Sunday, December 26, 2010

1 and a half!

Alexandra turned 18 months, which means she is officially a year and a half old!

Her vocabulary is developing a lot even though she doesn't pronounce all of her words very clearly, and she is improving every day.

Some of her most-used words are:
UP please!
Thank you!
Hi Sadie!
Fish  (pronounced Pisshhh, which is really funny sounding!)
Uh Oh!
Good Girl (pronounced go-go)

She is 25 pounds (70th percentile for weight) and 33 inches tall (90th percentile for height).  She has been fairly healthy lately (although she has had a few colds, it's nothing like the ear infections we battled last year!)  She has 8 front teeth (4 on top, 4 on the bottom) and 4 molars.

Her favorite foods are waffles, milk, bananas, bean burritos, mandarin oranges, hot dogs, and turkey.  She is not a great eater, and any of her favorite foods listed above can suddenly become the most vile things she has ever seen depending on her daily mood.

Alex is extremely temperamental and is already throwing temper tantrums pretty badly when she doesn't get her way.  She throws herself on the ground, rolling around kicking and screaming, and will even bite herself if she gets really angry!!! But she can turn from angry to calm in a matter of minutes, and will make us laugh at her expressions or body language.

She loves her daycare/school, and runs to see her teachers and give them hugs every morning.  Sometimes when I pick her up she even cries because she is having too much fun and doesn't want to leave! It sometimes makes me sad when she pitches a fit about going home, but I'm ultimately glad that she is being taken care of by wonderful people who love her.  I drive 45 minutes to drop her off at this particular daycare, and it is extremely inconvenient for us, but I can't bear to transfer her elsewhere because I haven't found anything comparable.

At home, Alex's favorite activities are playing with her kitchen, her toys (like her dog Patch), and BOOKS BOOKS BOOKS! She cannot get enough of the books.  I think she would be fine if we read to her for hours every night.  Not to say that she has a wonderful attention span, because she likes to change out the book sometimes before you have even finished reading it.  She loves the playground and the slide is her obsession.  If I let her walk down the driveway and take my eye off of her for a second, she takes off running at full speed to the playground (which is about 30 yards away) and I have to chase her.

We are both so proud to be the parents of this little joy.  She is brilliant and funny and thoughtful.  She is also stubborn and willful and determined.  We have our hands full every single day with her, and we are continuously amazed at how difficult yet awesome she is!  We can't imagine what life was like before her, nor do we want to! 

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas!!!

What a wonderful Christmas we have had!

We announced to our families what we will be naming baby #2, which we have kept under lock and key up until today!   And her name is......

Kathryn Grace!

It was the name that we both loved when we first started coming up with name ideas.  And even though we came up with many other ones that we loved, for some reason, we just kept going back to our first choice.  It just felt right, and now we have already come to think of her as our Kathryn.  So there it is!  We can't wait to meet her and see how her name fits her!  :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Naming Baby #2

Want to know what we are naming this little baby? We are going to be announcing her name on Christmas! Stay tuned! :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Over halfway there now!

This pregnancy is flying by so quickly! It helps that I have a busy toddler to chase after (which distracts me from the months of waiting for the new baby).  I'm much bigger than I was at the same point in my pregnancy last time despite having gained less weight.  I guess it's true what they say, that your body knows what to do and jumps into gear a lot faster the second time around! I haven't been as excited about taking photos this time, not because I'm not excited about the pregnancy, but because I'm just not that into my pregnant self.    But here are my 2 photos, at 3 months and 5 months (oops, forgot to take one at 4 months!)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Katie's Jungle Baby Shower

My best friend Katie is having a baby! I was given the privilege of throwing her a baby shower, and boy did I have fun with it!!! We chose to do a jungle theme to match the baby's nursery decor.  As usual, once you give me a theme, I pretty much can't help myself from going crazy trying to plan and plan and plan around it.  Her sister, Kelly, the amazing creative paper artiste, designed and made the invitations and the paper decorations for the shower.
They were gorgeous! This photo doesn't do it justice, because you can't really see the dimension of the animals coming off of the card, but you get the idea.  

I had fun designing a menu around a jungle theme.  We had Safari Salad (Spinach Salad with Cranberries, Walnuts and Bacon), Monkey Mushrooms (Mushrooms stuffed with Brie cheese), Wild Jungle Vines (Rosemary skewers of mozzarella, salami, olives, etc.), Critter Crunch Chips and Artichoke Dip, Grilled Vegetables (titled "Zoo you want some vegetables?"), Jungle Fruit Kabobs, Monkey Bread, and Chocolate-dipped Bananas.

Besides being pretty darn yummy, if I do say so myself, it was a great themed menu!

Katie and I stayed up until the wee hours of the morning on the night before the shower to finish the food preparations.  We were most entertained by our cookie decorating, and maybe it was the sleep-deprivation, but we had some hysterical giggle moments.  There were some definite flops (most notably the Giraffe with measles) but we kept at it and came up with some cute enough versions.

I'm not in love with them, but they fit the theme, and there definitely wasn't enough time to start over, so there you have it.  Next time, I will START with the detailed cookie-decorating instead of trying to finish it at 3 a.m.! 

I decorated the tables with palm fronds and jungle animals, simple and cute. 

Kelly made the banner, and of course it was BEAUTIFUL!!! I keep saying that I will take some classes from her one day when I have time for another hobby!  But I think with a full time job, a toddler, and photography, baking and book club, I'm pretty set on the schedule at the moment! 

The most important thing was that Katie enjoyed her day and was showered with a ton of great gifts for her and baby Lucas.  

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thank you!

Just a very very small part of the things that I am thankful for on this day after Thanksgiving:

-Living close to most of our family members and being able to see them on Thanksgiving without having to brave the airports.
-Amazing food, along with the talented cooks who prepared it for us! :) 
-A beautiful home over our heads, and our wonderful new neighborhood that we love.
-Employment for both of us, during this time when so many can't find work.
-A healthy daughter who is full of spit and vinegar, and a little sweetness thrown in for good measure.
-A loving husband who works so hard and doesn't get much time to take a break, but never complains about it.
-A healthy pregnancy and daughter along the way.
-Wonderful friends who listen, laugh and help me enjoy this crazy ride of a life.

I know that my blessings are numerous, some I have earned, some I haven't....and I can honestly say that I feel thankful for them on many days other than Thanksgiving too. 

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


A few weekends ago, Rich's aunt and uncle from Chicago came to visit.  After 2 1/2 years of marriage and 1 child later, Rich finally felt comfortable enough to introduce me to the family.  (kidding!) We had a great time eating lunch outdoors in the beautiful Arizona fall weather and Alex took an immediate liking to her Great Aunt and Uncle. They spoiled her with gifts and attention; what else could she ask for?!

Books books books!

We got Alex a bookshelf for her room to contain the many dozens of books that were coming out of our ears.  Above every other entertainment item in the house, books are definitely her favorite.  So now, she will sometimes wander down the hallway into her room, and of course, I am trailing slowly behind to discover what mischief she is suddenly starting.  And I find her at her bookshelf, pulling off the books and "reading" them, flinging each one to the side when she has finished with it, to be replaced by another 10 or 20 that eventually land on the bedroom floor.  

Monday, November 22, 2010

Halloween 2010

This was a fun year for us to celebrate Halloween.  I wouldn't say that Alex necessarily knew what it was about, but she had fun nonetheless.  And she dressed up as 3, yes 3, different things.  Why? Well that is a good question.  Her Grandma got her a Wizard of Oz Dorothy costume, which she wore for her school party, and I got her a cow costume for her to wear during Halloween night because I thought she might need something warm.  We also had a neighborhood block party during the day, and when I tried to put her in the Dorothy costume, she pitched a fit for some unknown reason.  Then I tried the cow costume, which she proceeded to sweat in after 2 seconds.  So then came costume #3: a princess tutu from her closet, complete with silver sequined sneakers.  Because isn't that what all the princesses wear?

Friday, November 5, 2010

My favorite hobby is...!  Well at least it is today.  Sometimes it is baking.  And sometimes it is playing my piano.  But for today, it's photography.

I liked it a little when I was younger.  I took a simple photography class in high school, and kind of enjoyed it, but I was impatient, and I didn't like the tedious process of developing the film, then the test strips to find the correct exposure, then developing the photograph at the precise exposure, just to find out that I had a mediocre photograph on my hands.  Although the dark room was kind of neat.  But in any case, I lost interest.

Then came digital photography.  INSTANT gratification.  INSTANT learning! And since I am a learner at heart, this was my thing.  I could snap a shot, look at the photo on the camera, re-take it if I didn't like the first one and keep going, going, going.  It's genius!

I was very lucky to get a gift from all of the family members for my birthday to help out with my favorite hobby.....they all pitched in for gift cards so that I could buy a new fancy lens for my camera.  And I am so excited!

But I was very reluctant to spend my gift cards without knowing which lens was the RIGHT one.  What if I chose the wrong one?  I decided to rent the lens for a day before committing to an expensive purchase. And it was perfect timing that my best friend Katie is 8 months pregnant and had not gotten any Maternity Photos done yet.

It was fun.  And a little more difficult than I thought it would be, in terms of posing people. (My current photography subject, Alex, doesn't exactly POSE for me, so I just run around trying to catch her doing things in live motion, making silly faces and such to get her to laugh.)  Adults aren't really the same way.  They are much better behaved and actually DO the poses that I ask for.  Ha! And I don't have to make silly faces, although I'm sure that would make things more entertaining for them.  I'll think about that for next time.

Without further are a few of my first Maternity Portraits of the gorgeous Katie and her handsome husband, Jeremy:

I love the photos.  I can see some room for improvement, but that's okay, especially for a first try!  And I'm buying that lens! 

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

Remember last year's trip to the Pumpkin Patch?

We plopped Alex down among the pumpkins, and she obliged us with a few glances, but mostly just looked around in a calm, mellow mood.  

Well, what a difference a year makes!

She was on the run this year.  Choosing a pumpkin was last on the priority list when there was so much RUNNING to be done! 

Occasionally she stopped (not for our benefit, of course) and gave a quick glance at a pumpkin or two.

She had some good times with her cousins:

She had some giggles with Daddy:

And played some pumpkin bongos with Gamma:

She threw a few (or more) tantrums, but she had some laughs too:

And fun was had by all! Schnepf Farms is by far the BEST place to go for October fun.  We will definitely be making it an annual trip.  

Friday, October 22, 2010

Baby or blue????

And drum roll please..........PINK! Alexandra is going to have a little sister!

Well, for the record, I just KNEW it was a girl this time.  I would have been shocked had they seen boy parts!  Not that we wouldn't have been excited for a boy too, it's just that we knew we were going to have two girls.  And we are so thrilled!

Two girls to laugh with each other, borrow each other's clothes, tell secrets, giggle, play dress-up....(and of course, argue, fight and terrorize too!)   How exciting!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Words words words words!

Alex has been expanding her vocabulary lately.  Her favorite words are:
Hi!  (she draws it out and says Hiiiiiiiiiiii!!)
Tickle Tickle Tickle Tickle (while scrunching her fingers and trying to tickle you)
Sadie (She says Sa--ee, missing the "D")
Baby (while pointing to mom's tummy, though I'm sure she has no idea what that really means)
Patch (That's the name of her favorite stuffed dog from 101 Dalmations)

There are plenty of others that she repeats when we say them, but she doesn't really have them integrated into her daily conversation yet.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Picture Day!

Alex had her first Picture Day at school recently.  Does anyone else think it's funny for a 1 year old to have a school picture?  I'm picturing yearbooks, autographs and "Most Likely to Succeed" jokes coming soon.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Happy Happy News

We are kind of thrilled, excited, ecstatic and over-the-top happy to announce that we will be expanding our family in April, 2011! We have known for a few weeks, and it is really difficult for me to keep ANYTHING this cool a surprise.  Today we had our first ultrasound and saw the heartbeat, and everything is looking wonderful and healthy!

We knew we wanted to have our children close together (assuming it was what was meant to be?) so this is such a blessing for us and our family!  I am just hoping for as great of a pregnancy as last time and of course, we are hoping for a healthy baby!  I am feeling very sick and exhausted, but it's all part of the package I guess.  I sure do miss those early evening naps that I could take so easily during the last pregnancy though!  It definitely changes the game when you have a toddler to run around with. 

Speaking of that toddler, we asked her how she felt about us bringing her a baby brother or sister, and here was her reaction:

I think she's excited. 

Well, we are at least, and maybe it will be contagious?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


You know what's great about living in Phoenix during the summer? Nothing.  Well, except for being able to drive 2 hours north to Flagstaff to escape the heat.  My mom and I took a small roadtrip a few weekends ago with Alexandra to Flagstaff.  We had a blast!

We stopped on the side of the road for some photo opportunities.  We saw a field of Black Eyed Susans and HAD to get some pictures.

We had lunch in downtown Flagstaff and walked around the little town for some shopping.  Then we went to the local park for a children's art and music festival with a live band.  Alex was in her own form of heaven with the music.  I literally had to chase her to prevent her from climbing onto the stage because she was so enthralled with the musicians.  Gulp.  I hope this isn't a sign of the future! 

She boogied down on the dance floor with the big kids and tried to hula hoop too.  

On the drive back home, we had a return visit to the field of Black Eyed Susans to hunt for my mom's lost glasses and I found them!!! I had to convince her to go back and we searched for awhile before I finally found them. Persistence pays off! What a fun story we will remember from that trip though.