Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

1. Busy, busy, busy! That describes our family's last six weeks. In that time frame, we've had one emergency trip to Dallas, two first birthday parties, one positive home pregnancy test, one family vacation to Florida, one doctor's visit where we saw a beautiful little heartbeat, one big job change, one trip to California, and one week of G-Mommy and Munna visiting because Alex was in Zurich on business. Whew! We've neglected our cats, our home, our cars, our blogs, our friends, and our laundry trying to keep up with our schedule. But we survived and are looking forward to the next two weeks at home, to getting a little downtime to reconnect with our friends, catch up on our chores, assure our cats that we still love them, and maybe even have a little Halloween fun before the travel starts up again.

2. What? What's that? Oh, that little detail stuck in there about a positive home pregnancy test? You noticed that? Well, it's true! Ali is going to be a big sister!! We are thrilled to be expecting our second child in May of 2011. Life was getting just a little too calm. (No. I'm not saying that with a straight face. Don't worry.) Ali and "Dos" will be about 20 months apart, just like my brother and me. We are so excited for our kids to be able to grow up so close in age!! We had our first doctor's appointment a couple of weeks ago and saw a beautiful little heartbeat. And even though we've been through all this once before, it is just as amazing the second time around.

3. On pregnancy #2: going through the first trimester exhaustion is soooooooooooo different (should I add a few more "oooo's"? when chasing around a toddler than it was when we had nothing better to do with our time in the evenings than read for pleasure and maintain hobbies. Oh, and that "busy six weeks" we've had? Yeah . . . that struck right about the time when all I wanted to do was sleep and eat Pringles all day. Alex has really stepped up in the last two months, making sure that I have every opportunity possible to relax and sleep. I am such a lucky girl!

4. Toddling. Yes, I said "chasing around a toddler." Ali is officially a toddler! She has been taking 2-3 falling steps between Alex and me for about a month now, but seemed to have kind of plateau out there (apparently she was focusing on other skills this month . . . like language. More on that to come!). But over this last weekend, she decided she wanted to stretch those 2-3 steps into more like 6-7! Check her out:

5. Language. This is what she's been really focusing on this month and it is a-MAZ-ing! She went from speaking about 5 words on her first birthday to nearly 40 words now. FORTY! It seems like every day she picks up one or two new words. She now says book, ball, more, duck, go, out, no, blue, green, dada, mama, baby, kitty, dog, bus, please, boo, bye-bye, night-night, boat, hi, cracker, there, bottle, hot (she says hot and then blows and shakes her hand for this one . . . SO cute!), eye, mouth, car, socks, Munna, and bubble, and can make the animal noises (we're counting these as "words") for a dog, cat, snake, lion, monkey, elephant, cow, bird, and rooster. She also picked up several new signs this month, and is now signing more, all done, please, milk, hat, diaper, thank you, and book. She can also point to and identify her feet, belly/belly button, chin, teeth, mouth, nose, eyes, ears, hair, and head. I told you. AMAZING! What an incredible age, and how freaking awesome to watch her learning things at lightening speed.

6. Here's Ali saying "hot" and blowing on her food to cool it down. You're welcome, Aunt Katie.

7. I know I've been awful about keeping you all updated with pictures. Here are a few from our recent family trip to Florida. Ali did GREAT on 7 out of 8 flights we had in a three-week time frame. The 8th flight was not as great. Note: don't schedule the last flight of the day and assume she'll just fall asleep. Anyway, back to Florida pics. Enjoy!

Checking out the planes at the Houston airport.

 Enjoying the sea breeze.
Feeling safe and secure in Daddy's arms.
Smooches for Mom!
Too cool for school.
Checking out the dolphin show at the aquarium.
Hey Ali, what does a monkey say?
Happy family!

8. Halloween. Our original plan was for Ali to be an "Ali-gator." Unfortunately, our sweet pumpkin is going through a stage where she HATES for anything to be on her head. No hats. No bows. Nada. And the only alligator costume I could find had a giant hood with a big ol' alligator snout on it. Yeah . . . not gonna work. So we brainstormed other Ali-___ ideas, and here's what we settled on: basketball shorts, a tank top, sneakers, and a tiny basketball to carry around. Anyone? Anyone? She's going as . . . Ali-Oop! (ba-dum-bum-CH!) Alex is going to be a coach, and I'm going as a referee. Pictures forthcoming (I promise).

9. We spent a lovely afternoon with G-Mommy and Munna at the pumpkin patch last weekend. Ali was a little too distracted by all the people, babies, and bright orange pumpkins to give us many of her signature grins, but we got some cute pictures nonetheless!

Catching a ride in.
Ali and G-Mommy
Ali with her G-Mommy and Munna!
What am I supposed to do with this thing?

10. I can't believe with all we've had going on, I'm having a hard time coming up with ten things. I blame the baby. (Baby brain is a real and terribly challenging thing.) So I'll end with some shout-outs: Congrats to Dmitry and Angela, who just got married! Your wedding was beautiful, and you make a gorgeous family. Congrats to Camy and Chad, who just moved to their new home in Brooklyn! Sorry moving sucks. Yay Brian and Ragan, whose baby girl should be here in a few short weeks! I can't wait to come and visit! And congrats to my Horns, who pulled off a big win against Nebraska and looked relatively decent while doing it. Hook 'em!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Birthday Girl

Well, it happened. My baby girl turned one. ONE. As in one whole year old. As in 12 whole months since she came into this world. 52 weeks. 365 days. You get the idea. ONE!

To celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime milestone (I guess that could be said of all birthdays, no?), we had not one, but TWO parties. Maybe it was because our house isn't big enough to fit everyone at once. Maybe it was because we just wanted to spread the celebration out. I'll never tell.

Since her actual birthday fell on a Wednesday, the two weekends before and after made perfect celebratory bookends. The first weekend went to friends, and let me tell you, I have a lot of friends who have little kiddos. A lot. There were 14 children in our house at once, 11 of whom were under the age of 2. Add to that a playhouse, a castle with a crawl tunnel, a dozen balloons, and 52 polka-dot cupcakes (don't ask me how we arrived at 52), and you have one heckuva party!

Unfortunately I did not have the presence of mind to take any pictures of all the decor and deliciousness before the crowd descended upon us. Something about a first time mom running around frantically trying to get her daughter's first birthday perfect before guests arrived. Or something. I did manage to snap a few shots during the party, however.

And of course, I got some of the infamous cake smash (that in Ali's case turned out to be more of a cake pinch).

And here we are, the happy (if somewhat shell-shocked) family!

The next weekend was the family party. It was so wonderful having all of Ali's grandparents and many of Ali's great-grandparents, not to mention a few aunts, uncles, and cousins, present.

 This time I remembered to get some decor shots.
 My aunt came armed with balloon-animal paraphernalia--what a hit!
Ali got a ton of cool presents, but I think one of her favorites is her new baby doll, whom she feeds with a bottle. It was incredible to watch her learn how to do this so quickly!

It was a wonderful week, from party to birthday to party, getting a chance to celebrate our sweet girl's first year with all those who love her.