Friday, March 8, 2019

Diana is One!

Okay, so yes I totally failed at keeping an updated blog last year with monthly posts about Diana's progress. #SecondChild.

And instead of going back and backlogging the entire year, I went for the photo book route and made a 2018 family photo album. So if you really are dying to know how our year was. Give me a ring. Come have some cookies with me and we'll look through my family photo book. I think that's going to be our new thing, a family yearbook. However, these pictures of Diana turning one are just too stinking cute to wait for them to be printed in a book next year!

After a bit of deliberation, I went with a Floral First theme for Diana's first birthday. It had the perfect amount of sweetness and sophistication that I want Diana to carry with her throughout her life. We had pink and white roses, ranunculus, peonies and baby's breath everywhere! Then I found some cute decor items on Etsy. Fun Fact- I had never bought anything on Etsy before; I may be an addict now. Woops!

My sisters-in-law are incredible. One offered to host the party at her home to accommodate both sides of the family, and the other agreed to make Diana's smash cake with her sweet decorating and baking skills. God knew what he was doing when he put Ray in my life. I got a good husband and the sisters I've always wanted.

Not pictured is the picture book we had all the guests write a little happy birthday note to Diana in. 

Chocolate Cake Pops- it took me the entirety of the movie Beauty and the Beast to make these. Worth it? Probably not, but they were delicious this one time :)

Lemon cupcakes with cream cheese frosting

Pretty proud of my piping job here. And I loved the cupcake toppers I found on Etsy. 

Diana got a whole new wardrobe! Which was exactly what she needed :) The hand-me-downs disappeared after sz. 9-12 mo.

Lots of cousins to help with the gift opening process!

She managed all this carnage on her own. She loved that cake!!

The pictures probably don't do justice. It was beautiful though. Exactly as I hoped it would turn out. And Diana seemed to enjoy every moment- especially the cake smash :)

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

2 Months for Baby Girl

I took Diana to her 2 month well check yesterday and our pediatrician walked in and exclaimed "Two months already?!" to which I responded, "ONLY two months?!" This little girl is pushing me and stretching me to grow in ways I never thought possible. I'm learning greater patience and humility every day as I try to discern her needs and rely on Ray and others around us for advice and support.

Diana weighed in at 10 lbs and 11 oz (40th %tile), and 21.5 inches (13th %tile). She is healthy and {mostly} happy! Right now, Diana still loves to be held and snuggled. She loves falling asleep on our chests with her ear right over a heart so she can listen to our heartbeats. We love her almond shaped eyes with their long curly lashes, and her big beautiful smile that she will flash when we pick her up. She is cooing more and more and I really expect a giggle soon! Kaymond and Diana have the sweetest relationship. Kaymond loves telling me when Diana is awake by shouting "Ana wake!!!" (even if that means he woke her up). Diana just watches Kaymond in awe whenever she is awake and in the same room as him. Diana is sleeping well at night, but sometimes has a hard time staying asleep during her naps. Her nursing schedule is slowly becoming more regular and easy to follow. She is a wonderful little girl and I'm so excited to watch her personality come out more!

This month is going to be especially fun as we bless Diana on Sunday and see family all month long.

Our yard is slowly coming along. I do need to replant my zucchini and pumpkin as my six plants were killed in a wind storm here. The grass has been mowed though and it is just waiting for a wading pool for Kaymond to spend his summer in!

Diana's first time going to church! We were only going to stay the first hour, but Kaymond took off to nursery and was so happy we couldn't stand to take him out of there. So we stayed all 3 hours and Diana slept the whole time :)

My princess is so pretty in pink!

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Oh yeah! We went to Antelope Island for a Saturday day trip. We had lots of fun driving around the island seeing all the buffalo and antelope. We even ate a buffalo burger- it was nothing special though. Also, the biting gnats had just hatched on the island. They kept getting stuck in Kaymond's hair and biting his scalp! Diana and I did not get out of the car.

The official "I'm 2 Months Old!" picture. 

Kaymond potty trained last week and got a marble track for his reward! (Thank you Wal-Mart for making a $10 marble track!) He absolutely loves it. Ray creates a new run every night after Kaymond is in bed, and then Kaymond wakes up every morning to run downstairs and play with it until it falls apart (read: Kaymond destroys it and begins telling me to "Try again!").

Both kiddos fell asleep in our bed the other night because it was hot and the a/c wasn't working. We just turned on our ceiling fan. I looked down and Kaymond had his arm draped like this around Diana and she had reached up and was holding his arm there. Adorable. I am so blessed. 

Sunday, April 15, 2018


We thought Kaymond would be old enough this Easter to really appreciate and understand Easter Egg hunts. What he really did though was find one egg at a time, open it, eat whatever candy was inside, drop the egg and then keep looking for a new one. Maybe he's on to something, but since he got only a few eggs at every hunt we did... I doubt it.

Nevertheless, he had an absolute blast spending time with his cousins celebrating Easter by eating copious amounts of chocolate and screaming "bunny!" at the top of his lungs. Goodness I love that boy. Diana slept through every hunt we went to, and of course only got chocolate via mommy- which just made her fussy. We'll try again next year :) But goodness I love this little girl, too!

The Easter Bunny has been here!

Running through the yard hunting for eggs. Ignore our trashed grass- we're working on getting the yard healthy for summer!

Other than chocolate ("chocky"), Kaymond discovered a love of jelly beans, which always brought a cry of "BEANSSS!!!" in his little voice. 

Baby Girl is 1 Month

So as I write this, Diana is actually 6, almost 7 weeks old. But we really did celebrate her 1 month! Her one month mark was actually my 28th birthday on the 28th of March. Diana was also born on the 28th (of February). I am 28, and my mom was 28 when she had me. 28 is just my number :)

At one month Diana is still running the show. She loves to be held and walked around the house. She does not tolerate being put down for tummy time or under her playmat for very long. Her napping and eating schedule is still all over the place, but fortunately she is a marvelous night time sleeper. I feed her around 10 and then go to bed, and she usually wakes for 2 night feedings before we start our day around 7:30 or 8. Nursing has been a bit more of a challenge this time around, but we are slowly working things out together and developing more trust in this mother-daughter relationship. It still blows my mind that I have a little girl. While she definitely has some Ray-like traits, she is certainly my daughter. My baby pictures look almost identical to the sweet little angel we hold today. It's amazing!

Ray's awesomely talented cousin took these pictures for us just in time to work for Diana's one month pictures. I am in love!

Welcoming Baby Girl!

Not long after welcoming 2018, we welcomed our darling princess: Diana Nicole.

We moved into our house when I was 36 weeks pregnant to make sure we were settled before she got here. Then we prayed and cross our fingers that I wouldn't go into labor while Ray was in NYC the week leading up to my due date. Suddenly, Ray was back home, the house was set up, my mom was here to help... and yet baby girl just set up camp.

I got to 40 weeks and 3 days and had my midwife strip the membranes (ouch!). I started having contractions that night. They weren't very strong though, so I laid down on our couch and bam- contractions completely gone. My midwife had said not to try to restart them if that happened and to just get a good night sleep. So I did. The next day I still had no contractions. I went to the gym around 2 to get on the elliptical to see if I could start something! My midwife called me as I was waddling away at the gym- she was just as surprised as I was annoyed that we still didn't have a baby here. She told me I could come on over and she'd check me again and discuss options.

So I went home and picked up Ray. Kaymond stayed home with my parents. We went to see my midwife and just prayed she'd have some good news of some kind. She did a quick check and said I was dilated to a four, then quickly stripped the membranes again. She told us to go on a long walk and call her when we were heading to the hospital. That was about 3 o'clock or so. We wanted to stay close to the hospital, but didn't want to walk outside in the cold- so we headed to Costco!

We roamed up and down the aisles of Costco for a while, and my contractions grew stronger and stronger. Soon I was having to stop in the middle of the aisle and do some deep breathing as I made it through each contraction. We ran into a couple friends there and enjoyed chatting with them. Of course we enjoyed all our samples too :) Finally I decided it was time to head to the hospital. We swang by the house really quick to pick up our pillows and say goodbye to Kaymond. I was checked in and in triage at 5 when they checked me and declared I was a 7 "generously rounding down" as the nurse put it. They walked me to a delivery room and got me all set up. I had an epidural around 5:30 and they told me to relax and let them know when I was feeling pressure. This epidural was not as strong as Kaymond's, and I knew exactly when it was time to push. It was a much different experience! I yelled a lot more as I felt and imagined her head, shoulders, body and legs leave me. At one point they point an oxygen mask on me because I guess they were concerned I wasn't breathing well? I don't know- I was just focused on pushing as my midwife told me baby girl's heart rate was dropping and I needed to get her out now.

So 2 hours after getting to the hospital, out she came- beautiful, healthy, and ready to take on the world. Diana has been a big adjustment for me. But we are settling into our routines and getting to know one another better each day. I had already forgotten how hard having a newborn is. And adding a newborn to a toddler has been a fiasco! I sure love my kiddos though, and am grateful for each of them every day. Diana was born with incredible dark hair and eyes that are sometimes the deepest blue, and other times are nearly hazel. She is such a mystery to us still! She loves sleeping and being held all snuggled up in a fluffy blanket. She is fascinated by her brother and the loud noises he makes all the time. Likewise, Kaymond adores his baby sister and loving strokes her soft head while saying "Oh Ana, oh Ana. So coot!"

Welcoming 2018

It's time to- yet again- play catch up on the blog!

Kaymond turned 2 this year on January 1st. We had an easy fun day by going to the Curiosity Museum with some family, and then having pizza and cupcakes at our apartment. Kaymond was overjoyed to spend time with his cousins. He knows them all by name now and requests them for playdates non stop!

At the end of January (and at 36 weeks pregnant!) we moved into our very own home. It was a marvelous way to start the new year, and we are loving having our own space to grow in. We are especially loving our big back yard and the park at the end of our street!

Cheese! He loves being the center of attention.

Kaymond also loves chocolate.

Cousins helping open gifts.

Uncle Ben!

Aunt Camilla 
Life isn't complete without a giant Costco bear.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Jan-Sept 2017

I was pretty good last year at keeping up this blog. Obviously this year I failed pretty amazingly. So I'm just going to recap some of the highlights of this year. For my own sanity at least I will know it all made it in here, even if it isn't as well planned as last year was.

Kaymond started walking just a few days into the New Year, and he has never slowed down. In January, Ray was chosen as a speaker at the FIG talks held in Cambridge, MA. He flew to the East Coast for a weekend and spent some time networking with other game designers and presenting his talk. It was a huge success for him and an excellent way to start out the year.

All I remember about February is that I got strep throat. It was my first experience of being a Mommy while feeling like death warmed over. Yuck.

We celebrated some birthdays, including Ray's big 30! Because he shares a birthday with 2 cousins, and our sister in law is the day before, we had a great big party with delicious food and some karaoke. Ray says he felt everything change when he turned 30, and tries to tell me he's "too old" for some of our adventures now.... good one, honey! We will never be too old to party it up, its just our idea of party will change :)

We celebrated Easter by going to the Young Living Farms Easter event. Kaymond was the first (and only) kid in line for pictures with the Easter bunny since we were there so early. The egg hunt was lots of fun too. Kaymond would get so interested in an egg he'd find, that he'd sit down to inspect it while all the other kids moved on and grabbed the rest of the eggs. Fortunately, the sweet workers there would come by occasionally and drop a few eggs close to Kaymond so he could get up, toddle over, and collect a few more eggs.

I finished out the school year at my job, and sadly informed all that I would not be returning the next year. This was a really difficult decision because I loved my job; the people and kids I worked with were entertaining and inspiring to me. I grew and learned a lot from that job! Fortunately, I started working with VIPKID around the middle of April, and that was allowing me to: 1) work from home, 2) work while Kaymond was guaranteed to be sleeping, 3) still be teaching, 4) teach ESL, which is one of my favorite jobs I've ever had. This new job gave me enough income to replace my regular school job and commit to being home with Kaymond.

Ray and I celebrated 6 years of marriage by going to our favorite pizza place and then to a swing class and dance. I love still being able to laugh with Ray about anything and everything. In June we also had two great pieces of news: 1) I'm pregnant! and 2) Ray was accepted to the New York Toy Fair- the cream of the crop event where he will get to showcase Build Up to mass distributors like Target, Wal-Mart, etc... We needed our ability to laugh about everything though when we realized that my due date was February 24, and Ray would be in NYC from February 16-21. Lots of people have asked me if I'm really worried about having the baby while Ray is gone, but I feel complete peace about this situation. I have amazing family who will be with me while Ray is out of town, and am confident that him going is the best thing for our family. I'm just going to "mind over matter" this delivery... "You will be born February 24... you will be born February 24...."

In July we did all the summery event things we could find: splash pads, parks, Colonial Festival, fireworks, Scottish Days, and lots of staying inside to avoid melting from the ridiculous heat that plagued us. Kaymond woke up every day this summer, ate breakfast, and then grabbed his shoes and brought them to me. He loves being outside more than anything else. I'm worried for how winter will affect him since we won't be able to get out as much with the snow and me hugely pregnant.

Snapping a pic with some founding fathers.

He was not impressed with sparklers. Pyromania is one thing I do not have to worry about...yet. 

It's not summer without some corn on the cob!

What is that noise... BAGPIPES?!

We will miss splash pads so much over winter. :(

Feeding the duckies at the pond.

Our big adventure in August, was trekking all the way to Alcova, Wyoming to witness the total eclipse of the sun. We camped on a reservoir with my mom and stepdad. They are super well prepared campers and had an amazing kitchen set up with a propane stove. They also had hammocks for us to lounge in when we weren't chasing Kaymond around (which was basically all day). We went canoeing on the water, and rode their ATV out to a beautiful gorge. Kaymond did pretty well spending 3 straight days outside. It was difficult to get him to sleep with the heat though. At night my mom would play her violin for any campers who wanted to join our site. We'd all listen and appluad and sometimes sing along when we knew the tune. The eclipse itself was spectacular. We used our glasses to slowly watch the progression, and noted all the changes happening around us; drop in temperature, blurred shadows, crickets chirping. When totality hit, you could hear the campers all around us celebrating in their own way. We took time to look around us and enjoy the 360 degree horizon, and then snapped a few pictures. I was really amazed with how dark it actually got. Dark enough that we realized our car light had been left on when we'd gotten something out earlier that morning. Because of the eclipse we were able to turn the light off and avoid having a dead battery in the middle of nowhere Wyoming. :) The drive home wasn't bad at all. We hit about 30 minutes of traffic from Alcova going to the I-80 junction. I managed to get car sick and throw up in those 30 minutes, but it was smooth sailing after that!

Oh yeah! We also stopped at Independence Rock on our way to Alcova. It's a great pioneer landmark if you've never been! 

The whole fam-dam-ily at the dam! Hahaha, I'm so funny. Dam jokes.

In case you didn't notice. Yes, we did go camping with Santa Claus.

Pretending to drive may have been his favorite part of the trip.

The start of totality!

My favorite picture of these two of all time.

"Total eclipse of the sun!... 'It got very dark...'" -the eclipse songs and jokes never ended.

Playing violin with grandma!

Out on the boat. That's my mom and stepdad's dog, Lucy. She followed us for as long as she possible could into the reservoir. Kaymond surprisingly loved the boat and did really well. Until he wanted to jump off the side and into the water. No fear.

So we left him on shore to throw rocks with grandma while Ray and I went out on an exploring expedition in the canoe.

Our camping family right before Ray, Kaymond and I took off to drive home. Also I was still in that "I'm pregnant but I just look fat" phase.

Our biggest news for September is that we found out we are having a girl!!! We are pleased, terrified, overwhelmed and overjoyed at this news. I cried during the ultrasound; feelings of excitement and inadequacy came over me. I love being a mommy to my baby boy, and having a little girl has scared me for so long. Now that it's really happening I've gotten over some of my fears, and am relishing all the cute little girl outfits I've found on sale! We also had the opportunity to travel to Northern California to visit Ray's family. Ray's dad and his stepmom hadn't seen Kaymond since he was about 3 months old, so there was a lot of change that had happened! Kaymond loved spending time with his grandpa, especially on the big swing in the backyard. Kaymond would shout "swing swing!" when he saw it. Then he'd sit in the little basket and glide back and forth with his grandpa for nearly 30 minutes at a time. I have no idea how he didn't get motion sickness and throw everything up. We also went to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which was a beautiful and unique experience. Kaymond enjoyed all of the interactive exhibits and anything with a wheel to turn or ball to throw. Then we went to the beach, and although it was too cold to get in the water, Kaymond had an amazing time playing in the sand and testing his limits as he walked as far from us as he could- away from the water of course :) We got to see Ray's brother and his family which was a real treat. When we lived in the area, we had been about a mile from them and spent lots of happy times with their family. They had moved since we'd been gone and added 2 kids, so this was a great time to see their new home and really get to know our niblings better again.

Once on the swing Kaymond would say over and over "weee! weee!"

And he had to be holding this water gun thing, I don't know why.

Finding crab shells with Grandpa.

Getting his toes wet with Daddy.

Building sand castles with Mommy.

Find Kaymond.

Covered in sand and oh so happy.

So now it's October. We're still thinking of Halloween costumes for us all. I'm praying it doesn't snow so Kaymond can have his first real Trick-or-Treat experience. The temperatures are dropping fast, but as my belly grows just as fast, I'm grateful for the cooler weather.