Thursday, February 28, 2008

Amaya's Letter to You

Hi there, family and friends,I hope this greeting finds you all "hanging loose."
I am.
I'm just chillin' in my room...
...looking at my favorite book.
It's a picture book of animals.

And as many of you know, I love animals. I give them a thumbs up.
After "story time," I like to rock in my rocking chair.
Rocking is super fun!
O.K. That's all I have for now. I am going to go relax after all my "reading."
Bye, everyone! Stay safe and make it a great day!

Amaya's Shenanigans

Amaya has discovered the fun of......crawling into and out of...
Amaya has discovered the fun of...
...exploring the contents of the cabinets.
Amaya has discovered the fun of...

...the back of the television,...

...and cords (that's why the basket is kept there, to keep her from the t.v./cable cords).

The End

Monday, February 25, 2008

Quick Little Update

Hi everyone,

Haven't posted for awhile, so I thought I'd quick post a little update. I will follow with some photos later this week. I am not posting photos from the weekend because we had a nice, low-key, routine weekend and you've all seen pics from our "routine weekend." Park pics, pond pics, walk pics, out-to-dinner pics, playing in the family room pics, etc. I will get more creative with the next posting. I promise. I need to start taking photos of Amaya with the adults in her life, again. Amaya's great-grandma and great-aunt were just in AZ for a visit and I didn't snap any photos of Amaya with them. Darn. She's hardly held long enough these days for those photo opts. She's always off exploring and playing. I will have to try harder. I need some more pics of Amaya with her grandparents, too. So, anyway, as I said above, we had a nice, routine weekend. Saturday morning Scott and I took turns heading to the gym. We're not comfortable leaving Amaya in the gym daycare yet. Next is lunch time, followed by a walk to the duck pond and park. Then, when Amaya goes down for her afternoon nap, we clean the house. After that, we wind down the day with going out to eat. Saturdays go pretty fast nowdays, but they sure are fun. This Saturday, Amaya entertained us like never before while we were out to dinner. We were laughing so hard we had tears in our eyes and Scott's face was red. Most of you know how Amaya loves music and how she also loves dancing. Even commercial jingles get her a smiling and a dancing. Well, Applebee's was obviously playing her kind of music, because at dinner she jammed like she's never jammed before. And not only was she jamming, but she was sooo into the music. Her facial expressions that went along with the jamming were what put us over the edge. She looked like an adult taking in a concert of his or her favorite band. She was having a ball. It was hilarious. I should've taken a video clip so that we could share. Darn. So, anyway, other than our usual routine, the weekend held watching the Players Championship for Scott, both live-Friday (it's played in Tucson now), and on t.v. -Sat. and Sun. For Amaya the weekend held quality time with dad, more rough and tumble, and practicing her walking. She'll practically cross the room now, 12-16 steps. It won't be long until she's off and running. She runs along the furniture now. She's very busy. She's becoming less and less baby and more and more toddler everyday. So sweet. The rest of the weekend for me held shopping, shopping, shopping for Amaya. When you're on, you're on. I found too much great stuff, but found great deals, too, so it's all good. We're all set for her birthday now. We're keeping her 1st birthday low-key so that the focus stays on her and so she doesn't get overwhelmed. Just family. I'd love to have a big, blow-out celebration with all of our wonderful friends, but I think that would be a bit much for Amaya. Daddy talked some sense into me on that one. Maybe next year she'll be old enough for a big celebration. So, anyway, even though we're keeping it small, I still went all out on the cake, decorations, gifts, etc. I've waited a long time to throw my little one a 1st birthday party! I want to do it up! So that's the "little" update for now. Spring is in the air here , so I was busy packing Amaya's winter clothes away today and washing up the new round of clothes. Therefore Amaya will be in some new outfits in upcoming photos. Talk about bittersweet. It was fun to get out more new clothes for Amaya, but hard to pack away her winter things and the clothes that are getting snug. The 70's and 80's are here to stay, though, temperature wise, so I don't think it would make me a very good mommy if I put cold weather clothes on Amaya just because I'm not ready to pack them away. So her closet has once again changed it's look. Crazy how the seasons fly. O.K. That's all for now. Again, I'll try to get more creative in the next posting!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Winter Wonderland

After Amaya's photo shoot on Thursday, Scott and I drove to the White Mountains for a quick Valentine's/ski getaway. Amaya got to stay behind and enjoy some quality time with Grandma Cindy. The White Mountains are only about 3 and 1/2 hours from Chandler, yet the climate is totally different. We drove from a sunny, upper 60's type day to a winter wonderland. We were excited because we were suppose to be hitting the weater "just right." It had been 4o's and sometimes reaching 50 degrees in the days leading up to Valentine's Day. Then the high for both the 14th and 15th, the days we were going to be there, was suppose to be mid-30's. Perfection. And already Saturday the highs were forcasted to get back to the upper 40's and then soon after into the next week 50's again. Plus, it was suppose to snow 3-6 inches on Thursday. As I said before, perfection. 3-6 inches of fresh snow on a 100 inch base. Not too shabby. But...the winter storm was "delayed" and hit Friday instead, which was actually tons of the beginning. We started off the day skiing in wonderful powder. We couldn't even see our skis. It was light and fluffy and oh so fun to ski in. There were even times when the powder was up to our knees. The idea of falling in this stuff sounded kind of fun, but then we thought of trying to find our skis in all the powder, and we decided it was best to not be too aggressive with the skiing. But, in continued to snow and snow...and the snow got heavier and heavier...and the visibility got worse and worse. By about 1:30 p.m., the snow was deep and we couldn't see very far in front of us. That was kind of a weird feeling as you're cruising down a mountainside. I kind of like to see where I am going and what lies ahead. Call me crazy. I have a daughter to think about now. So, we skiied a few more runs, then decided it was best if we call it a day. We didn't want to risk get stranded on the mountain. We missed Amaya and wanted to be able to get home to her that night. So, we packed up and headed for home, but not before the child in me broke out for a few minutes. I couldn't resist the hill leading from the ski chalet to the parking lot. It was covered in 1-2 feet of fluffy snow. I dropped to the ground and rolled my way down. Too fun! I had to do that a few times, before ending with a snow angel, brushing myself off and climbing into the car. Scott was enjoying a chuckle as I climbed in. I think he enjoyed my "snow show" more than I did. Nah, it was pretty fun. So now we were ready to hit the road, only we couldn't find the road. All we could see was white, white, white. But then we saw headlights, so we were able to find the road and make our way towards the highway. Upon turning onto the highway, we lucked out. A snowplow had just passed by going in our direction, so we were able to follow him for about the first 30 miles, which was very helpful. By the time he turned off, we had come down enough in elevation that the snow was lighter and the visibility was better. The White Mountains in AZ are higher than one would think. The highest peak where we were skiing was 11,100 feet and the base was around 9,800 feet or so. So we were quite a ways up. So, anyway, when we got to Payson, we stopped for gas, and since we were still in our ski attire, the gas station lady asked if we had been up at Sunrise today. When I told her, yes, we just drove down, she told me that the highway up there is now closed. So, obviously we made it out just before the closure. We lucked out. We heard on the news that night that highway 260 was closed for several hours, and so much for that 3-6 inches. The storm ended up dropping a total of 18 inches. Crazy. It was a fun journey, though. Even though our skiing was cut short. It was so fun experiencing a hearty winter storm. The only thing that could've made it better is if Amaya was along. Then we could've stayed and enjoyed more of the storm. It would've been great to curl up in front of a fire by a big picture window with a cup of hot cocoa the rest of the afternoon and watch the storm. Then take Amaya out to play in the snow on Saturday. Next year! Smile, smile. Any which way, all the snow hit the spot for a midwestern girl transplanted to AZ. With such a wonderful winter playground so close to Phoenix, maybe Scott could convince me to stay forever. Maybe we can have the best of both worlds. We'll see. I neglected to bring my camera, but check out this link for photos of the snow storm at Sunrise sent in to our local ABC news affiliate from viewers.

Amaya the Baby Model

Amaya has some fun news to share. She is now officially a baby model. She had a professional photo shoot with Dillard's on Thursday and she will be appearing in newspaper and online ads for them in early March. The ad will be running in papers in "our region." I am not sure which states that all includes. It's like AZ, CA, CO, UT, NM, etc. So, for those of you here in the valley, watch for it in the Arizona Republic in early March. It is an Easter attire ad. I will post a link to the online ad when the time comes and/or scan in the newspaper ad so that you all can see Amaya's modeling debut.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Baby Steps

Yesterday, February 13th, Amaya took her first steps. Very fun and exciting! Amaya and I were playing in her room after naptime. She was playing with her books, then decided to go check out her big picture book of animals on her side table. She stood at the table a moment, then looked over at her crib. She must've decided that she wanted her pacifier, and that it would be easier to just WALK, rather than drop down and crawl. The distance from her side table to her crib is exactly 2 feet and it took her four perfect little steps. Mommy was soooo excited. After dinner and after getting Amaya ready for bed, we decided to see if she would do it again for daddy and she did...several times. Of course, we discovered our video camera battery wasn't charged, but since our digital camera can take video clips, we captured one of her walking events. A shorter one, with shorter steps, but equally precious. Please forgive the picture quality. The lights were dimmed for bedtime and our digital camera obviously doesn't automatically compensate like our video camera. I'll post more clips later from our video camera.

Happy Valentine's Day

Amaya and Daddy...Valentine's Day Storytime

Amaya says, "Hi everyone. Happy Valentine's Day!"

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Amaya at The Elephant Bar

On Sunday, Amaya got to go out to dinner. She went to The Elephant Bar with mommy, daddy, Grandma Kim, Grandpa John, and friends Tom and Jean. She had a fabulous time, as you can see from the pictures. We are blessed to have a child who enjoys dining out as much as we do. She's always so good.

From the moment we arrived, Amaya was enthralled with the huge, lit, palm trees outside the window.

Here she is pointing at those very trees. She continued to look/point at them throughout dinner.

Amaya also made friends with the people sitting behind her. She checked on them throughout dinner. Luckily they were very friendly and seemed to enjoy Amaya. We asked if she was bothering them, and they insisted no.

Dinnertime. And rest time, too. Amaya hasn't been to table manners 101 yet. She was tuckered out from all the excitement, I guess, so who can blame her for needing to rest.

Still keeping her eye on the trees.

Amaya in her elephant mask. Sooo cute!

Like daughter, like father.

One too many martini's. I think it's time to take her home!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Playdate in the Park: more special times with friends

Friday Amaya and I had another playdate with our "play group." This time we met at the park since our "cold winter weather" is gone, then we ventured over to the pond to feed the ducks. The high for Friday was 74 degrees. It was a beautiful day. We kicked the playdate off with some swinging, Amaya's favorite. It was Will's first time swinging, and Emma's second, but they were naturals. They were even good about sharing a swing, since there were only two. Every so often Will would reach back and pet Emma's head, but she would push back against him and put him back in his place.

Amaya let us know when it was time to move on to the slides.
Here the kids are playing at the slides. It was fun to see them interact. This is the only picture I got of them once they were "at the slides" and exploring on their own. At that point, cameras got put down and we stayed busy following the little ones around, keeping them safe, and keeping stuff out of their mouths.

I didn't get any pictures at the duck pond because I stayed busy feeding the ducks. I could hardly keep up with their demand. They are getting to know us, that's for sure. Until we started bringing bread, they pretty much avoided us. But now that we bring food, they come a, uh, make that a swimming and a waddling. At first when we arrived on Friday I thought maybe they had forgotten us, because they didn't come right away. But they must have just not seen us at first, they were on the opposite side of the pond, because all of a sudden they headed our way and they swam so fast they made waves. Mr. Laid Back (aka Will) enjoyed sitting in the grass, chilling, and watching the ducks. Miss Assertive/Aggressive (aka Emma) wanted to play tackle with the ducks, so her mommy had to hold her back. Miss Don't Touch Me (aka Amaya) was happily dangling from the baby bjorn so that mommy had her hands free to do the feeding, so she just enjoyed the view.

As you can see, all the activity wiped the kids out! They all fell asleep on the way back from the pond. Even Miss Amaya in the baby bjorn. Too cute.

It was a fun day. The only thing that could've made it better was the missing members of the play group. Mae and expectant baby Stephenson were unable to join us because Mae was sick and didn't want to be around the babies. Miss Ellie and her mommy Joo were missing because Miss Ellie needs to get a little bigger so she can hold her own in the play group. And Jaxon and his mommy, who plan to join the playgroup, spent the day bonding with daddy. We'll look forward to them joining us next time!!! Happy playing everyone!