Sunday, July 24, 2011


Picture me up on a stage, glamorous dress, 10,000 people in the audience waiting to hear my speech thanking everyone for helping me put together Kaylee's birthday party. Here it goes:

I'd like to thank God (don't those speeches always start off that way?), but seriously, God gave me Kaylee and therefore it is a must to thank Him. :)

ohhhhhh...she's not a baby anymore!! sniff sniff

And the following people:

My Dad for hosting the party at his house! For cleaning his house spic n span just so we could whirlwind our way through and mess it up again!

Michele for baking chocolate cupcakes (of which I may or may not have eaten 5 of!) and the cake we used for the cake pops. For making her delicious Taco Dip. For channeling her inner-child to make pinwheels. And for all around party prep!

Mandy & Seth (& Crum) for driving in the depths of night just to make it to San Jose in time for me to start cracking the whip on party prep! Mandy did all the flower arrangements using Trader Joe's purple tulips and flowers from the garden and helped with the cake pops and all the set up! Seth helped move heavy things, drove John and Kaylee to Grandpa W's house, and taught Kaylee how to play the Xylophone they gave her. Crum supervised.
The headless Uncle Seth!!

Michelle for running around San Jose with my shopping list prior to our arrival so that I didn't have to ship EVERYTHING out here. For channeling her inner-child too and helpingMichele with the pinwheels. And for attempting to feed Kaylee a corndog after I had neglected to feed my child lunch prior to her birthday party and only realized it 3 hours later when she began to melt down from hunger!

Annika for designing and baking the cake! She hand piped the damask on and added a purple fondant ribbon! Did I mention that she's only 13 and her mom wasn't home to help her while she did all this? Cake Baking Genius! She also helped with the cake pops and party decor!

Bridget for the amazing tissue paper flowers and the much needed & valuable cake pop advice!! (I didn't get any pictures of Bridget, but she was a big help!)

And most importantly John. Without him this party wouldn't have happened...literally. No Kaylee, no party. No money, no party. :) In addition to being my baby's daddy and our financier, he also took Kaylee for the day so that we could party prep without having distractions!

Party Central

My friend Laurie made the cupcake toppers

The purple boards are styrofoam wrapped in purple wrapping paper. If you ever want to make cake pops, I have a lot of advice for ya! We finally got it right on the last few. ha!

h2o...get it?? :)

I saw this table set up on Pinterest and changed it up to match our color scheme. I made the tablecloth because it was cheaper to just buy fabric than an actual tablecloth!!

The party was fun! Kaylee didn't seem to care about opening presents, she just wanted to play with the toys! So her helpful friend and cousins unwrapped them for her.

Life is rough when your mom tries to make you eat a cake pop.

Friday, July 22, 2011


Our 2 week vacation in California was absolutely wonderful! We celebrated Kaylee's birthday with family and friends, then spent the rest of the time at beaches, pools, and playdates! Get settled in, you're about to read the longest blog post ever...

A few days before we left for our trip, a large tree branch fell on my truck and put it in the body shop. We had a rental car which worked out nicely for our ride to the airport. So we dropped the car off at RDU and took the shuttle to the airline. This is the only picture I got of Kaylee wearing her cute backpack! I filled it too heavy and she fell backwards when I tried to make her wear it. Oops!

Kaylee was a great traveler! She stayed in her carseat and was content to watch movies and play with toys. Kaylee loves the movie Madagascar so she watched in on the first flight to Chicago, then we had video screens at each seat on our flight to CA so she watched cartoons. Brilliant!

We got into SFO just around dinner time. My dad and Michele picked us up and treated us to Round Table Pizza at Michele's house before doing anything else. That was my number one place to eat, no other pizza can even rival the King Arthur's Supreme. I was so busy devouring my pizza that I didn't get any pictures!

Other food places on our list were:
  • Jade Garden (the best authentic chinese food around - specifically their Honey Walnut Prawns)
  • Jack in the Box (oh how I miss their Spicy Chicken sandwich)
  • Manleys Donuts in Willow Glen (can you believe they don't have REAL donuts out here? tragic!)
  • Eriks' Deli Cafe
  • Togo's
  • Carl's Jr
  • Baja Fresh (John's place, not mine)
  • Casa Azteca (My place, not John's) I typed all of those, I'm salivating. We were able to check them all off of our list! My dad took me to Jade Garden again the night before we left so I could eat an entire plate of Honey Walnut Prawns by myself. If you live in the Bay Area, you MUST go eat there.

Okay, back to the real stuff you came for. :) We stayed at my dad's house for the 2 weeks. The morning after we arrived, John and Grandpa (R.) took Kaylee up to feed the neighbor's cows. She's never seen cows in real life and seemed to really like them!

Kaylee also got to meet a lot of animals on this trip! While I prepped for the birthday party the following day, John took Kaylee to Grandpa W's house! Kaylee met Lady there.

Then Crum came to visit with Aunt Mandy and Uncle Seth! I think Kaylee liked how small he was compared to her own "puppies".

We met Bella, the Bloodhound who could be Gauge's long lost sister (if Gauge was actually a bloodhound that is!)

And Cleo was Kaylee's favorite animal of the trip! She petted her more than I've ever seen her touch a dog, including our own! And she gave Cleo lots of kisses! Made me want to get a little dog for her!

She liked to "woof woof" at my dad's cat Squirrel, but she never wanted to pet him. (Don't blame my dad for the cat's silly name, that was my doing! haha)

We celebrated Kaylee's 2nd birthday (2 weeks late) and the party was a success! She doesn't like cake or very many sweets, so the food was really for everyone else. The full party blog post is over on my Kayteedids blog!

I made her dress in my sewing class, and of course the matching bow! She was pretty tired by the end of her party.

We went to the San Francisco Zoo with 2 of John's sisters and 7 of Kaylee's California cousins! It was a typical foggy, cold SF day but we had a great time!

We got there just in time for the bear feedings and Kaylee got nose-to-nose (with glass in between obviously!) with the bear! She thought that was pretty cool!

POOLS! Kaylee LOVES to swim and play in the water. She had a great time swimming at her cousin's birthday party.

And twice at Pool 4 where Daddy grew up going every summer!

With Grandpa at Pool 4!
BEACHES!! Apparently Kaylee loves sand too! She got beach toys for her birthday and they were put to good use on the trip!

We went to Twin Lakes beach in Santa Cruz with Grandpa R.

And later in the trip, also spent a day with a lot of John's family at Seabright beach in Santa Cruz.

We also spent 2 days in Cambria (Southern California). My Aunt Charlene and Uncle Tim live in Pennsylvania but rented a beach house in Cambria for the week. It worked out perfectly and we got to spend time with a lot of my side of the family on that trip. John and I snuck away for a walk to the tide pools. He might not be smiling but he really was happy being there with me...I think. ;)

Oh my goodness, how white are my legs?? I need a California tan, stat!
Cambria sand must look like it tastes better than the other beaches since she didn't try to eat Santa Cruz sand!

She also learned how to "play" foosball with my cousins' kids (we just say they're Kaylee's cousins...much easier).

On our way home from Cambria, we stopped at Carl's Jr. to check it off our list. Mmmmm, Double Western Bacon Burger. *drool*

I had to take a picture with this sign. You can take the girl out of California, but you can't take the Californian out of the girl I suppose!

Kaylee had a blast with all of her cousins, but especially these two! They doted on her and she LOVED their attention! I'm really excited to be closer to them once we move so they can grow up knowing each other better than being so far away!

For her birthday, a long time family friend made Kaylee a special outfit to wear at Grandpa's house. Her shirt says "Kaylee" and the shorts say "Grandpa's Girl". And Grandpa got her a name rock to complete the current family rock line.

One night we went to dinner at Michele's (1 L) house, she has the best backyard for photo ops!

This is Michelle (2 L's). She was a good friend of my mom's and a long time family friend. She has been a honorary Grandma to Kaylee and a huge support to me. She's one of my inspirations for donating my hair (see how short it is!!). Blog post to come about that too!

Let's see, what else did we do...John went to the Giants game and rooted for the Dodgers. I got to see my best friend Jessica, Kaylee had a playdate with her friend Hayden, we ate breakfasts, lunches, and dinners with friends, and hardly stayed home! whew...I'm exhausted! I need a vacation from our vacation!

Cheesepuffs make the airport so much more enjoyable. :) Kaylee was a great traveler on the way home too, except for a little bit of crying on the last flight. Poor girl was sooo tired she just couldn't get comfortable in our laps. She eventually passed out snuggled in my lap though.

So we're home now, trying to get laundry done and keep the house clean for more showings. Hopefully we sell soon and can get back to CA. I got my "tan" (still white compared to most Californians though) but it's so hot here I doubt I'll see the sun for a few weeks. Today's heat index was 111. Awesome. As I type this the weatherman is saying 6am will be the coolest time tomorrow so plan to get out early....bwahahahahahaha!!! Me? Get up early? I'll just stay inside all day.


During the last few weeks of pregnancy, Kate listened to Brad Paisley's new song "Then". She didn't just listen to it a few times, she obsessively played the song on repeat, learned every word, and sung it at the top of her lungs while driving. Then one day a few weeks after Kaylee was born, Kate was driving with Kaylee by themselves. Kaylee began to cry...then scream. It didn't matter how much Kate reassured her, pulled over to make sure something wasn't wrong, or attempted to hold the pacifier in place with one arm backwards while driving. It finally occurred to Kate that maybe Kaylee wants mommy to sing to her (although no one else would want this!). So Kate put track #4 on and began to sing. Kaylee immediately calmed down. Low and behold, it's not even mommy's singing that Kaylee likes! It's Brad's!