Monday, November 16, 2009

The BIG Weekend......

So, as many of our readers know, my dad, recently had a Birthday, and in honor of his birthday, all of kids children decided to surprise him and fly to his new home in AZ for this memorable event. Unfortunately, Dad's 60th birthday and Matt's big recruiting event ended up being the same weekend, which meant that Matt couldn't come to AZ with me. Originally, we intended for me to fly to AZ by myself, but then the girls got sick and sibling/grandma pressure started. "You should bring one of the girls!" So, eventually, I caved and said that ONE of the girls would be coming, but wouldn't admit WHO it would be. YOu see, I had a major dilemma, WHO would I pick and HOW ever would I pick one over the other? I agonized over this for DAYS, and then it was decided, that until Sydney learned to walk (officially, since she was walking at our daycare lady's house, but not ours), that Olivia would be coming, b/c my Dad and Carol do NOT have carpet in their home and I didn't want bruised knees. THEN, while Sydney and I were home during the big flu diabolical (as I call it), she started walking. DARN IT..she recreated the controversy for me. I even stooped so low as to quiz my co-workers and friends as to whom I should take to AZ. Asking my family wasn't fair either, b/c then they might have to show a little favortism towards one or the other...SO, finally, I asked Matt and he said, "WELL, ever since the girls have been sick, Sydney's been a Mommy's girl and Olivia's been a Daddy's girl, so, why don't you take Sydney. So, Sydney it is and was.

NOw all we had to do was carry out the plan successfully and surprise my Dad!

Thursday, November 5, Dad's actual birthday, was a 1/2 day at my school, so before I left the building for lunch I made a point of calling him...mainly b/c I knew the evening was going to be crazy for BOTH of b/c I would be packing and he b/c he'd have my brothers Todd, Mike and his GF Nozomi, and Sean and his fiancee Kelsey showing up in AZ for part 1 of the big surprise. All went well. That afternoon, I made sure to go get Sydney a new toy for the plane (these cool block like things that she LOVED) and make sure that I had pretty much anything I would need for the plane...b/c by now the anxiety was setting in that she was going to freak out about how confined she'd be on my lap for a 3 hour plane flight. Dad called later that evening to tell me how shocked he was. We reiterated how sad we were that we couldn't make it, mainly b/c Matt had his big work event that Friday.

Friday, morning, my mom came by to pick me up to take us to the airport...and then she was going to watch Olivia that day for us. Man was that trip fun..first Olivia puked everywhere and then Sydney pulled the I want to make myself vomit trick/gagging thing that she's so good at..thankfully she didn't throw up as much as her sister did. Sadly my poor mom had to clean that up, just when she thought she was getting out of all those fun events! :) Sydney and I were off, we went through security just fine and got on a FULL flight...the seat next to us was the LAST seat taken. Sydney played for about a hour and ate some snacks and then fell asleep for her normal nap..about 1 1/2 hours...then we woke up (I dozed too) and had another snack and the plane landed. She did so great. As we exited the plane, a guy said to me...."THAT IS THE MOST AMAZING BABY EVER ON A PLANE!" YAY Sydney! Rita and her Finace Dennis picked us up and we were off. THe whole way there I was texting everyone as we continued on the second 1/2 of surprise Dad...everyone assured me he was going to be SHOCKED! When we arrived, Dad was fixing the door in their guest bathroom...his face was so funny, when I popped my head in to ask him "what on earth are you doing"....he repeated some explatives (same ones he'd used the previous night..and was like what in the HECK are you doing here and WHO has your which I told him, OH I left them home with Daddy..but then Todd walked around the corner with Sydney and I was like, but I decided that I'd bring just one! He was shocked and so happy to see us.

Now that we were there, it was time for Sydney's Great adventure in AZ!

Reunited with her Uncle Todd...they bonded over the summer....Olivia bonded with her Uncle Sean...I know he missed her. :(

Uncle Sean, Grandma Carol, Sydney and I....just after we'd arrived and changed!

Todd and Sydney....he is so amazing with her! I so wished he lived here in STL..she'd love to spend more time with more of her uncles!

Sydney and her infamous hat that she likes to put on herself at home...she likes it in AZ too!

Sydney with 'Aunt' Nozomi and Uncle Mike.
Grandma and GrandDude have a Pool...or a really big bathtub, as I am sure Sydney thought of it as...she LOVED it, especially the hot tub part. She had so much fun playing around with everyone in it!

Sydney and Grandma!

After Sydney's Swimming adventures, we went out to visit my Grandma (her Great-Grandma) at her home care facility in was great to see Grandma and I know she loved seeing Sydney!

WE rounded out that evening with dinner poolside, it was awesome! That night, Sydney and I shacked it up in Dad and Carol's room since all the other rooms were occupied! Sydney pulled an early morning wake up on us and woke us at 4:15...I'm pretty sure she just woke up and when she's at home she'll go back to sleep, but in AZ she was confused by her surroundings and got scared. So, I went in and rescued her and we cuddled for awhile, THEN she went in and cuddled with Grandma and GrandDude, until he snored in her ear and scared her at about 6:15 and woke us all up again...but at least we were able to see a beautiful sunrise...

Sydney hanging out after her bottle...she suckered Grandma into making her pancakes..yum...she likes the syrup even more! :)

Sydney was surprised to note that the remote controls in AZ were JUST like the ones we have at home! SO cute. She even had to show me that they were the same!

Sydney REALLY liked playing with my Dad's balloon boquet that he received from some friends.

The girls LOVE playing with my water is Sydney after she's attempting to STEAL my water...apparently it's heavy! :)

Not to be left out, GrandDude wanted to spend some time with his GrandDaughter, so what does a good Grandpa give his granddaughter to play with? WHy CORDS to fun electrical equipment...which she LOVED, which would explain why I'm fightning her off of all the cords in our house these days!

Of course on Saturday, we had to have some MORE pool time!

Playing around while we were getting the house ready for The Last Surprise of the Weekend....a big party to celebrate Dad's Birthday! He and the boys went out to see a movie...great diversion!

Sydney LOVED the party......

Sydney, Mommy, and Uncle Sean.....I'm not sure why we buy her toys...she loves playing with her shoes.

Sydney and her Aunt of August 14...she thought she was pretty cool...especially all that pretty red hair!
Sydney and Uncle Kent...

Sydney and Grandma Carol in her Hawaiian dress...that was our theme for the evening!

Sydney and her Uncle Todd....she wasn't too far from him ALL weekend cute!

Sydney and her GrandDude.....

Dad and his kids....

A Semi-Family pic....

And, back in STL....Olivia and her Daddy were having adventures of their own. They were SUPPOSED to go visit Papa Gale and Grandma Vicki and see the horses out at their farm.....BUT Papa got Daddy had to go to the back up plan...the ZOO...which OLIVIA loved! Daddy reported that Olivia LOVED the Butterflies and Puffins/Penguins, however Goats were not very exciting....almost just like the 2 dogs that she had at home! I cannot even tell you how much I missed Olivia when I got home....I could tell she'd missed me she cried when she saw me and started babbling/talking it up. Her NEW phrase that she learned while I was gone was uh-oh! So adorable!
Olivia and her new puffin that Daddy bought her...

Looking like she wants to climb out of the stroller!

Olivia in the Butterfly house....note the butterfly in the picture!

The warthogs looked pretty cool! Check out that GUT!

Hanging with the Llama' cute (Olivia...not the Llama)

Visiting the goats at the kids zoo....Daddy kept encouraging her to pet the goats and she kept looking at him like he was insane!

THe girls were so happy to see each other when Sydney and I arrived back in STL on Sunday at 10:45 am. Yes, you read that correctly. YOu see I had a conference I had to get to that afternoon, so I'd booked a 7 am flight out of AZ...painful it was, for all involved, BUT Sydney won the AMAZING baby award AGAIN...slept the whole time. I could spend HOURS discussing how we were discriminated against by the TSA at the airport, but I won't. Let's just say it wasn't good. Sydney slept the ENTIRE flight (well, after she at her cinnabon, that I had to buy her b/c they made me get rid of the food I'd purchased for her the previous day). :(


Sydney and her hat again.....

We are currently searching for a new toy storage system in our living room, the baskets of toys on the fireplace (as you can see down below)...aren't necessairly working b/c the girls like to dump out all the toys in them and then climb in them...we've debated having Matt's Dad make us a toy chest, but my big concern is little fingers getting smashed. I thought I'd solved the problem with a big wicker chest from Target, but when we slammed the lid down on Matt's fingers that hurt, so we vetoed it...THankfully, Pottery Barn Kids came through so we have ordered some things that we think are going to hopefully work.

Playing around with Sugar's collar.....

And Sadly, we have to think about retiring our Laugh N' Learn Kitchen, since this is what the girls are NOW doing with it...This is what they started doing while Mommy was at Girl's Breakfast on Saturday with Aunt Nancy, Tiffany, and Michelle.....Mommy was NOT happy, not that Daddy was either.



Lastly, Today is Prematurity Awareness Day....I know that everyone who reads our blog knows how important the March of Dimes is to our family. Expect some harassment next year for the March of Dimes walk, please keep all Preemies in your thoughts, not everyone is as lucky or as fortunate as our family has been with Sydney and Olivia. WHile 87 days in the NICU is not something that I would ever wish on someone, the fact remains that after those 87 days we have been blessed with 2 beautiful little girls who are relatively healthy and are meeting ALL of their developmental milestones. MANY preemies continue to struggle with health issues after birth and developmentally because of their prematurity. While Sydney and Olivia have asthma (more than likely caused by their time on oxygen at birth), they are relatively healthy, but we will continue to follow our neonatologists and pediatrician's recommendations that we be extra cautious during RSV season and Flu season to make sure that they continue to be as healthy as they currently are. I thank god every day for how lucky we've been and for the fact that I pushed to go to the hospital on that Fateful Friday, May 16th, I wouldn't change one single thing over the last 2 years...our girls are amazing and it's only going to get better!
I hope all is well!