Dec 21, 2010

A Visit With Santa

Today we took London to see Santa for the first time. We'd been advised by a friend to find a Santa with a real beard. I assumed the one at the Westfield Galleria in Roseville would have one so Cameron, London, my parents and I headed out there this afternoon.

Thankfully, last night's the flash mob of carolers didn't do any real damage to the food court balcony and the mall was open again this morning. Our poor Galleria mall -first a fire two months ago and then getting evacuated again last night because the food court couldn't support 5000 people!

Of course my favorite place to park is near Macy's which is currently secluded from the rest of the mall due to all the fire damage, so we had a challenge navigating from Macy's to Santa. And, I forgot the stroller at home so we had to stop in across the street at Babies R Us first to pick up an umbrella stroller! London was ready for one any way as she doesn't want to miss a thing and the new stroller allows her to watch everything. Plus, its light and small so we could navigate through stores easily too.

When we found Santa, there was a long line, but we waited. We waited an hour and a half, which included one mother who just had to get the perfect shot, taking her son's sweater on and off deciding what looked better and then having the photographer take several shots until her son would smile. Did I mention she did this, then came back after about 3 other people had gone through to take more! They should have made her stand in the long line again to appreciate what she was putting us through. London was definitely getting tired when we made it up there to see Santa, having had a bottle and a diaper change during the wait. But she pulled through and made every one smile and gave a big smile for the photographer. And Santa had a real beard. Cameron talked with him and found out that he'd been playing Santa for 8 years there, and that there were four guys who shared the job as Santa at the Galleria. All were required to have a real beard.

Until next time, with love,

Dec 14, 2010

London's Stats

London's 6 months old which means she recently had a check up and some more immunizations. Here's the latest:

Height: 27 3/4" (100th percentile)
Head Circumference: 16 1/4" (15-20th percentile)
Weight: 15 lbs (30th percentile)

Basically, this kid needs to eat more! She stayed in the same percentile ranges for height and head circumference, but dropped 20 percent in the weight department. The doctor wasn't too concerned as he is aware of what a finicky eater London is, and of her hunger strikes. Now that she's 6 months old, she can start eating solid foods, so maybe her appetite will increase a little. The doctor also said once London starts eating good amounts of solid foods, she should sleep better at night. Here's hoping. Of course the shots part of the check up is never good. London doesn't like needles just like me. She got upset as soon as we started holding her down and screamed bloody murder during each shot. I can't blame her and I always want to cry right along with her. Cameron handles this part of the check ups much better, but he wasn't able to be at this one.

We started London off on rice cereal that very night. She didn't take well to it, and who can blame her, as it looks and smells tasteless. After the required 4-5 days to confirm she's not allergic, we tried her out on sweet potatoes. She's taken to this much better, but she is still more interested in her bottle. Tonight, we'll start her on another new food and keep going. Eventually, London should catch on and begin to eat more solids than the bottle.

Right now London is better at getting food all over her face, head, hands and arms, than in her mouth!

Dec 13, 2010

A Trip to the Christmas Tree farm

On December 1st, Cameron, London and I piled into the car and drove 15 minutes up to Davis Ranch off HWY 16. Besides being a provider of fresh produce, the farm has Christmas trees. For $35 you can drive out, pick and cut any tree of your choice. After going to Lowe's last year and paying $30 for a tree under 5 feet tall, $35 for any size seems very reasonable. With our tall ceilings we can get a 7-8 footer if we like. Plus, fresh cut trees last longer. We found the tree just driving in the car, though we did walk around a little just to confirm it was the right tree for us. Cameron made quick work chopping the tree down, and after a stop at the bagging station we took our tree home. It took a few days to get it decorated, but it sure is a beauty and is still sucking up water like a champ. Here are some pictures of our adventures and the final product:

Looking for a good tree

This is the one

Cameron chopping our tree down

We had the tree wrapped before we put it on top of the car

Getting the tree strapped to the top of the car nice and tight

All dressed up

Dec 11, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

For the Thanksgiving holiday, London and I flew to Tucson to spend the week with my parents. Cameron would fly in Wednesday night. This was my first time flying with London that included a layover. The flight from Sac to Phoenix got in late so it was a mad dash to the next gate after we landed and finally got the car seat and stroller. Luckily, that flight was delayed too, so I had some time to relax once I got there. If you've ever been to the Phoenix airport for a layover, you may be familiar with how far you have to walk sometimes.

Mom and dad had a dinner party that night so Sunday we were all beat and vegged out. But Monday was girls day. The three of us went shopping. All that shopping made us hungry so we decided to try out a sushi restaurant. London doesn't like being in her car seat any more, so we decided to try her out in a high chair. She did fantastic and was dying to get her hands on the chopsticks and sushi!

Thanksgiving day was a busy one, like always. I got up early to make the pumpkin pies, which I love to do every year, getting them in the oven and cooked before the Turkey went in. While I baked, London and I also watched the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. Of course, when Cameron got up and football started, she watched the games with her dad and Grandpa.

We had a lovely dinner with the family, my parents' friends Jim and Kathy and my parents new friends and neighbors, Bud and Barb. London even sat at the table with us, in her new high chair. We couldn't resist giving her a sampling of mashed potatoes, so with Grandpa's blessing we gave her a quarter-sized amount to taste and play with. London wasn't too sure about it, though she did love mashing it up even more in her hands.

That night Cameron and I attempted to participate in the pre-Black Friday sales at Toys R Us and Walmart. When we got to Toys R Us the line was around the entire building and then some! We didn't even try getting in line. At Walmart, the crowds got the better of us and we left 10 minutes before the sales were unveiled. Guess we're not the Black Friday-type.

The flight home was pretty eventful, as we ended up arriving home four hours late and landed in Phoenix twice. It all happened when we were 12 minutes from starting our decent into Sacramento, so we were somewhere over Reno and 30 minutes from touching down. That's when engine one's thruster stopped working, or something to that extent. While this would not be an issue for landing, the fear of the pilots' was that the plane wouldn't be able to take off again. Since the airline didn't have maintenance and parts in Sacramento, they decided to turn the plane around and take us back to Phoenix where they did. They had a plane waiting for us to get us back to Sacramento, but we would be stuck on the ground for about an hour while they transferred luggage and re-issued tickets to some of us. We needed a new ticket for London as they took and kept the "infant in arms" ticket the first time we boarded. At least we got home safe and sound, though tired.

We'd planned on doing a little more shopping when we got home that day, mainly try and score a nice deal on a new refrigerator. See, our current one was having issues. Mainly the seals weren't working any more so every time we opened the freezer we'd find icicles and frost. And it liked to freeze my fresh produce, making it useless.

All we had time for was a stop by Sears and Lowe's. No one at Sears wanted to help us and we noticed that while the the refrigerators were on sale, they were about $300more than they had been a couple weeks before. At Lowe's all the heavily marked down refrigerators were sold out, but they'd give us 10 percent off any other. We were able to pick one within our price range with the five minutes we had before closing. A week later we finally got rid of the old refrigerator. We now have one that won't kill my produce and the doors seal shut! Plus, we finally have filtered water and ice in the freezer door - I can finally take the Britta filter off our counter.

Here are a few pictures from Thanksgiving:

Until next time, with love,

Dec 10, 2010

Another Trip to the Zoo

In November we took London to the zoo for a second time. Cameron hadn't been able to go with us last time, and London and I would soon be leaving for Tucson to spend Thanksgiving week with my parents. So instead of going hunting on Saturday, he took us to the Sacramento Zoo.

This time London likes the African Gray Parrot, the Koi fish and the chimpanzee. One chimpanzees liked London too. Cameron was holding her and the chimp started to move his head up and down. Cameron helped London copy and then the chimp would go side to side. Cameron, London and the chimp carried on this way for about 5 minutes. Every one around got a good laugh about it. Here are some pics from the day:

Until next time, with love,

Dec 9, 2010

Halloween 2010

Last year for Halloween, we threw a housewarming party to celebrate our new home and to announce that we were expecting. This year we decided we wanted to make our Halloween bash an annual event. Luckily, this year, I had much more energy, being that I wasn't pregnant and overcome with morning sickness, so the house actually decorated and I succeeded at my first attempt at following a pattern to make my own costume.

This year I was Strawberry Shortcake. Cameron would be Alan from The Hangover, and London would be Carlos/Tyler from the same movie. Our friends all got into the spirit as well and we partied into the night. This meant London, too. She went down at her normal time, but woke up an hour later ready for more fun. We gave in and she lasted another hour or so, before calling it a night. Here are some pics from that night:

Sorry for the delay in this update. I promise more updates this week and to be up to date by Christmas. Its been hard to update as London takes up much more of my time, and now with her crawling I really can't leave her unattended for any extended length of time. To solve this, I've moved the computer into the family room where we keep London corraled during her waking hours. Today's been the first day with this set up and I've already accomplished so much more. Check out London's album to the right to see all the latest pictures.

Until next time,

Oct 16, 2010

Pumpkin Patch

On Sunday, October 10th, we headed to Bishop's Pumpkin Patch. It was fun to go with London this year since Cameron and I went last year, right after we found out I was pregnant. Alyssa Tarr went with us and we met up with Vicki, Joe and our friends the McGraths.

We arrived just after 10 AM. This was perfect timing as the patch opens at 9 and there was little traffic still. The McGraths would get stuck in the long line of cars that quickly formed after 10. While we waited for them, we took in the pig races, which we'd missed the year before. Our section's pig won the race in the first pig race. Not sure how our goat fared.

From there we met up with the McGraths and headed for the area where the giant pumpkins grow. After taking some family photos we took in the little shops, tasting everything in the Cider shop and purchasing some yummy Sunrise Jalepeno jam. It's great on cream cheese with crackers.

After walking around the farm zoo, we headed out to the patch to grab a pumpkin with Alyssa. We found a nice large one and grabbed another medium sized pumpkin before checking out. I have to say most of the pumpkins we looked at were huge and gorgeous.

This year we didn't have to buy me a white pumpkin as our vines produced 3 big, white pumpkins at home, with more to come. We only got one decent-sized traditional pumpkin from the other vines - stupid voles. We did get another small, oblong one that is turning orange - the voles ate the vine it was on before it was ready.

All in all, we had fun,although it wore London out.


Developmental Milestones

London is growing like a weed these days and it seems like every day she is learning something new.

Right before we went to Minnesota, London started rolling over from her back to her tummy on her left side. Days later was barrel rolling down the family room, as she learned to roll back to her back! Just the other day she learned to roll over to the right, but still prefers the left.

She is now grabbing at things and tasting them, when I let her. Of course, Tulley is always near and one day London grabbed her dog tags. That took Tulley by surprise, and rewarded London with some big kisses.

London has also grown out of her infant bathtub. We had to invest in a kneeling stool for me and a turtle-shaped foam pad for her. She loves splashing away in the big tub now. We'll need to invest in some bath toys soon, I'm sure.

She has also learned some new octaves with her voice. Some days I swear we have a pterodactyl in the house, as her screeches sound like something from another time.


Minnesota - again

Out on the patio in Stillwater, MN.

Sadly, my grandma Ruth passed away the evening of September 27. It was a blessing that London and I had been able to visit her at the beginning of August to say our I love yous and goodbyes. She was even able to cross off all the items on her bucket list, from having an ice cream social to say goodbye to friends to getting a private tour of the Twins' new stadium, Target field. During that tour she got to go down on the field and take some pictures.

My grandma was a great lady. While I didn't get to see her often, she always made the most of the time when we did. One winter she and my grandpa rented an apartment in Chico for 3 months or so. They helped my mom out by shuttling me to karate lessons and my grandma volunteered in my classroom. The best was when we'd go to see them for dinner and she's sneak me candies from the candy dish on their coffee table.

My grandma was also the one who helped me ring in 1990. My parents were out celebrating with friends and my grandpa went to bed early - he said he'd seen enough decades pass. But I was intent on staying up until the stroke of midnight to say goodbye to the 80's. Grandma let me stay up with her. At midnight we said goodbye to 1989 and hello to 1990 together.

I'm so glad she made the long plane rides to come for my high school graduation and wedding, and that she got to hold London in her arms before passing.

London, Cameron and I flew to Minnesota to be with my family and attend the graveside service and party that Sunday. No funeral for my grandma - she wanted us to celebrate her life, not mourn her passing. She'd lived a long, happy life. At the end of the graveside service we sang "Take me out to the ballgame" in her honor.

Leave it to my grandma to pass during the most beautiful time of the year versus the cold winter when the ground is frozen. I'd never been to Minnesota in the fall. The leaves were changing, with bright yellows, oranges and reds all over and the air was cool and crisp.

While there, we spent some time at the Mall of America to see my aunt's new store, Get Social. Someone was handing out coupons to the aquarium, so we decided to see what it was all about and take London. While we have yet to visit an aquarium that tops Monterrey's, I was impressed. The first part was dedicated to Minnesota's aquatic landscape and included a Giant Alligator Turtle. London loves the Koi fish at the beginning and even followed the sharks as the swam over us in the tunnel. The aquarium also had a great exhibit on Sea Horses, my favorite. Too bad I forgot the camera!

We were the last to leave on Monday and had a whole day to kill before our flight home. We ended up driving to Stillwater, MN to see more of the colors. It's a cute little town along the Mississippi, which at the time was very high, flooding along the banks. We wandered in and out of the shops and had a lovely lunch at the local malt shop, enjoying ourselves on the back patio.


London's 4 mos Stats

At the end of September, with her 4-month check up coming up in a couple of weeks, I started to track how many ounces London was eating each day in case Dr. Grant asked. Good thing I did, as London decided this was the time to go on a hunger strike. After 5 days of progressively less and less to eat each day, I called Dr. Grant with my concern. He had us come in that day. London got a clean bill of health and started eating like normal that very day. Since it was a week before her well visit, the nurse went ahead and measured her then.

London weighed in at 13 lbs even, keeping her in the 50th percentile.
Her head circumferenc was at 15.5 inches, placing her down into the 15th percentile.
And she was 26 inches long, moving her up into the 100th percentile.

She's going to be tall like her dad.

We went back in the next week for the well visit and London got two more shots. She definitley got my tolerance for pain, or lack there of, and does not like shots!


Fort Bragg/Mendocino & Emily's Wedding

On September 1st, we piled all of ourselves and our luggage into the Yukon and headed to Fort Bragg and Mendocino for a few days before heading to Windsor, CA for Emily Moffett's wedding. We barely fit everything in the car. Amazing how much more stuff you must bring for the smallest member of the family. Cameron had to work the day we left so he followed later that night.

London stretching out after the long car ride

This was what we had for dinner most nights there

So happy to have her dad with her

We spent the first day wandering around Mendocino after visiting the beach that morning. It was a gorgeous day and found that many flowers were in bloom.

The next day the fog was packed in, but that didn't stop us from visiting the botanical garden. Great sights plus the Dahlia garden was in bloom. There were so many beautiful examples of these flowers and some blooms were huge!

My dad looking out over the ocean at the gardens

My mom enjoying the view as well

From there we headed to glass beach where we took a picture in the same spot Cameron and I took a picture the year before for our Anniversary. The next month I'd become pregnant with London so we thought it only right to show the evolution of our family from the year before.

Saturday we headed to Windsor, for the wedding festivities. I was a bridesmaid so I spent most of the time with Emily and the rest of the girls, getting manicures and pedicures, being waited on by Bonnie and her fun friends for lunch and then going through the rehearsal - all fun. Dan and Emily had a fantastic group of friends for their wedding party so it made the time fly. They had a welcome dinner in place of a rehearsal dinner for all the wedding guests that came in that day. It was a great setting in the courtyard of a brewery.

The next day was the wedding. Dan and Emily picked these beautiful, private estate for the location. Out under an old oak tree they said their vows in a beautiful Jewish ceremony. My dad got to act as an official witness for the Jewish marriage license, called a Katubba, which was special to both my dad and Emily, as few of wedding guests qualified for the pleasure. Dinner was served under a small grove of lighted trees and was delicious. The party went well into the early ours of the next day, and mom and dad were kind enough to take London for the night so we could partake. The was London's first sleepover and somehow weaseled herself into sleeping on the bed with my parents versus sleeping in her play yard. What a silly girl.

Room service please!

We're so happy for Emily and Dan.

A pic of us at the wedding. Too much partying for London


Sep 29, 2010

Sacramento Zoo

At the end of August, we had two family friend weddings to attend. Since the weddings were a week apart, my parents decided to come for both and have a little vacation in between. My mom's birthday also happened to be during this week and we were looking for something to do to celebrate. Cameron had to work and my dad was enjoying a new book and relaxing, so it was just my mom, London and I. For some reason, the Zoo came to mind. We went online to confirm the Zoo was open, as it was a Monday. Turns out it was not only open, but it was a free admission day. Perfect, since we knew London wouldn't last too long. Off we headed, for London's first visit to the Zoo.

We stopped in at the gift shop first, in search of a sun hat for London. I'd already slathered her down with sunscreen, as well as myself, but I wanted a sun hat for her since she's still too little for sunglasses and I didn't want to put sunscreen all over her face and head. We quickly found a cute little hat and were headed off to see the animals. While my mom and I enjoyed the big cats, giraffes and zebras, London was entertained by all the people. She is quite the people watcher we discovered, and she loved walking around in the Baby Bjorn. She didn't like the reptile house, however. Cameron was at home working, but had made me promise to take her in there. I think she mainly didn't like it because she was getting tired and probably thought we were taking her in there to take a nap. Maybe next time, when he dad can go with her, she'll enjoy it more.

On the way back to the car, my mom told me a nice story. The day she turned 30 she had gone to the Milwaukee zoo, by herself. Thirty eight years later, she was happy to be going to the zoo with her daughter and granddaughter.


Aug 22, 2010

Of Mice and Man

Ok, they're not called Mice, they're called Voles - some hybrid of a mouse and mole and the man ins question is non other than Cameron. And, its a good thing we didn't go all out with the summer garden this year as it was definitely a learning year. We never got to reap the benefits of our tomato and pepper plants thanks to the infestation of voles and squirrels behind us and next door to us.

Our next door neighbor seems to love nature so much he wants it in his backyard, which is still only the red clay we started out with. His way of luring all of nature there? Leaving a 5 lb bag of bird seed on the ground and open. We soon had squirrels running all over our backyard, using our bark to bury the sun flower seeds they pillaged from next door. Before we knew it, the squirrels had built a burrow in the field behind us. But then the squirrels stopped coming around, partly due to Cameron's efforts to stop them, but also because of the voles. Apparently the voles, while smaller than the squirrels, are tougher and actually push the squirrels out when a food source is located. Great! By this time we had produce on the plants and had planted pumpkin seeds in hopes of having some pumpkins for Fall.

Cameron went into combat mode, buying all kinds of different traps and poison. The first day he set the traditional mouse traps he was killing one of two of these rodents every 5 to 15 minutes. This did slow down the next few days and weeks, and there were definitely fewer of these things around but we still kept finding evidence of them. That's when Cameron started cementing around the base of our fence and almost over night the problem was no more. The pumpkin plants were growing like rapid fire and recently we started seeing pumpkins growing! Whoo hoo! Until we discovered a rather large pumpkin pulled off the vine and half eaten. After some investigating we discovered the voles had created a burrow in the middle of the main pumpkin plants! Cameron destroyed it best he could, but can't cement that part of the fence until pumpkin season is over, so we're not sure we'll get any good pumpkins this year. Only time will tell.

But to be honest, there's no way we wouldn't be going to a pumpkin patch this year any how - it's London's first Halloween and we can't pass up the photos ops a pumpkin patch would bring.

All that green in the corner are the orange pumpkin plants, taking over.

They're huge!

One of the pumpkins growing - so far untouched by the voles.

My white pumpkin plants - only 2 survived of 8 seeds, thanks to the voles.

We transplanted a few of the orange pumpkin plants to the 4th wine barrel to give the others some more space.

The grape vines looked beautiful this year. No grapes though.

After the tomato plants died, we planted some more permanent grasses and green plants.


A Gassy Morning

The other morning London woke up early and in a fussy mood. Usually she wakes around 7:30 AM, drinks a bottle and then sleeps a few more hours. That day she woke up at 7 AM and wouldn't take a bottle. After a diaper change, she was still fussy. We knew something was bothering her, as London usually wakes in a very happy mood - its when we get the most smiles and coos out of her each day. I took her downstairs so Cameron wouldn't have to hear her cries and screams while I worked at figuring out what was wrong and so he could work.

While downstairs I noticed London was having some very strong toots. Gas - that was her problem. Poor little girl had a belly full of it. I was able to get her calmed down and almost back to sleep, thinking the gas had passed, so I headed back upstairs to put her back down in her crib. No such luck. She started screaming again when I put her down. That's when Cameron took a break and began rocking her and patting the gas out. I got the Mylicon drops from the medicine cabinet. Cameron's half brother Marcus's mother Anne had given us some at the baby shower as they had saved her many a time when Marcus was an infant. Within a half hour London was passed out in her daddy's arms holding the monkey she'd been given on her flight to Minnesota. London ended up sleeping until 11 AM that morning and we had a very pleasant day from there.


Aug 20, 2010

First Flight

Recently London and I traveled to Minnesota so we could introduce her to my grandma. This meant it was her first flight as well as my first time flying with an infant at all and to top it off, I'd be flying without Cameron. I was definitely worried and a bit stressed the days before we left. Turns out, London is a natural. She ate just as we took off and sucked on a pacifier while sleeping as we landed, while also sleeping the whole time in between. The trip to Minnesota was great. Great Grandma Ruthie loved meeting London and listening to her coo. Grandma (my mom) flew in and out the same days I did, so she got a nice week of quality time with her daughter and granddaughter. My poor dad flew back to Arizona the day after we arrived, but he'll be visiting for a week at the end of the month, and needed to get home as he'd been in Minnesota for a week already. I also got to see most of my family and introduce London to them. Only one cousin wasn't around, but that's because he lives in Hawaii and then my cousin Jessie only brought her daughter Olivia for their weekend visit, so I didn't get to see Jack (her husband) or little Jack (her son). In the end, we got some great family shots of my grandma with all her girls around her which was the greatest blessing of all.

Here are some pictures from the trip:

London waiting for her first flight

While away, London turned 2 months!

My Grandma surrounded by all her girls

The girl cousins all grown up

My mom's sisters Laurinda and Raelene drove a couple of hours to see us and meet London while we were there

Another day my grandma's best friend Puddy came for a visit. We got some great pictures of London that day!

Great Grandma Ruthie with London