Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Vegas 2014 Continued

Vegas has continued to be fabulous!  Yesterday I spent the day relaxing and shopping.  There is a mall directly across the strip from the Bellagio so I walked over there while Brian was in meetings.  It is so rare that I get to go shopping without the kids and for myself so I made the most of it!  I hit my two favorite stores GAP and Loft.  Thankfully they were both having great sales!   I shockingly found two pairs of jeans that I loved and several tops as well. Usually when I'm actually able to shop for myself I'm not very successful finding things.  

After shopping I spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing and getting ready for dinner. We started the night with drinks at Yellowtail in the Bellagio. Then we had dinner at Fix (also in the Bellagio).  Yummy!  

After dinner we tried our luck at the blackjack table…the house always wins!  

Today I spent the day relaxing and catching up on some reading.  Tonight we have another work dinner to top off our trip.  I'm sure we will try to win back some of the $$ the casino took from us over the past 4 days too.  ��

The trip has flown by and I can't believe we are heading back home tomorrow.  I think next year we may need to extend the trip for an extra day or two.  Time truly flies out here!  But I am definitely eager to hug the girls and hear all about their time with MeMaw and PaPaw!  I'm also ready to start the Christmas decorating!!  Hard to believe that the year is coming to a close!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Vegas Baby (2014)

Our annual Vegas trip is in full swing and we are having a blast!  We arrived Saturday morning and hit the ground running with lunch at BurGR (Gordan Ramsey's restaurant at Planet Hollywood).  Amazing burgers and fries!  And the milkshakes looked delish but we just didn't have room. 

We are staying at the Bellagio again this year (the conference was here 5 years ago as well).  Bellagio is probably our favorite Vegas hotel (although they are all amazing!)  The view from our room is spectacular!  I was a bit bummed we didn't get a fountain view at first but when I saw the sunset over the red rocks my mind was completely changed!

We spent our first afternoon and evening with Brian's boss and his wife in their new Vegas suburb.  They took us to see the red rocks and gave us a tour of their area.  It sure is beautiful here! Then we went to dinner with them at an amazing restaurant near their home called Echo & Rig.  It was definitely one of, if not the best meal, we've ever had!   And that's saying a lot since Vegas has so many incredible restaurants!

Sunday morning we started our day at our favorite Bellagio breakfast spot – Jean Philippe.  The Nutella crepe is mind blowing!  We certainly don't go hungry while here.  

We always like to do a little bit of video blackjack while we're here, but our bets are always very low. That helps our losses to be low as well.  As of this morning (Monday), we are only down $15. Pretty good for two days of entertainment.  

Speaking of entertainment, we decided to go to the Boyz II Men concert at the Mirage last night. We were not disappointed!  It was definitely one of the best concerts we've ever attended. I became a high school girl groupie and even got to give Nate a hug.  Definitely a highlight of the trip!  23 years after they debuted they are just as good if not better. 

Before the show we had a late lunch/early dinner at Giada's new restaurant at The Cromwell.  Yet another amazing meal. We sampled several different antipastas including truffle pecorino cheese and an amazing beef salami.  The restaurant was beautiful and the food was so tasty and light.  And she got an amazing spot on the strip with great views.

Today and tomorrow Brian is busy with work meetings and such, but I will get to attend the work dinners each night. Those are always top notch meals!  While he works I'll spend my time resting, shopping and simply enjoying some down time.  

The girls are having a blast at home with MeMaw and PaPaw and we are so thankful to be able to take trips like this knowing that they are in great hands!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Halloween 2014

What a fun day we had!  We spent the day carving our pumpkin and preparing for our big night of trick-or-treating! 

Our pumpkin this year was the Disney castle (of course!) and we also had a princess pumpkin! 

The girls didn't decide until about 4pm what they were going to dress up as.  H decided to be Sleeping Beauty and E was "Palala" (Rapunzel), her current Disney obsession!  It was a chilly night so we had to be a bit creative with our layering!  

Grandma and Grandpa came up for the weekend to celebrate Halloween with us! We all had a lot of fun trick-or-treatingin the neighborhood, although we were a little disappointed in how dark our neighborhood was this year.  We may have to find a new trick-or-treating neighborhood next year. ��

The girls didn't seem to mind being the only trick-or-treaters in the neighborhood - that just meant more candy for them!  Each house loaded them up since they knew they wouldn't have more kids coming by!  We caught Emma sneaking candy one time while riding in the wagon.  It was hilarious!  She was laying down low in the wagon and being awfully quiet.  Upon further inspection she had managed to carefully unwrap a reses cup and was just popping it in her mouth.  When she noticed that we saw her she immediately covered her eyes as if to hid from us!  Sweet girl!  Don't worry - we let her have it, along with several other pieces throughout the night.  ��

Overall it was a successful Halloween!  Everyone went to bed happy and we have enough candy to last us until next year. ��

Friday, October 11, 2013

Hannah: 37 Months


This stage is a fun one!  You are knee deep in the pretend play stage and I love it.  You got dress up clothes for your birthday and your favorite is the pink waitress costume.  You are the cutest waitress I have ever seen.

While I love most everything about this age, I do not like the pooping struggles we have been dealing with around here.  You refuse to even try to poop on the potty, always saying, "I won't".  You only go every 2-3 days or longer and only in your diaper (at night or nap) or even rarely in your panties. 

You still walk on your tippy toes 24/7.

We spent a week in Panama City at Grandma and Grandpa Vaccaro's house (March 23-30).  You absolutely loved the jumpy pillow at Pier Park and the beach. 

You are such a funny little girl.  Just the other night you were laying in bed with Daddy and you asked him to tickle you.  You stuck your arms up over your head and said, "I have my arms open and stuff."  HAHA

We had your 3 year well check-up this month (late) and you did GREAT!  I give all the credit to your favorite TV show, Daniel Tiger.  Thank you very much for having a doctor visit episode Daniel!

Riding a tricycle can be added to your can do list this month, although you still need lots of help.  You can also walk up the stairs alternating feet very well now.  However, going down you always lead with your left foot.  These were skills we were told to work with you on at the physical therapy evaluation we had a few months ago.  Unfortunately you are still walking on your tippy toes 24/7, so we will need to start some sort of physical therapy soon.

37 Month Stats
- Favorite foods: carbs, broccoli, candy ("special treats"), meatballs, peas, plain yogurt, cereal bars ("Kashi bars"), frozen blueberries, carrots, hummus, beans, cheese
- Least favorite foods: strawberry yogurt, strawberries
- Favorite TV show: Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood

Friday, March 22, 2013

Emma: 9 Months

Sweet little squishy,

I am thrilled to say that you are FINALLY feeling better!  You were sick for nearly your entire 8th month of life, so this was a welcomed change.  You are back to napping pretty well (2x per day) but nights have continued to be a struggle.  We started letting you cry it out a little in the middle of the night this month.  The first night we started you woke at 3am and I nursed you for a very short feed and you went right back to sleep.  Then you woke at 5am and Daddy tried to rock you back to sleep and changed your very wet diaper.  That didn't work so we let you cry for 15 minutes or so, which was SO hard to listen to!  I decided to give you a small bottle of pumped milk (in hopes of breaking the nursing for comfort habit) and you drank only a little bit of it.  I put you back down and you cried for about 10 more minutes before falling back to sleep around 6:15am.  It was so hard hearing you cry and knowing that if I nursed you, you would fall back to sleep peacefully.  However, this was one of those moments where I had to focus on the bigger picture and choose the harder option.  The following night we decided it was time to drop to only one middle of the night feeding.  It was a tough night with some crying, gas drops and a bottle of water, but you did it!  On the third night you woke only one time to eat and slept the rest of the night peacefully!  AMAZING!  Unfortunately this was not the end of 2 middle of the night feedings forever as you still had a few nights where you needed 2 feedings, but this was definitely a turning point.  Last night you made it the whole night with no feedings for the first time in your life!  You still woke up once, but I just held you for a few minutes and you went right back to sleep.  Huge progress!

At the beginning of this month we started giving you only finger foods and squeezy pouches of baby food.  You LOVE feeding yourself and eat much more when you can do it all yourself.  The only bummer with this new found freedom is how messy you get, often requiring a bath after mealtime.  Some of your favorites are sweet potatoes, green beans, mango, any carb, peas, and blueberries (not your favorite, but this was your first month ever trying them).  You have a horrible habit of throwing your sippy cup of water onto the floor after every single sip.  This creates a fun game of go fetch with mommy at every meal, which you seem to enjoy.  Stinker!  :-)

Your second tooth broke through this month (bottom left), which explains why you are chewing and sucking on everything these days  You learned how to climb up several steps with no help, have been cruising along the furniture, finally started crawling on your hands and knees, and scoot everywhere on your bottom.  You are a mover!  You are absolutely obsessed with the tv cabinet - always opening the sliding doors and pulling things out.  You started saying the "p" sound this month and have been very noisy the past few days.  I'm guessing that you will be getting another tooth soon, based on how fussy you have been the past couple days.

Baby girl, you are absolutely precious.  You remain a serious baby with limited smiles and giggles, but when you do show us that gummy grin, it melts our hearts.  Your open-mouthed kisses are my favorite and your crazy hair that sticks straight up reminds me that you are still just a little baby, which I love. 

9 Month Stats
- Clothes: 9 & 12 Months
- Diaper: Size 3 during the day & size 4 at night
- Schedule:
7 or 7:30am - Wake, Nurse (5 min), Solids, Play
2 Hours after waking (9 or 10am) - Nap
1.5-2 hours later (11 or 12pm) - Wake, Nurse (4-5 min), Solids, Play
2-2.5 hours after waking (1 or 2pm) - Nap
1.5-2 hours later (3 or 3:30pm) - Wake, Nurse (4 min), Play
6pm - Solids, Bedtime Routine (bath as needed, pjs, diaper)
7pm - Nurse (3-5 min), Bed

Monday, March 11, 2013

Hannah: 3 YEARS OLD!

Happy 3rd Birthday to our "Little Peanut"!!

3 years old....how is that possible?  This past year has FLOWN by!  Your third year of life was filled with so much excitement and so many changes!  The biggest of all was that you became a big sister.  And let me just say that I am so proud of you!  You are such a wonderful big sister!  Emma is blessed to call you "sissy".  I can't believe how big you seem this year compared to last.  There is a huge difference between 2 and 3 years old.  You are truly a little girl now, no longer a "baby".  I have so greatly enjoyed watching you grow this past year and look forward to many more years to come!!  You are such a sweetie, learning to explore your independence (this can be hard at times, but we know it is a necessary skill), loving, cuddly, happy, and full of energy. 

Here's what makes you YOU at THREE....

You are officially POTTY TRAINED!  I honestly didn't think I would be saying that for a LONG time.  We have struggled so much with potty training!  But at the beginning of this month, we tried again and succeeded!  The first few days were HARD...lots of screaming and tantrums and more holding episodes, but by day 4 things were much better!  Peeing is not an issue at all now (AMAZING!) but pooping is.  This doesn't bother or surprise me much as I have always heard this is a struggle when potty training.  Your issue is not that you are having accidents, but that you are holding it for several days saying you are "scared".  Breaks my heart.  You have resorted to pooping in your diaper in the middle of the night which is annoying because of the middle of the night wake up call, but honestly I'd rather you do that then hold it continuously.  I know you will figure it out eventually!

You can now identify nearly every letter of the alphabet (capital and lowercase), although there are some that still trick you up.  You also know every color and shape without a problem.  Your vocabulary is nearly on par with an adult and you are understandable 99% of the time.  You still have trouble pronouncing certain letter sounds correctly, but that is very normal for a 3 year old....and cute! :-)

You are such a wonderful big sister, always trying to help and make Emma happy.  You do all kinds of silly things in hopes of seeing Emma crack a smile...precious!  In the beginning of the month, Emma was very sick and you were just so incredibly sweet.  I spent several days taking care of Emma, meaning you got very little attention.  But you were such a champ and a wonderful helper.  I'm just so proud of the little lady you are becoming!

Your favorite activity is swinging on the swings in our backyard.  You are a bit obsessed!  The only downside is that you refuse to pump your legs and if we can't push you, you have a meltdown.  Not fun.  :-(  You also LOVE the show 'Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood' on PBS. Your other favorite activity is being tickled. :-). Your still obsessed with the color pink, so that was the theme of your third birthday party. :). Pink everywhere!

One negative effect of turning 3 seems to be the whining and sass that come with this age.  I've always heard that 3 is worse than 2 and I definitely believe it.

3 Year Stats
Height - 39.5"
Shoe Size - 8.5 or 9
Clothes Size - 3T-5T (varies by brand)
Diaper Size - 6 overnights & 3T-4T pull-ups for nap time

Today, on your third birthday, I conducted your very first birthday interview which proved to be rather funny.  You didn't quite understand the concept and simply answered the questions with whatever first popped into your head. But isn't that what being 3 is all about anyway?  Here are some of my favorite answers:
- Favorite thing to eat for lunch? "Peas"
- Favorite outfit? "Lovie pants with the kitty cat shirt" (your pjs)
- Favorite game? "Matching game because I do really good and that makes me happy."
- Favorite song? "I Love You", "Lullaby" and "Goodnight Sweetheart" (your 3 bedtime songs)
- Best friend? "Emma" (melts my heart)
- Where do you like to eat? "Pamera" (Panera)
- What is Mommy's job? "Feed Emma and me"
- What does Daddy do at work? "Work, work"
- What makes you happy? "Mommy & Daddy"

Precious girl, YOU make us happy!  Your smile brightens up a whole room and your laughter is contagious.  We love you all the way to the moon and back...that's a lot of love!!!!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Emma: 8 Months


We had a very rough month!  I'm exhausted just thinking about it.  Your first year of life has been filled with sickness and this month was no exception.  :-(  You spent the entire month sick and nearly all of it on antibiotics.  YUCK!  As a self-proclaimed 'natural momma', I absolutely hate that you spent so many days this month on antibiotics (you are still taking them!).  Your latest runny nose started the day you turned 7 months old and turned into a very persistent double ear infection that has still not gone away.  All the congestion and pain has made for some very long days and nights.  You had one of your very worst nights this month - awake and fussy from 1:30pm-2:30am and then up for the day at 5am, followed by only 3 hours of sleep the day after.  I honestly don't know how you stayed awake that long.  I was EXHAUSTED!  Even a steady dose of Tylenol and Motrin didn't knock you out!  We suspect that it was the tiny dose of albuterol we gave you that afternoon to help with your wheezing, so you can guarantee that we will not be giving you that again anytime soon. 

You tried several new foods this month - mango (hated at first, but now you love it), carrots (not a fan of pureed, but loved when I gave you some diced ones), apple, and cheerios (loved).  You love feeding yourself!

Despite being so sick this month, you managed to accomplish lots of new feats - your first tooth popped through (bottom right), you started pulling yourself up in your crib (we had to move the crib mattress all the way down) and on your leapfrog table and on the couch, you officially dropped your third nap (now you nap 2 times per day for about 1.5-2 hours each), you continue to army crawl everywhere, you started doing what we call the machine gun laugh, and best of all you said your first word - MAMA!!!!!!  You have no idea how excited I am that this was your first word. :-)  Since Hannah's first word was "dada" I thought it was only fair that you say "mama" first.  :-)  You also started saying "ehmuh" over and over, which we translate to mean Emma...so smart!

8 Month Stats
- Diapers: Size 3
- Clothes: 9 months
- Shoes: 2 or 3, but not sure since you never wear them
- Weight: 19 lbs
- Height: not sure

Your 8th month was really hard sweet girl, and I'm sorry for that!  It breaks my heart to see you in pain and so sick. :-(  I pray that the remaining months of your first year of life are full of healthy days!  And for everyone's sake, I pray that sleep finds its way back to our house very soon. We love you squishy, snot and all!