My Renovation Blog

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Vegas Baby!

Ok, now that the trip is over, I promise to stop saying that.

Saturday 4.24.10

We left the house at 8:07 a.m., and Ella was asleep in 7 minutes.  Unfortunately, she only slept for 40 minutes and wouldn't sleep again until we left the Primm Outlets at 1:00 p.m.!  She only slept for 40 minutes again, which brings us to Lesson No. 1...napping in the car is totally unpredictable, and even if you have a regularly awesome napper, the car is a whole different ballgame.  We checked into our Piazza Suite at the Venetian.  It was huge!  The Piazza Suites have not yet been renovated like the regular suites, but the decor is still acceptable...more 'old school' as I like to say...similar to how most Ritz Carlton hotel rooms are decorated...not bad, just not modern.

Big marble foyer & half bathroom on left of foyer

After the foyer you enter the dining room with one of three flat screens

You then step down into the large living room/family room

Entrance of the bedroom off the dining room

Master bathroom sinks and jetted tub

We had dinner at Dos Caminos in the Palazzo- it was SO good!  Their salsas and guacamole are absolutely delicious.  Julie and I both got the Mahi Mahi tacos, which were really good.  Our waiter was awesome- such great service and so genuinely nice.  We had the girls with us of course, and he was telling us how his wife is due with a baby boy in a few weeks so he was observing us to see how it would be- so cute!  He even brought us a dessert on him- platter of desserts with white and dark chocolate dipping sauces...strawberries, pineapple, bananas, marshmallows, coconut macaroons, brownies, banana churros and peanut butter bars...I know, decadent.  Needless to say, he received a very generous tip!

Little Miss E wanting a taste of my margarita!

The group

Sunday 4.25.10

We went to breakfast at Grand Luxe Cafe and had their breakfast buffet, which consists of tons of pastries, bread, cereal, lots of fruit, scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage and an omelet favorite part was the to die for fresh squeezed orange juice!

After Ella's nap, we headed down to the pool- it was Ella's first time ever going to a pool, and she LOVED it!  The girl would not stop smiling and laughing, and instead of trying to get her feet to touch the bottom of the baby pool while she was in her ladybug floatie, she would just lie back and bask in the sun...very mommy like!
We were also apparently entertainment for the entire group of 50 people on the lawn area where we were sitting as everyone was oohing and aahing over Ella.  Lesson No. 2...babies in Vegas are like cute girls at an all boys school...there aren't very many of them so they get A TON of attention!

Unfortunately, Julie, Ryan and Olivia weren't at the pool with us, which would turn out to be the theme of our trip...we basically didn't see them because the girls were on opposite schedules.  Lesson No. 3...don't bother to go on trips with friends when you have babies because you will never see each other unless your babies are exactly the same age and on exactly the same schedule...and even then you likely won't see each other because Ella and Olivia are on similar schedules regularly, but being on vacation messed up the regular nap schedules.   Lesson No. 4...if possible, always bring your Pack n Play or buy one when you get to your location because the cribs provided by hotels are not great.  Luckily, after a fight to take her first nap in the hotel-issued crib, Ella slept like a CHAMP every other nap...Vegas wears a girl out!

After Ella's nap, we walked around the Canal Shops and had to get a picture with Ella's doppelganger:
There were opera singers in the the main piazza, and Ella was loving it!  So when we got back to the room, we cranked up the ipod speakers and had a little dance party. :)

That night, Julie and I had our "girls night out" at Tao Asian Bistro.  The food was AMAZING.  We both had miso glazed sea bass and pork fried rice, and both were absolutely divine.  My favorite meal in Vegas.  Julie had a lychee martini, and I had a French martini, but they call it something else.  The downside was the service.  The waiter hardly paid attention to us, the food was brought out literally about 3 minutes after we ordered (how is that even possible?) so we didn't have any time to chat or enjoy our drinks before the food came, they asked to take our plates while we both still had fish and rice left and they brought our check before we even finished...trying to turn tables much?  Despite the awful service, I would still go back just for the food!

Monday 4.26.10

We met J, R & O for breakfast at Grand Luxe Cafe and then headed back to the pool after Ella's nap.  She wasn't nearly as enamored with the pool as she was the day before so I'm glad we weren't in Hawaii for 6 days where all there is to do is pool/beach!  Luckily, J, R & O came down to the pool before we left so we at least took a bunch of pictures in the 5 minutes our time overlapped!  

On a side note, the whole process of diapering while at the pool is not easy!  You have to go down to the pool with a regular diaper on and no swimsuit, then change her into a swim diaper and bathing suit right before you get into the pool, then when you take her out again, you have to peel off the wet and sticky bathing suit (which btw, are not easy to get on and off) to put a regular diaper back on since swim diapers don't hold pee...and the process repeats over and over as many times as you get in and out of the pool.  Ella pooped and peed on my towel at one point!  Lesson No. 5...only buy 2 piece bathing suits from now on.

We all met up for dinner at Delmonico, and we were not impressed.  I got the vine-ripened tomato salad, which was just ok.  Gary and Julie got the gumbo, which to me, tasted sort of like black bean soup.  The steaks were good and seasoned well, but both Ryan's and mine were overcooked, which is unacceptable for a nice steak restaurant.  The mashed potatoes were not good at all (no flavor), and I did not care for the creamed corn.  To top it all off, the service was not great.  Our waiter, while attentive, was not not friendly or personable and bordered on snotty.  I highly doubt this would have happened at Delmonico in New Orleans because we ate at much fancier restaurants in NOLA, and the service was never anything less than impeccable.  I would not eat there again.  However, they do make a nice looking martini ;)
I think this is the only family picture we got the entire trip, and I did it in our room with the auto timer!
Overall, it was a very fun trip, but Vegas is VERY different with babies!  Lesson No. 6...if at all possible, always travel with a nanny and/or grandparents!

Friday, April 23, 2010

A New Trick

We went out to dinner with my parents tonight, and all of us ended up crying because we were laughing so hard at Ella's new trick!  The utter hilarity of it all does not transfer to a photo at all, but she decided, 'why tire out my arms holding a rattle when I can simply leave it dangling from my mouth?'  I wish I had a video camera with us because she would move the rattle up and down in her mouth and look at all of us like, "what?"

This kid cracks me up.

*Sorry about the awful photo quality...that's a Blackberry for you!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Top 10 Reasons My Dog is the COOLEST

I feel like Rylee gets no props anymore because it's all about Ella all the time, but she IS our first baby, and she's just as much a part of the family as any human. So here are the top 10 reasons why Rylee is just the coolest:

(10) She was potty trained in a week;

(9) She never has accidents in the house, and even if we've forgotten to take her out since the afternoon and then go to bed (I know, we're horrible parents sometimes), and she has to poop, she takes her tired little butt all the way downstairs to make sure she goes on the hardwood floors so it's easy cleanup (how brilliant is this dog?!);

(8) She was never ever a chewer, even as a puppy (my shoes and furniture thank her);

(7) She has mastered 10 tricks- sit, stay, lie down, play dead, roll over, turn around, dance, shake, high five and high ten;

(6) When she walks around or runs with her mouth open, it looks like she's smiling at you, and every single time we go to the dog park, at least one person says, "oh my gosh, that dog is smiling at me!";

(5) She has the coolest underbite ever...take that bulldogs;

(4) She has one of the sweetest dispositions I've ever seen in a dog, which means she is always happy, she loves everybody and no matter how many chunks of fur Ella rips out, she only ever licks her hand;

(3) She is so in love with Gary and I that if at all possible, she will sit exactly equidistant between the two of us, and in the best situation, make sure she can see us both from where she is sitting;

(2) She has a guilty conscious so that whenever she has done something she's not supposed to do (like eat the cat's food) she walks right into the room with her ears back and tail between her legs...the fun part is trying to figure out what she did!;

(1) She is, without question, the cutest dog that ever lived...and I say that with complete impartiality. ;)

In the interest of full disclosure, I must admit that she's not perfect...she eats the cat's food, she eats the cat's poop out of the litter box on occasion, she barks like crazy when someone comes over because she gets so excited, she pulls my arm off when we go for a walk, she begs for food like we haven't fed in her in a month...but eh, we'll keep her!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

No Baby is Perfect

You know those parents that are like, "oh I'm so lucky, my baby is so good, such an easy baby, never cries, blah, blah"?  Uh huh, right.  I have said similarly annoying things because I do have a good baby, but don't let them (us?) fool has THOSE days.

The day started out well.  I even dressed E up in her 80's Superstar outfit with her Blondie onesie, her white legwarmers and a headband, which she thought was pretty funny (how Flashdance fabulous does she look?)!
Shortly after that photo, she went down for her second nap from which she woke up EARLY and SCREAMING.  It was pretty much over from then...crying and fussing for the rest of the day.  I have to say, my good easy baby is becoming not so easy!  She's in this stage now where she (a) is much more aware and has realized she'd rather hang out with mommy and daddy because let's face it, we're cool, so she sometimes screams when he put her to bed (luckily for not very long), and (b) she sometimes wakes up screaming in the middle of her naps and cries for a loooong time before falling back to sleep.  Where did this come from?

But the silver lining was that despite the fact that Rylee acts like a jealous fool when it comes to Ella, she really does love her.  When Ella was crying uncontrollably while laying on the bed, Rylee was very concerned, came over to sit with Ella and even put her little paw on Ella's belly to make her feel better...
Now, if Ella continues with this odd behavior, it's going to make for a very interesting trip to Vegas!

ETA: Of course at 5 when she wakes up from her 3rd nap, she turns into her normal happy self just in time for Gary to come home and think I'm crazy and say that it's because she knew he was coming home :rolleyes:

Monday, April 19, 2010

Baptism Videos

Here are the only two very short videos we took on Ella's baptism day!  I so prefer photos that we rarely bust out the video camera, but I wish we did because I know we'll love to look back on them.

In Ella news, she had peas today for the first time and seemed to love them.  So far this kid will eat anything I give her (carrots, sweet potatoes, squash, green beans and peas)...I'm enjoying it while it lasts because I hear once they get to table food, it's not so easy!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Ella's Baptism

Ella was baptized today at Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Church (the church we were married in).  It was such a wonderful day filled with so much love and happiness.  It was a very important day to us, and we are so grateful for the friends and family who took time out of their busy lives to share in the celebration with us.  The weather could not have been more perfect!

Ella was in a GREAT mood all day...she was smiling and laughing before we even got inside...
With mommy at the alter...

With mommy and Godmother...

With mommy, Godmother and Godsister(??)

Happy family...

Ella was just in love with Olivia before the ceremony started...can you see her laughing at Olivia?  She was squealing with delight as well!

Even though she made this face while she was being baptized, she was all smiles immediately after...we're pretty sure that's because she thought she was getting a bath!

Parents and Godparents with Deacon Steve...

The whole family...Mommy & daddy, Godparents Julie and Ryan (with Olivia), Aunt Katie, Uncle Brian, cousin Brett, grammy, pop-pop, grandma and grandpa...

Me & my grandparents...

Already pestering cousin Brett at 6 months old...

Our two little flowers...

Me & my grandmas...

I'm so mad at myself, I completely forgot to take a picture of the lovely food table my mom set up, but I did take a picture of the pink rose cupcakes I got for Ella Rose...
And finally, her beautiful gown...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Bye Bye Hawaii

We canceled our Hawaii trip...a week before we are supposed to leave!  Julie and I have both been really stressed about flying with the babies and even more stressed about the logistics of being in Hawaii, getting all our crap to Hawaii, spending that kind of money for a vacation where we'll be in the room half the time, and most importantly, ruining the girls' good sleep habits!  It had gotten to the point where we were dreading the trip rather than being excited.  That's just not how you should feel about a Hawaiian vacation.  Soooooo, we decided to cancel our trip and instead, we're going on a shorter trip to...

                                               VEGAS BABY!

I know, I know...Vegas with babies?  But Vegas is trying to be way more family friendly, and Vegas has great shopping, pools and spas, right?   We booked Piazza Suites at the Venetian, and we're so excited!  They are 1,400 square feet and have TWO bathrooms!  WHOO HOO!

Ok so maybe it's not as beautiful or tropical or beachy as Hawaii, but Hawaii will still be there in a year or two or ten...please tell me that I will go to Hawaii again before I'm 40. ;)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Our Weekend

On Friday, we had Alex stay late so we could go to happy hour...two margaritas later, I was a happy girl!

Saturday we went to Lindley and Steve's for dinner.  Lindley brought out Logan's playmat for Ella, so of course Logan became very re-interested in it!  We had two cuties on a playmat...
Logan was very into Ella and all things to do with Ella, and she was so sweet giving Ella hugs and patting her on her head!
Even though Gary and I feel like we have to rush, rush, eat and run, we still always have a great time getting together with them...and eating the yummy chicken kabobs and corn bread they made!  I brought over my mini white cupcakes with fresh strawberry glaze...

On Sunday we went to Jen & Kylen's so that Paige could open her birthday gift from Ella & Olivia since we'll be in Hawaii for Paigey's first birthday party (we're so sad!).  Paige has the most beautiful long eyelashes and an adorable full head of hair...
Even though we were there to give Paigey a gift, they surprised us with a gift for Ella for her baptism...Ella thought the outfit was really cute- see her expression?!
Paige was very interested in touching Ella, and she pointed out her nose for us. :)  She even kind of said "Ella"!!