Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Wrap-up

This post is dedicated to our busy Christmas week, but there are a few random non-Christmas related items included. For example, Lucy loves laundry baskets. In fact, they've become quite the obsession. She loves to put random items in them, including herself. Here she is watching television from the comfort of her own laundry basket.

Now, posing in her laundry basket...

This past Sunday Eli and Pari had their baby blessings. Afterwards the whole Khamphakdy/Smith/Bidney/Clarkson gang headed over the Adam and Vadsana's for lunch. Lucy is definitely becoming more social and interactive. It is an understatement to say that she loves her cousins.

All of the kids were in their Sunday finest, so I decided to snap some pictures. The photo shoot turned into an all out wrestling match. Maly and Alison are so good to Lucy. They never play too rough, and they are kind enough to let her beat them up. As demonstrated below, I never got a "money shot" of the three of them. They are too fast for an old broad like me.

Lucy hasn't learned yet that biting isn't proper greeting etiquiette... I believe we left with Alison's face still intact.

Alison, Pari, and Maly. Don't I have the most precious nieces? Okay, maybe I'm a little biased, but they are pretty darn sweet.

Pari Jun all dressed up and ready for her close up!

Mr. Eli and Miss Pari. I didn't get it when I was younger, but I see now why older people walk around with their thumb and pointer finger permanently squeezed together. Check out the cheeks between them. I can't help it, I want to pinch.

We spent Christmas day with the family. It was a wonderful typical Christmas; good food, good times, lots of presents, and more good food. I think I may have split my intestines eating too much, but it was worth it. Alison and Maly posing with thier baby dolls, Rose and Alexandria. Lucy's Grandma J got these for them and they were the "it" toy that day.

Papa and his two youngest grandbabies. Lucy not only loved all of the toys Pari received this year, she also loved smacking Pari's bald head. I think her arm might be blocking her face, but you may be able to see how she is thoroughly enjoying inflicting pain. I'm scared for March to get here.

Grandparents, sheesh... What better way to discipline a bad baby than to love it to death? Doesn't Lucy look remorseful after beating her cousin like bongos?

It's a good thing that babies don't have the best long term memories. Five minutes later and all is forgiven and forgetten.

The men on their second board game of the day. (L-R) Charles, Art, Adam, Eric and Uncle Fred.

Lucy and Maly playing so nicely...

Lucy attacking Maly...

Just last night Charles was remarking on how funny it is everyone has adapted to Lucy way of saying hello. Instead of vocalizing the word "hello" or waving, she will press her forehead against the person's forehead that she is greeting. It's strange, but it's caught on.

This is new. I'm assuming that this must mean "goodbye".

Lucy gave Charles and I the best Christmas gift we have ever received. She made it at school and it is so absolutely precious. I can't believe how much I love a hunk of clay, but I suppose that's what happens when you become a parent.

On a non-Christmas note, Lucy is becoming such a big girl. As you all know, she is the pickiest little eater on the planet. I offer her new things and healthy things, but she never wants them. Even food that she loved months before can set off her gag reflex. The good thing is, she understands meal time is for eating and we have a pretty good routine down. Breakfast is a bottle of Pediasure and small bowl of Cheerios in bed. I turn on the same movie every morning and she occupies herself for at least a half and hour. She's become so independent, and I'm loving not monitoring her every second she has food in front of her. This morning she decided to branch out and ate almost an entire banana nut muffin. I was in shock and I'm sure it was just a fluke, but maybe, just possibly her wee little taste buds are maturing. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and hoping lunch goes just as well.

On another non-Christmas note, #2 is doing well and so is Mom. I am growing so much faster than I was with Lucy. I don't have a picture, but maybe next post. I'm already up 25 lbs. Keep in mind too that I have a little over 12 weeks left. So, much for trying to stay under 40 lbs (sigh...). At our last ultrasound a couple of weeks ago, she was just around two pounds. She is incredibly active. I can hardly get a good night's sleep anymore because she is always on the move . Just laying my hand on my stomach I can make out certain body parts. I know I've been through this before, but even the second time it seems so surreal that there is a little human growing and moving inside of me. We've also honed in on a name, and no, we aren't sharing. The story on how this came to pass is funny (in my words) and tragic (if you ask my sister). Maybe after she's born and her name is legally established I'll share, but until then, we'll just keep you guessing!

I have my next OB appointment in a week and they will be checking for gestational diabetes. I was borderline the first time around with Lucy and ended up having to take the three hour glucose tolerance test just to find out I didn't have it. I don't have the luxury of waiting around the office for three hours this time, so wish me luck my numbers come in low.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Holiday Parties

Yesterday was Lucy's 2nd Annual Christmas Party with her playgroup. The adults traded cookies and the kids exchanged their Secret Santa gifts. By 10:30 AM Lucy and I were both in a sugar coma from all of the tasty treats. Oh, so much good food and not enough room in the ole' tank. Still, being the trooper that I am, I managed to cram as many cookies as I could in the small space that was once my cavernous stomach. I can proudly say that I successfully finished the entire plate of goodies by 9 o' clock this morning (if you don't count the one sugar cookie Charles took to work, and the crumbs that I was too lazy to lick off the plate). Nothing like starting the day with a surge of insulin in the blood!

Lucy's hair is getting so long. Charles and I like to comb her pretty little rat tail after a bath. Anyway, here she is with her first official pigtails. I tried to get a better picture, but the camera is to Lucy what kryptonite is to Superman, as later demonstrated in the post.

See, staring in fear at the mass of flashes pointed in her direction. This is the best group picture I had of all of the kiddos. I can't believe how much they've all changed in one short year. We have a new addition in the bumbo, little Luke. By next year's party there will be at least two more babies in attendance, mine and Megan's (due in June). I can't wait. The more the merrier!

I'm no baby doctor nor do I claim to be a baby whisperer, but I think this was Lucy's way of communicating she's done with the photo session...

Mommies and babies, err toddlers. (L-R) Jen and Preston, Emily and Mallory, Nanthida and Lucy, Lacy and Ethan, Melana with Zack and Luke, Megan and Oliver

Lucy and Mommy in front of the pretty tree. Lucy has found that her sister makes a nice seat and/or pillow. One thing she has yet to comprehend is that there is a baby in there. Although, sometimes I think she understands; she just chooses not to acknowledge the impending arrival of competition.

Opening up her gift from her Secret Santa, Preston. I don't think at this point she realized that the ribbon wasn't the present.

A baby doll! It's the perfect size for her little frame. She's already carrying it around everywhere. Yesterday after we left to run errands, she HAD to have her baby with her at all times.

A puzzle! Lucy loves, loves, loves puzzles. Mommy, not so much. It's probably because her favorite things to do is take all of the pieces out and hand them to me to put in (over and over again) or hide the piece and laugh while I struggle to find them.

And a book! She couldn't wait to read it. She loved all of her gifts. What a spoiled little girl. Thank you Preston and Jen.

A particularly special treat for all of you loyal blog readers, Charles and I cleaned up at his work holiday bash. Last Friday, we joined about fifty of this co-workers and their spouses at the Uptown Theatre for drinks, dinner, and dancing (not to mention Guitar Hero, karaoke, and an Elephant Gift exchange). Lucy stayed overnight with her Grandma so Charles and I made it home by 10:30 where we promptly and quite literally fell into bed. At least he made it into his pajamas. I woke up at 3 AM, still in my dress and coat on top of the covers.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Happy Hollandaise!

Just want to wish everybody a happy and safe holiday season. For a personalized gift from us, please print out the picture below and write "To: (your name here)" on the top. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A Note to my Best Friend.

Happy Birthday my sweet husband. I am so priviledged to share my life with you. One hundred birthdays side by side would still not be enough time spent together. I admire and respect you more than the depths of the sea. I am proud to call you friend. I learn something new about you and us everyday, and in the process, I evolve a little more. You make me a better person.

I cherish the life we have created together. You are the backbone of this family. Your strength and faith astound me. I could not and would not want to any of this without you at my side, holding my hand. I look forward to growing old with you, and I can't wait until we have matching mops of silver and grey. Just imagine, us at the nursing home, in our matching twin beds, fully equipped with bedrails and nurse call buttons. It'll be bliss as long as we're there together.

Thank you for being a wonderful husband and father. Our children are lucky to have such a man in their lives. I love you.

365 days before. A lot can happen in one year!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Sick Baby

Just a quick update...

Lucy had a runny nose for a few of weeks. I wasn't too concerned, especially because she now attends nursery school (and is thereby exposed to many more germs) and it's about that time of year. Last week it turned into a big cold, complete with fever, congestion, and a hacking cough. The little appetite she normally has dissipated to nothing. After a few rough nights Charles and I took her into the doctor. Turns out our little girl has croup. In her case, a virus caused swelling and inflammation of the larynx and surrounding tissue. This led to her labored breathing and bark-like cough. Dr. Sullivan prescribed her an anti-inflammatory medication and assured us that the virus would pass eventually. She's only successfully taken two doses because her coughing is so extreme and violent that she occasionally vomits. It's been almost a week now since the symptoms first surfaced and fortunately her condition hasn't worsened. She seems to be on the mend.

As for the other little girl, she's doing great. I can't believe how active she is already. The kid never sleeps; she is constantly in motion. And she is so strong. I have crazy dreams at night she's kicked a hole through my uterus! I am really, really showing now and I've even had to purchase some maternity tops (per Charles' request). On Thursday her Aunt Sue said that instead of looking bloated, I now look pregnant. That's always refreshing to hear, so hooray for me!

Happy Belated Thanksgiving Everyone!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Minneapolis or Bust!

Thursday Goose and I spend the entirety of the day preparing for our extended weekend up north. Anyone with little ones knows that a simple weekend bag won't do; in order to ensure a smooth trip one must pack the entire contents of one's home, AND said contents must fit neatly into said vehicle to be utilized on said trip. We managed to clean the house, finish the laundry, plan outfits (and some meals), pack bags, and squeeze in a nap all in the course of the day. Oh yes, by we, I mean me. Here Lucy is laughing and clapping at me as I run through the house checking off my day's "to-do" list.

Road trips go something like this: Charles loads and unloads the car (and on pitstops fills the tank), Lucy sits in the back watching movies (shocking, I know), and I drive the entire way. This I don't mind because I prefer highway driving and road rules state the driver maintains control of vehicle speed and title of "Radio Commando". The way up was uneventful and pleasant. We drove four straight hours to stretch our legs and tank up in Clear Lake, IA. The next hour Charles actually spent in the passenger seat (as opposed to the captain's chair behind me and beside Lucy), and we arrived in Owatanna at the local Applebee's to dine with Grandma J and G-pa Dave. An hour and half after dinner we arrived at Iain and Katie's. The remainder of the evening was spent catching up and relaxing.

Saturday was a nice, lazy day. We got up and enjoyed a scrumptious breakfast cooked by Iain and Katie, then napped in front of the television for a couple of hours. The boys stayed back to play PS3, and the girls took off for the Mall of America. We went because in all my visits up north I had never been. Let's just say, it was fun but now that I know what's there I won't be returning anytime soon. It was so congested. I abhor large, pushy crowds.

We had dinner later that evening at Famous Daves and came home to watch 300. Ooh, that was good, but a bit scarier and bloodier than the movies I normally watch.

Stacy (Charles' cousin) and Peter stopped over on Sunday for a visit and they brought Lucy a couple of presents. As neat as we all thought they were, Lucy was much more fascinated with the wrapping. Go figure.

She's not quite into the Scanimation book yet, but the puzzle has been a hit since we came home. The cut outs are now scattered. It will probably take me months before it's in one complete piece again.

The Vikings weren't doing so well, so Charles, Grandma J, Lucy, and I headed to the neighborhood park. It was a perfect Fall day, and after gorging on the entire contents of the fridge and oven all morning it was nice to get out and move the legs a bit. I might have had more fun than Lucy, but you never know.

I love this picture. Lucy's favorite thing to do at the park is the swing. Can you tell? She and Grandma J had a heck of a time together.

Charles hopped into the swing next to Lucy and she thought it was the funniest thing. Below Grandma J, Lucy, and I in the swings. La tres Amigas! I have to admit, it has been many a year since my toosh has sat in a playground swing. It was F-U-N! A few times, I felt like my lunch was going to meet the woodchips, but it was completely worth it.

Speaking of woodchips, Lucy was a bit wobbly on the woodchips, and she face planted. As you can see, she wasn't phased.

Some one-on-one time with Pops...

Beginning the walk home....

Winding down the evening and enjoying and good book with Uncle Iain.

Iain and Katie, thank you so much for once again welcoming us into your home. We love you both so much and wished we all lived closer. Our visits are too few and far between. Hopefully now that you have the house all to yourselves, you can get some decent sleep!

We ended our trip with a visit to Auntie and Uncle Ralph's for breakfast before hitting the road. Grandpa Dean met us there and brought Charles many gifts; golf clubs and a manilla folder filled with report cards and school pictures. I was not surprised that this child delinquent could score such high marks. Also, if I knew my life wouldn't be in danger, I would have scanned some of his glorious pictures to share with you all. They were most definitely the highlight of my day. You gotta love hairstyles and glasses from the 70s and 80s. There was definitely a hint at some mullet action in one of the pictures!

I have to disclose though, the only, only reason I feel I can laugh and make fun is because my school pictures are not any better. Seriously, whose parents let their daughter run around with a moustache? I make the solemn vow, here and now, if either of my daughters meet the same follicular fate as I had in my youth, they will know and become allies with wax and bleach.

Auntie and Lucy. Uncle Ralph left to go bowling shortly after our tardy arrival that morning, so sadly we missed visiting with him. They gave Lucy a wooden alligator pull toy. They tried to find the annoying popping push toy (you know the one with the mulit-colored balls) but were unsuccessful. We were promised that once they found one, it would be one its way. Luckily for us, they don't frequent Babies R' Us.

I know it's not Thanksgiving officially, but as it is November, I feel I have to say that I am so very thankful to have such wonderful in-laws. They are fun, spunky, quirky, generous, spiritual, strong, sweet, gentle, extroverted, talkative, and the list goes on. There is something about everyone that I can learn something from. I love the childhood stories that they share (this time it was the smelly sock incident), and the memories of ones that have passed that will live on through our children. I always, always look forward to the time spent up north. I can't wait for Lucy and her sister to grow older and share in the special relationships with Charles' family like I have. They are wonderful.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

New Do

When I went to pick Lucy up on Sunday morning I was not surpised when both my Mother and Grandma suggested Lucy needed a haircut. If anyone knows my Mother, they know she usually takes the scissors into her own hands to make the adjustments she sees necessary. Needless to say, I was surprised when my daughter came home with the same shaggy bangs she left the house with on Saturday evening.

They really aren't too much of a nuisance, especially when her hair is pulled back with a tie or barrette. The problem therein lies. She hates anything in her hair. I can fix her up all nice a pretty and not even 29 seconds later she is a disheveled mess. The whole idea was to live with the shaggy do until it got long enough to fall into place on its own. I only decided to cut her bangs when her own Father commented on how he hates the hair falling into her eyes. To no avail I've warned Lucy we'd have to cut her pretty hair unless she kept it tied up. It didn't work. You try reasoning with a 14 month old. So, with the votes in, three and a half to one, I've lost the battle but not the war.


Oh yes, that thing about Lucy hating anything in her hair, well she also hates it combed, touched, etc. I knew this would be mission impossible if attempted while she was awake. I have to give myself a pat on the back for successfully accomplishing this task while she napped. Not too shabby, eh?