Saturday, January 31, 2009

Lesson learned every day

Today's lesson learned is: Don't leave breakable a glass (or anything for that matter) on top of a table cloth that can be pulled down by a curious toddler. It went something like this: I had my back turned for like half a second; Addie pulled the cloth; the glass fell and shattered at her feet; I screamed; she screamed; I swooped her up in my arms before she could move, and we went to inspect her flesh for wounds. Luckily a CareBear Band Aid was only needed for a tiny little cut on her ankle. And just like that the new word, "boo boo" was learned. It took a lot of patience for Addie to stand next to the refrigerator, and no closer, as she watched me meticulously sweep up the glass shards on the kitchen floor; but we both made it. The brownies in the oven weren't even burnt in the ordeal. Crisis one without Daddy averted rather smoothly. Justin left this evening for a week in Australia. We had a mushy farewell and then Addie and I wrapped up the evening (after our brush with danger) like any Saturday evening should be; with picture books and a glass of milk, snuggled up in bed.
Just for fun, here is a picture of Adelaide during her first finger painting session (thank you Aunt Rachel, Uncle Trey, and Riley).

Thursday, January 29, 2009

sushi at home

I am a very happy pregnant lady at this very moment. I just ate a delicious sushi roll made by our helper/chef extraordinaire. My friend Sunny brought over sushi rolls the other day for our playdate made by her cook and I NEEDED more the moment I swallowed the last bite. I sent Cora to get the supplies to make our own sushi at home. Today she tried for her first time at making sushi. I am only eating vegetarian sushi right now which is fine with me. Cora made two rolls one with avocado, cucumber, and mango; the other with avocado, cucumber, and cream cheese (this one was for me since Justin hates cream cheese. He's weird, I know this. Anyway, by the time I thought to take a picture of our homemade sushi I had eaten all my roll!). I scarfed the cream cheese roll with wasabi and soy sauce. It is officially my new favorite pregnant craving. It's healthy and delicious. It's better than Ben and Jerry's ice cream cravings I guess (I have those too but they can't be fulfilled here in the Philippines). Can I tell you how much I love Cora right now (not only for the sushi but for helping me strip and clean crib bedding/clothes/lovies that were covered in diarrhea from my little girl this afternoon-but that's another post entirely)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

27 weeks pregnant

I'm not sure how I'm already at the 27 week mark. The second trimester flew by and now I'm officially in the home stretch of the last 13 weeks. Our new baby girl is growing fast and moving around all the time. I'm carrying her exactly like I carried Addie: low and out. My doctor looked at me yesterday and recommended I get a support belt. We have also started the count-down for Addie and I flying back to Washington at 34 weeks. We leave March 18th so that leaves us about 7 weeks here in the P.I. before we leave Justin for a month. We aren't looking forward to that part of the adventure but the new baby's birth keeps us thinking positively. We can't wait. Overall, I am feeling good (if not big) and the baby is in great health.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

winter, what winter?

Wednesday, Jan 28 weather forecast
Portland, OR: Cloudy,41 degrees, feels like 35
Arlington, VA: Rain and sleet, 28 degrees, feels like 22
Baltimore, MD: Light freezing rain, 27 degrees, feels like 19

Manila: Partly sunny, 84 degrees, feels like 95

Bet you wish you were in my shoes for a day!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

stickers and shoes

Right now a few of Adelaide's obsessions are stickers and shoes. Kiki bought Addie a book of Dora the Explorer stickers and they covered most surfaces in Kiki's house. Now that we are home they are all over our house (and Lucy too)! She's loving putting on our shoes and clodding around the house with them. Aunt Emily bought Addie a cute pair of fancy dress-up shoes for Christmas which have become apart of our daily play-time. Every time she puts them on she click-clacks around the house saying "pretty, pretty".

One last visit

It was hard the Saturday before we left to say our goodbyes to all our family and friends. We made one last visit to Grandpa Ray, Grandma Kathy, and Uncle Tyler's house. Addie fell in love with big Jackson (the 100+ pound black lab) and Gabby (the little fluffy white mix). She also spent plenty of time playing with her Uncle Tyler and her Grandparents. We were all so sad to say goodbye but were so thankful for all the quality time we had with them over the three weeks. Thanks Grandpa for the zucchini bread-it saved us on our flights home! We miss you all already.

girl time

We popped in to visit our favorite neighbors and their girls while we were in VA. The girls have gotten so big and amazed us with how grown-up they seem. Addie immediately picked up on the girl vibe and Lydia and Emma were her new best friends. With all their wonderfull girl toys and dolls how could any little girl resist. The three girls played while the parents all watched and reminisced about how Lydia was only one when we first moved in next door to them. Time flies and we decided if we still lived close by the three girls would have lots of fun playing together.

Aunt Meg!

Megan made the drive from New York to Maryland for a long visit with us during our trip home. I loved having my sister there! We all miss Megan so much. We got to see lots of her when we lived in VA and really miss those visits. Megan was a huge help with Addie during her visit. She did lots of the heavy lifting for me and chased Addie around to put on her (you fill in the blank) shoes, coat, pants, diaper! Thanks Megan. Addie had fun playing with her Aunt Megan but was a bit unsure of the resemblance between her Mommy and this other blonde lady. I think she never quite got over the fact that Megan was a Mommy impostor! It was pretty funny. Megan as always came along with us for the ride. She's family so she always comes along for the ride and is a super sport about it. We love you Meg! Here Addie is putting some make-up on Megan.

Gast Family Fun

Another joyous family get-together was thrown during our stay in the States. We spent lots of time at the Dotson's home for all sorts of family functions before we moved and really miss the warm welcoming family time that is always prevalent in their home. Mr. Kevin's family was enamored with Addie and she quickly fell in love with them too. A wonderful meal was cooked for Chelsea's birthday right before she headed back to college so we all enjoyed the evening of good food and good company. Once again Addie was at home with their dog Linus (Lucy's buddy).

winter clothes

I loved dressing Adelaide in cold-weather clothes. She looked so cute in her jeans, tennis shoes, and little layered shirts ensembles. At first the long sleeved and footie PJs freaked her out but it soon became normal. Her hat and coat I ordered from Old Navy before we left worked perfectly in the freezing temperatures of Maryland. I had missed the cozy sweaters, long pants, and socks that are a must in the winters in the States. One thing I hadn't factored in was my pregnant belly fitting in my post-pregnancy winter coat! We all ended our three weeks with dry skin, chapped lips, and a new appreciation for the tropical weather of the Philippines. Flip-flops and t-shirts never felt better!

Rolly Pollies fun

While at home Addie was lucky enough to have two evenings at Rolly Pollies (thank you Elyse!). The first evening she played with her Kiki and the second evening with her Daddy. I've decided this place trumps Gymboree. The running trampoline, foam pit, giant bouncy castle with a slide! It's all great fun for the little ones (an the adults too). Take a look at Addie playing with Kiki. She had her tongue hanging out the entire time-I guess it helped her balance!! Kiki admitted to being sore the next day after Rolly Pollies.

Missing DC?

It's amazing that I am admitting this but...I miss DC...home really. I miss the 14th street bridge, the Metro, Georgetown walks, seeing the National Mall daily. Even the hustle and bustle of traffic and people with their important jobs is something I miss being in the Philippines. Everyone in DC has an agenda (not so much in the P.I.). We stayed in MD so unfortunately we didn't get to spend as much time in DC or VA as I would have liked. Plus the weather was too bitter cold to really do any outdoor walking or exploring in our old neighborhoods. We didn't even make a trip to Whole Foods, Carlyle, Maggie Moos, Clarendon! Arg! The lesson I learned with our R&R home was that all those favorite places aren't going anywhere. They will be there when we get back. Thank goodness! The hardest for me was driving down our street in Arlington and going back to our house. We met our tenant, saw our property manager, checked out the work we had done on the house and I couldn't stop from tearing up. I miss our little home and all the memories we have in it. It was hard to see it there without us living in it. Addie climbed up the stairs and I think vaguely remembered the place. Anyway, it was sad for me and made me miss home even more than I already do.
Our trip to DC involved a wonderful visit to the Museum of Natural History (my all time favorite of the Smithsonians). The new ocean exhibits were completed and we had so much fun showing Addie all the displays. Our favorite part was the new butterfly pavilion where we observed hundreds of live butterflies. They actually landed on us. Amazing! Addie still points in the air and says "fly" whenever we see pictures of butterflies now. It made an impression on all of us.

Daddy time

For three straight weeks Adelaide had an endless supply of time with her Daddy. I loved the shared parenting and the break that it allowed me. Addie loved the quality time she had with her Dad. Justin soaked it all up and enjoyed it as well. We are starting the count-down to March 18 when Addie and I head to the Washington to wait for the birth of Hokie Bird #2. Sadly this means we are going to be without Justin/Daddy for maybe a month before the birth and then the same amount of time afterwards (he'll be with us in the middle of course for the birth). He's dreading the separation and I am too. Addie won't dread it until it's upon her so right it was good they got some good Daddy-daughter time in.

Gunning Family Fun

The first weekend we were in the States a Gunning Family Extravaganza was planned. It worked out so wonderfully that we were in town for the get-together (although it might have been planned around us coming into town, I'm not sure). Justin's awesome Aunt Terry hosted the afternoon and Kiki did most of the cooking for the traditional spaghetti dinner. The meatballs are so yummy. That and the seven-layer cookies, I was in heaven ("Watch the pregnant lady eat" could be the name of this blog right now!). It was so lovely to see all of the Gunning family (Justin's Mother's side). The kids have all grown and Addie fit in so nicely you'd never know we'd been gone for 8 months. It didn't help that Terry has a clan of wonderful dogs. I loved the food and Adelaide loved the dogs! Plus then she started receiving a few late Christmas gifts! She's a really lucky girl. She loved the stuffed puppy from Chris and John, the aquadoodle from Donna and Brian, Hello Kitty from Auntie Brienne. As the evening went on Addie adopted a new love for her older cousin Paige who was extremely patient with her. Addie was soon grabbing Paige's hands and dragging her down to play. It was so fun connecting with family we don't get to see as often as we'd like to. We took a group shot which has all of the kids but only a few of the adults.

Baltimore National Aquarium

We thought the day after New Years would be a great day to hit the Baltimore National Aquarium with our friends. Turns out all of Maryland thought it would be a great day to go as well. Unfortunately the aquarium was almost too crowded to really enjoy any of the exhibits. We mostly packed around our gear and tried to keep the kids fed, watered, and happy. In the end the dolphin show made entire trip worth it. It was so fun. Addie really got a kick out of the dolphins jumping. We completed the evening with a "challenging" dinner at the Cheesecake Factory at the Baltimore inner harbor. I say challenging because dinner with four adults, a four year-old, and two one-year olds really isn't anything but challenging. There was lots of drumming the table with silverware and spilled water glasses. Despite the craziness, the day was a blast and the meal was heartwarming; not only because of the good food but because of the company.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


New friends were made during our trip home. We were lucky enough to spend a good amount of time with our good friends who have two adorable little boys while we were home. Addie and Eli were too little to play before we left for Manila so this visit was like their first time meeting. They played about as well together as one year olds can. It was fun seeing Addie interact with both Ben and Eli. She was familiarized with Star Wars light sabers, remote control tarantulas, and tons of other cool boy toys. She really loved the moving train sets. It was so nice to spend time with our friends and have some grown-up time too. We went out to dinner (taking advantage of built in babysitting), played games, talked, and just visited in general. The guys even got some Maden in. Justin and Joe got to bathe their kids together and I imagine that wasn't something that they ever thought they'd be doing when they were enjoying their younger years in high school and college (funny how times change). Addie completely fell in love with Joe almost immediately. She'd pull him along where she wanted to go, snuggled up on his lap and in his arms. She was pretty enamored with him. Joe is a pretty awesome dad to his boys so I'm sure she picked up on that. I don't think Joe minded the girl time he had with her. Little Eli was a little jealous though!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

shy face...but only for a minute

Addie has moved into a new stage of self-realization. She started making a shy face when we got home. Every time we saw someone new she'd make her shy face for the first few minutes before warming up to everyone. The face is hard to describe and I didn't get any pictures of it. It's basically her looking down at her feet and making a tiny o with her mouth. Kind of funny. Luckily it only took her minutes to warm up to all the family and friends we spent time with in the States. In no-time she was grabbing her grandparent's hands and pulling them down to play, dance, watch a movie, or you-name-it with her. She was in heaven. Everywhere she went was a new playmate. All her grandparents and relatives were great sports about getting down and actually playing with her. It was awesome. She's a lucky girl.

Here she is coloring with her Uncle Tyler and Grandpa Ray. She insisted they both sit down with her.
Hanging with Po. "Not a finger" only lasted a few moments!
Dancing (a nightly occurrence) with Kiki and Po. It HAD to be in the kitchen and both Kiki and Po HAD to dance with her. She'd have it no other way.
Rough-housing with Grandpa. She loved how Grandpa tickled her and let her climb all over him.
Kisses from Grandma Kathy
Probably her favorite place of all: snuggled up with Kiki under a blanket watching The Little Mermaid for the 20th time. It's Addie's new favorite movie.
Playing with Kiki. I'm not sure who was happier of the two during the visit. Addie had her Kiki and Kiki had one of her granddaughters to dote on.