Friday, March 26, 2010

In the Blink of and Eye - A letter to Alyvia Leigh at 6 months

It seems like it was just yesterday that I met you, held you in my arms and studied your little face for the first time. It seems like just yesterday that we became a family of three.
I can hardly believe that six months of precious moments have already flown by.
You are such a happy baby with a sweet disposition, a real charmer. You are always up for our next outing or adventure and are sure to charm people wherever we go with your bright eyes and big smile. On more than a few occasions people have come up to us in stores and restaurants to tell us what a beautiful girl you are. We definatly agree!
You love Patty Cake, Row Row Row Your Boat, and Giddy Up Horsey and your laugh is the best! I can't help but smile when I hear it. "Tickle Monster" and Peek-a-Boo are sure to get a giggle, as are most things your daddy does. You love when he sings silly made-up songs to you or does his version of the Sweedish Chef voice.

You are a very inquisitive baby always looking around and following people as the enter and exit the room. You are mesmerized by your toes and reach for everything from the TV remote to Nonni's glasses. You are particularly interested in cups and have nearly spilled a few . You put whatever you get a hold of in your mouth and make very dramatic sucking noises. You can just about sit on your own and have got rolling over (from your back to your belly) down. You still aren't sure about getting back over, but are working at it every day and making progress. You push up on your elbows, but can't quite figure out how to get your knees underneath you. This doesn't really stop you though, as you always manage to scoot, reach and rotate until you reach what you desire.

You are facinated with our puppies, Roma and Marciello. Always looking for them, watching them and reaching for them. Roma is very protective of you and Marciello regularly lets you pet him and shows no concern when you tug his ear a little too hard.

You are quite the conversationalist making a variety of noises all of the time. You blow raspberries and say 'ooh'and 'gah'. You have started to make very dramatic noises when you yawn and have learned to squeal. You know that this gets everyones attention and are quick to open your eyes wide and smile when they look in your direction.
A cat nap here and there seems to get you through most days and you go to bed around 9 or 9:30 nightly and sleep through the night. I can almost be guaranteed to find you turned in a different direction from where you started when I come to get you in the morning. I can also be guaranteed to be greeted with a smile. I can see you recognize me and love seeing the smile spread across your face. What a great way to start the day.

You have a great appetite and now eat cereal, oatmeal, apples (plain and with cinnamon), pears, sweet potatoes, carrots, root veggie trio (sweet taters, carrots and parsnips), avacado, peas and plums. You aren't such a fan of bananas. I love seeing you experience new flavors and textures in your food. You always carefully consider the first bite then open wide, like a baby bird, for more. Some times you grab the spoon and try to help or dive eagerly at the spoon if I am not fast enough.

You are such a blessing and a joy. I am so glad that I am your mommy and I look forward to watching you grow and helping you along the way. There are so many things I can't wait to show you, teach you, and share with you, but for now I will wait and enjoy you as you are my sweet little Lyvi Bug, becaues time is flying by so fast and I don't want to miss a moment.

All my love,


Thursday, March 25, 2010

Apartment Dweller

So remember when I mentioned that we were moving into a great 3-bedroom townhouse in Montgomery? Uhm...ya. It appears that I spoke too soon. I hate, hate, hate when that happens. We picked up the 42 page lease agreement from the realtor yesterday, that's right, 42 pages. Chris read through everything and called the realtor with several questions this afternoon. We wanted a few points clarified in writing and needed a few corrections before we were comfortable signing the paperwork and turning over the deposit. While discussing this with the realtor she mentioned that the owners wanted to continue to show the property until they received the deposit and signed paperwork. I understand that this is pretty typical, but I find it a bit strange that the same people who were more than okay with the lease starting on April 15 are now in such a hurry. So I know you're thinking, just sign the paper and hand over the dough. Unfortunatly that is easier said then done. They require a $975 deposit, $300 pet deposit, $975 rent (on April 15), $488 Pro Rated Rent on May 15. If you are keeping track that's $2738.00 in the next 30ish days. Not to mention the cost of moving and transfering utilities, etc. Ya, if we had that kind of money we wouldn't be leaving the townhouse we love and trying to find something a bit more budget friendly. GRRRRRR Our house is half packed people! So after much discussing and debating our options we did the only thing we could...we put down a deposit on an apartment.

I swore after we left Houston that I would NEVER EVER live in apartment again. We have had a string of bad luck in apartments and were quite happy to leave that chapter behind us. Yes, we could have continued to find a different rental property, but we are running low on time and high on stress and we had to be adults and make the mature, responsible decision. Sometimes being a grown up really SUCKS! The lower rent means that we can cover all of our bills and then some with Chris' salary and that life gets a little easirer. I am also planning on going back to work (not at a hotel) in August and if that happens my entire salary will be *extra* so to speak. We plan to pay off the car/debt and save pretty aggressivly so that come June we are in a position to buy or build the home of our dreams.

I know that as long as we are all together with a roof over our head and a cozy place to sleep that life will be okay. We may be starting the next chapter with a little less square footage than we had planned and with a few more neighbors (close neighbors) than is ideal, but a little sacrifice for a little while is way worth it for our little family. I hope that your homes (big or small) are filled with warmth and laughter and the best possible memories that only a family can create. I am thankful that where ever we roam and wherever this adventure takes us we will be there together turning our house/apartment into a home.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Hard Way

DNA strikes again! We are still debating whose eyes Alyia has, and what side of the family that cute little nose came from, but one thing requires no both of us she likes to do things the hard way.

All of the experts (whoever they are) list rolling over as a milestone that most babies reach around 4 months of age. Most of these babies learn to roll from tummy to back. I am sure this is because these babies are spending plenty of time on their tummys. Once they roll over they admire the new view and begin to work on rolling from back to belly. Not my kid! Four months came and went with no rolling.(Likely because Lyvi HATES tummy-time) I asked the pediatrician about the missed milestone and she said not to worry because some babies skip that step...and skip it she did.

Until now. Lyvi started rolling over last week. She started slowly at first and got the hang of it very quickly. Now she does it whenever she can - playtime, naptime, bedtime. The problem is that she learned to roll from back-to-belly first and 1) she can't figure out how to get back to her back over and 2) she HATES being on her belly. As a result the novelty of the new viewr wears of and she starts frantically trying to turn over - which at this point envolves flailing limbs, various noises and for some reason lots of drool. I am torn between 'my poor baby' and 'let's see if she can figure this out'. I want her to know she can count on mommy to help, but I don't want her to quit trying and become reliant upon me to flip her over. Ahhh the struggles of motherhood...and this is the easy stuff.

**EDIT - As if this rolling over stuff isn't hard enough, LyviBug cut her first tooth today. She is NOT a happy camper**

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Boxes and Labels and Packing Tape OH MY!

We're moving!

I mentioned the briefly in a previous post, but I finally have time to really address it. In my count Chris and I have moved 4 or so times since we started dating. That's a lot of moving. Each apartment housed their own special memories and various first, but this is the first one that I have felt emotional about leaving.

This is the house where we hosted Christmas Eve dinner for the first time, where we celebrated Chris' Master's Degree, where we've entertained friends and just enjoyed each others company. This is where we decided to start a family and where we suffered the tragic end of our first pregnancy. It's where we journied together through a healthy happy pregnancy, where we nested and where we brought our precious baby girl home for the first time. This is where we became parents. There are so many memories's hard to leave.

There are so many memories to be made...a new chapter to start. I am excited about our new home. We found a great 3 bedroom townhouse in Montgomery. It has a yard and plenty of room for our little family to grow when the time is right. Most importantly this move will allow me to continue to be a Stay at Home Mommy. It seems a bit strange that our little family will be starting a new chapter in Montgomery almost 10 years after I left there to start a new chapter at college. I guess things really do come full circle.

Friday, March 19, 2010


Yesterday, we were finally able to put a bow in Lyvi's hair! She is officially a bow head....
Hope your weekend is filled will successes both big and small.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Along for the Ride

I’ve been writing and rewriting this post in my head for a few days now and truth be told I’m still not really sure what to write. I don’t really want this to turn in to one of those Dear Diary whiny post, but I also don’t want it to be a bunch of fluff and nonsense that doesn’t really reflect what’s going on…so here goes. I know that I have a lot of things to be thankful for, but lately it seems that the no-so-good stuff elbowing its way in to the forefront.

My grandma (on my dad’s side) has been here since Christmas, when she broke her hip. Since December she has had a hospital stay, been moved to rehab, readmitted to the hospital for a clot and returned to rehab. Now the situation alone is enough to stress anyone - it has made it very clear that important decisions must be made about Grandma’s future and her ability to live on her own. The situation has been made even more difficult, especially for my dad, because my Grandmother is difficult (to put it mildly) and with my Uncle living on another continent much of the stress and worry has landed on my dad’s shoulders.

As if that were not enough my dad’s best friend and one time business partner Randy Smith died this week. Randy has been deteriorating for quite some time now, and while his death was to be expected it is not easy. I am terribly sad to see Randy loose this fight, I am heartbroken for his family and pray that they can begin to process of healing. I am even sadder that it has added to the burden that my dad is carrying.

On a more personal front, I seem to have stumbled right down the yellow brick road and into a bit of postartumness. The icky bluish feelings are not really helped by the stress of packing (oh ya, did I mention we are moving). This is actually a really good move for us; we will be much closer to Chris’ job and paying a much more reasonable amount for rent, thus allowing me to continue my job as Domestic Goddess. Still, moving SUCKS! It sucks even more when trying to coordinate packing and a 6 month old who is not at all interested in individual play. I am taking care of myself and I’m sure I will be back to myself sometime soon.

Like Gary Allen sings,
Life ain’t always beautiful
Tears will fall sometimes
Life ain’t always beautiful
But it's a beautiful ride

Today, I am thankful for the ride. I am thankful that brighter days are always just down the road a bit and I am thankful for all of the people that are along for the ride with me. I hope that each of you is able to enjoy the journey and that you have ‘road trip’ companions as great as mine.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Happy Birthday Chris

33 years ago today the world was made a bit brighter

You've always had a real appetite for life
...and a SWEET disposition
You were a pretty dapper young man
...and not a bad looking little girl (still not sure how you weren't scarred by this)
You were a football fan...
...and a family man

Somethings never change.
You still have an appetite for life.
...and a sweet disposition.
You are still pretty dapper (no more girly clothes though)

You're still a football fan

...and a Family Man

You are also my very best friend and the love of my life. I am so glad that you have chosen to grow old with me and feel so blessed to help you celebrate this birthday and many, many more.

Happy Birthday Chris!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Cowboy Up

That's right folks it's Rodeo time again. Technically night 3 of the show. Chris and I are volunteering again this year (tonight is shift 2...only 6 left).

The show is a lot of fun... I mean how can you go wrong with good food, flowin' drinks, country music and cowboys? Convienently all the fun is for a really good cause. The HLSR raises huge amounts of scholarship money... I mean HUGE!

When started volunteering for the HLSR in 2008 we were really still newlyweds. We found out we were preggy just a few weeks before last years' show and this year we are a family of three juggling childcare . It has been really great to share our growth with our Rodeo family. You couldn't ask for a better, more fun group of people.

I am truly thankful to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo for working hard to provide scholarships and for being able to include myself on the list of scholarship receipients. I am also thankful that I can show my gratitude every year by simply spending time with some of my most favorite people.

I hope this Thursday brings you lots to be thankful about and that you find time to dust off your boots (or buy some new ones), cowboy up and support the HLSR.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Land of Douglas

Life in the Land of Douglas is whizzing by at such a rapid pace it seems that a blog might be a good way to keep track of the adventure. Join me won't you?

Since the arrival of Alyvia the rules to the game have been thrown out and we are truly making it all up as we go along. I once planned corporate meetings and fancy galas. Now my days are filled with tiny outfits, dirty diapers, formula bottles and an array of pink toys. I'm finding my inner domestic diva handling the household budget, planning dinners, cooking baby food and making on heck of an effort at house cleaning. June Cleaver, I am not...but I'm loving my new role. I love being a Mommy!

While my daily duties have changed quite a bit somethings have remained pretty close to the same. Before Lyvi got here Chris and I had several conversations about how life would change with a baby in tow. Turns out life really hasn't changed that much. Sure, we now spend most Friday nights laughing at the faces she makes and giggling as she discovers her toes, tries to sit up or does whatever new thing she's currently up to, but we also go to brunch on the weekends, dine out with friends, shop, shop, shop and more. Whether we are home or out-and-about one thing is true...Life is Sweet!