My Renovation Blog

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Guess What?

Ella took THREE steps today...for the nanny. :(

Alex and I tried to recreate it, but Ella wasn't having it...she would only take one step before sitting.

I'm actually very surprised she would take three steps because the kid doesn't even stand independently for more than 2 seconds and has never got herself up to a standing position without holding onto something.  I thought all kids could stand very well independently before they took steps?

People keep asking me if I think she'll walk before her birthday party...I keep saying "NO WAY."  But who knows!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Sneak Peek...

Our awesome photographer sent us a little sneak peek of some of the photos, and they are just beyond adorable!

First, before you praise my artistic genius, I totally copied the idea from an invitation I found forever ago...this was my inspiration (I don't want to post it too big since I don't know where I got it and can't give credit to the photographer)...

Courtesy of Lori Anderson Photography...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Anniversary Weekend

Gary has a million good qualities, but romance is not one of them.  He does not plan things.  Ever.  That is why I was SHOCKED when he surprised me with a couple's massage and dinner at The Montage!  That's favorite hotel in the world.  The place we got engaged and had our engagement photos.  It was a perfect day.

It started with some relaxation at The Montage spa (ok, it started with me going to court, but I'm blocking that part out).  I'd never been to their spa before, and it's absolutely divine.  Like, I will be going back ASAP.  I'm in love with that place.  Perfect place for a girls' spa day (or weekend!).

We got a couple's massage and then hung out at the spa pool, which is amazing- it overlooks the ocean and is separate from the main pool.  We then went into our separate lounges and did the steam room, sauna and jacuzzi.  Since they knew it was our anniversary, they loaded us up with champagne!
After spa-ing (is that a word?), we went to The Studio for dinner.
I was so happy to go back because we went there for dinner the night we got engaged, and I was so excited that I literally had one bite of my meal- I have no idea what the food tasted like.

This was the view from our table (I mean, is this for real?  Why can't I just move in?)...

I purposely left my camera on my lap so that I would for once remember to take pictures of the food, but even with a huge camera on my lap, I STILL forgot to take pictures of all but 2 courses!

The table when we sat down...

After you order, they bring you an amuse bouche, compliments of the chef. It was delicious. Snap peas with crispy Serrano ham and a mint puree. So good.

Next was Caesar salad...

They bring you 3 types of rolls...sourdough, rosemary with olives and brioche- the brioche was so buttery and delicious!

Gary and I both ordered the New York steak with pommes puree and the most amazing short rib ragu. OMG. The ragu was short ribs with swiss chard and carrots, and I could have eaten an entire bowl of it. I'm so mad that I forgot a photo of the main course!!

We didn't order dessert, but they brought us a little celebratory tasty anyway- it was a dark chocolate mousse with some sort of pound cake center.

And to end the meal, they brought us a little plate of bite-sized treats and two bags of candy with cute Studio ribbon!

We didn't get any good pictures of ourselves...this was our waiter's attempt at a photo, but he didn't even get the ocean in the background!
Definitely one of the best gifts I've ever received!

We had Ella's birthday photo shoot and family photos on Sunday...yes, that's right, despite a summer of unusually low temperatures, our OUTDOOR family photos fell on what felt like the hottest day of summer (although it's freakin' fall!). I was SO upset when I found out it would be in the 90's. I couldn't cancel because it was our photographer's only available day until 2011.

We first did an indoor photo shoot with a white background, a naked baby and a cake- I got the idea months and months ago from an invitation I found online. I haven't seen the photos yet, but the shoot was AWESOME. I was crying I was laughing so hard. Ella wore the birthday hat I made her, and she had cake (well frosting really since she didn't eat the cake part) for the first time. She was VERY hesitant at first, but once I put a little frosting on her tongue, it was all over. She was taking frosting by the handful and shoving it in her mouth! If she doesn't throw up tonight, I'll be surprised. The photographer showed me one of the shots, and it was so unbelievably adorable. I can't wait to get the proofs!

We then did some family shots in our was so ridiculously hot. Not to mention that I was in a JACKET and black pants, Gary was in jeans and a long sleeve shirt, and Ella was in a corduroy dress. Not good. Ella started to get so red that we had to take most of the shots with her naked! Oh well. Hopefully there is one good one in there, and at least a halfway decent one of her in the red dress for our Christmas card.

Friday, September 24, 2010

5 Years Ago Today...

I married the greatest guy and I know...
And threw the most fun party I've ever been to...

Three of those five years were rough.  Really rough.  I remember the day we found out that our first pregnancy was no longer viable.  Just one week after we saw our beautiful baby's little heart beating away, we had another ultrasound, but this time there was no flicker on the screen.  It was like slow motion.  "The heartbeat is gone, I'm sorry."  So many thoughts.  What do you mean it's gone?  It was just there.  Look again.  There is less than 10% chance of miscarriage after seeing the heartbeat.  We MUST be in the 90%.  This cannot be happening to us after what we've been through.  Look again.

I was not going to cry.  I refused to cry.  I would be strong.  Gary squeezed my hand tightly.  I looked up at him as tears streamed down his face.  I knew it then.  We were in this together.  We hurt together.  We cry together.  We laugh together.  We could get through this...together.
And we did.

I'm so glad we did.

Because together we made this...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Football & Wine?

This weekend we went to a football party/ playdate with some friends in Ladera Ranch.  The poor husbands hardly got to watch the SC game because the babies were crazy all over the place!  For me though, it was the perfect way to watch football...with girlfriends, lots of food and lots of toys to entertain the kids! ;)

After that party, we left Ella with Alex and went to a wine and cheese party at our friends' house.  It was such a great idea...everyone was told to bring their favorite wine and cheese pairing (ok, Gary and I know nothing about wine and cheese pairings so we just brought a cab and brie).  They put brown bags around all the wine and numbered them, and then numbered the cheese.  Everyone tasted the wines and cheeses (you were supposed to taste a wine then go taste the coordinating number cheese), gave each a score, and then voted on their favorites.  The couples whose wine and cheese got the most votes got a prize!  Really cute idea, and Jen made a bunch of amazing appetizers like prosciutto wrapped asparagus, tri-tip on crostini with mustard sauce and blue cheese and bacon wrapped dates.

Sunday, grammy and pop-pop came to visit Ella and take us out for Gary's birthday to Lucille's BBQ (yum!).  They brought Ella's birthday present from great-grandma since she won't be able to make it out from Arizona to Ella's party.

Ella was very excited about all the pink tissue paper...

She read the card, and slowly took out each piece of tissue paper...

She looked up at grammy and pop-pop to make sure it was ok to rip into the gift, and then immediately started playing with the fun Melissa & Doug puzzles...
Photobucket Photobucket

She thought pop-pop was pretty funny...

And she like playing puzzles with grammy...

Great-grandma got her 5 puzzles, but we only opened 2 of them, both of which she loved...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What is Going on Over Here???

Um, can someone please bring back my regular baby?

First, Ella has woken up at 5 a.m. (but fallen back asleep) 3 days in a row, and yesterday, she woke up at 10:30 p.m. and whimpered for about 20 minutes (this from the kid that NEVER wakes up between 7:30 p.m. and 6:30 a.m.).  Yesterday, she only napped for 40 minutes in the morning and screamed bloody murder before finally falling asleep for her second nap (after I went back in her room and drugged her up with Tylenol).  Since yesterday, her nose has been running like a faucet (but she's not sick- no fever, no cough, nothing), and she screams when I try to do the aspirator.  This morning, she woke up with a runny poop that leaked from her diaper and got on her sheets (I think that may have been from giving her whole milk yesterday for the first time).

What is going on?!  The only thing I can think of is that she must be teething...and here I thought we escaped the bad teething experience since all the teeth so far have not affected her at all.  I don't feel any new teeth though so who knows.


Edited to Add: Now she has a diaper rash on her girly parts!  She has never had diaper rash...not even when she was a preemie and newborn...what the heck???????

Edited Again to Add: So she had another poop that was normal, but when she woke up from her afternoon nap, I had to aspirate her nose about 20 times because there was so much snot in it, and she LOST IT.  Crying uncontrollably and would.not.stop.   She then threw up 3 times while sitting in the family room!  However, I *think* the throw up was crying induced.  UGH.

Edited AGAIN to Add: We took her temp, and she does have a fever...the rectal thermometer is so wacky said 100.9 then 101.9 then 99.9.

And one MORE Time to Add: Before bed, temp was only 99.6 (which is not even a fever when taken rectally).

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Daddy!

This was Gary's birthday weekend (his actual birthday is Monday), and Ella and I had nothing my defense, I threw him a big surprise party last year!  I asked him if he wanted to get a babysitter, go to a fancy dinner, buy something nice, do something fun...anything.  He said, "I just want to watch the Penn State Game with Ella, have a beer and eat Cannelloni."  Silly boy. He didn't even want a cake or apple pie...just rice krispy treats!

Ella was a little too fond of daddy's beer bottle...

The rest of the weekend went like this:

Ella had her friends, Kaitlyn, Hannah, Ryan and Quinn over to play.

She woke up from her nap looking like Kate Gosselin (pre-extensions)...

While Rylee was innocently sleeping in her DOG bed, Ella (who has decided the dog bed is her favorite place to chill) got annoyed that Rylee dare fall asleep in her own bed and did this (notice the hand on the hip in the second photo)...

And life AS WE KNOW IT is gone...Ella has finally learned to do this...
Which led to this...

Ella went to IHOP for breakfast in her pajamas (and tutu!) early Sunday morning and had pancakes for the first time. Then we went to Costco where Ella had chocolate and vanilla frozen yogurt for the first time.

We went to grandma and grandpa's house for a birthday dinner on Sunday night. Ella flew with grandpa...
Helped Rylee eat a dog treat (I know, gross)...
Helped daddy open his present...
And blew out the candles on the apple pie...


Thursday, September 9, 2010

Some More Cuteness (Birthday Hats, Dresses & Little Feet)

Look at the adorable birthday hat I made for Ella!  I actually made it for the little photo shoot we're doing during our family photo session on September 26th (more on that later), but if it stays nice, I think I may *try* to make her wear it at her birthday party.

 Thanks to my friend Christina, I just ordered this adorable pinafore from Lassie Girl:
Isn't it so cute?!  AND it can be worn as a dress and then a shirt when it's too short for a dress.  AND it's reversible so it's like having 2 dresses and 2 shirts.  AND it was really reasonably priced! 

Yes, I could make it myself, but you know what, (a) sometimes I just don't feel like it, (b) I haven't seen that fabric anywhere so technically I couldn't make it, and (c) I love to support other small home business/work at home mom operations so I still buy lots from other people on Etsy and small websites like this!

And finally, I just love little feet.  I love how when Ella takes naps, she always props her little piggies up on her bumper, and sometimes, one little foot escapes through the slats of her crib...