Friday, June 29, 2012

Hello from Ithaca, NY!

Taughannock Falls (link)

Our week of house hunting and relaxing in Ithaca, NY has flown by! It's hard to believe that we'll be on our way back to San Francisco tomorrow morning. Of course, we miss Noelle like crazy! If it weren't for the fact that she's in CA, though, we might not get on that plane tomorrow =)

It was fun to revisit some of our old favorite restaurants and locations this week. One of which being Taughannock Falls (above). This afternoon we went up the west side of Cayuga Lake to some of our old favorite wineries. Our afternoon looked like this:

Don't you feel sorry for us?

While we're just as close to Napa where we live in the Bay Area, wine tasting in NY is just so much easier and more relaxed. We don't care if the wines aren't *quite* as good in NY, and we'll take a $2 wine tasting (with cheese!) in NY over the $20 Napa tastings any day!

House Hunting: Cutting to the chase, we didn't find a house - yet. The week, however, was extremely productive on that front. We now have a very good idea of the local market and reassurance (from our agent and from the recent sales history) that what we're looking for is likely to come available within our time frame. Most importantly, we've settled on our target area, which will make remote searching much easier.

Now, we can go back to CA and relax some... focusing on Noelle and the impeding arrival of baby girl =)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Grandma is Visiting!

Alex and I are headed out of town tomorrow for a week long house hunting trip in Ithaca (fingers crossed). Grandma Hayes arrived Wednesday to stay with Noelle while were gone. Already, Noelle has had a busy few days! We know she's in good hands while we're away =)

Wearing Mommy's sweatshirt, again

Playing with blocks

Learning how to clone herself

Climbing mountains

Falling off cliffs*

Whew, that was fun!  
*There are plenty of toddler-sized and regular-sized slides at this playground. Will Noelle go down any of those? No, of course not! She'll only go to the cliff-hanger slide that gives us a heart attack every time she goes down it =)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Fathers' Day!

Hanging out by the 'pool'

Alex had a busy Fathers' Day! 

This morning he completed his longest run ever, 20 miles! He is well on his way to the San Francisco Marathon at the end of July.

Then, in the afternoon, we hosted a get-together on behalf of our friend, Pete, who is moving to Boston on Tuesday. We're sad to see him go, but very excited for the opportunities taking him there =)  Noelle was sure to get in some quality time with her Uncle Pete while she still could.

You're funny, Uncle Pete

Unfortunately, it was a little cool this afternoon for too much pool play. Noelle was pretty darn cold, but still refused to get out of the pool! Finally, though, we called-off further swimming and Noelle retreated to the warmth of her yellow ducky towel. I'm sure there is much more pool time in our near future.

That's much warmer

Saturday, June 16, 2012

My First Pool

Today was a banner water day for Noelle. First, Daddy took her to a baby-and-me swim class this morning. The teacher asked Alex why Noelle was in that class. Kiddos are supposed to be in that class until they are 2.5 years old (9 months away for Noelle!). Noelle, however, is so tall for her age that she looks like she belongs in the next class. Sorry baby girl, next summer =)

After so much fun at the pool this morning (and because the weather was too hot for the park) we decided to double up with a water-filled afternoon. We headed to Target and scored an inflatable baby pool for $20. Here's how it went over:

I've got this

Time for the water (don't mind the baby bump sneaking into the picture!)

This is awesome!

Yeah, I'm a cutie

You would expect that after all that play Noelle would be exhausted. True to form, however, she was ready for some more silliness in Mommy's shoes =)

Look, they fit!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Snoozing in the Toddler Bed

Now that Alex is back with the camera, I can share a picture of Noelle enjoying her toddler bed in all of its glory:

Why would I leave such a comfy spot?

Noelle continues to stay in her bed like a good girl. Even in the morning, she waits there, yelling 'Mama', until we go to get her. She has fallen out of bed twice in the middle of the night. Toddlers are active sleepers and she's accidentally rolled out. She wasn't very happy about that! Once we put her back, though, she settled right back down =) I now keep some extra blankets piled up under the 'opening'!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Getting into things...

...literally. Climbing on-top of, into and over whatever she can is Noelle's new favorite activity!

Box from Daddy's new shoes


Display sign at the grocery store

There would be many more of these pictures if I had a camera with me all the time. She can't get enough of it!

I am also seriously lamenting my lack-of-camera this week because Noelle has been so funny wearing my shoes around the house. She has gotten quite good at making it up/down the hallway in my shoes. This morning, while I was in the shower, she visited me in sneakers, Ugg boots (they go up to her knees!), flip-flops and even a pair of low heals!

Finally, the toddler bed is a resounding success. This is the fourth night in a row that she has climbed into her bed, on her own, and gone to sleep without getting up even once! She likes the new configuration so much that she wants to sit in there for her before-bed book, instead of in the chair we had been using. Little girl must really love her sleep!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Big Girl Changes

I'm a Big Girl now =)*

Baby girl's arrival is just ten weeks away, give or take, yikes! I'm thinking that it'll be easier on Noelle if we help her with some of the baby/toddler transitions now so she's not dealing with some of her inevitable milestones while getting used to a new baby in the house. Most things aren't within my control, of course. Noelle's the boss. (Fortunately, her two-year molars have been showing up early on their own! It looks like teething will be 100% over before the baby is here.) I am, however, starting to offer/change things that I might otherwise let slide for a while. 

Bottles-to-Sippy Cups: I let the bottles hang around probably much longer then I should have already. They're just so convenient, especially first thing in the morning. She can roll around in bed with us, happily drinking her milk, and not make a mess. We had been using sippy cups for water & juice, but kept bottles for the milk. Also, the sippy cups have more 'parts' to clean and are a bit of a hastle assemble. What I don't want, however, is for Noelle to see the new baby with a bottle and think the baby has something that should be 'hers'. 

So, last week I just threw them all out**. We couldn't use them if we didn't have them, right? Guess what? Noelle didn't even notice (surprise surprise). I should have done it earlier!

Potty Training: With Alex out of town we didn't have any big 'family outings' planned. So, I decided to give potty training a real try. She likes to sit on the potty and often wants to do so w/out her pants on. So, maybe she's ready? After a day and a half of Noelle walking around with no diaper I learned that she's not. She understands what's supposed to happen and said 'uh oh' and got upset whenever she peed on the floor. She just can't quite recognize when she needs to pee yet. So, we'll try this one again a little bit later.

Crib-to-Bed: We're hoping to not have to buy another crib. The plan is to have Noelle in a twin bed by the time the baby is 6 months old and outgrows the co-sleeper. We could buy some more time with the pack-and-play (like we did with Noelle) until around 9 months, but that's it.

As a first step, Noelle's crib converts into a toddler day-bed by taking off the front rail and adding a low guard rail. She's has a cold and we were home today. I decided to convert her bed this morning since it was raining we needed an indoor activity. One trip to Home Depot later (It came with the guard rail for the day-bed configuration but not the necessary bolts. Really? Grr.) and we had an adorable day-bed!*** Noelle thought it was awesome - to play in. She climbed in/out, threw her animals in/out, and jumped on it like crazy.

This is another transition that just won't work if the toddler isn't ready. She has to understand the 'invisible wall' that is her bed and stay in it. When nap time came around and I left the room, door slightly ajar (I didn't want her to try and get out and get mad/upset that she couldn't), I was certain I'd have a little visitor soon. 

She slept for 2.5 hours. Huh.

When she woke up, she rolled around and fussed in her bed, but didn't get out until I picked her up. Bedtime went just as smoothly. She's passed out as I type now! It is likely she doesn't quite realize that she's free to 'move about the cabin' and we have a gopher phase (up/down/up/down) coming our way. Still, I'm cautiously optimistic!

* This picture is actually from a run we did last Wednesday. Alex has the camera with him in Chili for the week. So, I'll be using some 'saved' pictures this week.

** New bottles are in the cupboard waiting for baby girl =)
*** Try assembling furniture with a toddler 'helping'. I dare you.