Tuesday, August 27, 2013


A few weeks ago Orelia started cruising around on the furniture, and we are starting to get a glimpse at our future walker.

She's enjoying the view from up top.

We are enjoying seeing her enjoy herself.

It takes some getting used to - seeing your baby walking around.

In the beginning you seem to spend all day with your hand trailing behind them in case they tumble backwards, tumble forwards, or tumble sideways.

Slowly but surely they seem to get their footing and you relax.

And then soon - I imagine - they start walking without the aid of furniture and the process starts all over again.

Orelia's newfound height allows her easier access to her favorite playmate.

Harper can give kisses without moving from her favorite spot.

Everybody wins!

It's always such a joy to see your child enjoy their newfound skill.  Happy cruising to our sweet girl!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Anika Visits CA

One of my best friends, Anika, came out to visit us a few weeks ago, and we had a blast mothering our two "big" kids together.  Last time when I visited her in Chicago, Orelia was only 6 months old and not nearly as active as she is now.  Orelia adored watching Arianna start a marching band, play with a jack-in-the-box, cuddle monkeys, and put together puzzles.  She wanted to be a big girl just like Arianna.

Sadly, they were only in California for a few days, but we had a good time playing in the backyard and visiting the local zoo.  It was fun seeing a two and a half year old appreciate the zoo, since we've only ever been with Orelia.

Anika has been my mothering mentor from the get-go, always offering support and advice on nursing, baby proofing, feeding solids, sleeping, discipline, and staying happy.  The advice I get from emails and texts is nothing compared to seeing her mother in person (which I've been lucky enough to see every six months or so since she had Arianna).  She is always patient and kind with her daughter and constantly tries to instill these traits in Arianna.  And Arianna is a sweetheart who helped calm Orelia with renditions of Old McDonald and Twinkle Twinkle and cuddled and played fetch with Harper.  I hope I'm able to raise Orelia with the same sweetness as Anika has done with Arianna.

John, Orelia, and I miss our fun visitors and can't wait for them to come back.  Two babies in the bath and around the house is twice the fun!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Baby Newer Than Ours

Last month we hiked up the 101 to visit our friends and their new baby.

We got to see their pup too, which didn't hurt our feelings.

I'm always slightly surprised to be around a baby newer than ours.

I think of Orelia as just a teeny baby, but being around a newborn again showed me just how far she's come.

Orelia loved testing out all of the baby's untouched toys.  And she got to show them first hand what needed baby proofing.

Such a beautiful family and a beautiful baby boy.

He behaved perfectly the whole visit - essentially sleeping the whole time - that I almost forgot how hard it is when they are so new to the world.  It was lovely to meet baby Luca, and we are excited to see him grow up!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Tongue Tied

At this age, kids seem to learn something new every day.

But you never know what it is they will pick up.

About a month ago Orelia figured out she could stick out her tongue.

If you stick your tongue out, she would absolutely love to follow suit.

She's such a little lady.

We certainly didn't set out to teach our girl how to stick her tongue out at her loving parents, but it's good to know she's learning important skills.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The First Birthday Party

Last Saturday we celebrated Orelia's first birthday with a backyard bash surrounded by all our local friends.

The almost-one-year olds were sent home with pinwheels, paper crowns, organic O's, and goodie bags.

Champagne bottles were popped, and the babies downed celebratory water.

Everyone feasted on Orelia's favorite foods - soft pretzels, watermelon, strawberries, and Chick-fil-a.

Orelia spent the afternoon playing with friends with her Daddy by her side.  Her idea of a perfect celebration.

I was there too, of course.

I couldn't have pulled it off without Natalie and Mitch's help the morning of the party.  They came over early and prepared all of the food while I ran around like a crazy person.

I spent the morning decorating, so it was a huge relief to have them doing all the food prep.

The babies navigated tunnels, chewed on plastic delicacies, and splashed at the water tables.  They quite enjoyed themselves, I think.

Harper's friend Tiggy also came to wish Orelia a happy birthday.

Joyce kept Harper under control throughout the whole party.  The chicken nuggets were a little too tempting for a certain brown dog.

We were glad so many of our friends were able to come celebrate Orelia's big day.

After a couple of hours and a few dozen chicken nuggets, we figured it was time for dessert.  Raspberry, red velvet, and vanilla macaroons were the prelude to the red velvet cake.

Orelia was a bit confused as to the singing portion of the afternoon, but she didn't seem to mind.

She had her very own red velvet smash cake to do with as she pleased.

She was pretty serious about the matter.

Eventually she tasted a bit using her trusty teaspoon.

Evidently it was worth pawning off on Daddy, but not worth taking another bite.

She got pretty into the experience, and I learned why it's called a smash cake.

She thoroughly destroyed the cake like a good birthday girl should.

Once she realized there were balloons behind her, she would not rest until they were covered in cake.

The party ended with crowns and cuddles.

After the guests left and a nap was taken, there were many presents to open.

Orelia's new "bike" from me and John was almost as well received as the tissue paper inside all the gift bags.

Happy first birthday to our baby girl.  We look forward to lots more fun, lots more parties, and hopefully more cake eating in the years to come.