Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Old Friend, New Playmate

An old friend from college found me on Facebook a few months back. Although lots of people connect on Facebook, this connection was interesting because we had both gotten married and had a baby girl, within weeks of each other! The girls are now 15 months old and little Lizzy came over to play with Mia for the first time yesterday. They spent the day collecting all the dolls from around the house. At one point, Lizzy had two large dolls in her short little arms and started to fuss because she couldn't hold the third one she saw laying on the floor. So cute!

They took turns putting the dollies in the bed and the high chair and surprisingly, they shared everything! They were the perfect little playmates. Here they are putting Troy's Jamaican hat on each other.

We can't wait to have Lizzy over again!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I Love This Age!

Mia is at my absolute favorite age. She is learning so fast that I am constantly surprised by what she knows. The other day she brought me a scrap of paper from the floor. I told her to put it in the trash (not thinking that she knew what I was saying) and she walked straight to the trash can and put it in. Who knew?

She talks in gibberish all day long and Troy and I hear her say lots of words. We've heard "dinosaur", "alligator", "garbage truck", and "pop pop" as well as small phrases. The other day, she held up a book and said, "This a book". What's funny about her gibberish is the facial expression and intonation that go along with it. She truly feels that she is communicating clearly and expects that everyone understands. Fortunately for us, she is happy with comments such as, "Oh, is that right?" or "Yes, I agree." She just wants to feel like she's part of the conversation. Her seriousness cracks me up. She will point and say something that sounds like "sha ba sha ba ta da pall?" Her eyebrows go up and the inflection in her voice tells us she is asking a question, so we usually answer her "question" guessing at what she said. It makes for a fun conversation!

I've taught Mia some sign language and she has caught on quickly. She can sign "please", "thank you", "more", "milk", and "juice". Of course juice is just her pointer finger waving up and down and not exactly in a "j" motion, but we understand her. I just love that she can communicate. She gets excited about it too. Now, when she sees Troy and I get any drink with a straw, she signs "please", so I've started ordering a cup of water with a straw for her so she doesn't feel left out. I just hope that her good habit of saying thank you carries over when she really does start talking!

Friday, October 31, 2008

A Lobster Tail

Here's our little lobster all ready for some fun tonight. She loves her costume, especially the claws. She keeps looking at them and laughing!
What a fun time we had for Halloween! Petunia's Place put on a very cute storytime. I just love the lady who reads for the storytime. She does a great job keeping all of the kids engaged. Some people are just natural teachers. Mia loved eating a cookie out by the fountain afterward. I loved looking at all of the one year olds in their Halloween costumes dangling their feet over the side of the fountain.
After storytime, we had our picture taken at Walgreens for free. We hung out for quite some time in that store waiting to take the picture and then waiting for it to be printed. Although the quality of the picture was not "professional", I can say it was worth the wait because the Mommies finally got to all be in a picture together!
While Mia was napping, I spent time working on Troy's costume, carving pumpkins (since we totally forgot last night!), and then threw my costume together. I think everything turned out great.
At the Pumpkin Patch, lots of people laughed at our costumes, so I think that counts as a success. Since we've never been to the Pumpkin Patch at church, we didn't know what to expect. There were a lot of games that Mia couldn't play because she was too little, but she didn't need much to have fun. We found a game where she could pull the rubber ducks out of the water and another one where she could dig in the sand. She thought it was fun when the game was over and the workers would let her choose candy from the buckets. She didn't know that the candy was something to eat. I'm sure she just liked the shiny wrappers. My favorite moment was when one of the workers had already given her two pieces of candy, one for each hand, and then offered her a third. She thought for a moment, and then put one piece of candy on the floor so she could take the third piece. It's fun to see how she problem solves.
One of my favorite costumes was Brandy's daughter who was dressed as a laundry basket. Very clever! We also ran into a weiner dog dressed as a lobster, a monkey and a banana, an Autumn fairy, a mad scientist, and my favorite, Sarah Palin herself. I even managed to get a picture with the Vice Presidential candidate and her secret service agent!
We trick or treated Matt and Heather's house and then Stefanie and James' house. Mia was falling alseep on the way to Stefanie's house, but once we were there, she warmed up quickly. I really enjoyed spending time with them, as well as Tinker Bell and the dog. Mia loves going to Auntie Stefanie's house because there's lots of room to run around and Auntie Stefanie always makes her laugh.
I'll post more pictures later. I need to be more diligent about burning photos to DVD so that I have space on the drive for new pictures. Good thing I have a 4GB photo card! I still have space for 600 pictures on the camera!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Husband of the Year

This morning, without thinking much of it, I asked Troy if he would take care of Mia for the entire day. I wasn't going anywhere. I just wanted a day off where I wouldn't have to think about what time her naps were or what she was going to eat. I wouldn't have to monitor her as she took 30 minutes to finish her lunch and I wouldn't have to lift her or change any diapers. I thought for sure he would laugh at me and offer to help a little, but then make excuses for why he couldn't do it all day. To my surprise, he said, "Sure". And that was it.

I did not change one single diaper, or feed Mia one meal, or even think about what she was going to eat. I didn't put her to bed for her nap (which I actually missed because cuddling with her for a few minutes before each nap is one of my favorite things). I was able to run errands, do some laundry, work in the garage, and take a nap that didn't have to coincide with Mia's nap. I feel well rested and accomplished. I even got the added benefit of playing with Mia just because I felt like it and not because I had to entertain her. She's even cuter when I don't feel like the responsible one!

To my surprise, my husband of the year even cooked dinner without pawning Mia off on me. When bedtime rolled around, he did his usual bath, teeth brushing, diaper change and story with Mia, but before he put her to bed he asked me to come into the bathroom to look at something. He wouldn't tell me what was going on, so, being a mother, of course my first reaction was, "What happened?" I was already picturing the vomit or blood, but instead I found a book, towel, warm water and candles. I was told that I could not leave the bathroom for at least 30 minutes!

I have never actually taken a bath with candles and let me tell you, I will do it again. Not only could I read the pages of my book more easily, but it smelled nice and was very peaceful. If you have not tried a candlelit bathtime experience, pencil yourself in for one. You won't regret it.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Thoughts for Today

Does anyone else blog in their head and never actually get down to writing it? Am I the only one who writes blogs in my mind all day long, but never sits down to complete them? I'm sure I could have documented so many of Mia's milestones in the last month. There are so many cute things she's done that I think I'll always remember, but many I've already forgotten.

For the last month we've encouraged Mia to walk, but she had only taken about 4 or 5 steps at a time. Then she would grab onto something or just sit down and crawl because that's easier and faster.

The last few days, Mia has decided that walking really is the way to go. She has been doing laps around the kitchen, the kitchen table, and the coffee table. She loves to just keep going! I love the way she holds her hands up in the air for balance. She has kind of a crooked walk with a slight lean to the right. After all our trips to Valley Children's Hospital this month, I've been assured that her hips are completely normal, so we'll just attribute her crooked walk to inexperience and assume she'll "grow out of it".

I enjoy talking with Mia even though she can't talk. She really does communicate well. She loves to say "yes" by nodding her head and her entire body with it. She shakes both hands violently if I try to give her food she doesn't want or like. My favorite thing of all is when I ask her if she wants to cuddle and she scoots in near to me and lays her head down on my arm with her "thumby" in her mouth and her left hand gripping her shirt. She really does love to cuddle. She even cuddles her animals and rocks and pats them.

Mia loves trucks. She waves at the garbage truck every Wednesday and points every time she sees a truck when we're driving in the car. She even has a baby board book about trucks.

The time this last year has really flown by. I'm amazed with what Mia can understand already. I don't think I could even list all the words that she understands because there are so many! It's fun to watch her learn and to see how excited she gets about new things. Today, Mia was pointing at the symbol on Troy's shirt, so he taught her the word "logo". Now if you ask her where the logo is on a shirt, she'll point to it. Leave it to Troy to teach Mia about advertising!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

My 30th Birthday continued . . .

I will have to post pictures from my 30th later since I cannot download them to my computer. I only have 1 GB of space on my 120GB drive which says something about how many pictures I take.

My 30th birthday was perfect. Not only did Troy bring me flowers in front of 63 women at MOPS, but I got to spend time with everyone who is important to me. My mom, Jim and Paul, took me out to the Cheesecake Factory for dinner and we had a blast. I love any event that involves Uncle Paul because Mia is so entertained by him that I don't ever have to worry about her. I got to eat my entire dinner without interruption! Of course I ordered the most chocolaty cheesecake dessert that they offer, which was too rich even for me.

The next weekend was Clovis Fest and we took Mia to go see the balloons. She loved them and even clapped and danced when they took off. Later, we walked around the craft booths and then had lunch at Applebee's. After a long but friendly political debate between Jaime and I, with Nancy as mediator, we got ready for Roger Rocka's to see The Producers. Totally raunchy, but fun. It was nice to get out and have some time to talk and relax with my girlfriends. Paula ratted me out to the announcer and they announced that it was my 30th birthday and put the spotlight on me. Totally embarrassing and fun!

The next morning, we got up early (after being up late) to run the Cross City race. It was a perfect morning. Jaime and Chris took off fast and everyone else wanted to walk, so I ran the 2 miles by myself, but I didn't mind because it felt good. My favorite part was running without a jogging stroller (since Troy had Mia). I haven't been able to do that in a long time, and it felt very freeing.

After the race, we went to the Fresno Breakfast House. I LOVE their omelets! I've never gotten one there that wasn't perfect. The restaurant itself is kind of an odd mix of tex-mex decor and old lady floral wallpaper, but their food is always good. Karen was so thoughtful to bring "3" and "0" candles for my omelet.

That's about it. And, yes, I do feel thirty. It's strange that a number can really change how you feel. When I was little, I thought that 25 was old. When I was 25, I still felt like a kid in some ways. But 30 is different. I feel like a grown up now for sure, no doubt about it. Not old, or worn out, but grown up. I don't mind it, but it is different.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


Mia is walking! On Saturday night, Mia took her first steps at Dorina and Ericlee's house while everyone was over for cooking club. Troy was helping her walk and let go of her hands and she took four steps to me! Troy and I were thrilled. Mia didn't seem to know what she had done. I think she probably only did it since her motivation was high . . . she wanted Momma.

Friday, September 12, 2008

My Amazing 30th Birthday Present from my Very Sweet, Oh So Creative Husband

When I got back from the climbing gym (Troy took a long lunch to stay with Mia while I went), these "postcards" were all over the house. Some were tucked into picture frames, some were in the kitchen cupboards, the bedroom, on the tv, the couch, and in Mia's room. I couldn't believe how many there were. When I found the first 7-8, I got on the phone and called Troy and asked, "How many of these are there?" He told me to guess, so of course I figured it out. There were 30 of them! I found 28 in the house. He told me I would get the other two later.

Of course I thought this was the sweetest thing ever, so I took the cards to MOPS at 6:30pm. It was the first meeting and just happened to fall on my birthday. When I got to MOPS, I got my dinner and sat down at my table. Before I started eating, I told the ladies at the table that I just had to tell them what a sweet thing Troy did. I showed them the postcards and they started to pass them around the table.
That's when Troy walked in with Mia. I have to say I was absolutely frozen. He came in carrying Mia and an arrangement of flowers! He gave me the flowers and said "Happy Birthday" and I started crying, of course! The whole roomful of ladies (63 of them!) started singing "Happy Birthday" to me!

Inside the card attached to the flowers were the other two postcards. The best tw0. . .

30 is the best birthday!!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Open Cabinets by Troy

Allison, Mia and I just got back from a long day of events. We finally decided to go and get our family pictures taken with Jerry McElroy. We had a great time and usually we would place a picture up for you to see, but he uses film. You know those cameras that don’t have a color view finder on the back? Yes, you have to wait a week to get the results. Anyway, we just finished our nightly rituals of giving Mia a bath, brushing her “teethies”, praying, reading a story, singing and going “beddy”. After leaving Mia’s room, I changed my clothes and walked by the kitchen. See Exhibit 1 (picture at the top of this blog). I know what you are thinking… we have just been robbed. Why else would all of the cabinets be open, right? No, we had not been robbed. This too is part of my nightly ritual of closing all of the cabinets that Allison has opened throughout the day. For some reason, Allison opens cabinets, but doesn’t shut them. What’s weird is that she doesn’t even know they’re open. One time, I asked her to go to the kitchen and tell me what was wrong. Every single cabinet was open (similar to the photo). She didn’t even notice the open cabinets, but thought I had swept the floor! It’s always good for a laugh!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Mini Jamba

After Mia got her shots at the doctor, I decided we should start a tradition of going to Jamba Juice for a treat. We shared a Pomegranite Paradise. I just love the mini cups they have for kids. Just the right size!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Polka Dot Party

I think planning a birthday party is fun. I've been collecting polka dot fabric, ribbon, and party favors as I've seen them in the stores. It was a fun challenge to pull it all together this Saturday for Mia's 1st birthday and I love the way it all came together. It wasn't super fancy, but it was cute and fun and just about everything was polka dotty!
There were lavendar polka dot table cloths, round orange lanterns, and round "polka dot" pictures hanging for the tent outside.
I was looking at Pottery Barn kids magazine one day and they were selling a birthday banner for $45 similar to this one that I made out of felt and fabric for less than $10!

Our little birthday girl was a little shocked to see so many people at our house when she woke up from her morning nap, but she got right into party mode after some lunch and a swim.She really enjoyed opening presents with Momma and reading the birthday cards. She likes to turn the "pages". Mia's favorite gift was this Radio Flyer ride on rocket from Grandma Jeri and Grandpa Jim. Uncle Paul spent the rest of the party pushing Mia around on the rocket and teaching her how to push on her own. Mia is definitely our child. She's not big on getting dirty, so we weren't surprised when she didn't dive right in. After a close call with the flame, she took off all the marzipan polka dots and broke off a small corner of the cake to feed to Momma. Because of the flame incident, my family stopped singing after the first verse of Happy Birthday. In our family we sing three verses, but Mia only got one on this day. Here's a picture of the cake everyone else ate. Aunt Heather did a great job!

Mia let us know she was partied out by popping her "thumby" in her mouth. She lasted quite a while past her normal naptime, but did very well! Sunday, on her actual birthday, we did a little "redo" of the cake smashing with better results. Mia is still not the type to rub cake in her hair though. We also sang all three verses of the birthday song and she LOVED it! She smiled and swung her feet while we sang. She was enjoying it so much that we sang it twice more, all three verses! Here's a picture of the second cake smashing opportunity on Sunday afternoon.

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Mia is quite expressive. She was really taken by this elk at the Clovis Elks Lodge where we went for my cousin Joey's Eagle Scout Ceremony. She would make an "Oooooh" sound with kind of a grunt to it and put her hand out. Our favorite part is how she sticks her chin out. She doesn't just do this with elk heads though. She makes the same sound whenever she sees any animal. What a kick!