Thursday, July 31, 2008

Poor Little Girl

Tuesday night we came home from work and daycare with a very fussy little bug. About an hour after we were home I took her temperature and she was running a fever. After a very long night of coughing and crying and tossing and turning, I took Ainsley to see the doctor. Double ear infection...again.

Ainsley and I stayed home yesterday and today. At this point she is feeling better, fever is gone, cough is better...but she is way cranky. So I know she's not feeling great.

Bad news is that this is her 5th ear infection since November. If we reach number 6, she'll have to go see an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist and from what I hear, he/she will recommend tubes. I'm really hoping it doesn't come to that, but we'll cross that bridge when we reach it. I often feel that we, children especially, are over-diagnosed and over-medicated, so I just want to be sure it's what is really needed. We'll see.

In more fun news, we took Ainsley on her first wagon ride Monday night. Thank you Grandma and Grandpa. She LOVED it. She was laughing and dancing. She had a lot of fun.

Well, gotta run, because she is being so cranky and now she's cryin because she dropped the phone.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


So Clif and I have decided to go on a diet...not really a diet, more just eating healthier and trying to be a little more active. This can be tough with a full time job, a 12 month old, a very messy house, a broken refrigerator and a class to finish. But we're making the effort. Clif, has already lost 16 pounds by doing suck. I think this made him eager to try and lose more. Now that I am not breastfeeding as much, I've definitely put on a couple of pounds, so that is making me eager to lose it and then some. So I am adding these little weight trackers to the blog, then we're kind of held accountable.

We officially started yesterday and we're going until the end of the year. Wish us luck.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Ainsley's Big Birthday Bash

Preparations were in full swing on Friday the 18th for Ainsley's big birthday party the following day WHEN...dun, dun, dun...our refrigerator stops working AGAIN!!!!! I'm really just too tired and fed up to even go into it, and thinking about it just burns me up inside, but basically same story different day. We notice that the butter is slightly melted, check the temp...42 degrees and climbing. By the time I went to bed Friday night it was 50 degrees, Saturday morning 55 degrees. So, I had planned on having all food made and ready to go into serving dishes, but it all had to wait until the day of, which put me super behind and super stressed on Saturday. I was not fun to be around...sorry to everyone who had to endure it.

However, the party was very nice. We put all the food in coolers and everything went fine.

We had a ladybug theme, of course, and decorated with black and red everywhere. It was pretty cute. I even found red balloons with black polka dots. Ainsley wore a little red and white ladybug dress, and even though she only had about a 45 minute nap all day, she was in very good spirits for all her visitors.

There were so many kids. It was great, but it made me look around and take note of where I am in my life. Just about 2 years ago, I threw a 30th birthday party for Clif and invited a lot of the same people. That night we started about 6 o'clock, and drank keg beer, skip and go naked, and frozen daiquiris until 3 in the morning. Now, the party started at 3 and I think everyone was gone by 7. Gotta get those kids home and to bed! Funny how quickly life changes.

Ainsley made out in the gift department...thank you everyone. Good thing we set up the playroom upstairs or we'd have to start getting rid of our couches! Opening gifts with all those kids was crazy!! Ainsley couldn't do any unwrapping, so I had some of the other kids help and they were more than happy to tear into those gifts.

After the gifts we let Ainsley dive into the cake. She was covered, of course.

It was a lot of fun and I was so glad that so many of our friends could make it. I wish I could of spent more time with everyone individually.

The night ended with a few close friends and family hanging out on the deck drinking off the keg. It was a very relaxing end to the day. Of course, the mess in my kitchen was not so much fun, but hey it was worth it.

So, on the refrigerator front, my mom drove 2 hours south on Sunday to meet my dad who drove 2 hours north to get a refrigerator that my brother was storing at their house. Thank you to all parties involved in that (mom, dad, Nathan, Jeff). So now I have 2 refrigerators sitting in my kitchen, one works, one doesn't. For all of you that have been to my house, you know that I really don't have room for 2 refrigerators in my kitchen. Now we are going to start the long battle of getting some kind of compensation for this piece of crap Samsung calls an appliance. I would refer to it more as a storage container. The most expensive storage container I've ever bought. Anyway, I can't even go into it, I just get too mad. It's ridiculous how completely uncaring some companies can be about their product and their service, it's really a tragedy in this country...but like I said, not going to go into it.

Turning 1 has been a really big step for Ainsley, in the past couple of weeks she's become such a little girl. Baby Ainsley is just about gone. If you ask, she'll tell you how old she is. She pets Gatsby nicely instead of slapping him in the face. She can hold a watermelon slice and eat it to the rind. She knows where all of her toys are and insists on going up there every night. And her talking is becoming more like actual language. Still babbling, but she actually holds conversations with her dolls, the dog, us, the TV, whatever. All good things. Of course, with the good comes some bad. We have experienced some temper tantrums. For now, she is very easily distracted, and therefore they are short lived...I hope they stay that way, but I am not confident about that. She is very opinionated and persistent. The girl knows what she wants and is not easily persuaded.

So that catches you up. Hope everyone has a good week.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Ainsley Visits the Ocean - Day 2 and 3

To everyone who looked for a post all day'm sorry that I didn't finish our vacation story. I totally passed out at like 8:30 last night and I am just now getting to it at 10 PM because my child just went to sleep. I am a single parent this weekend. Clif is in NOVA/Baltimore for Murphy's bachelor party.

Ok, so the continuation of our vacation. Tuesday we spent the whole day on the beach. It was tough, but fun. As frustrated as I get sometimes, I never want to be one of those people who is afraid to do something because it might be hard, I don't want Ainsley to learn that. The beach all day on Tuesday was a bit hard...and seriously, I think I already said this, but you would not believe how much sand a child can bring home with them. Holy cow, sand everywhere. We slept on sand. Everything I ate had sand in it. There was sand in the shower, sand in the sink, sand all over the floor. You'd think that Ainsley took a bath in the stuff.

Anyway, it was hard, but it was worth it. The biggest issue was that I just didn't pay attention to the time. So by the time I thought, oh she might be hungry, she was way past hungry and screaming. Or, oh maybe she needs a diaper change, she was already covered in sand and the diaper thing did not go well. But like I said, worth it, and I'm not letting a little sand stop me.

Ainsley got a little more used to the baby pool, I still had to get in with her at first, but she played in it for about an hour. Then she spent some time climbing all over the beach chairs. We went back to the house to clean up and eat and I could not get her to sleep, so I brought her back out to the beach where, of course, she fell asleep on Clif's lap.
That night we went out to a late dinner, which was a bit of a gamble on mine and Clif's part. Ainsley usually goes to bed around 8:30 and we didn't leave until 7:15. Luckily we did not have too long of a wait and we fed Ainsley an extra snack before we left.

While we waited for our table, she had fun dancing out on the Gazebo to the man playing the guitar and singing "Puff the Magic Dragon." That's not all he sang, but that's all I can remember now.

She did really well and didn't get fussy until we were almost done. At that point Clif, Caitlyn and I just took turns following her around the restaurant. That made her happy.
Wednesday was our last full day at the beach. We spent the morning at the beach, and I think that was the day we finally got ourselves organized enough to spend a good deal of time out there. That afternoon we went out on a Pontoon boat, and Ainsley LOVED it.

She was so thrilled to have the wind blowing her hair and whipping her face. She was so excited.

The first hour she slept, in her life jacket (she loved that thing), but once she woke up she just laughed and danced and talked. I even got her to wear her sunglasses for a good bit of time. These pictures are awesome.

That night we stayed at the house and cooked. Glenda and Mike made Tuna steaks and the hugest shrimp you've ever seen, Cam and Amanda steamed blue crabs, and we all sat down to a feast after Ainsley went to bed.

Unfortunately, we had to leave the next morning. Vacations are never long enough. We had to get back for Ainsley's 1 year well check up. She weighs 23 lbs, 12 ounces and is 30 1/2 inches tall. She had to get two shots and the doctor thinks she's wonderful. She loves that she is so talkative and mimics everyone, and says she's walking like a pro. Like we didn't already know she's perfect ;)

The vacation was awesome. Ainsley got to spend time with Auntie Caitlyn, Uncle Cameron, "Ant" Amanda (just joking you Amanda)...she doesn't get to see them very often. I think she had a great time in the water and on the boat, plus Caitlyn, Amanda and Tara taught her a new song which she absolutely can't get enough of...Baby Balooga. It is a very cute song and if Ainsley wants you to sing it, she tilts her head to the side, waves her hand and says "Ba?" "Ba?"

Tomorrow I'll tell you all about the big birthday bash. It was quite the day!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Ainsley Visits the Ocean - Day 1

Well, after travelling back home to do some laundry and go to sleep, we woke up Monday morning and headed to Nags Head for a few days at the beach. We got there mid afternoon and got Ainsley ready for the beach. We stayed in a great house right near the ocean. We had quite the set up for little Ainsley. We got one of those canopy tents to shade her from the sun and filled a baby pool with salt water so she could have her own personal ocean, complete with a sea turtle, a dolphin, a crab, a shark and of course, lots of sand. She also had her own little beach chair, which she loved to climb in and out of all day long.

We did take her in the real ocean for a few minutes, not too deep, it was very rough the whole time we were there. She seemed to like it, but was definitely a little weary. She loved all the wind, except I think that's how she ended up with sand in her little eyes.

After about an hour or so, she fell asleep on my lap and that's where she stayed until we headed back in that evening.

First day was pretty uneventful, although we did see a double rainbow that night after a quick rain.

Well, I need to get to bed. I'll tell you more tomorrow, by then hopefully I'll have some video up as well.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Family Reunion

As promised, I have lots of stories and pictures and videos from our little vacation. I'll start from the beginning and work my way up to the party on Saturday.

Last Friday (the 11th) Clif, Ainsley, Gatsby and I drove across some very tall, very steep, very curvy mountains to attend my annual family reunion in WV. My dad is one of 7 siblings and every year the reunion moves to a new one of the 7 homes. This year it was in WV. We ended up at the top of the mountain right around sun set, it was so beautiful.

Not really the best pictures since they were taken through the windshield, but really it was a breathtaking sight. I had been so stressed about leaving town so late and this was our reward for doing so. It was like we were even with the horizon and looking straight at the sun. Sometimes it even felt like we were looking down on the clouds. It's hard to put into words how amazing it was.

Saturday is usually the main day of the reunion. That morning all the guys get up really early and go to play golf. The girls all stay home, go shopping, cook, gab, whatever really. I know, it's very 1950's but it's just the way it's always been, and really I wouldn't want to go golfing anyway. I love sitting around with my cousins and my aunts and hearing stories about when they were young and reminiscing about the old days. It's really fun.

I am the oldest of all of my cousins (22 in all) and there are only 4 of us that have children. My cousin Shelley's kids are a little older - in grade school, but my cousins Jessica and Becca both have little kids only about a year older than Ainsley. Caiden (Jessica's little boy) just loved Ainsley. They were holding hands and giving each other kisses. It was just too cute.

After all the guys come back from golfing we eat...a lot...then we eat some more and then finally we all go play softball. I did not play this year because I was chasing Ainsley around the field. It's crazy to see all my little cousins all grown and becoming men and women. We started this family tradition the year after my grandmother passed away. That's 12 years ago. I was in college then and there were all these little kids running around every where in those days. Now the majority of the "kids" are in high school, graduating from high school or in college. It's just crazy how fast the time goes.

Unfortunately the family reunion always ends too soon and it's a year before I see most of the family again. I wish I could find the time to visit them all more often. The day we leave I always think "this year I'm going to visit this person or that person" but life just gets in the way and before you know it another year is gone.

Love to all my family, I miss them and wish that we all lived closer.

Tomorrow I will share some stories from our trip to Nags Head

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Just Touching Base

So we've had a very busy couple of weeks, and I am totally exhausted. I've been off of work for the last week and a half, we've been to WV for a family reunion, we've gone to NC for a beach vacation, and back home just in time for Ainsley's big first birthday bash. So, I haven't looked at a computer until today. Promise that over the next few days I will post all the great pictures, videos and stories, but I really just don't have the energy tonight.

Plus, I'm very sad that I have to go back to work tomorrow. It has been AWESOME being home with Ainsley 24/7. Wish I could do it always.

More tomorrow.


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Times Flies...First Year in Review - Part 2

Sorry I couldn't finish last night, but here's the rest, and well worth the wait I think :)

6 Months:

Ainsley has always loved the bath. This is probably one of the last times I used the baby tub.

7 Months:

Ainsley started eating solids around 5 months, but it wasn't until 7 or 8 months that she really got into the swing of things. This is about the time we started eating less cereal and more fruits and veggies. I think that's what did it.

8 Months:

Ainsley...not so much the best sleeper, but here she fell asleep on Clif's lap next to the computer. She was so tired she just couldn't go on.

Ainsley started crawling this month and about a week later she was pulling up on furniture. She's been on the move ever since.

St. Patty's Day:

For Ainsley's first St Patty's day, we went to Shamrock the Block in downtown. It was so great, Ainsley slept in the baby Bjorn and we were able to hang out with some friends. Uncle Cameron and Aunt Amanda came with us.

First Easter:

Here's Ainsley opening her first Easter basket. We spent Easter with Grandma and Grandpa in North Carolina.

9 Months:

Ainsley LOVES phones and remotes, but she thinks that remotes are phones, so really I think it's a love of phones. As you can see, if she gets her hands on one she's all smiles.

10 Months:

Ainsley took her first steps right around the time she turned 10 months old. By the end of May she was walking like a pro. Nanny bought her two pairs of big girl, walking shoes. Here are the sandals.

11 Months:

Ainsley had a very busy 11th month, she attended her first wedding, spend father's day with Daddy and got ready to turn the big 0-1. She also started developing her own little attitude. For instance, here she is turning the knobs that we are constantly telling her not to turn. Not only does she play with them, she just kind of looks back at us as if to say "You gonna stop me or what?" She may look sweet, but she is rotten, rotten, rotten.

Day 365 - Turning 1:

Well, that brings us to yesterday. We had a little celebration for Ainsley on her actual birthday, her party is next Saturday. I practiced making a ladybug cake so I could be sure that I would be able to pull it off at the party. I think it turned out pretty well, what do you think?

We did the typical 1 year old birthday thing and Ainsley made a huge mess, here's a video:

And some pictures:

Well, that's what I've been up to for the past year. So if you haven't heard from me much, now you know why. I thought I might be sad about her turning one, I'm not. Then I thought I might want to have another baby when she turned one, I DON'T...yet. But, today we were walking around the store and I tried to hold Ainsley's hand and she went "ehhh" and pulled away, and I would be lying if that wasn't a little sad. I do miss her being a teeny baby sometimes, but I really look forward to the little girl she's becoming.

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