Wednesday, September 28, 2011

When all else fails...

Post pictures of baby sleeping.

Waiting for Mom and Dad to finish getting ready in the morning is SO EXHAUSTING.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Sunday with Friends

We had such a great weekend. Sunday alone was packed with seeing great friends.

Funny story A: I hadn't seen Annie (of the legendary New Zealand crew) in almost a year when we made plans to see each other. We live on opposite sides of the Valley and we both were busy getting pregnant and having babies and traveling. Then the day before our plans to see each other, we bumped into each other at the Ballet in the Park!

Funny story B: We had actually made plans to get together about a month ago when Annie still had 4 weeks left in her pregnancy. The day before we had been emailing back and forth with plans of where we'd meet for lunch. The next day I get a picture text from Annie with a picture of her adorable newborn baby! I texted back with "So...still on for lunch?"

Anyway, I finally got to see her and her new baby girl Kai!
I gave her one of my home-made Moby wraps and a little tutorial on how to use it. Hope she gets as much out of it as I did (and still do, obviously)!

Sunday night we had a guest stay with us. Mari, who is basically the sweetest person ever, had a med school interview on Monday morning and a mixer on Sunday evening. So while she was at the mixer, our little family got drinks and an appetizer out. We sat in a neat little lounge area and were just incredibly cool:
June's the most natural, I think.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Ballet in the Park

Ballet in the Park. Dancing under a big Sonoran sky. Picnic blankets, yummy food, babies playing with anything they can get their hands on.
Oh, and a surprise dust storm.
Michael was all, "It looks kind of windy and dusty over there."
And Cole was all, "Do you guys want to stay?"
And Remi was all, "You're the one with the baby, you decide."
And June was all, "Gaaaaaaahb!"

And I looked over my left shoulder to see a cloud of dust and wind descending upon us and every teenage girl in attendance was all, "AAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!"

Not kidding, people screamed. People were running for the hills, throwing picnic baskets out of the way, leaving the elderly and small children behind, terrorized that the flashes of light were lightning and that the 3-foot-tall stage was collapsing. I saw a ballerina get trampled.

We packed up and hurried off toward the car but by the time we got there the sky was completely clear. But by then the topic of ice cream had been brought up and we couldn't be persuaded to return. After all, like Michael said, the show probably wouldn't resume - "ballerinas aren't really known for being hardy."

So, no, the night didn't go as planned. I was bummed to not see the whole show. But all's well that ends well, and I'd say the night ended pretty well. Dust storm be damned.

Friday, September 23, 2011

In a Creativity Quagmire

I know I haven’t blogged much recently. I’ve been very busy and very uninspired. And overall a little gloomy. Because the needle of my compass is broken.

I’m kind of over Facebook right now. I have a new obsession introduced to me by my friend Remi, it’s called Pinterest. It’s where you Pin your interests (Pinterest, get it?) and you create boards on which to collect things. I have a board for crafts I want to try, holiday ideas, parenting ideas, styles I love and recipes that look delish. When you find something on the webz that you like, you can pin it directly to your board. You also have a big feed that shows you the pins of the people you follow…this is where you see tons of interesting things and ideas that you can re-pin for yourself.

Anyway, I’m pretty much obsessed with it. It really gets your creative juices flowing. The problem is that you spend an hour on the internet looking at creative things instead of actually being creative, which is what I’ve come to find. Except that I started a project making decorative twine balls for our kitchen, so that makes it better? Except I can only get less than one ball done in a day?

Things on the agenda for this weekend:

- Return a pair of safe pants for a pair of risky pants.
- Check out story time at the library
- Swim class
- Ballet in the Park
- Baby play date

So hopefully I’ll get out of my funk and have some stuff to blog about next week.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Avocado Mash-Up: A Foray into Solids

June tried solid food for the first time last week. On the menu: very ripe avocado mashed up with a little breast milk.

Getting ready:
The first taste:
Still deciding what to think:
The verdict is in: she likes it!
She really likes it:
Or maybe just likes being able to throw her spoon around?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I'm not having a midlife crisis...

So why am I a little obsessed with Anya's (from Project Runway) hairstyle?
Don't think I could come close to pulling it off. But seriously can't get it out of my mind.

Friday, September 16, 2011

High Roller

We're in trouble, folks.

We've got a mobile baby. Yes, she rolled over for the first time last Saturday. Belly-to-back, which is supposed to be easier. 'Smatter of fact, our salty day care provider said something along the lines of "that way doesn't count" as rolling over until Michael choke-slammed her.

June's been a rolling fiend since then. Every time we put her down for some tummy time she's on her back again in a few seconds, smiling and looking at us for celebratory clapping a cheers again. Man, she went down for naps so well on her belly! Now I will sometimes have to get down there with her, snuggling her close to me, draping an arm across her while she makes little "gaaaah, gaaaah" sounds and puts her slobbery little hands in my nose, eyes and mouth and looks at me with her big ol' blues. Twist my arm.

Anyway, last night June rolled over "the real way," back-to-belly. We thought it might be a fluke so, though we almost scared the Junebug with how much celebrating we did, we didn't hold our breaths on her doing it again. O, ye of little faith.

She rolled for the rest of the night. Back to front, front to back. Front to back to front to back to front. We're in trouble, folks. Which is why I have composed a new song for June called Baby on the Move!, which is a cross between the Mary Tyler Moore theme song and Nelly's Heart of a Champion.

Lyrics include:

Baby on the move!
Making her way in the world today!
Always on the go!
Soon she'll be taking the lightrail!

Does this mean we have to finally baby proof the house?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Baby Swim

June had her first swim lesson on Saturday!
She loves the water. Even the instructor commented on it.
Michael was the photographer for the afternoon.
There were babies from 4 weeks old (!) up to June, who is 5 months.
This little maneuver is an exercise you do to help them learn to hold their breath. Since June is an older baby and did so well, the instructor said we might get to dunk her next week!
There are really incredible pictures of babies under water
(not to be confused with babies who are worth less than what you owe on them) around the school. Have a look at this hilarious Japanese advertisement that shows a baby swimming under water. There's a lot of footage on the webz of stuff like this.
I have to give a shout out to Hubbard Family Swim School. They offer FREE swim classes for babies under 6 months. So this 30 minute class was totally free, minus the $11 cloth swim diaper we had to buy. But we'll get to reuse it until she's too old for class, so it was well worth it.
She loved it when I blew bubbles in the water for her.
In summation, what I learned:
  • Otto at HFSS is great
  • June loves swimming
  • Babies are very buoyant

Monday, September 12, 2011

The Walk to End Alzheimer's

With November fast approaching it’s about time I told you guys about a little project I’m working on:

I have started a team to Walk to End Alzheimer’s!

I would love for you to join me! I care deeply about this subject. I think it’s a terrible disease, one that is painful to suffer from, but also unbearable when you love someone afflicted. In my usual fashion of worrying about things over which I have no control, one of my greatest fears in life is to get Alzheimer’s and leave Michael with the burden of taking care of me when I might or might not even know who he is.

In many ways I feel that Alzheimer’s is a more devastating disease than many faster-deteriorating diseases. It shortens the amount of time you have left on this earth, but it also takes away the time you have left. Sure, you might physically live longer, but it isn’t YOU. Your family is left with the emotional and financial burden of taking care of you but they don’t even get the reward of your appreciation or love. People with Alzheimer’s often go through stages of extreme fear, anger and confusion.

Watch this video of one tale of Alzheimer's only if you want your heart broken into tiny pieces and end up sobbing in your husband's arms like I did one very pregnant Sunday morning.

Please join my team…my goal is to have 10 people walk with me, but I would love to have more. You don’t even have to donate (but you certainly can)! If you can’t make the walk, I’d really appreciate any donations to help me toward my goal of $1000. You, your husband, boyfriend, children, mom, friend, great-granddad, dog and hamster are invited to join my team!

?Quien? My team name is Waltzers Against Alz’ers.

?Que? A 1 or 3 mile walk. Still haven’t decided which. I like the idea of 3 – better fitness, more hardcore, etc. But I think the 1 mile walk would allow more people to join in. For example, my 4 year-old nephew Kai could walk 1 mile, I don’t know about 3. (JP – this is my way of telling you that you and Kai will join the team OR ELSE.) Also, I could carry June for a mile in the Moby and that would be so fun! On the other hand, I could push her in the stroller for 1 or 3 miles and decorate the stroller in some crazy way, which is enticing.

?Cuando? November 5th, registration starts at 7 am, the walk starts at 9 am. I will do my best to have coffee and doughnuts or other sweet treats at the end of the walk.

?Donde? Downtown Phoenix. The 1 mile route is a shortcut and I believe both routes end in the same place.

?Por que? Because Alzheimer’s sucks big time. Or because the weather should be nice. Or because you’d like to get together to walk around and talk for a while. Whatever reason you need, join!

HERE is my team page if you’d like to join.

HERE is my personal page if you’d like to sponsor me/donate.

HERE is the website for any lurkers out there who might want to participate but would rather do so on their own/not affiliated with me. (OMG WHO WOULDN’T WANT TO BE AFFILIATED WITH THIS):

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Weekend in Flag

Michael's parents came in town for Labor Day weekend to celebrate Judy's birthday. I won't tell you what birthday it was because a lady never tells, but I'll tell you that it was a major one. Okay, okay, I'll tell was her 40th!

On Saturday we headed up to Flagstaff by way of Sedona. We stopped in the shadow of the red rocks for some views and some lunch.
We took the scenic route up to Flag from Sedona which wound through some passes and had some great overlooks.

After I died of happiness when checking in to the Inn at 410, we went out to dinner.

And got a crepe in historic downtown.
I tell you, a lot has changed in Flagstaff since my college years!

The next morning June was due for a bath. She loves bath time (and shower time for that matter).
We went to a Farmer's Market and an art festival.
But we got caught in the rain so we hurried on to lunch downtown.

We also drove out to Sunset Crater, a national monument with pretty cool views. The whole place used to be active volcanoes a long time ago, which renewed my childhood fears of being caught in spontaneous eruption (my parents thank you, makers of Dante's Peak). There were all of these mountains and flows made of lava rock.

And finally we enjoyed a fantastic meal at the Cottage House. After being inspired by watching Julie and Julia the other day, I had the beef bourguignon and was blown away at the deliciousness. But I doubt I'd ever have the over 4 solid hours of dedicated kitchen time to pursue Julia's recipe.
It was such a great long weekend, only slightly diminished in my mind by the fact that I came down with that crippling sinus infection (from which I am still limping towards recovery). I loved seeing my old campus, I loved spending time outdoors and I loved seeing my in-laws!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

June Rolled Over!

June finally rolled over! She did it for the first time last night when Janelle, Mark, Sammi and Meredith were over, which was cute because we all celebrated together. We didn't capture any pictures though.

So today I had my camera out every time it looked like she was getting close and I had the camera rolling when she did it again!

Check it out: June Rolling Over

Friday, September 9, 2011

5 Month Pictures

Happy to be 5 months old!

June's 5 month coincided with Judy's birthday, so we took a picture of the birthday girls together!
We couldn't find a sticker with Judy's age in months.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Inn at 410

Almost exactly 7 years ago my parents went to Flagstaff with me to drop me off before starting my college career. We stayed at a little Bed & Breakfast called The Inn at 410. Ever since then this little place has remained in the back of my mind as a little haven of tranquility and contentedness.

As a matter of fact, one aspect of the Hypnobabies birthing method is to create a "safe place" to go to in your mind with your happy, healthy baby. I spent hours of my pregnancy sitting on the front porch with an infant June, or laying in the soft grass with a 6 month-old, or watching a 2 year old June tug on the resident dog's ears...all before June was even born.

That's the reason I teared up when Michael pulled into the Inn at 410 on Saturday afternoon. We were taking his parents up to Flagstaff to celebrate Judy's birthday and I had been under the impression we were staying in a hotel.
It's just...I don't know if I can convey exactly why this place meant and means so much to me. But the biggest reason why is because I had been here with my sweet baby in my mind, and now I was here with her for real.
This place is cozy, genuine, rustic, homey, warm. And only a two-block walk from downtown Flag. Our room was called Suite Nature...the same one I had stayed in with my parents!
It certainly was sweet!
None of the furniture matched. All of the art was local. There were deer on the wallpaper. So basically I was in heaven.
We had at least 5 different authentic birdhouses in the room, and a couple of Mallards.
The books neatly stacked on the bedside table offered me some interesting choices: Four Wings and a Prayer: Caught in the Mystery of the Monarch Butterfly and Pecked to Death by Ducks.
I was very moved to be here. This is the same bed I slept in 7 years ago. That was before I even met Michael, before June was even a twinkle in his eye. And now she's here, sleeping in a Pack&Play in the very same room.
This big ol' tub was in Judy and Fred's room, the Southwest Room:
The living room is open and available at all hours of the day. Free tea, coffee, snacks and cookies are always available. There's also a big movie and book library.
And of course the whole breakfast aspect of a B&B. The first morning we had a table reserved for us by the window. The second morning we ate out on the patio because the weather was so nice.
We had specialty pancakes, corn and egg casserole, fruit, sausage, bread...everything was delicious and fresh-made.

I have to say that my fantasy almost never came to fruition. Apparently the inn-keep, Gordon, doesn't normally allow kids under the age of 7 or so. He wants to keep the tranquility intact for the rest of the guests, and I can understand why he doesn't want screaming 3 year-olds running around. But Michael made some promises about how good June would be and Gordon let us in! I was still a little nervous at breakfast that first day but she did great and got smiles from the other guests.
As wonderful as each of the unique rooms are, it's the outside of the Inn that really gets me. The courtyard, the garden, the deck...those are the places I imagined being with my Junebug when she was still an inside baby.
Yeah, that's a whetstone. Dreamy!

And faces on the trees. Some could find this creepy, I imagine, but it just reminded me of the weirwoods in the A Song of Ice and Fire series.
And finally, my baby sitting in the grass that I dreamed she'd sit her pajamas.
*Sigh* Michael, you done good.

So long, Inn at 410! I'll miss you! Hopefully we'll meet again someday soon!