Monday, January 25, 2010

We're finally going to see the sun...

Except we have to go out of the country to do so. This Cancun trip couldn't have come at a better time. It has been so gloomy the past couple of weeks...we've had brief moments of sunshine today and yesterday but nothing to write home about.

This trip has really sneaked up on us...last year, I was excited but soooo sad about leaving Ayla and thought about it for weeks in advance. I haven't really had time to dwell on it this year. It just hit me a couple nights ago when she was up at 4:30 in the morning that we would be leaving her for a few days. I think I'll miss her even more than last year, if that's even possible. I hope she isn't mad at us when we come home. :( A huge thank you in advance to all of our parents for watching her (and Kody) while we're away.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Family weekend

Dean left for Nashville very early Thursday morning for a regional work conference so Ayla and I were on our own until late Saturday night. It always feels strange when he's gone. I don't quite know what to do with myself...especially after Ayla is in bed. Somehow though, my evenings always involve red wine. :)

On Friday night, Grandma and Grandpa brought pizza over and hung out with us for a few hours. On Saturday, Ayla went to Yeh-Yeh and Nai-Nai's house in the morning so I could attend a friend's baby shower. I love baby showers...celebrating one of life's most amazing events...what could be better? After I went to pick Ayla up, we went shopping (Nai-Nai included). I did some damage. I really needed to get some serious shopping out of my system and let me tell you, I did just that. I was supposed to be looking for shirts for Dean for his company trip to Cancun, which is quickly approaching (YAY!)...but I ended up finding all kinds of other goodies. Purses are my weakness. I certainly do not need any more, but I found two that I couldn't possibly live without. After shopping, my dad, brother, niece, and nephew joined us at our house for dinner (more pizza!) We topped off the evening with some Wii. You should see my brother bowl. Following a few warm-up games, he bowled a 299 (11 strikes in a row, I think). However, in order for him to achieve this impressive score, he had to flail about like a complete spaz. I can't believe he hasn't thrown his back out yet.

Haylee was getting frustrated because the only thing Ayla wanted to do was knock down the tower. :) The destructive power of three kids is out of this world. Literally within a few minutes, the living room was a war zone.

Dean made it home safely and a touch earlier than expected, which was a nice surprise. Today, we relaxed at home until after Ayla's nap. Once she was up, we went out to pick up a few more things we needed for Cancun. We were out for quite a while, but she did awesome. For dinner, Grandma, Grandpa, and Aunt Marla came over...Marla made soup. It was soooo good.

Playing in her favorite new toy--the ball pit from Aunt Marla
(or in Ayla's words--Aunt Marla ="Ah-Me")

It was very nice to spend so much time with family the past few days...especially while Dean was gone. Ayla and I (Kody, too) appreciate the wonderful company. :) So, thank you.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

A weekend in Denver

As I mentioned in my previous two posts, we spent the weekend in Denver. Why, Denver, you ask? Way back in October, I received an email from a friend who works for Southwest Airlines. They were having a huge sale on tickets so we decided to take advantage of it and go somewhere that would only take one flight, no connections. Our choices were limited: Chicago, Denver, or Oklahoma City. We always go to Chicago, so we picked Denver.

We were supposed to take off at 11:oo a.m. on Friday but that flight ended up being canceled so we got on another flight that didn't leave until about 5:00 p.m. Turns out, it worked out for the best because Ayla was able to take a great nap before we left.

She did sooooo well on the plane (there and back) the time we arrived, got our luggage and rental car and drove to the hotel, it was time for her to take a bath and start getting ready for bed. Not without a lot of running around and exploring first though. Within minutes, she found the mini-fridge...what a dream come true for her. She's obsessed with the fridge at home, so when she discovered one just her size and one that she could open by herself, she was thrilled.
She had the produce drawer pulled out in no time...

We stayed at an Embassy Suites, so it was really nice that we had two separate areas. It worked out perfectly for her naps and bedtime. After she was in bed, we ordered some pizza and drank some wine. :)
In the mornings, we ate breakfast in the hotel...afterwards, Dean took Ayla to the "waterfall" so they could toss pennies in and make wishes.We took her to the indoor swimming was a bust. We thought she would love it since bathtime is always such a hit, but we only lasted about a half an hour and the whole time she kept saying "out" and "down" and would give the "all done" sign. Oh least we tried. I'm sure this summer she'll love swimming with her cousins at her Uncle Ping's house. Is this bikini not the cutest thing ever?After the pool, we headed to a place called Fantastic's an indoor amusement park type place for little kids. Aside from falling off that darn bench, she had a really fun time!

Sportin' her new sunglasses on the way to the park.This is as close as we got to the mountains...
In the biggest bounce house I've ever seen.
This was also the biggest ball pit I've ever seen...we had no idea how deep it was. Dean said to just drop her in and this is how she ended up. Oops. It was really fun that we were able to get in there with her. I had to fight my germ-o-phobic thoughts and just go with it.
As long as she was sitting on Dean, she was happy to be in there.On the rollers with Daddy.
Going across the bridge
Going down the slide after the bridge
Mini bounce house...she didn't really bounce; she just sat in one spot and watched the other kids.
HUGE bear
Teacup ride
Walking to lunch...the weather was beautiful! No coats!! It was 50 degrees...a welcomed change from the painfully cold temps we've had in Omaha.
We went to dinner in a cool little area downtown...we met a gal that works for the Denver office of Dean's company. A great restaurant but definitely not Ayla-friendly. We were there for two hours which is way too long for a one-year old! After about a half an hour, she was pretty fussy. Dean and I had to take turns wrangling her.
She was all smiles again once we got back to the hotel.

After she went to bed this night, Dean and I stayed up and tried to finish the wine we bought for the weekend...we were not successful. :) It was a great night though...we just sat and talked about everything and anything. We don't do this was really nice.

On Sunday, we ate breakfast, packed up our stuff and headed out. We stopped in some shops on the way to the airport and then went to return our rental car.

She refused to nap on the flight home (no surprise) and held on until we were in the shuttle bus on the way to get our car. She started going all cross-eyed from trying so hard to keep her eyes open. It was so funny. We didn't even make it off the lot before she passed out in the car. She was a good 4 1/2 hours past her regular naptime.

It was such a great weekend...we had a really fun time with her and she was such a good girl the entire time. She even let us sleep all night both nights. We didn't do anything crazy exciting, but it was just the perfect little getaway as just the three of us. And a bonus? She started giving actual hugs this weekend. Before, she would just lean in, but now she uses her arms. It's so awesome. When those little arms wrap around my neck, it warms me to the very core of my heart. Love it.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Guilty-mommy post.

:( We are in Denver right now (Ayla is napping) and I just have to make a quick confession because I feel so terribly bad about it.

We brought Ayla to an indoor kids' amusement park and she was having a blast until she took a nose dive off of a bench. I looked over just in time to see her fall forward from a sitting position and land flat on her face. I picked her up right took her a couple seconds to start crying. When I looked at her mouth, it was full of blood. She chomped down on the inside of her bottom lip when she landed. I feel soooo bad that I wasn't right next to her on that bench. :( She only cried for a minute or two and forgot all about it but still...I feel awful about it. She will probably have a fat lip to go along with the rug burn that goes from her mouth down to her chin. One battle wound after another...

That's all for now...just needed to get that off my chest. A full post with pictures to come...

Thursday, January 7, 2010


When did we freaking move to Alaska?! It's ridiculously cold. And not only is it cold, we added another few inches of snow to our already enormous drifts yesterday. Tomorrow's high is a NEGATIVE TWO. I think once it gets into the negatives, there is no high. It's either low or really low.

And on another note...

Ayla slept all the way through the night on Tuesday. It was glorious. However, we paid big time for it last night. She was up from 1:00 a.m. to about 4:00 a.m. We'd get her back to sleep and she'd only stay down for about 2o minutes before waking up and starting all over again. During the last round, she was absolutely hysterical. I was at a complete loss as to what to do to make her calm down. Finally, I gave her a bottle and she relaxed and I was able to get her to fall back asleep after a (long) while. I stayed home from work today because the roads were really bad and I had planned on taking a nap while she napped, but that never works out. There's always too much to do. It's not even 10:00 p.m. yet and I'm struggling. I need to go to bed...soon.

Despite the bitter cold and bad roads, Ayla and I made it to Pamida for another photo shoot for her. I'm not going to lie, I was pretty nervous that she wouldn't cooperate. The child does not stay still. The last time we went, she wasn't mobile yet so she had no choice but to sit there. I'm happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised and very proud of how well she did today. I stood her where she needed to be and she actually stayed long enough for several shots before she would slowly starting inching my way. We had to put her back a few times, but overall, she did great. Afterwards, she was walking around saying hi to didn't take long for her to become comfortable with her surroundings. :) It'll be fun to see which image they choose...

We are headed to Denver tomorrow...just a quick weekend trip...just the three of us, just for the heck of it. We hear it's supposed to be in the 40's there this weekend. Heat wave!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

15 months

Ayla turned 15-months old a couple of days ago...we went to her appointment this afternoon. As expected, she became upset as soon as we stepped foot into the waiting room. We've unfortunately been there too many times in the past few weeks so she remembers what's up when we get there each time. Once we were in the exam room, she did cry until she got sick. Twice. But we were prepared with little puke trays so no one got nailed this time. :)
She measured in at 22 lbs 8 oz (43rd percentile) and 31 3/4 inches tall (85th percentile). Her height went way up this time...up from the 53rd percentile at 12 months. Just the past couple weeks, I feel like she has grown so much. All of a sudden her little hands can reach a lot more things. And we can't forget her head circumference...we're holding steady at the 98th percentile. :)Dr. Davey said she looks great in all aspects...I was really happy to hear that even her ears looked good. I've been so paranoid since her ear infection a few weeks ago...I don't want it to come back. She had to have two shots at the end of her appointment. By that point, I think she was running out of steam from crying for nearly an hour because usually when the needles go in, you can see it in her face and she screams even louder but she didn't do that today. Poor thing.
She is still teething. Sigh. Molars are the devil. I want to fight them. For the past three months, she has been waking up in the middle of the night and screaming because these darn teeth are causing so much pain. We've had a couple nights here and there when she sleeps all the way through, but for the most part, we can count on her waking up. It has definitely tested our patience. Waking up is one thing, but once we're up, we're up for a good hour or so trying to console her and then get her to fall asleep again. There are nights (like last night, for example) where I hold her and rock her for a solid hour, finally put her down, to walk back to our room and hear her wake up and start crying again as soon as my head hits the pillow. It's so hard not to get frustrated...I just have to keep telling myself that this won't last forever. I'm just afraid that this is turning her into a bad sleeper--she won't fall asleep on her own anymore. Like I've mentioned before, we are not against letting her cry it out (to a certain extent) but because the whole throwing up thing is tossed into the equation, we feel stuck. Hopefully once these molars are in, she'll start sleeping well again. We shall see. Anyways, enough about that...
Ayla's 15-month tidbits:
-She still thinks it's funny when I tell her no.
-She'll walk up to Kody and tell him "NO, NO!" while shaking her little finger at him. Hmm. Not sure where she learned that.
-She has been eating more with each meal, but she is still extremely picky. She LOVES fruit--blueberries, grapes, oranges, and cantaloupe are her favorites. She also loves milk. She'd drink it all day long if I let her. I love when she hears her sippy cup warming up in the microwave and she comes running from across the room saying, "buh-duh-buh-duh-buh-duh-BAH!" In case you don't remember, that's her unique way of saying bottle. It never gets old. :)
-She likes to pull everything off her toy shelf and dump things out until our living room looks like a junk yard.
-She talks. A LOT. She's continuously adding to her vocabulary. My favorite new "word" is Bama...that's how she says Grandma. I swear she talks all day long; whether it's real words or Ayla-ese, her mouth is constantly going. And she is loud. She must get that from Dean...
-She likes to give hugs and kisses...I keep hoping that she gets more snuggly.
-She is your typical busy, busy, busy toddler. I'd like to put a pedometer on her...she must walk several miles a day. There is hardly a still moment.
-She may make a mess with her toys, but she likes to be clean. If she gets food on her fingers while she's eating, she wants me to wipe it off; if someone tracks in snow, she says "uh-oh" until it either melts or gets wiped up.
-She is the most well-behaved while we're out shopping...99 percent of the time, we're at SuperTarget (surprise, surprise) or Hy-Vee. I think she likes that there's so much to see.
-She is starting to run...she's a quick little thing!
-She is super duper awesome and I love her. :o) This picture cracks me up because it captures what she is like most of the time these days: being ornery and doing something she shouldn't be doing.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Good-bye 2009...Hello 2010!

Happy 2010! We had a very quiet New Year's Eve...Dean's parents came over for dinner and we just relaxed. I think it was just what we all needed. Dean and I topped off the night with a few games of Wii Mario Kart. I struggled to get to midnight, but we managed to watch the ball drop in Times Square and we even made it to our midnight an hour later.

This past year has been both one of the most challenging and most fulfilling years I've ever had. Being a mom means never having a dull moment. :) I look at Ayla each day and can hardly believe how quickly she is growing. I hope 2010 proves to be another amazing year. I wish all of you and your families a blessed year filled with everything wonderful.

She was Miss Crabby Pants after her nap...