Monday, December 31, 2007

Last post 'til the New Year.

And it's a good one.

Because I'm going to share some fun memories with you.

From our date night!
Our overnight date night.

That's right. She who has never not been there when the little girl wakes up, that's me, decided to go with her handsome husband for a night away. I even left the giant purse with room for changes of clothes and wipes and crayons and snacks at home and took the swanky new itty bitty red number that Mom and Bob brought me from Florence. Stunning. Couldn't even fit my wallet, that's how dedicated I was to this date thing.
And we went far. All the way to Minneapolis.

But do you know what they have there?

The Melting Pot. 'Nuff said. Don't even need to link it.

Be'wiched, home of the best pastrami and coleslaw in the world.
And Nick and Eddie. Anyone who comes to visit us, ok, anyone who comes to visit us once this baby is no longer a baby and we are no longer getting the hang of it, is getting a trip to Nick and Eddie for the most amazing butterscotch pudding ever.
We literally finished up the sandwich at Be'wiched, then decided spur of the moment (thanks to my memorizing an article in the Star Tribune about the best local restaurants of 2007, which I thought it would take aeons to try out) to head over to Nick and Eddie. See how very saucy we are.
Best of all, we just hung out, the two of us. The old Ron and J.J., not worrying about naps or what to have for breakfast or how many stories to read or if we'll get home before a meltdown. Just hangin. Reading books, staying up, sleeping in. Well, ok, pregnant women don't really sleep in all that well, but I promise I at least did not get out of bed.
Thanks, Nana and Pappi, for those 24 hours of just the two of us.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Round one.

Surprisingly, I took few photos on Christmas Day. I don't think I was prepared for the frenzy. Last year, Alla wanted to open, then play, open, then play. I thought there were too many gifts to open in one setting. But Mama was wrong. She got through them in record time, asking for another and another. Unbelievable.
Santa was good to this little girl. Left her a note and everything, explaining that Rudolph had made a big mess of his carrots, which then caused Alla to immediately stop reading, go get the mini-sweeper, and start cleaning up. A girl after my own heart. Soon after, she spied the gifts downstairs and wanted to go see. Minutes later, she had gotten everyone awake and we were all opening gifts!
Like I said, the opening went by so quickly with paper and itty bitty pieces of kitchen food everywhere, that I spent more time trying to make sure that no gem was mixed up in the garbage than I did snapping away. But what I looked forward to most of all were her Santa gifts, and so there's that. A big girl bed.
And, hidden underneath her new big girl quilt, a blue camera all her own. Ah, the magic.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Christmas week.

Two more days until the Big Guy [hopefully] arrives. I think I've been a good girl. I know Ron has been amazing. And my dear little Alla has been her sweet self all year long.

We're busy here. The family's all in town for the holidays.

The little one made bookmarks for her teachers. She starts her one day of preschool on January 10th. Whoa.
She made cookies this morning. Let's see...we've got Chocolate Crackle a la Martha Stewart, Spellbinders, Potato Chip cookies, Candy Cane cookies, and, best of all, Alla's sugar cookies. All yum. I don't usually bake. I really really don't need the cookies sitting around tempting me. But there's lots of us here to enjoy all the yumminess.
I'll be 29 weeks tomorrow but here's my official 28 week shot via Ron Killins Photography. 11 more weeks??
And, lastly, I am a true California girl at heart, but here's why I love living in Minnesota. You're almost guaranteed a White Christmas, and sometimes you even get these truly lovely serene scenes that some people only dream of.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Better get used to blurry photos.

Because my direct line to Santa leads me to believe he may be fulfilling Alla's one desire in this world, which is to have her very own blue camera.

And if this is the best she can do with Ron's high tech Sony then I'm just warning that what's to come might be slightly worse.
But to view her world through her eyes is a hoot.

Some samples for your viewing pleasure.
I'll spare you the series she took of my still-half-painted-from-the-wedding-six-weeks-ago toes. She actually instructed me to take off my socks.

And I'll leave you with this gem Ron snapped of the three of us from arm's length. Well, Pondegore's trying to sneak in there, too.

And let's be honest, I'll be using loads of her images when I can't seem to get my own out of the camera and onto the screen.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

What do you do on your day off?

Well certainly mamas don't actually get 'days off,' per se, but any day we stay at home and do next to nothing feels as close to it as you can get. No running to school or the library or Target or Christmas shopping. Just hanging out. These are the days Alla is happiest. She love love loves to be at home. Good thing, too, cause we'll be doing a lot of it when Pondegore arrives in March.

Yesterday we considered playing in the snow. But seeing as how the temperature hovered around ten, even Alla decided it was too cold. So I brought the snow to her and she played with it in the sink.
Until she had to give her whales and sharks a bath.

And while drying off said whales and sharks, the little one discovered her ballet shoes (which she calls 'bullay shoes'), which she then tried to fit over her footie pajamas. We decided it might work better with a different outfit.

Which led to the tutu. And of course I, knowing these things, told her that ballet dancers always wear tights with their tutus. Well, they do. And buns. What'd you say, Mama? Buns, dear. So she got a little modified bun complete with a big satiny bow and I made my amends with pink for those ten minutes because she turned on the Christmas tunes and danced around on my bed for awhile. Started with plies (her words not mine) and then did her kicks just like the big dancers (The Rockettes, of course), and that was that. The tights stayed on through nap and all the way til bath, when they were tossed due to the giant hole that had formed in the right foot. Which only made her look more like a real ballet dancer.

I told her when she's three she can take ballet. I can totally deal with pink in ballet form.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Welcome to the third trimester.

Well here we are.
The time when you just get bigger and most things get harder.
And then there's that line on my belly all the time from most everything being too tight.
Only 13 weeks to go.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

It's a stay at home day.

Like I've said before, these kinds of days are the BEST. Especially today when it's snowing. When we had hot chocolate after lunch. Note to self: get to the store for more marshmallows. Actually, just get to the store - period. We have no bread, no milk, and no options for dinner besides fish sticks. Pizza Thursday? NOOOOOOOO! What are you thinking??

We are trying to perfect a fine balance of doing nothing (it's almost three and we're still in pajamas, and if we do get to the store, I for one will be wearing some variation of these pajamas), Mama cleaning the house, and both of us playing together. My thought for today is, how on earth does the house get cleaned when it's not just her and I but her and I and a new one?

Well plenty of time to worry about that later.

My other wonder for today is what you all eat for lunch. Alla has either a peanut butter sandwich or Annie's mac n cheese. I'm not concerned about her. I'm getting bored, so if you have a super lunch, share share share! I love sandwiches, but turkey, cheese, mayo, lettuce and tomato gets boring. As does grilled cheese, and tuna, and peanut butter. And even soup. So any new ideas?

Lastly, the virtual baby shower gifts have been arriving daily, and I've got a huge drawer full of great baby gifts. And they arrive gift-wrapped, in the cutest containers, with ribbons, and personally written notes from the owners of these companies. LOVE IT! Think we might need to re-do Alla's closet soon, though, just to make room for all that stuff a baby needs. How does one little unborn person have so much?
OK, I'm off to watch last night's Private Practice. Love that show.

And...happy BIG 3-0 AMY!

You know you want to see.

We've been elfed.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Adding two more.

Two new blogs to note:

The Laughrey's (well I'm pretty sure that's Katie, not Wally, blogging there)


my own sister, Jenny, blogging about my little niece Emily and their upcoming bundle of joy!


Twenty on Tuesday: Let's just see the rest already.

1. Well since it's been three weeks now that we've been back from California, we just need to finish up that little segment and move on with life. So, without further ado, the rest...starting with our trip to Disneyland in which Alla love love loved Eeyore. A friend asked us when we got back if we did the whole princess thing, and I have to say, Alla's not so much into the princess concept. A much bigger fan of Eeyore. Nana did, however, teach her the princess wave, which she requests that we do at random times.
2. She also loved this piano in Goofy's house where you play a key and it makes a silly noise, to which she would respond every single time, oh my! That's the oh my face you're seeing.
3. Best loved song at Disneyland: Yo Ho, hands down. Though Alla did not like the going down part of the ride.
4. Katie and Kelsea on the merry-go-round. Another big thrill for Alla, but if you know anything at all about Alla, it's that she completely adores merry-go-rounds.
5. After a long day with no naps, I think they hardly made it onto the freeway before passing out.
7. The next day, Alla and I headed up to Gramma and Grampa's house in the chilly mountains, where Alla was treated to tea (oh this was a JOY!) which she basically poured all over, but had great great fun with, and Ratatouille, which in case you didn't know, is pronounced "ratty-too-ee."
8. Special chair for big girls.
9. Special time with Gramma and Grampa, who we don't get to see enough.
10. Have to say to my wonderful hosts again, thank you for sharing your beautiful home with us for a week!
11. And thank you for snapping a few of us. I love this pic because you can see Redondo in the background, because we got to eat at Polly's on the Pier which we hadn't gotten around to in four years of living there, and because of those curls that just popped out in the humidity. If someone could bottle that, I would be eternally grateful.
12. Lest you think that I only have photos from a month ago, I will share one from our big snow on Saturday. I think we might have gotten 6ish inches. Ron and Alla made a trip outside midday to make sure the Netflix went out. Priorities.
13. Today she woke up with a head full of bouncy curls that were hardly tangly at all. Daddy takes amazing care to condition her hair every night. So thank you, Daddy, for making my job easier this morning.
14. We have started the 24 days of Christmas countdown for Alla. I would love to tell you that this is some original idea I dreamed up in one of my many sleepless nights, but it's straight out of Martha Stewart. But instead of putting it up on a wall, I'm killing two birds with one stone and decorating the mantel for the holidays.
15. Inside those little boxes are either tiny surprises like a wind-up bath penguin, a piece of paper with an activity on it (tonight we are watching Shrek the Halls - have I mentioned her Shrek obsession?), or a note telling her to look in her kitchen or on her train table, for example, for a bigger prize, like tomorrow's coloring book, or Sunday's Shrek baby. Oh. My. God. When she gets that Shrek baby, I think you might actually be able to hear the shrieks and squeals wherever you are in blogland.

16. Have you gotten your tree yet? Saturday is the big day for us.

17. Are you eating your fill of pomegranates? You've maybe got two months left, so eat up. Sunday's coupons had one for $1 off a pomegranate. And we got three inserts that day. Do they know who they are dealing with? Major loss for them. Whoever them is.

18. What's on your Christmas list? I have an official list, distributed to those who ask. But I'm also harboring a secret desire for both a sewing machine and a typewriter. Don't ask why cause I couldn't tell you. No specific plans for either. No curtains to be made, no books to write. No place to store them either. But I just like the idea of them for creative purposes. Like sewing a bunch on layouts or cards or announcements and typing a bunch on layouts and things to hang on the wall and photographs or announcements. It's just a wild thought, but those are the thoughts you have this dreamy time of year. Maybe I should hit up our local Goodwill.

19. I'm officially 26 weeks and 2 days pregnant. This is the final week of the second trimester.

20. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MEGAN! Go wish Megan a happy 3-1 and see what amazing things her husband wrote for her!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

California recap: mommy friends.

I swear, once I've posted all these great vacation pictures, there won't be anything exciting to post. Except we might get some snow this weekend. And it is the magical Christmas season, so maybe there's some inspiration there.

Alla joined in on Wyatt and Jack's soccer class before our visiting commenced, and let me tell you how much I loved watching her do this. Wow. She was a bit tired by the end of it, since the kid woke up so dang early everyday in California, but she had a great time kicking the ball around and off the 'volcano' and shouting 'oh yeah!' with Coach. I'm thinking soccer next summer.
Now this little cutie is Lacey's new little love, Miss Reese Victoria. A spitting image of her older brother, Jack.
All the little ones we tried to line up in a row. Why do we save this for the end of the day? They really did have fun.
And last but not least, me and Kel (thanks for this Paula!). I would leave you to guess who is more pregnant, but I can already guess who you'd pick, so I'll just tell you. In this picture I'm 22 weeks and Kel is 31 weeks. Yep she's due two months before me, to the day, but for some reason that little girl inside her is keeping Kel nice and little and whoever is inside of me (dinosaur? big foot?) is making me a giant.
Can't wait til the next time we catch up, girls...with a few more little ones under foot.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Ten on Tuesday.

1. First off, Thanksgiving re-cap. We had the honor of spending it with Susan and Eric and Evan, who shared the cooking with us! This is the absolute way to go, let me tell you.
2. For some reason we cooked a 21 pound turkey. And it was goooooooood.
3. For yet another year in a row, Alla did not like the Thanksgiving feast. Oh, except Ron's rolls, but, come on, bread? What's not to like? She even went so far as to gag on one measely little cranberry.
4. And how does any American family start off Thanksgiving morning?
5. By going out to get the HUGE Thanksgiving ad-filled paper, of course!
Ok, now back to regularly scheduled programming, namely, those California pictures that I want to share!

6. Beautiful hostess Katie told me that we were having a shower for Cathy, who is having baby no.2 in December. After all was said and done, however, I learned it was a joint shower for the two of us! And with the yummiest Chinese Chicken Salad EVER.
7. For her Baby Joey and our Baby Pondegore:) That cake was divine. Thank you, Sara.

8. Sara and Adam (one of her two lovelies) catching a breath. Having four moms and five kids over for a simple brunch playdate - not as easy as you'd think. Again, thanks girls.

9. The mommies: Sara, Katie, Cathy, me.

10. And all the kids! Alla, Jake, Adam, Johnnie, and Kelsea.