Feb 26, 2013

A Belated Valentine's Day Celebration

Given our week days are busy enough as it is, Cameron and I opted to postpone our Valentine's Day celebration this year. We've never put much on an emphasis on the day any how. After a year that had Cameron in Virginia on the actual day, we decided that what matters most to us is just setting aside the time to be together. I think we even said happy Anniversary or Valentine's day one night when we made a lovely dinner and had a bottle of champagne with it, just because we felt we should acknowledge the occasion. And we definitely have no desire to go out and battle other people for limited menus, seating and babysitters. So this year we decided on an attempt at making sushi and enjoying my Christmas present - a bottle of La Grande Dame Champagne!

I didn't actually help in the making of the sushi - all the credit goes to Cameron. He did all the research to figure out how to make the rice, my favorite spicy tuna rolls and how to even roll all the deliciousness up. 

Cameron even did all the prep work and actual rolling. In a way, he was waiting on me. But remember I was also the main one suffering through our failed potty training weekend - and while Day one was the better of the three days, it was still exhausting. I now have the Bubble Guppies theme song and Get up and go outside song pretty well memorized. 

Cameron did a fantastic job and it was a wonderful dinner to unwind with after the long day.

We did decide that next time, we will need to visit the International Market near Target to get try and get sushi grade fish. The Ahi Tuna from Bel Air was quite good but the salmon left us with a bit to be desired. And based on the amount of time it took Cameron just to prep the makings of our meal, sushi making in our house will be reserved for special evenings. 

We did agree we need to try and have special dinner nights like this more often as it was like a mini-date. With limited options for childcare, we don't have enough go out on enough dates. Not that the evening was all that exciting. We ate and watched the last 3 episodes ever of Fringe. We're quite sad to see that show end.

We waited until after dinner and a glass of water before opening the La Grande Dame. We wanted to make sure our pallets were fully ready to taste this champagne as we have heard so many good things about it over the years. It was AWESOME! It's definitely in our top 3 of really nice champagnes, maybe number 1. We're not experts in any way, shape or form, but we know what we like. This one had a delicious, yet dry taste and lots of little bubbles. And boy, was it powerful. A little of it can go a long way. 

We, of course, broke out our special housewarming Swarovski Champagne Glasses to enjoy. Cameron surprised me when we moved into our house with these. Our only wish is that we had bitten the bullet and bought them for our wedding. I highly recommend La Grande Dame for celebrating special occasions when you can afford it. And make sure you enjoy is slowly throughout the night!

Feb 25, 2013

Sydney's 4-month Stats

The last four months feel a bit like a blur and both Cameron and I were a little shocked yesterday when we were discussing the fact that Sydney was 4-months old. While our family would not be complete without her, some days it doesn't feel like she has been with us that long either.

Sydney had her 4-month well baby visit this morning with Dr. Grant. Here are her current stats: 

Height: 26 3/4" (95-99 percentile)
Weight: 15.4 lbs (75th percentile)
Head Circumference: 15 7/8" (35th percentile)

I think we have another tall girl on our hands. And we're pretty sure Sydney's eyes are going to stay blue, like mine. She also got her dad's pain tolerance - she didn't really cry at all after her two shots, just a little grumpy. And while she has yet to roll over completely for me, she did finally turn to her side and get stuck on her shoulder in front of me on Saturday. 

Sydney is also quite the jibber jabber. We remember London talking but nothing to the extent of Sydney. Last weekend she woke us up over her monitor just babbling away, loud and proud. It just makes Cameron and I smile and laugh. Even on the way to daycare after getting her two shots she was happily babbling away, as long as the car was moving. 

Unfortunately, Sydney is battling yet another stuffy nose. The humidifier seems to be helping some, but we have also had to give her a little medicine so we can lay her flat - we think she is getting headaches from the congestion and when laid down completely flat the pressure really bothers her. Yesterday after we gave her some medicine, she passed right out and took a 2-hour nap. She definitely needed the rest as she had me up most of Saturday night.

Feb 20, 2013

Our First Attempt At Potty Training

Cameron and I set aside the long Presidents Day weekend to attempt to potty train London. We've been told she is ready from her daycare as she doesn't go through many diapers at all and is good at going potty there. 

I did a ton of research and we began preparing a month ago, when London picked out her "Disney Princess" themed training seat. 

This even plays music!
The week before we took London to Target to pick out some big girl underwear and got a few small, low-price toys to go in her "Poo" Prizes bag as well as stickers for successful pees. 

I made a fun bag to hold the "Poo" Prizes
Her "Poo" Prizes - Toy Story Figurines, Cheap Toy Sunglasses, Tub Crayons
Lots of stickers

I made this chart to put her stickers on each time she went potty in the toilet

Saturday morning, when London got up I put her in underwear. And within an hour she had an accident. I blamed myself as I went against all I had read by even putting London in underwear. We didn't have another accident all day with the underwear removed and London was really great at jumping up and running to the bathroom saying that she needed to go. She even told me to pause her show so she could go once. 

We got this book to read while London sat on the potty. She was more interested in pushing the button to make a flushing sound. I may find a different book for our next round.

Sunday morning we started out underwear-less again. After a few successful attempts, we introduced the underwear. But what differed between Saturday and Sunday was that London needed to go more often and had to be repeatedly asked if she needed to go and even placed on the toilet when we knew she probably had to go even though she was saying that she didn't. We had two accidents that day. 

Monday it just got worse and we ended with 3 accidents. And our dryer died! So there we had a pile of items in need of laundering and no way to dry them. Sorry but I hate line-dried clothes. Not that I had anywhere to hang anything else as we discovered the dryer was dead when all our clothes, including all my work pants were in the washer or dryer so I had adult clothes hanging over stair rails, towel racks and my poor excuse of a dryer rack.

The accidents seemed to happen when Cameron and I would let our guard down for even a minute to discuss something - like whether we should just replace the dryer or get a new washer too? And which ones? We were both left exhausted at the end of each day. I drank a lot of wine. And there may have been some dives into London's ice cream. Sunday night I was so exhausted I cried. 

Upon reflecting on the weekend, Cameron and I both agreed the weekend had not been successful and London just wasn't ready. We can't have our weekends and evenings so focused and dedicated to watching London. We'll revisit potty training with London in a month or two (likely Memorial Day weekend since it is our next 3-day weekend and everything I read was for a 3-day process). And next time we try we may avoid underwear and go 1 1/2 days with no clothes and then introduce pants without underwear to see if that makes a difference. 

Cameron and I did have a lovely belated Valentine's Dinner with homemade sushi on Saturday which I will post about soon.

Feb 19, 2013

Happy Birthday Puppies!

Boy does time fly. It was a year ago today that Tulley and Tucker's Dirty Dozen were born. And all I can really remember from it was being more sleep deprived from their adorable faces than my own human children have caused me. 

Still, we love and miss each one of them. We are very lucky to get to keep tabs on several of them either by photos on Facebook or conversations through friends. From what we have seen, they have all grown into good looking dogs though they vary in weight and size from the very small end to the big bruiser end. 

Feb 15, 2013

OMG, We're THOSE Parents

You knows those parents of kids in your class growing up that didn't really participate in special class activities. Like not thinking to send their kids to school with Valentine's for every one on Valentine's Day? Yep, that was us. 

Honestly, it never even occurred to Cameron or myself to bring in Valentines. We didn't bring Valentines last year but I did make a layered Jello for the party if memory serves me right - that's how we learned London was intolerant to Red and Blue dyes. But that was also at a different daycare. 

And it still really didn't occur to me when I dropped the girls off yesterday. I noticed the older kids class had a sign about a party. But I wasn't aware of anything for London's class. And it didn't occur to Cameron when he picked London up and was handed a goody bag full of Valentines. It didn't occur until he was showing me it after the girls were in bed. That's when I asked if we were supposed to bring something that day. We both suddenly realized we were THOSE parents. 

And Cameron grabbed the keys and headed straight for Walgreens to get something. He came home with Snoopy Valentines and stickers and some Go Fish-type playing cards. I promptly put 16 Valentines together, placed them in a paper bag and wrote to her teacher claiming we just "forgot to bring them in yesterday". I don't think we will ever forget Valentines Day for the girls classes again!

I did arrive home to a card from London, Sydney, Tulley and Cameron. Cameron says London picked it out herself but I'm still not so sure. It was Peanuts themed but the saying in it was just too good. And he says she picked out the Peanut Butter M&Ms. If she did, she has good taste. I made my usual Valentine card for Cameron, glittering up the 5 of hearts card from a deck and placing it on some red paper with a saying I found online written inside. I got the idea the year we got married and have since given him the Ace of Hearts, 2 of hearts, 3 of Hearts. I managed to get the 4 of hearts made last year but not on the card so Cameron got it this year with the 5 of hearts. Nothing to fancy but fun all the same. I'll have to come up with something new when I hit the 10 of hearts. 

And now we are less than 24 hours away from the big potty training weekend. I think London's ready: 

She picked up her pack of Ariel underwear on the stairs this morning and insisted on taking them in the car. Before I knew it, she had the package opened and little undies all over. I'm surprised I managed to get her to leave them behind in the car for daycare! And I couldn't resist taking a pic at a stop light. 

I still don't think she fully comprehends what she is in for this weekend. Nor do I, for that matter. I'm excited but at the same time nervous and sad. My baby is growing up. At the same time, it has been getting a little embarrassing that I am still changing a diaper on a child that looks like she should be potty trained. It doesn't help she is so tall and people think she is 3 or 4. Wish us luck. If I have the energy at night I will try to post progress reports. 

Feb 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day! Got any fun plans? 

Tonight, Cameron and I decided to keep things the same. We'll be celebrating on Saturday night when we attempt to make sushi and dive into the bottle of La Grande Dame Champagne he got me for Christmas. So excited to taste it! We've be wanting to try it forever it seems. We're big champagne people. Our attempt at sushi will be interesting to say the least. I bought Cameron sushi knives for his birthday years ago (I think in 2006) and we have not once used them. At least they should be nice and sharp. 

We actually hardly ever celebrate Valentine's Day on the actual day.We've also only gone out once to a nice restaurant. All other celebrations have been at home with a special home cooked meal, a movie and cuddle time. Occasionally we get each other gifts but only when the mood strikes. Last year I got roses and chocolates while I got Cameron a pan for gold panning. One of these days we will go somewhere to try it out.

Do you think its important to celebrate on Valentine's Day or just to try and put a day (or night) aside to celebrate the idea of Valentine's Day?

Feb 13, 2013

Sleepless Nights

You'd think Sydney would be the one keeping us up at night. 


Sydney only gets up once, eats a full bottle and then passes right back out. Since we've switched to the Level 2 nipples, this usually is less than a 10 minute interruption to our night's rest.

I count all this as a HUGE Blessing. 

London, on the other hand....

Has been driving us nuts. Some nights she has been up almost every hour and not just a short few minutes, then calms herself down and goes back to sleep. Oh no, she usually ends up screaming for quite a while if we don't go in there to calm her down. 

When we do go in there, all she wants us to do is lay down with her. This has even resulted in her joining us in bed in the wee hours of a few mornings, when we just couldn't take it any more. And the kid sleeps soundly when she has been allowed to snuggle in between Cameron and myself, and with Tulley at her feet. But it makes for one crowded bed.Don't forget, we also have Kelsey somewhere in our bed and even Jake has taken to joining us again.

There are only two explanations for London's screaming it seems. London is either afraid of the dark or she is afraid of her closet. She hasn't quite been able to tell us which one it is. Maybe its a mixture of both. All she can do is say she is scared and recently she pointed to the closet as she said that. 

If it is a fear of the closet, we have ourselves to blame. One of London's favorite movies is Pixar's Monsters, Inc. We have decided we won't let her watch this one for a while, even though when she watches it, she laughs. 

We also made a trip up to Babies R Us Monday night to purchase a nightlight. A cute purple and pink butterfly nightlight that plugs into the wall and has an on switch. Monday night London only woke up once. She was still a cranky monster in the morning, but she only got up that once, which was when we were headed to bed so our only interruption that night was Sydney. 

Sadly, this was the only night the butterfly nightlight lasted. Last night, London was sent to her room for throwing a tantrum when we told her no to watching her current favorite show, Bubble Guppies. We have taken to sending her to her room as she usually calms down and gets distracted playing with her toys in there. And she was only in there a few minutes, before I rescued her. She had actually just walked out into the loft as I was finishing changing out of my work clothes so I never looked inside her room. 

Not that I would have seen the broken nightlight quickly given all the toys scattered across her room. Cameron discovered it, busted and on the floor when he went to turn it on while putting London to bed last night. The little stinker did something to it, managing to get it out of the wall and left it in pieces on the floor. All Cameron could do was open her curtains to let the street light in for the night. 

And Guess What!

The little stinker slept the WHOLE night through. Not sure if it was the street light or just that fact that exhaustion caught up to her. Guess we will find out tonight. On top of that, while she was sleepy this morning, she wasn't cranky nor did she fight me to get ready. Instead, she had opinions on what she wanted to wear (which she has never really had before) and wanted her hair to look pretty by putting some ribbon barrettes in it, which she kept in her hair all the way to school! She only pulled them out when they started slipping out, which is just a curse of having her very thin hair.

Cross your fingers that we have a similar night tonight. And a similar pleasant morning tomorrow.

Feb 12, 2013

Hard Drop off At Day Care Today

It can be hard leaving these two little faces behind at day care any day, but today was particularly rough leaving behind Sydney. 

At 3 months old she is giggly and smiley, especially when she is looking at Cameron or myself. When I dropped her off for her first day of daycare, back when she was 6 weeks old, I cried all the way home and couldn't wait to pick her up that evening. My biggest fear was that she would come to recognize her main care provider, Miss Amber, as her mommy over me. And so glad to say that is not the case. Her little blue eyes light up every time I see her. Even in the morning, as she slowly wakes out of sleep, she is smiling both with her lips and her eyes. 

Sydney has come to love Miss Amber in a special way as well. Which is great as I want her, as little as she is, to feel secure in where I am trusting to leave her 5 days a week. Every morning when we arrive Miss Amber comes up to Sydney and says hello before taking her out of her car seat.

This morning, Miss Amber wasn't there. Something must have come up, as usually she tells me when she won't be there and either Miss Jenn or Miss Shannon are there in her place. Today it was Miss Tiffany (I think). She's not normally in the infant room, but making breakfast and waiting with the older kids for buses to arrive to take them to school, that's why I'm not even sure on her name. London knows it and will say hello most mornings.

I went about my usual drop off routine, labeling the bottles for the day and filling out the necessary forms. Then I took Sydney out and laid her on the floor. She followed me with her eyes from the moment I laid her down until I exited the room and said goodbye. She didn't have her normal smile on her face, but more of a concerned look, as if asking "who are you leaving me with? Where is Miss Amber and why are you not staying until she shows up?" Made my heart melt and made me feel bad that I was leaving her in a situation she clearly knew was not normal. I can't wait to see her after my run this evening. I may not put her down all evening if I can get away with it. 

The best part is Sydney won't mind a bit. She is such a snuggler, although she did roll over for Cameron, twice, on Saturday during my run with SacFit. Little stinker won't even attempt a roll over for me. 

As for Superbowl, we had a great party, minus the Niners losing. It got pretty heated among the adults watching after the power went out, which was when we sent the 4 older kids up to the loft to watch a movie. Gotta love our loft now that kids are old enough to be out of eye-sight but within ear-shot. We had 11 adults, 4 kids, and 3 little ones in attendance. This was a much more desirable number to have than the 35 people from last year. 

This past Saturday was our crab feed as well. The event sold out, which was fantastic for our friend Christina, who is the president of the Active 20-30 chapter that put the feed on. They even ran out of crab! I left my phone in my purse, which I left in the car, so I don't have any photos to show. And next year I need to remember NO JELLO SHOTS. They did me in and Sunday was a rough day for me. Luckily, we had Vicki and Joe stay the night since they were watching the girls and they were able to stay that morning so Cameron and I could get a little more shut-eye in. 

We did go to Target Sunday to get the necessary items for this next weekend - London's potty training weekend. Wish us luck!

Feb 1, 2013

Looking Ahead: February

Photo Credit: San Francisco Fortyniners Facebook Page

Here is what we have to look forward to in February: 

We're hosting Superbowl again. A little relieved we won't be hosting as many people as last year - I actually want to watch the game. Go Niners!

On the 9th we have a date night planned - we'll be attending the Active 20-30 Club of Greater Roseville and South Placer's 18th Annual Crab Feed. Both Cameron and I are both so happy I can eat crab again!

President's Weekend will be interesting. Cameron and I are finally ready to potty-train London! She's been ready for some time. Wish us luck. Any advise? And no, we will not be purchasing this training toilet for her!

We end the month with Sydney's 4-month well baby visit with Dr. Grant. Stay tuned for stats? Will she continue matching London? Or will she be her own little person even more?

Ups & Downs with Running After Sydney

Photo Credit: CentralCaliforniaCycling.com

I can't remember if, when I was pregnant with Sydney, I mentioned that my most restful night's sleep was when I dreamed about running. I missed if terribly, but between the normal pregnancy exhaustion, the usual chasing of London around, the 12 puppies we cared for, and Tulley, maintaining my running habit just wasn't an option for me in the first trimester. Which meant there would be no running for me throughout the pregnancy.

Sydney's arrival was perfect timing, though, as I would be considered "healed" enough for running again, with a few extra weeks thrown in for good measure just in time for SacFIT's Winter/Spring 2013 session. As soon as I could, I signed up.

And that session started up on January 5. It was frigid that morning, but I got out there and ran 2 miles, noted my time and recorded my heart rate for placement into a pace group. The first time I ever participated in SacFIT I was placed in the 14-minute mile pace group, which is part of the Red group. I moved up to the 13:30s my next session.

I went into that cold morning knowing it had almost been a year since I last ran consistently and that my body is still recovering from Sydney. I honestly expected to be placed even lower, possibly in the purple group, which is 16-minute miles or slower.

When the pace group recommendations showed up in my email that next Friday morning, I was pleasantly surprised to find I was in fact not in the purples. I was ecstatic to see that I was actually placed in the group ahead of Red - The Golds! Before, it had just been a dream to make it there - suddenly I was, placed into the 12:30-minute mile group. When I thought about it, my weekly runs before my break were around a 12:30-minute mile. 

That next Saturday I ran 4 miles with the 12:30 Golds. I even met a new mother whose daughter was born a week before Sydney! 

But on Sunday I could barely walk my knees ached do bad. Monday I tried to go out for my short run as outlined in the SacFIT program. I think I looked worse than the oldest granny out running. And the pain became unbearable. I ended up cutting the run short and walked most of the time I was out there. I took the rest of the week and the next weekend off (that was the Tahoe weekend any how). When I tried to go out Tuesday last week, my knees had been feeling better. But 3 minutes into a 22 minute run they were killing me again.

While in Tahoe, I made mention the pain and Emily reminded me that relaxin stays in the body about a year after baby arrives. She had suffered from knee pain as well. After my failed Monday run I emailed the Gold leader, who I happen to know from college (she is the one that turned me on to SacFIT) and asked her advise. She thought my shoes could be some of the problem and my quads may not be strong enough. We both agreed I should go down to a group I felt comfortable running with to avoid pain and that I should work my way back up. 

I showed up last Saturday planning on walking with the 16-minute mile purple group. But I just couldn't bring myself to do it, so I joined the 15-minute mile Red group.  Honestly, I could have walked the entire time, but I am not a fan of speed walking, and my knees were feeling better so I tried jogging. And I jogged the full 54 minutes, even picking up the pace in the last 1/2 mile. The best part - my knees didn't hurt that evening or Sunday. I was a little bit stiff though. 

In the end, I probably only need new inserts in my shoes. The rest of my problem is I am out of shape and it will take some time to get back into it. Tomorrow I think I will try to run with the 14:30s and assess how I feel afterward. If I can make it back to the 14s I'll be a happy camper for the season. At least I know I can get to the Golds - it's not an impossible dream, but I also think my returning to the Golds is a ways off. I'm not even signing up for any races until I know I can complete them.