hunt to find them.  It is truly amazing what you understand!  You also point at things when you say "what's that" and it is so cute to see your tiny little arm pointing around.  When you laugh really hard, you throw your head back and it is so darn cute!
You are quite feisty, and along with understanding what we are saying, you also like to test us when we say "no".  I suppose this is only the beginning, but we are doing our best to stay consistent and make sure we do our best to teach you what no means.  You are so darn cute, it's not easy, but I know if we don't start now, we may lose you.

Your favorite toys: your baby (you've got two of them), ball, Doc McStuffins toys, your red car that sings, your cozy coupe, and your clubhouse and slide that we put up downstairs.  Your favorite book is Snuggle Puppy by Sandra Boynton.  You will bring that to daddy and I to read to you and you always light up when we do.  You even know the part to give us a kiss.  You love your blankets and chew on them for comfort when you are tired or upset.  You love to wave at people and sometimes you'll wave at complete strangers.  You've gotten a little better at riding in the car and riding in shopping carts.
You are wearing 12 month sized clothes from Carters, and 12-18 month sized clothes from Old Navy and Gap.  At your last check up a couple weeks ago, you were 21 pounds, in the 50th percentile, up from the 20th percentile at your first Birthday.  You wear size 3 pampers diapers and size 3-4 shoe.  We've had a lot of fun shopping for shoes for you and your favorite pair right now are your pink converse.  You've got 5 teeth, 3 up on top, and two on the bottom - and another on the top is popping through the gums now.  Teething was a little tough for you in the last couple months, but you're doing better now.  You sleep through the night and have been for several months - usually going down between 7:30 and 8, and sleeping 12 hours.  You take one nap a day for an hour or two.

You absolutely love the water and the pool.  Everyone is surprised when they see you in the pool because you're not afraid.  You will fall in and go under and it doesn't phase you.  You also love your water table we set up on the back porch and bath time is always a hit with you.  You love to play under the running water and fill up little buckets.
After you turned a year old, I started to wean you from breastfeeding because I am pregnant with your baby brother.  I was so proud to make it to a year, and it was a little tough for you, but you took the change very well.  Now, you have about 3 5oz bottles of organic whole milk a day, along with a bottle of almond milk if you seem to want it.  You eat pretty well, but not everyday.  You have good days and days where you aren't as hungry.  Your favorite food is definitely fruit... especially blueberries!  You will eat strawberries, blueberries, grapes, peaches... any fruit!  You also still like yogurt, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, mac and cheese, black beans, quesidellas, and you aren't too picky with trying new things.

You are quite the climber and adventurer.  You're very tough.  You fall quite often and it's rare that you cry.  We have moved all of our chairs away from the table because you figured out how to climb on them and then get on top of the table.  You also can climb up playgrounds, strollers, into the bathtub, up stairs (you love stairs), and anywhere you set your mind to.  You're an adventurer because you don't stay where we are - you go wherever you feel like going.  You will wander away from us to explore, something I have noticed is a little rare for a baby your age.  You enjoy going to the play care at the gym, so I try to take you 4-5 times a week.  The ladies there tell me you love to play with the big kids outside, and I am not surprised.  You have an older soul for your young age.  You do pretty well traveling, and in June, we took a trip to Carmel for a week with mama's family and we went to Seattle and Portland for 10 days.

You are so beautiful.  You have the most amazing round blue eyes and platinum blonde hair.  You are very sweet and love giving kisses.  Pops taught you how to give kisses on the cheek, and you never refuse giving pops a kiss. You love spending time with us and our family and friends and really thrive around other kids.  I am very excited to see you as a big sister, and I am enjoying my time with just us until he gets here.  I can't believe how much you have grown up and changed in such a short time.  You amaze me, sweet girl, and I hope you never underestimate how much I love and adore you.

Love you forever,
At the Portland airport.  You're quite the little traveler!
Sweet Andie... you are LOVED.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Thankful Thursday and thoughts on Baby #2

We are so darn excited for baby #2, and even though I am already almost 17 weeks pregnant, it still doesn't feel real.  (Even though we have seen him lots of times on ultrasounds!)  A lot of people have asked how close Andie and baby boy will be... they'll be about 20 months apart, so very close!  I realize our life is going to get quite chaotic with TWO children under two, in diapers, and closely needing our attention.  But regardless of this expected chaos, I will be very grateful for this huge blessing - to be a mom to TWO children, and family of 4.

With Andie, we tried for nearly 18 months before getting pregnant.  She was a big surprise when we finally did, and we were so thrilled.  TL and I talked a lot about when we wanted to start 'trying' for number two, and started keeping track of everything shortly after Andie turned 6 months old.  We figured, why not!?  Life is an adventure, and if it were to take us a little time and we needed to get fertility help, at least we wouldn't look back and wish we started sooner.  Well, that was not the case, obviously, because within about 5 months of paying attention, I got that positive pregnancy test.  I came out of the bathroom after secretly taking the test and just looked at TL, I didn't have to say a word and he started screaming with joy... then immediately telling Andie she was going to be a big sister.  It's such a special memory.

A few days after finding out about this baby, I also had a few feelings I wasn't expecting.  I was still happy, but I found myself feeling a little guilty.  I would stare at this beautiful baby girl of mine and think - oh my gosh, is baby number 2 going to interfere with my relationship with her?  Is it possible for me to even come close to loving another child this much?  And then when we found out it was a BOY, my mind raced with a few more fears - how will I do with a boy?  Is it going to be something entirely foreign and new for me?

I realize all of these thoughts are probably normal, and I would never want to come across as ungrateful, we are SO grateful for this huge blessing.  I think no matter the age difference between kids, that fear of the unknown can be present.  After talking to my mom and some others, I have heard it is very common for mom's to feel nervous about loving another child.

At my 12 week check up, the doctor did an ultrasound and I saw this fully formed little baby floating around, moving, and waving little hands in my belly.  And there is was... that spark I was needing to remind me I CAN love another tiny human being like I love the little one who is here already.  After about 14 weeks, the morning sickness and vomiting subsided... and as I have started feeling more like myself, I am getting more and more used to the idea of having a little guy running around here.

I'm certain our lives are about to change BIG time when this baby debuts in our lives this January.  It will be crazy, messy, loud, and I am sure a little sleepless. . . but I still don't know how I got so lucky to have this opportunity, and I will never take it for granted.  Thank goodness I married a great man who loves being a daddy and is so thrilled for this next baby and to grow our family.  He is so supportive and takes his role as dada very seriously (well, sort of, he is a huge kid at heart).  I could cry thinking about what a good dad he is!

I am so thankful for all of the support, love, congratulations, and excitement we have been given in these last few days as our family and friends have learned about this baby.  We truly feel overwhelmed with gratitude.  Thank you!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Our trip to Seattle, Washington

We were up at 4:45am to catch our 7:50am flight to Vancouver, Canada and woke Andie up to get her loaded in the car.  TL dropped me off at the airport check in area while he and Andie drove to long term parking to leave the car and catch the shuttle back.  I stood in a long line at the airline counter and waited.  They arrived and we made it to the front, when we were asked for our passports.  TL handed over our passports and Andie's birth certificate (she's 13 months old).  The lady said, well, she needs a passport, too!  This was news to us.  I had researched it and it said that as long as children are under two, they can travel to Canada with just a birth certificate.  Well, that is true, however, when you are using an airplane as your form of transportation, even a tiny infant needs a passport.  Car, bus, train, or walking - a birth certificate works just fine.  Whoops.  So we were denied getting on our flight.

So, we made our way back on to the shuttle and back to our car while I called our hotel in Vancouver and was luckily able to cancel with out any penalties (thank goodness!).  I also called an started trying to figure out what to do with our airfare.  We made it home and TL and I talked and figured why not go to Seattle (the next stop on our adventure) early and just extend our time there.  I called the airline, spoke with a supervisor and explained our dilemma, and was able to change our flight (with out having to pay the $139 per person change fee, yikes) to Seattle that evening.

We finally made it to Seattle at about 7pm.  After the adventure of getting to our hotel via their light rail system, we were so relieved to see our bed and take showers.  TL and I laughed when we saw a pretty major leak in our bathtub - moldy and wet sheetrock.  Andie had already gone to sleep, but he called down just to let them know.  The service was amazing - they sent someone up immediately and they were so nice and felt terrible.  It wasn't a huge deal to us, we were just happy to have a comfy place to sleep.  The next day, they moved rooms and the hotel manager said she was going to make it up to us.  We weren't a single bit upset about it, and we were just happy they could move us rooms.  Well, did they ever - the next day we were moved to The Governor's Suite on the top floor of the hotel for no charge for the rest of our stay.  We had gorgeous views of Seattle, Lake Union, even the Space Needle.  It made coming up to the room for nap time VERY easy.  I could look out the window for hours!!  What a huge room, and the views were spectacular!  SO, thank you Westin Seattle for being so sweet.  Completely made up for our blender of getting there.

We really enjoyed Seattle.  I got to meet up with my long time blog friend, Carol, from Everyday Delights.  We've "known" each other for several years and it was so fun to see her in person and get to catch up.  She was so sweet and was full of good recommendations for us.  My parents ended up joining us after a couple days and they were even upgraded to be in a room close to us.

While we were there, we went to Pike's Place Market, The 1st Starbucks, The Museum of Flight, Boeing Tour (TL & my dad went, they weren't super impressed), The Space Needle, The Lake Union District, and spent time exploring and walking all over downtown.  We also did The Duck Tour of Seattle, which was fun.  Worth it if you'd like information about the city and a ride on Lake Union.

If you make it to Seattle, I definitely recommend the Museum of Flight, especially if you or anyone in your group like airplanes.  We thought it was really cool.  My dad and TL wouldn't recommend the Boeing Tour (this one is in Everett, outside the city and hard to get to).  They said it was disappointing because you couldn't really see anything from the observation deck.  The Space Needle and the Area underneath it is really nice, we spent a lot of time walking around.  They have a children's museum, and a few other museums, plus a great cafeteria full of different unique restaurants.  Our favorite area was the Lake Union area.  They have restaurants along the waterfront that you can sit at and watch the Seaplanes take off and land.
One of the views from our Suite - we were in heaven!

 My mom and TL riding on the monorail from the Needle to Downtown
Andie loved looking out from the Duck!
Watched a World Cup game before heading out to explore!
On top of the Space Needle
 I wasn't ready for the picture, but this is a 747 up close at The Museum of Flight.  Andie is showing how big the engine is!
Exhausted at the Museum of Flight sleeping on pops.
 These Doughnuts are delicious - worth a visit if you're in Seattle!
With sweet Carol, so glad we were able to meet!

We had amazing weather in Seattle.  We didn't get any rain, just a small drop on the day we were leaving.  It's a beautiful city with so much to explore.  The one thing we didn't get to do is ride the ferry to Bainbridge Island, which we will have to go back to do!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Andie's 1st Birthday Party

I realize I am TWO months late in posting about Andie's first birthday party, but it was such a special day, I have to make sure I share.  When planning it, I wanted something fun, simple, and surrounded by the people who love Andie.  Many of our family and close friends came and we were so happy to have them here.  Andie wasn't exactly a fan of the singing and all the attention being on her, but it's her birthday... she can cry if she wants to, right!?

For her party, we decorated our garage and set up tables.  It was really pretty weather outside, and it worked perfectly because Pinkberry, Andie's favorite frozen yogurt, catered the dessert.  We did sliders, chicken, sandwiches, and a variety of appetizers for food.  I didn't cook a single thing myself - but it was simple and worked well.

I had a time capsule set up for Andie.  Our friends and family wrote a card to her, and I will give them to her to open on her 21st Birthday.  I also had everyone sign a canvas that I had put her footprints on so she could remember who was at her first birthday.

I ordered her personalized "Andie" onsie from Leah at Simply Made with Love, and her birthday bib and hat from Dainty Couture on Etsy.  All of the decorations were found online at a discount party store, and the balloons were from Party City.  The flowers were from Costco, and the banners my friend Lynsey helped me make.  I really enjoyed planning and decorating.  We ordered her first birthday invites from Tiny Prints (they have the cutest selection of invites)!

Thank you so much to my neighbor, Carol, who took all of these pictures.  I was so bad and didn't take a single one! I am also waiting for more to come from a friend of ours who took several of Andie with different family members.

It was such a fun day.  We love our little one year old!  She is so blessed to have so many special family and friends in her life.

Friday, July 11, 2014

5 on Friday

Holy smokes, it's been two months since I have written in my little space of the cyber world.  I wasn't planning on taking a break, it just happened.  It is the longest break I have taken since starting this blog in 2008, but it was needed.  This isn't the only thing I have been taking a little break from... sometimes, we just step away from things for a little while and it helps us refresh and we can re-prioritize.  It feels good :)  I never want this to feel like a chore, because I write here for me - so I can look back and remember parts of my life.

Things have been quite busy, in a good way.  Our sweet girl has been changing and growing so much.  She is 14 months old today, and I can't believe it.  It has been so much fun watching her grow, it's a joy and a blessing that I am so grateful for everyday.  We have done some traveling in the last month and we had her 1st Birthday party. I am so excited to share about these things soon!

ONE.  World Cup fever.  I am not a huge soccer fan, but I know enough about it to follow the Cup.  Anyone who lives in my house would know, though.  Sports Center is pretty much always on, and TL and his brother are such big fans - I can't help but jump on the bandwagon.  We are pulling for Argentina and Germany for the final - I will be happy either way, I just hope it's a good game :)
TWO.  My favorite things that Andie is saying lately are "what's that?" - she points and asks what pretty much everything is, and "NUTS" - when she drops something or falls down.  It is so cute and cracks us up.  She is getting to be so animated and her personality is so darn sweet.  She loves giving hugs and kisses and lights up when she sees people she knows, especially us and my parents.  She's a wild girl, too.  Loves being tossed high in the air and flipping around.  Makes me nervous, but you can't help but laugh when she screams and giggles.
THREE.  Hot, hot, hot.  Not only are we experiencing a terrible drought in Northern California, but it has been hot, which is quite typical for our summers.  We've seen a few days of 100+ and luckily we have some friends with pools, so we have been able to escape a little bit.  Andie absolutely loves the water - we have a fish!

FOUR.  100 Happy Days.  I know I probably won't be able to do it every single day - sometimes I go a day or two with out instagram, but I joined in with the new #100happydays movement on Instagram (@tracyzlesh).  I love the idea of recognizing the little things in our lives that make our days happy, even if they are really small.
FIVE.  This heat has had me dreaming of putting a pool in our backyard, so on pinterest I have been going crazy pinning images of my dream pools.  Even though we are years away from being able to do something like this, and our backyard is not quite as fancy as these ;), it still makes me excited to think about.

Hope you have a happy Friday and a beautiful weekend :)