Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Party Central

That's what it's been around here. It seems this whole summer has been one big party - full of weddings and birthdays - and this past weekend was no exception.

On Saturday, Mark's long-time friend Jared, and Sara got married in Plymouth. The last time I had seen them was last year - we were watching the Red Wings in the Stanley Cup playoffs - hoping for another win (and hoping I wasn't going to go into labor in Jared's apartment). It was nice to enjoy some wine and hang out with everyone again and see pictures of their little ones (a bunch of us had babies last year and haven't seen each other since). Congrats to Sara and Jared!

On Sunday, Mark made us blueberry pancakes for breakfast (his specialty!) and then loaded up the rest of the pile of shrubs sitting in our driveway while Morgan and I visited with Grandma Goulding, Aunt Nancy and Mason. Then, it was off to Lansing to celebrate Brody's first birthday at Burchfield Park. What a great place for a party! Morgan loved running around, climbing the stairs and riding in the swings. But she really LOVED Brody's new battery operated ATV. And she CRIED when Tim took it to the car to pack up Brody's gifts. Hence, it has been added to Morgan's wish list. Happy Birthday (TODAY!) Brody.

We've got a few new things going on with Morgan. She is up to 10 teeth and eating so well. She's loving all the fresh summer fruit, especially blueberries and watermelon, which she can spear very easily with her little fork. Even though she gets breakfast at school, I have been splitting a banana with her in the morning to hold her over. Last week she started signing "more" (mo) when she is done so now she's practically eating the whole thing herself!She also likes to walk around in my shoes. Morgan doesn't love everything though. She likes playing in the water but recently started to hate baths. I've tried everything from changing the water temperature to getting in the tub with her to giving her more toys and she just will not sit down and stop crying. I'm not sure what the deal is. Maybe she misses the big pool in Mexico.

On the agenda this weekend, we are heading to Cadillac to Kristin's in-laws for a Perez wedding reception party. Go, go, go...that's how we roll.

P.S. Kristin blogged about her wedding today if anyone wants to see some of the professional pictures.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Los Cabos: Day 7 + 8

Friday was our last day in Los Cabos. We filled our morning with breakfast and packing and then, saying goodbye. It was a pretty uneventful day (with two uneventful flights - Morgan slept most of the time and Mark and I watched The Dark Knight), but a long day. We landed at 1:30am Saturday morning and finally climbed into bed at 3am.It was an awesome trip and my biggest worry, Morgan's demeanor on the plane, turned out to not be an issue at all. Yeah, Morgan! Even though we've only been home for a week, it already feels like it was so long ago that we went.

Kristin and Troy are having their official reception party this coming weekend, so it'll be fun to see everyone and celebrate some more!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Los Cabos: The Wedding

At 6pm on Thursday July 16, our dad walked Kristin down the aisle to meet her groom-to-be. She was beautiful and everything about the day was perfect. There are 100's of pictures floating around out there (can you believe they already got their photos back from the photographer? And they are awesome!) This is just a sampling of a few I got:At 8pm, 15 of us took our seats for dinner. So yummy - probably my favorite of the week. We had fresh asparagus with cherry tomato and parmesan, tomato cream with basil soup, filet mignon, lobster tail and coconut cake.

While we ate and clanged glasses for Kristin and Troy (even Morgan started banging her sippy cup with a spoon!), we relaxed and enjoyed each others company. Especially Mark and I, as this was our final night in Los Cabos. And of course Kristin. We hadn't talked much about it but I'm sure she was breathing a sigh of relief that everything had gone so well. Would you agree sis?

Tonight, it was Mark's turn to hang out with everyone, so while Morgan and I enjoyed some quiet snuggling, they went down to the lounge for a Rock Band tournament. Except when the staff plugged in the Xbox to the projector, the outlet sparked and blew up the machine. No Rock Band tonight and man, were they bummed (we were among some RB superstars!). They decided to call it a night because the guys had to be up super early for their deep sea fishing trip the next morning. And I'm sure the newlyweds were ready for some alone time.
Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Troy Perez. We wish you all the love, laughter and happiness in the world. XO

Next: Days 7 + 8 - our departure

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Los Cabos: Day 5 + 6

On Wednesday, the guys and girls split up and enjoyed their respective pre-wedding day activities. The guys took an ATV tour while us girls got pampered with our own spa day. Kristin connected with a woman in Cabo that has a staff of women that travel to the resorts in the area to do facials, manicures, pedicures - so instead of packing up our stuff to go somewhere - they came to us! While the guys were buzzin' around in the 100 degree desert sand, we got to relax in Kristin and Troy's nice cool honeymoon suite and get our nails did.That night we all met back up and had an amazing dinner at Portofino. Yup, Italian in Mexico! With fabulous wine. Too much wine for me, cuz I ended up joining the crew down at the lounge after dinner for karaoke night. And I DO NOT do karaoke. It's a dark pic, but here are the girls rocking out to Sweet Dreams by Eurythmics. Nice! Later, Ian got up and performed Sweet Caroline and Troy sang Ring of Fire. Damn that free liquor.Then it was Thursday! The Big Day! But not before some food, drinks and pool time. While Morgan napped, we kicked Troy out of their room and Kristin and I did each other's hair, got dressed, laced up Kristin's gown and bustle, threw down a lava flow and walked down to the gazebo at 5:45...

...but this wedding deserves it's own post. So I'll share more tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Los Cabos: Day 3 + 4

On Monday, instead of our morning pool visit, we decided to take the 30 minute walk east to a swimmable beach. The beach that the resort sat on almost always had rough waters and high waves (we could hear the waves all the way up in our room) so we packed up some snacks and water and hauled ourselves through the course sand to a beach where we could go in the water.
Morgan loved the water...and got mad when the waves went away. It was a tiring walk, but I'm glad we could get Morgan in the salt water. It sure did poop her out too and fell asleep in my arms on the way back to the resort.After lunch it was back to the pool and our water baby was running around everywhere. While following the stone border along the pool edge and waving to some guests, she fell in the pool! No worries though, I was about 2 feet behind her and jumped in and swooped her up. The people around us gasped and I was expecting her to cry out of shock, but she didn't make a peep. Crazy girl! I set her down to walk back to our chairs and she was a little dizzy, but completely fine.

For dinner, we went to Himitsa for some Asian cuisine. Our entrees were good, but the desserts were fab. You've heard of fried ice cream, right? Well Mark had tempura ice cream. Oh my, I was drooling! And totally jealous that I didn't get the same thing.

On Tuesday the bride and groom arrived, as well as the rest of their wedding guests. Before lunch, Mark played against some other guests and the entertainment staff in a ping pong tournament and kicked their butts! Woohoo! Once everyone got settled, we met them at the pool for drinks - Kristin and Troy, our parents (missing below), Troy's mom and step-dad, Val and Derek, Erin and Bryan and Kelly and Ian.A bunch of us had dinner together that night and geared up for the big wedding day eve activities the next day. Here are a few more pics from these two days:
There was a shallow (think bath tub water depth) section in the pool that was perfect for Morgan to sit in and splash us.
This girl is crazy about shoes, her own and everyone else's. If she wasn't chasing after a random ball sitting on the pool deck, she was trying to snatch other people's sandals. Here she is helping daddy put his on (and take them off, and put them on...).
There was a small pond outside our suite that we passed each time we went down to the pool that was the home for 8-10 turtles. Morgan would have loved to jump in after them.

Tomorrow: Days 5 + 6

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Los Cabos: Day 1 + 2

After 2 flights and 8 hours, we opened the door to our suite at Dreams Resort and Spa in Los Cabos, Mexico on Saturday. Ah, air conditioning! Thank goodness cuz it was hot, hot, hot there all week. 100-105 degrees and sunny. And humid. I wasn't expecting the humidity. Nor was my hair. I digress...Our flight to Mexico went great and Morgan was a champ. We opted to not buy her a seat on the plane and she sat in our laps the whole way and it worked out great. She slept a lot and when she wasn't we were able to keep her busy with new toys, snacks and of course, the SkyMall magazine, which was promptly torn to shreds.

Our room was nice and big, and had a great view of the ocean and the pool - where we spent 90% of our time. The balcony was perfect for people watching.
Mark and I had never been to an all-inclusive resort before so we didn't know what to expect. We're not used to free - food, drinks (adult or not) - especially a mini fridge stocked full of water that didn't cost $8 a bottle. Plus we had turn down service each night, complete with chocolates and flowers.After we got to our room we relaxed for a little bit while Morgan ran around (yeah, finally!). We walked around the resort and down to the beach, then got dinner at one of the 5 restaurants on the resort - I had crab stuffed chicken with chipotle cream...yum! Then back to our room to change into our swimmies and down to the pool.

Sunday we got to enjoy our first breakfast buffet and enjoyed it so much that we came back every day after and had the same thing. Omelets, pancakes, banana bread french toast, sausage, fruit smoothies. Having cereal for breakfast since we've been back is just so ho-hum.See, the humidity made Morgan's hair curl right up, it was so so cute.After breakfast we dressed in our swimsuits and played in the pool for a few hours. Then lunch, naps (for all of us!), pool, dinner and playing. During our stay, between the timeshare guys at the airport and the activities and entertainment staff at the hotel, we were getting a lot of pressure to go on tours and try certain activities while in Los Cabos. That wasn't going to be easy, if not possible at all, to do with a one year old. Regardless, Mark and I were so looking forward to doing a whole lot of nothing. Absolutely nothing. Every vacation we have been on since we were married we've been running around doing this and that. This time we actually had a reason to just stay put and chill. And it was really nice. So before you ask if we did anything or saw anything on our trip, the answer is no. :)Morgan LOVED the pool. She loved prancing around in her bikini and crocs, waving hi to anyone and everyone she passed. She loved being in the water and splashing and enjoyed watching the other kids play. We met a lot of other parents of young kids and Morgan made a couple friends by the end of the week, including little Danielle from LA. As the week went on, it seemed that everyone from the guests, to the pool staff and the waiters knew Morgan by name. She was a total ham and ate every bit of it up.

Next up: Days 3 + 4.

Monday, July 20, 2009

back to life, back to reality...

We're home! Well, have been for a few days now. Mexico was awesome (and HOT!), Kristin's wedding was beautiful, Morgan did fabulously and we all had a great time!

We got home really late (or really early, depending on your perspective) Saturday morning and the three of us must have all be exhausted because we didn't wake up until 9:30 - that is unheard of in this household. We had breakfast, ran some errands and stopped at my parents to visit my grandma (who was oh-so-kind enough to watch my parents dog while they were in Mexico). I hadn't seen her since my baby shower last year, so Saturday was the first time she met Morgan. It was really nice to spend a couple hours with her (before Morgan completely ransacked my parents house) and then we had our favorite pizza for dinner with Kevin and Erika.
On Sunday, Mark's mom and brother, Nick came down for the day and helped Mark cut down the 30-40 nasty overgrown shrubs, mixed with poison ivy, vines and weeds that border our property between our driveway and our neighbors. This pile above is only half of it. Mark got really ambitious and started pulling out the stumps too. WOW - you guys did a great job, it looks so much better now. Thank you, thank you! (Now, what to plant in it's place??)

Morgan and I spent our last afternoon together having a conference with her stuffed animals, doing laundry, riding bikes, dancing, blowing bubbles and napping. Such a sweet, sweet girl.
Boy, did I enjoy that week off with my two favorite people. I was not thrilled about dropping Morgan off at school this morning but I thought she'd be so happy about seeing her little friends again. Confused was more like it. She wasn't upset, but it took a bit to warm up to everyone again.

Well, enough babbling. I'm sure you want to see pics and hear details about Mexico. This week I will do a little Mexico in review as we get ready for another party filled weekend. Hmm, next weekend too, come to think of it. More soon!

Friday, July 10, 2009

make a run for the border

We are all packed up and ready to go. Tomorrow we leave for Mexico - our first trip (international at that) as a family - with the whole family! The flight should be an adventure in itself. Luckily Morgan is very comfortable around strangers. I just hope we can keep her occupied (and still) for 6 hours and land in Los Cabos with more friends than enemies. Please cross your fingers for us.

It's late and I am really going to need the little bit of sleep I am going to get tonight.

hasta luego!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

no rest for the wicked

We are buzzin' around like bees here. It appears we won't be slowing down again until mid August! This week, we are getting ready for our big trip and making sure we have everything - making piles, buying dresses (thanks mom!), tanning, buying swimsuits (thanks Mark!), doing laundry, packing, buying more luggage...
Yesterday we took Morgan back to the doctor for her height and weight check. At 20.5 pounds and 30.5 inches, apparently her doctor thinks she is back on track (up half a pound and two inches in four weeks). I wasn't worried before, just peeved at their lack of consistency in measuring her. How can they track accurate growth patterns if they are using different methods every time? I'll keep my mouth shut for now, but if the doc acts concerned again in September, I'll bring it up.

On Morgan's daily worksheet at school, they have 5 mood markers the teachers can check off: active, quiet, inquisitive, talkative, and happy. For the first time last week, talkative was checked on her list. She really has started to talk, a lot. In the last couple weeks she's been quite verbal and clear in what she is saying. Besides ma-ma and da-da (almost always da-da, this girl loves her daddy), we are hearing a lot of "mill" (milk), "bowl" (ball with an English accent), "bubba" (bubbles), "bye-bye" (to Auntie K last weekend), "ruf-ruf" (any animal, but mostly dogs and deer!) and her new favorite, "uh-oh". It used to be "uh-uh" after something fell on the floor, but she's definitely got it down now. She's been waking early in the morning this week, gabbing to herself. Then she either starts calling "da-da" or tosses her pacifier and noo-noo out the crib and repeats "uh-oh". It's so so cute. A great way to wake up in the morning.
Morgan is doing a lot of big girl things too. She is learning to use light switches and loves pressing the garage door opener to open or close the door. She is practicing using utensils and is starting to climb on furniture and up the stairs on the back patio. I gasped to myself and let out a little uh-oh when I saw her hike up her knee and grab onto the couch last week to get up on the seat with Mark. Oh boy.

We spent the long 4th of July holiday weekend hanging out with friends and family. On Friday we did a little shopping in the morning and visited Morgan's BFF Lola and her parents in the afternoon. Turns out the 4 of us (well, 6 of us) have a lot in common. Plus they live less than 2 miles away. There was plenty of beer drinking (Lola!) and sand eating (Morgan!) before we said our goodbyes and head out to Royal Oak. Later we enjoyed dinner at The Original Pancake House where I impatiently scarfed down (almost) their Big Apple Supreme (yup, supreme = a scoop of cinnamon ice cream on top of a baked pancake about the size of an apple pie) I love breakfast (and ice cream) for dinner. I am such a good example for my daughter. HA! Don't worry, Morgan had her own little silver dollar pancakes and sausage to chow down on.

On Saturday morning we went to the farmers market in downtown Farmington and got bagels at Big Apple Bagel. Morgan goes nuts whenever she sees a dog and on Saturday there was no shortage of them around the market. She LOVES dogs and squeals with delight when she sees them. We are trying to teach her to ask before touching a strangers dog and to pet them gently, though she likely doesn't get that yet. It's pretty cute to watch her interact with them and giggle when they lick her face. The bigger the better too. She seems to be drawn to the dogs that are much larger than her, not the little toy dogs that are just her size. We still have no plans to get a dog, not until she is old enough to ask for one. But at this rate, I think she's going to want one!
In the spirit of Independence Day, we lit some sparklers for Morgan to watch. She was intrigued as Mark waved them in the air...for about 3 seconds...and then she was running off to check out the next big thing that caught her eye. Her attention span is about as long as mine. She is easily impressed, and easily bored.

On Sunday we spent a lot of time outside. Morgan played in the yard while we tried killing weeds and trimming overgrown shrubs. Kristin and Troy came over in the afternoon and we made burgers and hung out while Morgan splashed in the pool. T-minus 6 days and counting until they are newlyweds. I am so looking forward to this trip!
Tonight, Mark is going to the Tigers game while Morgan and I bust a move on this packing business. But first I have to get through this dreadfully slow day.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

spoons are for sissies

Look at the 'tude in that last pic. What a little stinker!