Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sweet Talker

Every once in a while Olivia says something so sweet, so darling, that I try to hold onto that comment for as long as possible.

Like when she says, "Hearts are for Valentine's Day. The day when you love everyone."


"When Anya and I grow up, we be best friends, OK?"


"Momma we get cozy in my bed and read books."

Ah, just typing those preschooler sentences brings a smile to my face. So I attempt to remember them and think about them when she says other things, during the course of our day such as:

"Momma, I love you sometimes."


"I want my dad" (this is usually in the form of a scream/yell followed by tears when she wants to get away from Little A and myself).


"I miss my grandma." (Anytime I tell her no.)


"Momma my poop is brown. Your hair is brown. My poop is brown like your hair."

Kids really do say the darnest things, don't they?

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mother's Day 2012

My request for Mother's Day was simple. I wanted a photo of myself and my daughters. Smiling. With our eyes open. Looking at the camera. All three of us at the same time.

Is that too much to ask? Apparently yes.

I keep smiling, waiting for O & A to look at the camera.

We have one child looking at the camera. Toe lint removal is Little O's newest obsession.

Poking her sister.

Stop for a kiss of encouragement.

Twenty five photos later, we got it. All it took was a bit of patience.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Big X, little X, what begins with X?

Little O recently had her first (and hopefully last) X-ray.

The injury was a bruised big toe, due to a Leapfrog laptop dropped squarely on the nail. At first, I thought it was no big deal and would be healed in a few days. But my drama queen preschooler hobbled around the house and complained loudly until she wore me down, I called the doctor's office.

That night she charmed every employee at the clinic, including the doctor. She earned a Thomas the Train sticker and a trip to the hospital for her first X-ray in the morning.

I was concerned that Olivia would be worried about going to the hospital. On the contrary. Guess who was awake at 6:30 a.m. jumping up and down (without flinching) demanding to go to the hospital to take a picture of her toe? Little O.

Safe to say, her toe wasn't broken. Not surprisingly, she did earn more sympathy at the hospital by the X-ray techicians and another 5(!) Disney princess stickers for "being a star patient." I'm surprised she hasn't tried to drop any other toys on her feet.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Meet Anya

Family Photo
Tipping the scales

First onesie
First hug from Dad

Meeting Little O

Anya loves to suck her thumb

The morning after the first sleepless night
Getting dressed to go home

Anya gives a thumbs up. She is ready to leave the hospital

Monday, February 13, 2012

V-Team Picks Anya in First Round of 2012 Draft

This just in from the Boro: After much anticipation and excitement, the V-Team has selected Anya Marie with its first round draft pick of 2012.

After some final visits to the sledding hill and playgroups, the V-Team focused its efforts on signing Anya at 5am on Monday, 17 days after they thought Garrison Keillor gave them a sign it would be a boy. During Keillor's visit to Frederick on January 28, he mentioned the name Jack Benny during his afternoon talk. Benny and Michelle looked at eachother as if it was a sign. It was not.

Anya initiatied the contraction action with a surprise wakeup call at 3am on Monday. After realizng the deal should not be completed on home turf, Michelle woke up Benny. Benny dropped off Olivia at Mrs. Tiffy's house and ran back home to pickup mom and bring the negotiations (contractions) to the experts (doctors and nurses) in the Boro. The 30 minute drive seemed like it took forever, but it only lasted 25 minutes (we got caught behind some non-baby-coming-out-any-minute slow-pokes in a no passing zone). After many raised voices about meeting demands for a private bedroom, a potential lockout was averted and a deal reached when the doctor arrived at the hospital just in time to catch Anya (literally). Anya became an official member of the V-Team at 6:12am on Februrary 13. Anya agreed to not only share a bedroom with Olivia, but also a birthday with her Great-Grandpa Donald.

Mom and Anya are doing well, looking forward to recovering at home around Olivia's familiar squeals that Anya heard for the last several months. Olivia and Mrs. Becky are enjoying their last days of running around the house without a newhborn. If only Olivia knew how her life was about to change.

This future sprinter weighed in at 8 pounds, 10 ounces, and 20.5 inches long. While Olivia was drafted for her cuddly cuteness, fierce negotiating skills, and ability to generate oohs and ahhs, Anya has an uncanny ability to mesmerize competitors with her dimpled cheeks, double chin, blue eyes, red hair (only joking, it's brown) and ability to sleep and ignore Dad's pleas to wake up to eat (so far). Anya enjoys life in the fast lane, and she waits for no one. Anya will start on the triple A V-Team in Maryland, under the mentorship of big sister Olivia.

We look forward to the rest of spring training, and the debut of Anya's rookie season as part of the V-Team when Grandma Kann comes out at the end of February. The V-Team will welcome the visit of this veteran Mom and Grandma, who will bring a wealth of wisdom to the parents who may be a little rusty since their rookie season in 2009.

Thank you for all your prayers and well wishes!

Benny, Michelle, Olivia and Anya

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Bottom's up

I love a brewery tour. I am a sucker for the self-promoting, bragging tour guide explaining how a bottle of beer brewed at a particular brewery is better than the rest of the beers in my refrigerator.

In my lifetime, I've taken three tours: Budweiser with my mom, Colleen, Adam and Rachel in Colorado in 2006, New Belgium with Uncle Glenn and Aunt Heather in Colorado in 2008 during the V-Team Farewell Tour, and Orion with Benny in Okinawa in 2009.

Orion was the most interesting considering it was self-guided and nearly all the information was written in Japanese. The samples at the end were good, according to Benny. I was pregnant at the time and unable to enjoy the best part of the tour-- the free samples.

Last Friday, I was again the pregnant woman getting strange looks on a brewery tour. This time it was Flying Dog brewery in Frederick.

Our tour guide was wearing this T-shirt.

A tour of Flying Dog (which moved from Aspen, Colo., to Frederick in 2006) topped our Maryland to-do list when we first moved here last spring. But the brewery didn't give tours because of a Maryland beer-serving law snafu. In August the rules changed and we immediately began planning our tour date. Benny made our reservation on November 28 for our January 27 tour.

Drew, Mel, Steve, Kristi, Michelle and Benny

While they sampled the coffee beer ...

I was left with a glass of water. Yes, we got to keep the glass.

Just the two of us
So what did I learn on this tour? That I love Flying Dog. There is a connection between the beer and the Gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson. Super cool. My journalism student heart went pitter patter when that fact was stated during the tour. A freedom of speech lawsuit supported by the ACLU with the company temporary changing its slogan to "Good Beer, No Censorship." Again the writer inside of me went gag-gag. And the reason I love Blue Moon and Kansas City's own Boulevard is because it's unfiltered beer. Got to love when a brewery tour unexpectedly turns into an educational event.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Reality sets in

It happened today.

I flipped the calendar to February and one date in particular caught my eye.

Only two weeks until my due date. Wow. Where did the last nine months go? My first pregnancy with Olivia seemed so slow moving. This pregnancy flew by. Or time sped up.

After my initial panic this morning, I took a deep breath and reminded myself that Benny and I have been preparing for Valentino/a's arrival since New Year's Day.

The crib is assembled. Olivia and Valentino/a will share a room, so we had a little rearranging to make the two beds fit in the bedroom. I had a weeklong conversation with big sister Olivia about the crib that went something like this:

"No, you can't sleep in the crib. The baby is going to sleep in there."
"No, you can't nap in the crib. That's for the baby."
"No, you can't put your dolls in there. It's for the baby."

Eventually Olivia said to me "Momma the baby is going sleep there (pointing to crib) when I'm a big sister." Yes. we got it.

We washed, folded and put away the infant clothes, hats, socks, mittens, blankets, etc. Olivia was happy to match the socks for me. She also had George, her monkey and best friend, try out many of the baby's items, including the Baby Bjorn and baby bathtub.

All these cute onesies from 2009 are making a second appearance in 2012.
I forgot how small the newborn onesies are and was amazed as I tried to remember Olivia being that small and quiet.

We lost the backseat of our car after Benny installed the infant car seat. We will soon lose our living room as the pack and play, swing and bouncer are placed in the center of our house. I packed my hospital bag and the bag for the baby. We finalized the plans for who is watching Olivia when the time comes to go to the hospital.

Lastly, we received the baby's going home from the hospital outfits. When we were pregnant with Olivia, I asked my sisters to pick out a newborn girl outfit and a newborn boy outfit for the baby's big day. Olivia had the cutest polka dotted dress. Colleen and Rachel didn't disappoint this time either.

If Valentina is Anya Marie, she will wear a cupcake onesie, sweatshirt and pants home from the hospital.

It's so adorable. Olivia asked if she could wear it.

If Valentino is Jack Benny, he will be rocking his first button down and cargo pants on the ride home.

Who knew boy stuff could be cute?
Now the only thing left to do is wait.