Saturday, March 31, 2012

Wisconsin Wrap-Up

Tomorrow, sadly, our vacation ends and we head back to California. The bright side, of course, is that Noelle and her daddy will be reunited =)

It has been a busy week of fun and mess making. Here are the photo highlights from the last few days:


 No holiday is complete without cupcakes

 Getting into a little trouble

 Attacking Grandpa

 Eggs with Grandma, again =)

Look, I can make a fire!

Hanging out like a big girl

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hi Daddy!

Hi Daddy!

You won't believe how busy I have been in Wisconsin. I put a bunch of pictures below to show you what I have been up to.

Mom showed me the picture you sent from Lake Tahoe. She told me that you are having a lot of fun skiing. What is all that white stuff? You have to take me there some day so I can see it.

The weather in Wisconsin has been beautiful. A little cold some days, but then very warm the next. I have been playing, and eating, a lot!

I miss you and can't wait to see you on Sunday. I'll have tons more fun stuff to tell you about then.

Love,
Noelle

Visiting with Great-Grandma Case was a blast! She even stayed an extra day with me =)

I helped Grandma make scrambled eggs. She adds hot sauce. We should do that, too!

I never go very long without being silly

There is a huge tub here where I got a bubble bath =)

Mommy has picked up piggy-back duty for you

I stayed warm on a cooler day

Mom still tries to put bows in my hair (I got them all out, though!)

I learned how to drive a bus...

...and how to do my own grocery shopping!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Three States in One Day!

On Thursday Noelle and I winged it to Wisconsin for a 10-day visit with my parents. Noelle was an unbelievably good traveler and hit the ground ready to play with all of the toys Grandma and Grandpa had waiting for her.

Toys!

One especially great item is a 'learning tower'; an adjustable height podium from which Noelle can observe all of the kitchen action. She likes it so much that she doesn't just stand in it, but hangs out in there as well!

Hanging out in the learning tower

Friday was a recovery/rest day. Since it was raining most of the day, Noelle got to know the inside of her new 'kingdom' very well. Here, she is digging in the pantry for hidden treasure (applesauce was the big find):

Playing pantry survivor

Today was the big, whirl-wind Midwest tour. The plan was to go down to Indian to visit Great-grandma and grandpa Brock and then stop in Illinois on the way home to pickup Great-grandma case for an overnight visit. How does one little baby accomplish this in one day, you may ask? With Grandpa's brand new, super luxurious Piper Meridian airplane, of course!

Getting settled in the plane

What would have been 10 hours of driving time is reduced to less than 2 hours of total flying time. Now, that's the way to travel! Noelle was a wonderful traveler, again. She didn't have a single melt-down all day, being dragged to all of these strange places. She even spent most of the second flight laughing hysterically!

Master Pilot - AKA Grandpa

Once on the ground in Indiana, it was all 'play play play' with only brief stops for lunch and then a nap.

Playing!

Best of all, she got to meet her great-grandma for the first time, and see her great-grandpa who hadn't seen her since she was three months old.

Great-grandma and Great-grandpa Brock!

The greatness just kept coming. Noelle's Uncle David made the drive from Louisville, KY to meet us in Indiana and visit with her as well! You'd think there was a limit to how much wonderful attention one baby could absorb, but Noelle hasn't hit it yet!

Uncle David, you are tall!

After a quick stop in IL to pickup Great-grandma Case we were soon back home in WI and it was time to say good bye to the very special, very fancy mode of transportation. Noelle is now officially 'spoiled' =)

Bye Bye, airplane

Thursday, March 22, 2012

It's (going to be) a girl!

On Wednesday we had our second trimester ultrasound. Huge sigh of relief... everything checked out well. The baby is healthy and 100% on track for *her!* August 17th due date. Especially of note is;

I'm a girl!

Aww, another baby girl =) We had Noelle along with us for 'the big reveal'. Here she is, from my perspective on the table, watching the ultrasound monitor:

This is a strange movie

Two little girls will be soooo cute together. We can't wait! Added bonus; we already have all of the baby supplies and gender appropriate clothes =)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Weekend

We had a productive St. Patrick's Day weekend. I'd say it was relaxing, but that only applies to Noelle and me. Alex was busy re-sodding the back yard!

Saturday started off right with green eggs and green waffles in honor of St. Patty's Day:

Looks appetizing

Then Alex took Noelle to Home Depot for a 'lawn care' seminar, to see how he could get our grass to grow better. As it turns out, Noelle was his lucky charm for the day. The organizers of the class thought she was so cute (and that it was sooo cute Alex brought her) that instead of helping him reseed the lawn, they gave him enough sod to do it for practically nothing. Score! Alex paid someone w/ a truck $30 to get it home and got to work.

Huge sod pile

'Before'

'During'

'After' (beer in hand!)

Alex accomplished a huge amount in such a short time! I did my part, a little, by making good snacks throughout the day =)  Noelle really liked keeping Daddy company in the back yard. She was in and out of the house all afternoon.

Homemade doughnuts, with green sprinkles =)

Noelle pointing out the 'di' (sky)

We rounded out the weekend with a trip to Target (do I ever make it through a weekend without a trip to Target?). Surprisingly, Noelle B-lined it for the T-Ball helmets and tried to put them on. Where does she get these ideas? 

I'm old enough to play, really!

Friday, March 16, 2012

First 'Belly' Pics

Ah, the beginning of pregnancy belly pictures. This when it starts to feel 'real'... when you look, and don't just feel pregnant. We're at 18 weeks (4 months) pregnant right now. With the 1st pregnancy I thought "Yay, I'm showing!". This time; it's "ugh, I'm showing."

Looks like too many burritos instead of a baby, still =)

A little more preggo-looking here

In unrelated news, Noelle just scored her first motorized ride! Alex took her to Target last night while I finished some work and they came home with this adorable, loud, large device:

All I have to do is push a button!

Noelle, of course, thinks this is a wonderful addition to the household. The last time Alex went to Target alone with Noelle, he came back with the big slide you see in the background above and another riding toy. Alex is no longer permitted unsupervised trips to Target =)

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Cal Academy of Sciences

On Saturday, we headed over to the Cal Academy of Sciences, in downtown San Francisco, to give Noelle her first aquarium experience. Here's how it went:

Wow!

We didn't even begin to make it through all of the exhibits. This place was massive, containing everything from the huge aquarium exhibits to a three-story, self-enclosed rain forest habitat. Even some South African penguins were there!

Penguin feeding

Getting a good view of the action

What are you wearing on your face?

Another wonderful attraction was a toddler play area. Not only was there a lot of fun activities in the play area, but the number of kids in there at any given time is kept at a fixed number. So, it was a safe, non-crowded area for some fun. At the end of the day, everyone had a wonderful time!

Bambi?

Taking a ride

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Surprise!

Alex, who was on travel for 11 days, was supposed to get home late last night. At 3:45pm yesterday, I received this wonderful surprise message:

Meet us for dinner at 5:30pm?

When I got home around 5:15pm these two were cooking together in the kitchen; too cute. I'll take a surprise like that any day!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Difference A Year Makes

My little passenger
Looking back through the blog, I came across a picture of Noelle in the jogging stroller last March. So, I thought it would be fun to do a side-by-side comparison to now, a year later. Little miss Noelle has sure been busy growing the past year. Above left, she is 5 months old and the right picture is from this afternoon (17 months). No wonder the jogging stroller feels heavier!

Today was a day of Noelle discovering new hazards. She climbed up onto the dining room table and discovered how to get dental floss out of the package.

Help yourself
 
This can't be safe
 
She has also recently figured out how to work the door knobs. If that wasn't bad enough, she'll move her stools around to help her get what she wants. Sigh, there is no baby proofing for this stage. She can now get to whatever she wants and isn't really cognizant of what is dangerous. We'll be on our toes now!

Finally, even though we're a couple of weeks early, I couldn't resist putting Noelle in this little dress today.

How cute am I?

Someone (very sorry 'someone', I don't remember who you are!) gave us this adorable dress when she was too little for it; it's 18 months size. I'm excited she can wear it this year!*

*Am I the only one who thinks it's silly that this 'First St. Patrick's Day' dress is made in '18 months' size (and likely higher)? I mean, it can only be your 'first' any annual holiday until you are 12 months old!

Friday, March 2, 2012

Mornings with Noelle

Alex is out of town, this time for 12 days. So, Noelle and I are getting some quality time together! Mornings are her most dynamic time; she's full of energy, having fun and, most notably, up early. Baby girl is a wonderful sleeper. No matter what we do to try and keep her up she usually passes out around 6pm and sleeps for 12 hours straight. It's amazing, except that means we see her at 6 am every morning =)

The first hour or so of the morning is perhaps the best part of the day. We read books in bed, she 'baby dials' people in my phone (note to all friends/family: we apologize for any early morning baby calls you may have received!) and we cook a hearty breakfast. Today, she had so many of my eggs that I grabbed myself a ClifBar on the way out the door!

After the first hour, however, it's time to get serious and get ready for the day. I need to shower, get us dressed, etc. Only, Noelle doesn't get the memo; to her, it's still play time. So, the bathroom becomes the new arena. This morning, here's what she dragged in there:


 Noelle's Entertainment

She loves to bring me essential items while I'm in the shower; i.e. throw them in and watch them roll around. Today, she brought me what you see above (okay, the chair didn't actually make it into the shower, but she tried really hard to get it in there) plus: a book, volley ball, beach ball, phone, hair brush, makeup and tampons. Since, really, who can possibly take a shower without all of those essentials!

Next, we move on to getting dressed. While I'm busy looking for clean clothes, she helps by putting my shoes away. By 'away' I mean taking them out of the shoe rack and putting them where she thinks they should go:

Much Better

Somehow, we both managed to end up clothed and get out the door. If the dogs are lucky, I remember to let them out and feed them first!