Tuesday, September 16, 2014

33/52 - 36/52

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*Stray Cat searching.

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*The Seven Dwarves Part II.

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*Anticipating Mickey Pancakes.

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*Painting for the first time.

Vacation 2014, Part II

The contents of our week at home on vacation were quite different than a normal week here. Our fancy shmancy hotel vacation and our trip to Orlando transformed into a "STAYcation," over night. So not only was it a vacation for Ryan away from work it was absolutely grand having Ryan home all week helping me with the stay at home mom stuff (this also means sleeping in advantages).
We switched off mornings being able to stay snug in bed while the other did all the morning stuff with Lola. 
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^ A perfect example of our Staycation. Sleep, Sleep, and lots of sleep!

This also worked wonders because Sims 4 just released the Tuesday of our vacation and I was getting antsy about staying up late some nights building mansions and becoming a master chef via Sim world. So it totally worked out and we got to pretend we were kids again, feeling like rebels staying up as late as possible AND sleeping in till' noon.

We also took a trip to SAM's to get some bulk shopping done. We went a little crazy, but our house needed re-stocking in stuff we use daily, so it was nice to get it all done in one shot and (bonus) it will last us for quite a while (green tea and cereal heaven). 

So the rest of the week we vegged and vegged some more, and prepared ourselves for the weekend ahead. We were taking our first overnight trip as a family! A while back we scooped up Frozen on Ice tickets because even at a very young age Lola adored the movie and Ryan and I had just visited our first Disney on ice event and loved it. So bringing Lola was a nessecity. We incorporated our vacation around that time and decided that getting a hotel the night before would be the best option for our busy baby schedule (and because we still think it's super cool to stay in a hotel, it also gave us an excuse to spend all of Saturday roaming Orlando.)
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Which we did. We explored Seuss landing and went on the few measly rides that were 1 year old accessible, it was still a blast. We took Lola on the Hogwarts express and brought her to Diagon Alley because we just couldn't get enough, but Lola had enough. And after like 3 hours she was pooped, starving and ready to crash. Too be expected bring a 1 year old to an amusement park, how do you pro parents do it?!

Our hotel was smack dab in downtown Orlando which was pretty nifty since the Amway center was right down the street. Our hotel was super nice, and Lola had a blast (minus Ryan dropping us off to get dinner and Lola and I being hotel-less because I forgot the hotel number). Oh boy...that was a story and don't get me started on burger 21 burgers with a hefty scoop of guacamole....ew and our exhausted attempts of pulling out the futon from the couch... AND forgetting our frozen tickets all the way back at home and not realizing it till the night before....our evening wasn't the best, but it's pretty hilarious to think about now. 
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The next morning we found a small place for breakfast, ate our bellies full, and arrived in the parking lot really early to let Lola nap before the show. I was so nervous that she was going to be a typical one year old...and she was. But luckily we purchased club seating which meant we had our own little zone and swivel comfy chairs. It made the whole process a gazillion times easier. We were able to stand up and bounce Lola when she got antsy and fussy, and the chairs kind of enclosed her in when she was actively watching the performance and enjoying it. So worth it, and she adored watching her favorite movie unfold with real life characters and real ice! (Well sort of real...). 
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Monday, September 15, 2014

Lola, 1 year, 2 months

 photo imagejpg4_zpsf792bc40.jpg Dear Lola,

You decided to start walking about a week ish ago which was around our vacation week. I suppose you thought that you didn't want to see us resting TOO much since you are now exploring all the places our apartment. Seeing you walking is super surreal, you're starting to hold the features of a toddler and it's adorable but freaky that you used to fit snug on one of my arms. You're starting to become familiar with using a fork at meal times, you can feed yourself but still haven't mastered the art of poking food, soon enough. You still eat just about everything and with our vacation week, we ate pretty terrible and you did NOT like that one bit. Apparently eating healthy is number one on your  priority list and that's fine by me.
Your constant jibber jabber is starting to sound like real words, or maybe mommy's just crazy and thinks so. We usually will count things together and you pretend like you are counting, but really it's just some monster jabber, either way I love it. You got to see Frozen on Ice and olaf on ice skates made you over the moon. You also got to explore universal and islands of adventure and stay in a hotel for the first time with mommy and daddy. It was a total blast and we are looking forward to more family vacations when you're older.
You throw quite a few tantrums throughout the day now. We are working on those slowly. It's a bit difficult for you to express yourself and we understand that. We are in the process of trying to form an understanding bond with you, especially when you are upset and frustrated. I think it's working and you're starting to cope with the tantrums and get over them quickly. Needless to say, I can't wait until you can talk it out with us because these mood swings of yours have been a doozy.
You still are taking your morning nap all the way through and same with your bedtime. Not much has changed there, you love to sleep (thank goodness).

I can't believe in one month how much has changed, I know I frequently say that, but it's always mind blowing to me. Our lives are going through another motion and it's so much fun being your parent and living in the world you are creating for yourself.

Mommy and Daddy love you so much.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Vacation 2014 Part I

Our 8 day vacation came to an end last night and I'm a mixture of feelings about it. I was begging the time to stand still in the middle of last week, but I was also longing for our lives to get back on track again, but mostly begging the clock.

It's been about 2 years since we had a "real" vacation. I'm not counting last years vacation because Ryan and I were sleep deprived zombies and learning how to be parents. I barely recall anything from that week and relaxation was the last thing on our minds.

So that is why we made sure to fill this week with everything a vacation recipe calls for. 
Our week started last Sunday, after dropping little hunny off at my parents house. We have been anticipating the new expansion to Harry Potter World since the commericials started airing on TV. The last time we explored Universal Studios, Harry Potter World was in an itty bitty corner of the park, but it was still just like walking into pages themselves, so we started planning immediately and next thing you know we became annual pass holders to both parks. Now we can jump into the book whenever we feel like it. 
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So we made the short 2ish hour drive and spent the whole day, just the two of us forgetting about all the responsibilities of our lives, sipping on butter beer, and exploring Diagon alley and the rest of the worlds in both parks. Since we wanted to go a little crazy since we were on vacation, we got a super fancy shmancy hotel (I hardly knew the real name of it so fancy shmancy hotel was a great substitute). This hotel put any hotel I've ever stayed into shame, it had a gigantic kitchen, the nicest balcony and view, a bed that slept probably the seven dwarves and a jacuzzi tub.....WITH JETS. 
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Home was a distant memory at this point. Park Place who? what? where?
And then we quite literally sunk our heads into pillow heaven and slept like champions. In the morning we made our way to the cafe connected to our hotel, got Starbucks, and tip toed back to our room and enjoyed the sunrise and breakfast on our balcony.

It was the life.
We spent the next few hours back at the 2 parks until our feet were bubbling with blisters and we couldn't take the heat anymore.
We arrived home probably limping toward the door, but it was all totally worth it, if only we could bring home our own personal butter beer keg, I think our lives would have been completely complete.

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Monday, September 8, 2014

A Pocket of Parts + A See You Later

It's been exactly 2 weeks since my brother left our steamy swamp to go live with his friends in a place where the air is cooler and mountains exist. A place that is acquires a different time zone than the one we are in. A place that is the total opposite of old people seeking a place to retire.


Yep, that place in Washington. You know the state that is on the polar opposite corner of the United States. 
I suppose he really did hate it here. I don't blame him though, he needed this more than anyone I know and I am so overly proud of the courage he mustered up to hop a plane and leave. It was time.
I've known for about a year now that he was leaving. I never really came to terms with it, I just kind of laughed it off and thought it would never happen. Until the drive home from the airport last Saturday. 
The bridge home is 10 miles, and I cried every mile of it. Silent tears, ones that don't make noise...ones that trickle down and cling to your cheek before they drip into nothingness.

The tears dried the second we reached the end of the bridge and I gathered myself. It symbolic in a way, he was always the bridge that got me to where I was going. I didn't expect to take this as hard as I did, but I think when a sibling parts ways with you, a part of you goes with them. 
I hope that he carries parts of me with him in his heart's pocket every day. 

The part where I used to sneak into his room on Saturday mornings as a kid (with psychedelic bean bag in hand) and watch cartoons. The part where we would have marble races on the floor and I always named mine. The part where I would watch intently while he played video games, and make the audio for the characters which usually annoyed the crap out of him. The part where he would mediate the pointless teenage angst between my mom and I. The parts when he would straighten me up, when things were a bit crooked and I lost my way. The part when he held his niece for the first time and bonded with her and ended up being the best of buddies. 

The part where we hugged in the airport and he approached his new life, the one where he can be happy and do what he was made to do. 
And he better do just that, so I can add one more thing to my list of reasons why I have always looked up to him, and not because he is significantly taller than I am.