Monday, December 22, 2008

Merry Christmas Friends

Hi Friends, I'm sorry we have been MIA the past couple of weeks but it has been crazy getting ready for Christmas. Every year I promise myself that I will not procrastinate, and every year I break that promise. So we did all of our shopping Saturday morning. We actually busted it out pretty quickly. We cut back on the number of people we bought for this year, so that made it a little easier.

Ainsley has been a trooper over the past couple of weeks. We've been travelling so much, and when we aren't travelling, we're barely home. We're out running around trying to get things done. So bed time has been late, dinner has been quick and nap time has been virtually non existent. But like I said, she's been really great. Also, she has almost completely resisted the temptation to rip every ornament off the Christmas tree...almost. She does, every once in awhile, pull one down...but that's to be expected really.

She is talking like crazy these days. Still can't understand a whole lot, but she definitely has things to say. Also, she loves to sing, and she loves when Clif and I sing which is really amazing since neither of us have the greatest voice.

Well, no pictures today because I'm posting from work, but I will have a whole bunch after Christmas.

I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas. Stay safe and spend lots of time with the ones you love. We will be thinking of you all at this very special time.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Snow in Connecticut and Strolling through the Big Apple

I've been wanting to post sooner this week, but I am still trying to catch up on sleep from the very busy weekend. We crammed so much into 3.5 days, I hardly know where to start...I guess the beginning...

Well, I won't lie, I was totally stressed about flying with Ainsley. I really didn't know how she would react and it didn't help that we ended up sitting on the tarmac for an hour. Since our flight was just after 5 and Ainsley usually doesn't have dinner until 6:30 or so, we thought we'd be safe in waiting until we landed to eat. In hindsight, that probably was not the best plan, but actually Ainsley did great. I know she was hungry, but she was a trooper. There were so many fun and exciting things to see (lights out the window, the TV)

and do (push the buttons on the remote, turn the overhead lights on and off a million times)

and play with (the seat back tray, the window shade)

that I can see where she would forget to be hungry.

We arrived at my brother-in-law, Cameron's, house just around 9 and we were pretty tired so we pretty much went to bed to get an early start on Saturday. We travelled a little over an hour north to visit Clif's grandparents in their nursing home. Ainsley was a little shy at first, but she warmed up pretty quickly. Clif's grandparents were completely smitten with her. She played with Gramps' hat and gave Nanny high fives.

After the visit at the nursing home, we went to Clif's Uncle Billy and Auntie Alaine's house. There Ainsley got to meet a bunch of Clif's cousins and aunts and uncles. She seemed to have a great time and everyone loved her...of course, how could they not.

On our way back to Cam's house, we stopped at a tree farm and picked out Cameron and Amanda's Christmas tree. We also had some cider and sat by the fire for a bit. Caitlyn and Oliver also picked out a tree...I believe they called it an elf tree :)

We got home and Ainsley crashed after a very full day with very few and short naps. Cam and Amanda decorated the Christmas tree, while Clif and I sat on the couch and had a few cocktails. snowed. Not the kind of snow we have here, it actually snowed and stuck to the ground. I am really not a fan of snow, but I can deal with it once a year when it's pretty and white and perfect. So it was kind of nice.

Sunday we took it easy in the morning waiting for Amanda to finish tutoring. Then we took the train into New York City. Somehow, even with a leisurely morning, Ainsley managed not to take a nap. So again I was a bit nervous about how she would be. She didn't sleep on the train, but she fell asleep shortly after bundling her up and putting her in her stroller. She slept for probably an hour while we walked down 5th Ave.

We went to FAO Schwartz. We saw the Christmas tree lit up in Rockefeller Plaza, and we took a handsome cab ride through Central Park.

It was very cold, but it was so beautiful. I really love New York. I've only been there a few times, but it's just so fun and exciting to be there. I love the energy and the buildings and the atmosphere and just everything...except, I will say, people are a bit more rude there. We had the most horrible waitress...I'm not even going to get started.

Monday we hung out at Cam's most of the day and then headed back to the airport for our flight home. We had such a great time. Thanks so much to Cam and Amanda for letting us Ainsley-fy your house.

We got home late Monday and then when we stopped for gas, at about midnight, Clif's car wouldn't start again. Luckily it was a simple battery connection issue. No major (read expensive) fix. But it was definitely tough getting home at 1:30 then trying to work the next day. I'm still a bit tired. My house is still a disaster...we pretty much dropped everything at the front door and haven't unpacked yet.

So basically, the trip was great. Ainsley did so awesome at every turn. I always get so nervous that she's going to melt down because she didn't eat on time or didn't sleep on time and she always, 99.9% of the time, proves me wrong. I guess there's something to be said for never getting your child on a schedule...she's very adaptable. Or maybe she's just perfect ;)

This weekend, and next, we will be spending at home getting ready for Christmas and relaxing. We've had a very hectic couple of months so I am looking forward to the rest.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Thanksgiving Pics

Thanksgiving day was not the norm for us. We were at home since Clif had to work very early on Black Friday. That's what happens when you work for a retail store headquarters. We decided we should go get our Christmas tree since we would be leaving for the weekend the following afternoon and would also be travelling this coming weekend. We considered not getting a tree since we won't be around much to enjoy it, but we really wanted Ainsley to have one this year. She's so fascinated by new things.

Well no Christmas tree lot was open on Thanksgiving day...don't really blame them. BUT, Walmart was open. I have to say, I'm not a huge fan of Walmart, but on Thanksgiving day, with no one there, it actually wasn't too bad. So we got a tree from Walmart. This is pretty much the Charlie Brown Christmas tree. It is very small and very thin, but oh well, it's something simple for this busy year. Next year we hope to spend the holidays at home, so we are not travelling all over the place and we can start to create our own traditions with Ainsley.

We spent Thanksgiving with Clif's family. It was a busy weekend, but we had a lot of fun. We were very tired after working, playing and travelling all weekend long. However, it was nice to spend time with Clif's family.

Ainsley really enjoyed herself at Nanny and Poppa's. And now she is saying Nanny and Poppa pretty consistently. We are working on some other names, but really the repetitive ones are the easiest. She can also say sister, but that is about the extent of it.

So Ainsley has an amazing connection with my father in-law - Poppa. She just completely adores him and can't get enough of him. She is often very shy around new people at first. That fades after about 20 minutes...but she loves her Poppa. Now, after spending a few days with him reading to her and playing with her she'll just look at us and say "Poppa?" It actually comes out a little more like "Bop-pa." It's so cute the way she says it. It always makes me smile.

Ainsley enjoyed her first Thanksgiving dinner as well. Last year doesn't count because she was still on breast milk and just starting cereal. She didn't get any of the good stuff. The girl does not like poultry though. We can never get her to eat chicken, and she would not eat the turkey. She did, however, love the sweet potato, stuffing and corn casserole. The child loves fruits and veggies. Even tonight for dinner, she just ate 2 bowls of peaches! I guess that's better than junk food...not that she wouldn't eat candy and sweets all day if I let her.

Well, I'm going to bed now. We are leaving tomorrow afternoon to go visit Cameron, Amanda and Caitlyn in Connecticut. Ainsley is taking her first plane ride. I guess we'll see how that goes. Luckily it is a short flight. Ainsley is going to meet her Great Nanny and Great Gramps and all of her aunts and uncles and cousins on my mother in-law's side of the family. Ainsley is also going to get to see New York City for the first time...and at such a young age. I was 27 before I made it there. Plus we are going to help Uncle Cameron pick out his Christmas tree. It should be a fun and busy weekend. I will have lots of pictures to share next week.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Visit to Wilmington

This past weekend Clif and I visited some friends in Wilmington, NC. I'm sure most of you know that Clif and I lived there for a couple of years. Clif's roommate from college, Chip, lives there. Another friend from college, Banner, and his girlfriend, Brit, were in town from Chip hosted a Chili cook off and we made the journey down.

This was my first trip back to Wilmington since moving. I've just been busy with the bug and haven't had a chance to get down there. Plus, usually it is a big guys weekend when Clif goes down - AKA: Fantasy Football Draft Party - so it's not really a place for me and Ainsley. Ainsley stayed home with Nanny and Popa. She got spoiled rotten and Kip and Denise had a blast with her.

Ainsley has been in her new toddler class for a little over a week now, and she seems to be doing ok. I will say that going to one nap a day has messed with her schedule a bit. She often only takes one nap with me, but it's usually around 1 or so. At daycare they go down for their naps at 11:30. So if she only sleeps for an hour...which sometimes she does...well then, she is a cranky little bug when she gets home. I guess eventually it will work itself out and she will sleep longer, but right now it's tough. She is very whinny and clingy all night. She also has a little cold, so that doesn't really help matters.

She is also talking more and more since being in that class. Any day now she's just going to break out in a monologue...actually, she already does that, but maybe one day we'll all be able to understand her.

Oh, and something very exciting, she created her first piece of artwork. Once I get it from daycare I will take a picture and post it. It is a little outline of her hand, decorated as a turkey. The day she did it, I picked her up and she was so excited to show it to me. I know that sounds kind of funny, seeing as she can't really talk yet and she is kind of a baby still. But seriously, she just kept pointing at it and babbling. Wouldn't stop until I walked over and acknowledged it. She was so proud.

So this week is a short week at work...thank goodness. I need a vacation. I can't wait to spend 4 days with Clif and Ainsley.

Well, I also am coming down with a little cold, so I am going to go blow my nose and go to bed. As Ainsley would say "nigh nigh", then blow you a kiss :)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Talking with Auntie Keek

Ainsley loves phones...she loves anything that resembles a phone that she can place between her shoulder and ear and pretend to talk in to. However, anytime we actually try to get her to talk on the phone, she just looks at us, silently, like we have lost our minds. Well, the other night Caitlyn called and she just gabbed away on the phone with her. Here is some video of that.

Life has been hectic. Clif and I have both been working long hours and trying to play catch up on the weekends. So we haven't been doing anything too exciting. Last weekend we went to a friend's 30th birthday party on Saturday night, and then to our cousin Sammy's first birthday party on Sunday afternoon.

This weekend was pretty relaxing. I had to work on Saturday morning, but otherwise we have just been hanging out and we actually started Christmas shopping yesterday. Clif and I are big procrastinators for Christmas. I hear about people who do their shopping in like August, and that is so not me. I'm more of a late November, December shopper. First of all, I never have any money. Second, I never know what to buy people. Third, I have no room in my house to keep the stuff in December, let alone for half the year. So, I really need it to feel like Christmas before I start shopping. Not that it feels at all like Christmas right now, but I pretty much always have fun shopping for Ainsley and that's all we've really done so far.

Speaking of Ainsley, she is just growing up so fast. Last week she transitioned from the infant room to toddler room at day care. It makes me a little sad, but it is a bit cheaper and she's with kids her own age now. She's been the oldest and the only one walking in the infant room for months. So it will be nice for her to catch back up with her friends that moved on before her.

She has such a personality, and she knows exactly what she wants and when she wants it. NOW! I believe we will have our hands full as she grows up. So because of this very strong personality, she sometimes wants to do things that we don't want her to do for whatever reason. So, we have begun trying the whole timeout thing. I'm not necessarily against spanking...verdict is still out on that one...but I just think she's too young for that. Plus, one thing that she often gets put in time out for is hitting, and I find it insane to think that you can teach a kid not to hit by hitting her.

This is normally how it goes:
Me: Ainsley, no hitting.
Ainsley: (hits again)
Me: Last chance, if you hit me again you will go in time out.
Ainsley: No. (then hits again)
Me: Fine. Timeout.

I sit her in the time out spot and she wails while I count to 10. Then I pick her up, hug her and tell her what she did wrong. I know, you probably think I'm crazy, because she can't understand me, but one day she will, so I'm starting early.

At this point she will get down, and go sit in time out where she proceeds to count...
Me: No Ainsley, you don't have to sit there anymore.
Ainsley: (holding a little finger in the air) Duh...duh...duh...

It's very hard not to laugh...she really is a one woman comedy act.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Halloween Pics

We took Ainsley trick-or-treating this year and she freaking LOVED it!! The plan was to just try and make it around our cul-de-sac, but Ainsley was so excited that we ended up going to all the houses on our cul-de-sac, a few on the main road and all the houses in the next cul-de-sac. She really had a great time. Those little monkey feet were just a movin' as fast as they could go. It was so cute. I tried to get her to say trick-or-treat, but no luck really. She did, however, say "Daa Do" (thank you) and "Buh Bye" over and over again. Oh and she also closed every one's front doors for them. I think I've mentioned her love of bags/purses/suitcases...whatever. So the little candy bag was just perfect, she loved carrying that thing around and putting all of her little candies in side.

After trick-or-treating, we went to a Halloween party at a friend's house. I think Ainsley was the last kid standing. She zonked out as soon as we pulled out of their neighborhood.

Then Saturday we had an engagement party that was Halloween themed. My mom stayed with Ainsley and Clif and I went as Fred and Wilma Flinstone. We were a big hit :)

I found out yesterday that Ainsley has been hitting babies, teachers, whoever at daycare. We are definitely having this problem at home too. I do think that once she moves into the toddler class it may get better. Those kids hit back! We are trying time outs at home, but she is a bit young to really get it.

Well, I stayed up way too late watching the election results last night. I really don't like politics or politicians, but I always seem to get sucked in on election night. CNN has the coolest map in the world. I was totally obsessed with it. Very interesting to see what will come. Whether you are happy with the results or not, you have to be somewhat amazed that this country...only about 50 years past separate water fountains, segregated schools and Rosa Parks...elected a black president. I didn't really think we were there yet - not saying I'm for or against, just nice to see that maybe we are rising above some darker spots in our past.

Well, hope everyone has a good week. Talk to you soon.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Sorry I've been so slack...

Yes, I have totally been slacking in the blog department. I'm very sorry. I have a million excuses and you've probably heard them all, so I will just skip the excuse portion! So to start, wanted to show you this really cute video of Ainsley eating a banana and calling to Gatsby...

She is just so funny. She is constantly making that new "shocked" face.

So we have been pretty boring lately. Let me catch you up quickly. I'll leave out the work week, because well, we work during the week and nothing else really happens. So the weekend after we went to the zoo, we participated in our community yard sale (we made 50 bucks, not great, but not bad). Then that night, we had a small fire-pit party at our house. We had about 10 people here and we drank beer and roasted marshmellows for s'mores. It was a lot of fun, and it gave me a good excuse to get my house really clean. Here are a couple of pictures from a very late night for the little bug.

This is my absolute favorite...

Then last weekend I left Ainsley overnight to attend my friend Tara's bachelorette party. It was a lot of fun, and good to get away for a night. I missed Ainsley and Clif like crazy, but even when I go out, I always know I have someone waiting for me at home that needs to be taken care of. So it's not very often that I really let loose.

Last night, Ainsley's daycare had a Halloween party. Ainsley got to wear her monkey costume and play with all the kiddies. You should see her walk around that daycare like she owns the place! She is such a little person...definitely not a baby anymore.

So, I have to give tell you a few stories and give you a few updates on our little bug. First, we had her 15 month appointment about a week ago and she weighs 25 pounds. That drops her down to the 75th percentile. I was worried that I hadn't been feeding her enough, the doctor assured me that she is growing just fine. However, she is 32 1/2 inches tall!!!!!! No wonder she won't fit in those 12 month clothes anymore. That puts her in the 92nd percentile for height.

Second, she has, pretty consistently, been SLEEPING THROUGH THE NIGHT!!!! Yes I said it! It only took 15 months! Life is so all about perspective. I am signed up for a few blogs and list serves dedicated to mommies, and one of them I get daily feeds in my inbox. Well, not a day goes by that some mother is on there complaining about her 3 month old, or 6 month old, or 9 month old not sleeping through the night. I just think "Honey, talk to me when she's 15 months old!" So looks like we have almost tackled another obstacle. It's not every night, but I would say in the last 7 to 9 days she has slept through the night 5. That is a BIG, HUGE, improvement.

So now a funny story. So last Saturday Ainsley woke up, after sleeping through the night, around 6:45 AM. Well, I really wasn't ready to get up, so I brought her to bed with me and we both fell back asleep. Clif got up at some time, then I got up around 8:30 and just left her in the bed with pillows around her. Well, I'm sitting on the couch and low and behold Ainsley walks right down the hall. So much for pillows keeping her in place. It really was the funniest thing, I wish you all could of seen it. She just walked out and looked at me and said "Hi" like it was the most normal thing in the world. She's just such a little kid these days.

Alright, gotta run. I will post some fun Halloween pics this weekend.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Out of Touch

Hi all. So just wanted to apologize for being so out of touch usual, just really busy. Plus, we haven't done anything too exciting with Ainsley, so I don't have very many fun pics. We've just been busy working, studying and playing catch up on the weekends. It pretty much sucks that you live your whole week just waiting and wishing for the weekend. Then you have to cram everything fun and meaningful into two days.

I will post an update with pictures soon. Hope everyone is doing well.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Visit to the Zoo

Last weekend Clif, Ainsley and I went to the zoo in Washington DC. Clif's family joined us. Ainsley had a good time. She wasn't thrilled...she's just not all that in to animals at the moment...but she didn't hate it either. Some things she found fun, other things she couldn't of cared less about. Also adding no nap in to the mix is never really a good thing. She did fine, but she was tired and whiny at times. Here are some pictures from the day.

What Ainsley does love, is food. She has found a new food to love, bananas. I shouldn't really be surprised, bananas were one of her favorite baby foods. However, since moving to solids she really hasn't cared for them much. Last Saturday she had 2 full probably know what that means. Poor little bug was so stopped up the next morning. I really shouldn't of let her eat that much. So now we limit ourselves to half a banana in the morning and maybe another half at night.

On Sunday Clif and I went to the Redskins game. We used to have season tickets, but last year it just got to be too much with the travelling and leaving Ainsley all day and then heading back to work on Monday. We decided to save ourselves some money and just watch the games on TV. From the seats we had, we can see much better at home anyway.

Unfortunately the Redskins played like crap and lost to the Rams (WHAT!!!!), but it was fun to be so close to the action. It's a whole other game at that level.

During the game I started feeling not so great. I ended up coming down with some sort of stomach virus. It was horrible. We got back to Kip and Denise's house and I just started getting sick...I'll spare you the gory details and leave it at that. We didn't get home until after 10 that night since I couldn't bear to get back in the car for a bit and had to take a short snooze. Once we got home Clif was tired and I was so miserable that we just put Ainsley in bed with us. She was so cute. Clif would say "Mommy doesn't feel well, give her a kiss." She would just pucker up, give me a great big hug and plant one on my cheek or forehead. She just squeezed my neck with those little hands and arms, it was almost like she wanted to take care of me. She really is just the cutest little bug ever.

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