Monday, June 29, 2009

Pool with Noah

Julie and Noah came back for the weekend and my brother-in-law, Josh, came down from Cleveland to join them. The guys went golfing on Saturday. We headed to the pool in the afternoon and met up with them once they finished their round of golf for some swimming and poolside dinner.

Don't you love the sunglasses? They came with the outfit that Kristin brought for Addison on her visit. She wears them all the time and when she doesn't have them on, she is asking for her "glasses".

Addison, meet Addison

Kristin is my best friend from college. We were practically inseparable while we were both at Purdue and probably would still be to this day if we didn't live on opposite sides of the country - she in California and me in The Heart of America.
It was only natural that we both named our first child Addison. The only thing that would have made it more appropriate is if I had named my daughter Addiso. You know, since my name is Kristin without the n.
Oh, nevermind.
Up until this point, everything we've known of each others Addison came from our blogs and conversations about them. It seemed as if they had similar personalities, likes and interests, etc. and we couldn't wait until the day that they would finally meet.
Last week, Kristin and Addison were in the Midwest for a visit and were so kind to fit us into their busy social schedule. They arrived on Tuesday and were to leave on Thursday. Addison Hope and I were much anticipating their arrival! It only took a few minutes of warming up to one another before our dreams came true. Check out this picture...taken within an hour of their arrival. Our babies were going to get along so well, just as we had hoped!

After snacks, we played outside (on the deck in the shade because it was a sweltering 90 degrees outside). Addison M. (the other Addison) found Addison Hope's rock collection and immediately went to it. Apparently, she is obsessed with rocks, too! The two of them took the rocks out and put them back in over and over and over again. At one time, one Addison would walk the rocks to another location on the deck while the other Addison would take them from said location, bringing them back to the original location. It was hilarious and I am so bummed we didn't get it on video! You'll just have to imagine....

All that rock playing made the girls thirsty, so they both chugged from their respective cups.

Then right before our eyes, like it was no big deal, they did a little switcheroo. Kristin and I looked at eachother and just laughed. This may be the only time I will allow Addison Hope to intentionally drink after another child. The funniest part is that this scenario continued over the next couple days and I didn't even cringe once! It must have been something about the incredibly adorable friend she was drinking after!

The Addisons visit the Zoo

The next morning, we ventured to the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. We wanted to show Addison M. just how much we loved the zoo. The girls hopped in the wagon in their matching outfits from Kristin (thanks!) and off we went.
One of Addison Hope's favorite spots is the Aquarium so we made that our first stop. They were enthralled with the fish and Addison M. even tried to climb into the Manatee tank! How precious are our girls?
I mean, do they already look like Best Friends Forever, or what?

Addison Hope found the gumball machine and practically insisted on having one. The things were so big, I don't think one would have fit in her mouth. Oh yeah, and you shouldn't give gum to an 18 month old. Duh! :)

There they go, switching cups again!
Did I mention it was another scorcher? Yes, it was already 90 degrees by noon so we were pretty tapped out after an hour. We made a final stop at the monkeys. They are gibbons, really, but to toddlers, they are monkeys. This is Addison's second favorite spot at the zoo. She could stare at the gibbons all day. They swing on their ropes and she says "swing monkey". She just adores them! On this day, they were all making these loud, crazy noises that I had never heard. It wasn't just sweet little "ooh ooh, ahh ahh" monkey noises. They sounded like screeching car alarms. It was nuts and the girls didn't quite know what to think.
A couple pictures of the 4 of us.

The Addisons visit the Pool

After the zoo, lunch, and naps, we headed to our pool. We were really looking forward to cooling down in our very fun pool at which Addison Hope and I spend a good number of days a week. We arrive to find that the pool complex would be closed for the remainder of the day due to a "biological accident" (aka some kid pooped in the pool and all the pools had to be drained and refilled). Lovely. Fortunately, we have access to another nearby pool and though it's not nearly as fun for the little ones (because it doesn't have the awesome zero depth area like our pool) , we made good use of the baby pool and the girls had a great time.

Check out the bubbles blowing contest they held.

The Addison's last day together

Sadly, our visit with Kristin and Addison was coming to an end. They were all packed up and ready to go, but we had one more piece of business to tend to.

When Dustin and I were in Maui, we bought both girls a tube top/sarong ensemble, just for fun. Never did I imagine that we would have the opportunity to photograph the girls together in these outfits. But, Kristin packed Addison M.'s so we could do just that!

Of course they had to exchange hugs to show their affection towards one another.

Then hand in hand, our little Hawaiian beauties walked together to sit down and pose.

The idea ultimately didn't work out so well as one of the little Addisons did not want to sit still.

Any guesses which one that might have been?

Addison Hope would just watch as Addison M. walked away. They are too much!
They were just so darling together!
Addison M. loved Bubba so we had to get a picture of them together. Probably more so than anything else that came out of her mouth during her visit was the word "puppy". Close behind in second place was "dip". Haaa, I thought you might appreciate that one, Kristin!

Before hitting the road, the girls sat down for breakfast together. We had them smiling big time, which made for a nice ending to a visit that won't soon be forgotten!

Kristin and Addison - Thank you SO MUCH for visiting and for sharing such special moments with us. We will never forget the visit of June 2009. Now it's our turn to come out to Cali. Hopefully, it won't be long! We love you both so very much!


I'm not so sure it was such a good idea to teach our girl how to say cheese. Keep your fingers crossed that our professional pictures we had taken over the weekend don't turn out completely cheesy. Hopefully the lens saw something different from what I saw!

Cousinly love

My sister, Julie, and Nephew, Noah, made a pit stop in Columbus on their way down to Dayton last week. It's always so much fun to see Addison and Noah playing together, especially as they get older and the age gap narrows. Noah is walking well now, so he and Addison were on a much similar level than they were just a month ago.

One of my favorite pictures of all time.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Little fish

It isn't all that often that Dustin is able to join us at the pool, so I thought I would post some pictures of he and Addison.

Dustin is our swimmer. I swam competitively for 8 years so am not what you would call a bad swimmer, but Dustin swam competitively for 16 years (including D1 collegiate swimming) so there is really no comparison. He would love for our girl to be a little fish, as well, and has been spending some time this summer giving her "lessons".

She loves blowing bubbles.

And is a really strong kicker.

I think it's safe to say that at the age of 18 months, our daughter could officially be considered a "pool rat". She just adores the water and would spend all day at the pool, if she could. She always works up quite the appetite after a couple hours of swimming. She immediately asks for "snacks" when we get in the car.

P.S. She is not sun burnt. I coat the fair-skinned child with gobs of sunscreen every time we are outside. Her cheeks get pink when she is active, especially when she is warm. I can't tell you how many people at the pool this year have said "It's probably good you're going home...looks like she's had enough sun today" when we've been packing up. Oh, unsolicited I loathe thee!

Olde Worthington Art Festival

It's been an ongoing tradition for the last 3 years to head to the Olde Worthington Art Festival. Remember last year?
Worthington is a charming little neighboring town and they put on a wonderful, huge art fair each year. We have had such a busy summer already, that we forgot to take note of when it was this year. Lucky for us, we happened upon it on the weekend that we were supposed to be in Chicago. This year I took note of where the artists were from and couldn't believe many come from as far away as South Carolina, New Mexico, Minnesota and Alaska! The different booths display some gorgeous, unique (and expensive) art. We didn't buy anything this year, but it was still nice to stroll around and get some snacks, which included vinegar soaked fresh cut french fries (of course) and Graeter's ice cream!

The Garden Box

Dustin and I have been throwing around the idea of building a garden box for Addison. Dustin had one as a boy in which they grew strawberries. He talks fondly of this garden box and wanted Addison to have a similar opportunity. We thought she was too young to appreciate it this year, so decided to build it next year. The problem with that was once Dustin has an idea in his head, it's hard for him to forget about it. So, one morning when he was having daddy/daughter time, he and Addison took a trip to The Home Depot (which she can say, by the way, and damn it's cute when she says Depot - she stresses the 2nd syllable instead of the first).

Trips to The Home Depot are a common occurrence around our house and Addison loves going and spending time with her Daddy (while Mommy sleeps or cleans or reads or blogs or showers).

The two of them gathered a whole lot of wood and had it cut to size. Addison pushed the cart. She's very, very strong.

During her nap, Dustin and I built the box. He placed the wood and I sat on it while he put the rebars through. (I sound like I know what I am talking about). He then reinforced it by screwing plates on various boards inside while I stained it the same color as our deck. It was hard work, but we love the finished product. Addison won't be into it much this year, but I bet next year she will become quite the green thumb!
(the left 2/3rd's house cucumbers, yellow and green bell peppers, basil and tomatoes. The right 1/3 is for compost so we have rich soil next year!)

After we built the box (before anything was planted), we noticed we had a little friend. Addison LOVES bunnies, so it was just perfect when this guy showed up. Our little friend has been spotted several times since. He is going to be disappointed to know we didn't plant any carrots!

Monday, June 22, 2009

To fly or not to fly - Part 2

I left out something very unimportant, but maybe one of the only good things that came from our disastrous day of not flying, in last night's post.

One of the toys I brought to the airport was a travel size magnetic drawing board. Someone had given it to me for free. Addison loves playing with it, drawing pictures for me and her babies. She sits her babies in their highchair and draws for them. Addison thrives on having an audience. (I was the same way as a child, demanding my mom's attention after school each day as I gave her the play by play of who said what about who and who got caught passing a note and what so and so did to the teacher, etc. She called me her little story teller. I think that was her nice way of calling me a liar, as many of the things I told her were maybe a little embellished. That's what a good story teller does, isn't it? I am really hoping I don't raise a liar. A dramatic story teller, perhaps. It's in the genes.)

So, back to the toy. Addison spent a good amount of time drawing pictures for a couple of older ladies in the terminal. They really seemed to enjoy the work of my little budding artist. Once we boarded the plane, I realized that we had left our precious little drawing board in the terminal. I almost asked the flight attendant if I could go retrieve it, but thought it was silly to go after a cheap, plastic toy. I also figured my request would be turned down and I would be left embarrassed.

We thought the toy was a goner. I would have to find a new one for my girl, as she would surely miss it. Until....

We had to deplane. I jumped off the plane, put Addison in the stroller and headed to our seats we had occupied hours earlier. As I was walking toward them, I saw something. It was one of the ladies, holding up our drawing board. You would have thought it was Christmas morning with the huge smile that spread across my face. I thanked the ladies for taking such good care of our toy. Addison was going to be so happy once she awoke from her slumber!

And she hasn't played with it but a minute since.

P.S. For those of you who have asked or wondered - the new car is indeed a Toyota Sequoia!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

To fly or not to fly (Addison's first attempt at air travel)

Disclaimer: This is a lengthy, but entertaining (I think) post.

This weekend was to be Addison's first time flying. She, Dustin, and I were headed to Chicago for a weekend social visit. On previous trips to Chicago, we've always driven. It was just easier since we could load up the car with pretty much every baby necessity possible. And Bubba could come with us, which was a huge plus. You know, since he, too, is our child! He's never flown on a plane and I don't think we'd ever try. But, Addison is currently at an age (hopefully temporarily) where anything much longer than 2 hours in a car is not very pleasant, hence the decision to fly.

Everything was good to go. I got a whole bunch of good tips for flying with a toddler from a friend, who has flown over a dozen times with her 20 month old, and called the airline 3 times about various questions I had. Mentally and physically, I was prepared. Not to mention that Addison and I had been talking about airplanes for weeks, in anticipation of this flight. She was very excited to get on a plane!

Thursday night, 12 hours before our flight was to take off for the big city, Dustin sprang something on me. We'd been car shopping for a few months and just that late afternoon, he found a great deal on the exact car we wanted. In Chicagoland. I mean, does that sound like a sign or what? To avoid a $1400 shipping fee, we could drive to Chicago the next day to pick it up (and trade in our old car). Drive to Chicago. No thank you. So, in the end, we compromised. Dustin would drive to Chicago and Addison and I would fly. Scary thought flying alone with Addison for her first time, but not nearly as scary as what I thought 6 hours in the car with her might be.

Dustin left Friday at 4:30am (the guy has some crazy adrenaline). Addison and I arrived to the airport shortly after 8am. Flight was to take off around 9:30. Weather in Columbus was bad. Terrible thunderstorms woke me up at 5am and had just subsided. Whew, because flying in bad weather is not my cup of tea. Addison was enthralled with the airplanes and kept saying "Plane fly. Addison plane."

Our flight was delayed 10 minutes. Not bad. That 10 minutes quickly changed to 30 minutes. Bad weather in Chicago. Addison was wondering if we were ever going to get on the airplane.

30 minutes turned to an hour and then to 2. Worry began to set in. Oh, and let me throw in there that Dustin had safely arrived to Chicago and was at the car dealership by this time. Go figure.

Addison greatly exceeded my expectations with her behavior. She was such a good, patient little girl. She was being her comical self and making people laugh, which was coming at a great time given that many of these people had been delayed for several hours.

Finally, it was time to board! We were very excited, but I was leery. The monitor said we weren't taking off for another hour. Why were we boarding?

We quickly found out that they needed our gate for another plane and we had to board in order to leave the gate. As soon as we left the gate, our pilot announced that O'Hare shut down all runways due to severe weather warnings. An Englishman came to my rescue with a "lolly". He had a young child with him, too.

2 hours later, we were still on the ground in Columbus. Addison was amazing. We were almost 2 hours past her nap time and hadn't had lunch. (She ate breakfast in the car on our way to the airport.) But, yet, she was a perfect angel. People even commented how great she was doing. She was up and down a lot, but stayed right next to our seat. I was armed with a plethora of snacks (thank goodness) and some books and toys that kept her occupied.

We used A LOT of hand sanitizer. I think she touched every single surface possible. Typically, this would have freaked me out, so it took some adjusting on my part to stay calm.

She was very kind and also offered some to those around us. They declined.

Then she did it. She pooped. And it smelled. We were on a small jet with no air circulation. Oh, did it smell. I had no option but to change her in the airplane bathroom. Have you ever seen a changing table in an airplane? It's small. Very, very small. This was the only time she cried. I made a quick change and we were back in our seats.

Everyone was getting very restless so the flight attendant made a trip up the aisle offering drinks and snacks. I opted for something that I never opt for, just to give Addison a little variety during this trying time. I ordered cran-apple juice. It's red. And yes, that's an important fact.
Because Addison was on my lap, I couldn't use the seat-back tray. The nice foreign gentleman next to us allowed us to share his tray. Addison snacked on her raisins and I would occasionally hand her the juice. Then, it happened. Addison spontaneously reached for the almost-full cup of juice and knocked it over, spilling every last bit on the man's white shirt and suit pants. He yelped and half the plane turned to look. I quickly tried to sop up the liquid with napkins as he pushed my hand away. I apologized over and over and over. I don't think the man spoke much English, but seemed to understand and accept my apology. I offered him $20 for dry cleaning and he refused. The guy next to me made an observation, saying "This just isn't your best day." Was it that obvious? I mean, thanks, guy.

O'hare finally opened one runway. Hundreds of planes were vying for a spot in line. We took a vote. Stay on the plane and maybe get cleared for take off in the next couple hours or deplane and go from there. Deplaning won the vote and I was more than pleased. I retrieved Addison's stroller from valet and she fell asleep in it within a minute.

I had 2 options. 1) Stay at the airport while she naps and if the plane doesn't leave in that time, call it a day and jump ship or 2) wait it out until God knows when. I chose option 1. 8 hours after arriving at the airport, Addison and I went home. It was one of the best decisions I've ever made. I was nearing my breaking point and Addison probably wasn't far behind. I didn't want to completely ruin her image of traveling in an airplane. It just wasn't meant to be. One day, we will try this all again....
You may be wondering how Dustin made out. Well, he bought the car (for me). Once he found out that we weren't making it to Chicago, he drove the 6 hours back home. He arrived late that night and was exhausted. But, the funny thing is that neither of us were so exhausted that we couldn't spend 2 hours organizing my new ride! Holy cow, the thing has so many compartments. It is an obsessive compulsive organizer's dream come true! I love my new monstrous truck car. Thanks, baby!