Saturday, August 01, 2009

Summer Fun

Alivia and I are enjoying our three day weekends this summer! Yesterday we spent the day at the Cabana Club at the beach. Livi LOVES the beach and we played in the surf for an hour and then moved to the pool to swim. Livi found a couple shells that she had to bring home with her. Then we cooked hamburgers and hotdogs on the grill before going to visit Gran. And that was all just yesterday! Today is dress up day... Livi has a thing for playing with Mama's makeup so I bought her a makeup kit of her own. She's been totally enthralled and would spend hours "making face" if I let her.

Here's her royal highness on her throne. She held an audience today and I must inform you that crowd was thrilled. Such applause! Such fanfare! She then prepared a tea party for mama, Mickey Mouse and baby Gina. (We had baked the cookies a couple nights ago just for such an event!)

Livi's birthday was a few weeks ago on July 5th. We had a Mickey Mouse themed party complete with birthday cake and homemade ice cream. My cousin Stormy came over with her son Quincy and he just fell in love with Livi's tea cart. He was pushing the thing all over the house. His mama's going to blackmail him with this photo later...

What else did we do in July... we rode the ferry just to watch the dolphins play, we went to the beach a couple times, we made several batches of homemade ice cream, and we played on the swings... a lot. It's hard to believe the summer is almost over and school starts up in just three weeks! We have to start looking at school clothes and supplies and planning for the Fall holidays soon... Whew! Time sure flies when you're having fun!

~ Jeana

Saturday, June 27, 2009

End of June

We are quickly coming up on Alivia's birthday and our family anniversary day! It's hard to believe Alivia will be 4 years old in just a few days and that we have been a family for three years! I've been reflecting back on this last year and I am amazed at how much progress Alivia has made--especially in the last few months. Our toileting situation has its good days and its bad days. Alivia is in a new daycare situation and isn't thrilled with it, and as a result she's had a number of accidents. It's improving, though, and I think she'll do better once she feels more comfortable there. She's not crying when I drop her off, so I'm not too worried about her adjustment there--and it's only for another seven weeks.

Alivia is on a new medication--one meant to stimulate her appetite. It's working well--she's eating a lot more than she has up till now. I think she's put on a half pound or more just in the last few days. I expect I'm going to have to really start watching her snacking and make sure she's eating more fruit and healthier choices instead of cookies and sweets. It will be an unusual change from being thankful for any little bite of anything that she eats!

Today we went to Portrait Innovations and got these lovely photos done. Livi was *not* in the best of moods and didn't cooperate too well for a lot of them. We did manage to capture several good shots, though, so I'm happy. I was really looking forward to finally getting some photos of her and her American Girl doll in their matching dresses. Everyone there commented on how cute they were together.

Next week I have to make the long drive to Tallahassee to get my final post placement report apostilled. I was hoping to do it on Monday when I'm off, but it looks like I will have to take a day (or at least an afternoon) off to do it. I'm really not happy about that! I've tried calling my social worker several times to find out where it's at (I haven't received it yet!) and she has yet to return my call. She was supposed to have had it to me last week. Grrrrrrr!

Here's hoping the rest of you are staying cool! The summer is really starting to heat up here in Florida and we're expecting this weekend to be a real scorcher!

~ Jeana

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Cause for Celebration!

Woo Hoo! I'm utterly thrilled to announce that Alivia is finally potty trained! She's had several days with no accidents. She absolutely loves wearing her big girl panties! Long Happy Sigh... You can't imagine how happy I am that she is no longer wearing pullups except at night. I think we'll be able to curtail that soon, too! Hurray! Hurray! Hurray! (Happy dancing all over the place!)

This first photo is from Alivia's speech therapy. They are doing an electo-stimulus to her throat muscles. She has to eat and talk throughout the one hour session and it's supposed to help her with speech and cure a drooling issue that we have as a result of all the surgeries. She does pretty well with it for the most part and it seems to be helping!

While we were on our trip last month we visited my brother and his boys in Indy. This shot is Alivia with her cousins Bradley and Corey. Bradley is in school learning the automotive trade and Corey has just graduated high school this year. I'm really proud of both of them! They are really nice young men and both just doted all over Alivia while we were there. Her uncle was even more nuts over her--I was amazed at how he tolerated all her spills and demands, but he was a real trooper. (I think he loved having the chance to play with a toddler after all these years of teenagers.)

These last two photos were taken at the American Girl Store in Chicago. We were there with Christy, Cindy and Katie. Alivia got her doll that day--one of the bitty twins--and named it Jeana (after me!) Christy ordered Katie's doll and they picked her up just a few weeks ago. They got her one of the new historical dolls whose story is that she is a Russian immigrant. Both girls enjoyed visiting the store. Livi wanted to also bring home a doll stroller, but I managed to talk her out of it as we already have a couple at home.

While we were there we treated ourselves to a lovely lunch in the store's restaurant. The food was surprisingly tasty and the girls got to have companion dolls with them during the meal. The service was impeccable! I would recommend it for girls slightly older than ours, though, to really let them get the most out of the experience. Here the two girls are lying on the floor next to the American Girl star. They're such little hams!

~ Jeana

Sunday, June 07, 2009

A New Look

Okay... I was getting a bit bored with the old look of the blog. I decided it was time for something fresh and new. I hope you like it! I've also added an IM function so if you happen to check here and see me online, feel free to ping me!

As of this past Friday school is out for the summer for Alivia! She'll be spending her days with Gran and getting in lots of swimming, sliding, and playing. I'm hoping something will work out so that I can afford to put Alivia in dance classes over the summer, too, but things aren't looking too good in that area right now.

It's hard to believe Alivia's birthday is coming up soon! And I think we may have finally broken the potty training barrier! Hurray! She's been wearing big girl panties for a couple days now and has only had one accident. I'm hoping this trend will continue! I'm ready to stop buying pullups in a big way!

Speaking of Alivia, these two photos are from our trip last month. One is of Alivia in front of the Sanrio store in Chicago. The other is one of my favorites--a group hug with her friends Katie and Grace. I think it would make a great book cover if I ever manage to get around to writing it...

~ Jeana

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mothers' Day!

Sorry for not posting recently. April was an extremely busy month. My conference was the second week and then we were getting ready for our vacation. We just returned yesterday. We had a fabulous time! And I have lots of new photos to share! Hurray!

We spent the first week of vacation in Madison, Wisconsin with our friends Kelly and Grace. Christy, Cindy, and Katie joined us there, as well, and we all had a great time. We went boating on the lake, painted pottery, baked cookies, had a tea party, did a group photo shoot, went to the zoo, had a picnic, made homemade pizzas, and played outside a lot in the wonderfully mild weather. Us moms took advantage of the time together to hire a baby sitter and enjoy a childless dinner and movie. What a treat!

On Wednesday, Christy, Cindy, Katie, Alivia and I all left Madison for Chicago. We visited the Navy Pier, the American Girl Store, and Legoland. The girls really enjoyed the American Girl Store and Alivia got a new doll who she named Jeana after me! I thought that was really cool as up until this all of her dolls had been named Ali after herself. Her doll has blond hair and blue eyes just like her. I'm planning to take her and her doll to do some professional photos soon.

Then on Friday, Alivia and I left Chicago for Indianapolis where we visited with my brother and his two boys. It was a great evening--and I'm hoping we can see them again before another two years passes. We go way too long between visits!

Okay--now for the adventure tales from the trip... Livi and I had an uneventful set of flights to Indianapolis. When we got off the flight we stopped by the ladies room before going to pick up our bags and our rental car and when we got to baggage everything was gone except for our stuff. I had Livi, two suitcases, and her carseat to deal with, so I got a skycap to help us get everything out to the car. I decided to upgrade our rental at the last minute--the original vehicle only had two doors which is really difficult with a car seat. We got on the road at about 11 a.m. in pouring rain and started the 5 and a half hour drive to Madison.

About an hour and a half into the drive my cell phone rang. I had almost forgotten to bring it--in fact I had to turn around and go home to get it. Thank God I did! My dad was on the phone and informed me that we had the wrong suitcase! Apparently another passenger had a large red suitcase like ours and had picked up ours instead of hers. Since only a red suitcase and Livi's carseat were left at the baggage claim, I didn't bother to check the tags... We had to turn around and drive all the way back to Indianapolis and exchage suitcases.

We ended up hitting Chicago at rush hour and our 5.5 hour drive turned in to a good nine hours. I was so ticked! Thankfully the conference I attended over the next two days was so great and the time we spent with our friends was so enjoyable that it made all the aggravation of getting there worth while.

I hope you enjoy the photos!

~ Jeana

Saturday, March 28, 2009

End of March Update

Livi's surgery to remove her ear tubes went extremely well--10 minutes and they were done! While he was working on her, our ENT looked closer at her palette, though, and determined that the muscle doesn't go all the way across yet and so he's going to have to repair it. So... this summer we will be redoing her jaw and then next summer we will be doing her cleft palette. That really sucks!

In other news... Livi has been a real terror lately. She's got a super independent streak going and she's pushing her boundaries in all directions. On the upside (so to speak) I now have a new bit of leverage. We built a beautiful swing for Alivia in her play yard that she absolutely loves! If she misbehaves she loses swing time. We'll see how that goes...

We're both on spring break this week so we'll have lots of mommy and me time to try to get things back on an even keel. I'm hoping to go to Disney on Wednesday for my birthday, since I will get a $70 gift card to use in the parks. (I have a season pass so I already get in "free" on my birthday and they are giving me the gift card instead.) Livi's birthday is coming up in three months and I'd like to use the card to get her a nice Disney related gift.

No new photos to share... hopefully we'll have some in the next couple weeks.

~ Jeana

Sunday, March 15, 2009

March of the Livis...

Alivia and I have had an exciting March so far. We spent last weekend at Disney and Livi absolutely loved it! This was the first time she really knew who the characters were and she got so excited every time she saw one of them. She actually knocked Minnie Mouse over when she ran up to her and wrapped herself around the poor woman's legs! She also finally got to ride the roller coaster in Toon Town. She loved it, of course, and loved the Teacups, too. "Faster, Mama! Faster!"

Next week Livi has surgery--a minor one to remove her remaining ear tube. I'm hoping she doesn't have a bad reaction to the sleeping gas this time. Last time she got really sick and kept throwing up... Yucky Poo! as Livi would say.

Today Livi decided to try out Mama's mascara. Now, I hardly ever wear the stuff and I'm pretty certain she's never seen me put it on, but as you can tell from these photos she actually had a pretty fair idea of what to do with it. Thank God it was just mascara, though! At first I thought it was ink and we had a party to go to this evening. Yikes! She's also still into practicing her model poses, as you can see.

I'm hoping to spend at least part of tomorrow at a park so Livi can do some sliding and swinging. I'm also hoping to get her play area set up in the backyard over spring break so that we can swing and slide at home. Spring break is going to be a bit on the busy side as I am planning to squeeze in another Disney trip then, too. We'll see...

~ Jeana