Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!!

We will be enjoying our own, special Ham. :-)

We hope you have a great holiday!!

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Love,
Jacob, Breanne, Zoey and (are we those types of people who list their animals?) Louis and Durbin.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Stay Home From Work, Will Take Videos

Some videos I was lucky enough to capture this afternoon.

The last time I played stay-at-home mommy was the last major bank holiday. February? But I took the afternoon off today after Zoey and I dropped Grandma off at the airport. And my office is closed tomorrow so we'll get to pretend some more!!

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Although I started filming this when she was already halfway across the kitchen floor (Slow Mom Syndrome), she had started mid-living room and motored all the way to the sliding glass door (yes, there is one smack-dab in the kitchen). Once mobile, Durbin showed some mistrust and hesitation when it came to Zoey having a little more capabilities and freedom. So when she wanted to move around, I had to shut the dogs in what we refer to as the "bonus room" (it began as a man-cave but slowly evolved into a living space when I was on maternity leave. I know, poor Jacob).

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And so the obsession with the dogs' food begins. Actually, to be completely factual, it started a few months ago and has only gotten worse as she's been able to get closer to the dogs and their food, preferably at the same time. Just this evening, in her Elmo cart, she quietly stared at both dogs - at different times - while they ate their food. We figure at some point in the very near future, we'll need to put them in the "bonus room," which will be gated off.

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Around 1:30pm, after we had been home for about an hour, Zoey had reached her peak. She'll make a few, little whimper-type noises, but ultimately aim to cuddle in your lap. Often, she'll like to just sit in my lap and suck her thumb for awhile before being put down. But she still has to get there herself, Miss Stubborn Baby. :-)

Each day bring new things so who knows what videos we'll get tomorrow!! I'm just lucky enough I get to spend the day with her. <3

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Grandma Kisses

These last couple of weeks, Jacob and I have been lucky enough to have my Mom stay with us while Dad is George of the Jungle on a motorcycle. We love that Zoey gets to stay home during the day, play with her own things, nap in her own crib, grab at her own doggies, while being cared for by family. And Grandma is beyond smitten!!

Grandma hadn't been to Montana to visit Zoey since January, when she was 3 months old. When we were in Tucson, Zoey turned 6-months but Grandma has already noticed marked changes just from the last 4 weeks. For one thing, she is eating solid foods more regularly. Her main source of nutrition is still formula - and will be until she is 1 year old - but we're at least introducing fruits and veggies, and getting into a meal routine. Plus, she seems to really enjoy it.

Zoey is also crawling and "running," giving Grandma plenty of exercise and lots of laughs. One of Zoey and Grandma's favorite thing to do is play Patty Cake.





These pictures were taken after one of the first rounds of Patty Cake. Grandma and Zoey did it again for Mommy and Daddy last night and Zoey was an old pro. She had her hands and fingers open wide to clap, and she let Grandma help her with all of the motions, smiling and super interested the entire time.

I'm fairly certain Mom played Patty Cake with me, so it's sweet to watch her teach Zoey, and to see Zoey having so much fun with it.

Monday, April 18, 2011

She Crawls!

Again, I apologize for the poor video quality. While it may appear that Zoey is crawling through a dark tunnel, she's not. She is in our living room, late afternoon. And while it appears she is heading straight for the heater vent, you can't see her daddy waiting with open arms.

This video is the 3rd time she crawled, and for the longest distance. At first, she ventured out of the comfort of Daddy's lap for the comfort of Mommy's lap 3 feet away, then back again. Then Daddy got up to change her crib sheet and she happened to spot him from the living room. So by the time he was done, she was already on her way.

And, of course, it wouldn't be a complete McIntyre family video without a cameo by one of the dogs, followed by one or both of us yelling at him to go away.

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Crawling is So Passe!

Zoey, lately, has little tolerance for sitting or lying down while playing. She is constantly rolling over, rolling somewhere, honing her commando-crawl - AND her actual crawl; she's taken just a few "steps" but she's shortly on her way! - or making her legs as straight as posts so that when she pulls herself up, it is to a standing position.

We have limited space in our house where there isn't carpeting; the opposite a cruel joke in Montana, if you ask me, but I wanted to get Zoey one of those ExcerSaucer-type things with wheels so she can do the moving she seems she is so desperately wanting to do in her standard ExerSaucer (actually named a Bounce Bounce Baby, interestingly enough). I found a Sesame Street one pretty inexpensively, but, really, no money is wasted on toys as she loves and uses everything equally and often.

When I took these videos, she had had the toy all of a good 30 minutes, including assembly time by Daddy. Be sure to watch them in sequence.

In retrospect, I should have kept the camera going so it would be one long video. You'll understand once you view them, but I felt my assistance might have been needed at the end of the first one. As it turns out, it wasn't, so I started filming again. :-)

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 To be continued.....

Right now..............

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I think there is a very good possibility that she would have turned herself completely around had she not been distracted by the super interesting dog bowls. She loves watching the dogs eat, always so curious as she stares at them. FINALLY she was able to see what exactly the dogs are doing.....And like every child, so the fascination with the dogs' bowls begins.....

Friday, April 15, 2011

Book Club!

My friend, Meredith, invited me to join the book club her and her friends decided to start one night after too many glasses of wine. Today, it's [sort-of] evolved, and one woman is working on creating our website (although that may have been an I'm-bored-at-work moment). We still drink wine and only manage to discuss the book 5 minutes before it's time to break, but I think it's a much-needed once-a-month meeting for us ladies, and sometimes, even our babies.

Maybe its because of the cycle phenomenon - where a group of ladies will all start their cycles at the same time - but the majority of our book club got pregnant around the same time (don't worry, not by the same man); thus we all had our babies one after the other. Zoey was the hold-out.

While I always look forward to these nights of adult conversation with adult beverages, I get excited to bring Zoey to see how she interacts with the other kids and babies (I don't always bring Zoey 'cause I need my 2-hours of not being a mommy). She is always extremely fascinated with her surroundings so, of course, this is no different. So I took her to this months' meeting on Wednesday and she met a couple of kids for the first time.

This was the first time Whitney's daughter, Jules, had met, seen, or known of Zoey. Whitney hosted our meeting this week; the last time she did I was pregnant and in the throes of violent sickness. Jules took an immediate liking to Zoey, offering up a plethora of toys for Zoey to play with. But since Whitney had her second baby, Jane, a month before I had Zoey, Jules is already an experienced, super helpful, and super loving big sister that translated into how she interacted with Zoey. She expertly washed the toys before offering them to Zoey, and knew exactly what Zoey needed to stay away from, offering up a scary story involving Jane almost hurting herself. She is a very capable, intelligent, and adorable 5 year-old. Oh, and she loves having her picture taken.

Jules helping Zoey play.

In turn, Zoey was very intrigued by this older, bigger, more experienced girl. She sat on my lap while I ate munchies, chatted, and, sorry, yes, had a glass of wine (is it only a red-neck thing to do if it's beer?), while she sucked her thumb and looked around at everything. She did this for about an hour. The things that caught her interest the most were Jules and her dog, Hilde, although Hilde was afraid of Zoey and always scurried out of the room when she was placed on the floor.

Our first lesson in sharing with Ander, Lacy's first-born. She is currently pregnant with her second, due in June. And, of course, Jules is on-hand to supervise.

It always ended up working out that when I brought Zoey, Whitney didn't bring Jane; and vice versa. Unfortunately, although we'd be meeting at Jane's house, she was napping for about the first hour we were there. By the time Jane and Zoey finally met, Zoey was preoccupied with working on crawling and communicating to me that she was hungry and tired. Jane, however, was very enthralled with Zoey and often stared at her when in close proximity. The two even reached out and held each other for balance at one point.

After we had been there for over an hour, Zoey started to jabber. You can't tell in pictures, obviously, but it's hard to tell in person as well since she always has something in her mouth.

We were able to stay until right before 8pm, usually when we break anyway since there is only one member of our book club who doesn't have children (I think she's beginning to avoid us, thinking there is some cosmos at work that got us all pregnant at the same time and that she might be next. From what I understand, most of her bowling league is pregnant).

So far, Zoey loves books, but mainly because they're bright, colorful, and semi-hard so she can put the corners in her mouth. She's getting stronger by the minute so reading to her before bed has become an arm-wrestling match between me and the teething monster. She will pay attention to the story or the pictures for a micro-second before it's back to THIS MUST BE IN MY MOUTH RIGHT THIS INSTANT!

Our next book club meeting is in mid May and I've decided that this one shall be a time for mommy to be a grown-up.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Future of Zoey and Mystery Sibling

A recent conversation between Jacob and I on our way home from work one day last week:

Breanne: "So I was having lunch today, eating the very yummy sandwich you made me, by the way, thank you!"
Jacob: "You're welcome, my pleasure. I'm glad it was good."
B: "Anyway, I was having lunch and reading my book when my phone goes off, like I have a new text message. I thought it was you since you are the only one who really texts me; and you usually text around lunch time so I just thought it was you."
J: "Yeah, ok."
B: "So I open up the message and it's from *semi long pause for dramatic effect even though none is really needed* my dad!"
J: "HAHA! No way! He got text!"
B: "I know! I opened it up and was like, 'Uh oh, this isn't gonna be good,' HAHA!! Oh, AND, he freaking has a signature!"
J: "No way! I don't even have a signature! I don't even know how to make one."
B: "I know, I don't know how either!"
J: "We're such losers."
B: "So, anyway, then later in the day I get another text message, and, again, I figured it was from you since it was a little after 4pm. I open it up and it's from *semi long pause for dramatic effect* my brother."
J: *laugh* "Oh yeah?"
B: "Yeah, my brother says, 'Dad just started texting me. What the fuck. Haha!'"

Friday, April 8, 2011

A Year Ago Yesterday

After months of discussion, thinking, re-thinking, out-loud thinking, and independent thinking, Jacob and I decided that if we were to have a baby, it wouldn't be the worst thing in the world. As apprehensive and anxious as we were about the situation, we knew it was something we wanted to do, and only with each other.

Well, it didn't take very long; I'm pretty sure all we had to do was decide to have a baby and - BAM! - I was pregnant.

Throughout my pregnancy, I got to hear from a variety of people how much they loved being pregnant and how wonderful their experience was. Let me be perfectly frank - a woman who spends the better part of 3 and a half months parked in front of the toilet does not want to hear about how easy it is/was for someone else. Aside from the dangerous side-effects like gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, edema, or anything else threatening to me or the baby, my pregnancy was pretty textbook. While some women have a few select symptoms, I had them ALL. I hated being pregnant until the bitter, one-week-overdue end.

Jacob and I decided early on that we'd find out the sex of the baby. We had considered keeping it a surprise, but ultimately I wanted to know. Since I had miscarried not long before, and since I was having such a rough start to this so-called "blessing," I felt learning the gender would help me form a bond before giving birth. It didn't quite work out that way but I don't have any regrets about finding out the sex early.

Jacob and I would have bet our left arms we were having a boy. So, naturally, we were having a girl, as we found out on April 7, 2010. This is what I wrote 2 days after finding out Zoey was not, in fact, a boy, [when my writing was a bit more private]:

I was apprehensive about the big ultrasound appointment we had on Wednesday. Not because it was the first time we’d ever have a look at the Bun, or because I was worried something might be terribly wrong (although this did cross my mind several times since I’m the crazy, obsessive woman that I am). I was mostly concerned that there would actually be nothing in there. Or that the baby would be standing up and walking around since up until now the only “showing” I’ve been doing is my cleavage which, honestly, isn’t all that grand. 

But, alas, there was a baby, in the normal position and with all of the parts human beings are supposed to have and none of the parts human being aren’t supposed to have (*heavy sigh* the tail is gone). The ultrasound tech lady pointed out all of the baby’s parts while she measured them as Jacob and I looked on, having no idea what we were actually looking at besides black and grey fuzzy blotches and maybe a huge round thing here and there. The tech quickly labeled everything and then moved on. It was interesting, and very cool, that they don’t just check out the Bun but everything that helped create and continues to aid in sustaining the Bun, like my cervix and both ovaries. Thanks, tech, lady - 3 months of constant throwing up and I know my woman parts work just fine.

I felt reassured when she moved from one baby part to the next without missing a beat; if she lingered too long it meant she was trying to determine if something wasn’t right.

We told her in the beginning that we wanted to know if it was a girl Bun or a boy Bun and she said she’s let us know when she came across it. To her, this meant after examining and measuring every inch of the baby. But when she couldn’t get a good view of what she wanted, she’s push down real hard and fast on my belly trying to get the baby to switch positions (lazy just like its mother), and each time she’d say, “Just trying to get her to move a bit.” So I lay there with, “I wonder if she says ‘her’ as the standard,” and “Oh God, what if it is a girl and she just hasn’t said anything yet,” and “But she said she’d tell us as soon as she came across the tell-tale parts.” I mean, let’s face it – it was pretty difficult to concentrate on anything else since I had no idea what I was looking at. And if something is wrong, the tech can’t tell you anyways, you just hold your breath and hope you don’t hear the, “I’ll be right back,” and then the doctor walks in.


Eventually, she got to the part she could tell us about. The baby was on its side, mooning us. The tech pointed out the Bun’s rear and the legs coming out of it and then zoomed in between the legs, which I’m pretty sure was for our benefit because in retrospect it was pretty dang obvious. She said, “Ok, what we’re looking at here are these three little lines,” and traced them with her mouse.” She said, “That means it’s a girl.” Holy crap! I hadn’t prepared myself for the Bun to be a girl. Quite honestly, though, I hadn’t really prepared myself for the baby to be anything but a demon seed brought down into the world to steal my soul. But with my own mother’s intuition (which sucks, obviously), Jacob’s feelings and the feelings of everyone around me, all I heard was boy, boy, boy.
Jacob turned to me and said, “We’re having a little girl!” I said, “I hope she has your personality!”
Its weird knowing the baby is a girl, my girl, that we made her from nothing (well, ok, there was a little something) and she’s an actual human being. We still plan on buying the Winnie the Pooh stroller and car seat and the Winnie the Pooh activity chair and high chair with Pooh mobile. Just because her mother has never seen a second of Winnie the Pooh doesn’t mean she won’t like it. And in the off-chance Jacob tricks me into getting pregnant again, boy or girl, we can use everything a second time.
After the tech was done doing her tech-thing, she gave us good shots of the baby. Like most ultrasound pictures anyone has ever seen, she was just lying there chillin’. And then the ultrasound wand-thingy moved on top of her and she didn’t seem to like that very much; all of a sudden her legs kicked up and kicked me right where the wand-thingy was pressing on my belly. Jacob laughed and said, “Did she just kick you back?” The tech said, “Maybe.” He turned to me and said, “Looks like she’s got mom’s personality already!” I hope this is a phase she will grow out of in the next few months.


After it was done, the tech did utter those awful words but they were accompanied with, “So he can check the baby’s measurements and he may want to change your due date.” Ok, stay calm, stay calm. She was gone for a few minutes and then came back doctor-less which was a slight relief. Obviously she had consulted with him and he told her it was ok to give it to me straight, he didn’t need to be there and would discuss anything with me at my next regular appointment in 2 weeks. But all she said was that the baby is measuring a bit small; instead of the 19 weeks, 4 days everyone was going by based on my last period, the baby was measuring 16 weeks, 5 days. Fucking awesome. So instead of being at the end of my 4th month, I’m back to the beginning. This is the pregnancy that will never end.
So the first thing I did was go on babycenter.com and announce I was leaving the August 2010 Birth Club and joining the September 2010 Birth Club (side note worth mentioning: if my doctor does change my due date it would be September 17th, 2 days before my birthday). A girl commented on my post, saying I could be a part of both groups but to let them know what the doctor said since 3 weeks is a pretty big difference.
Begin freak-out. And begin telling myself over and over that if something were wrong, the doctor would have talked to me then AND the tech said everything else looked fine. I relayed this to the girl and she said she wasn’t trying to freak me out but she knows from experience that the baby’s measurements aren’t always accurate so the doctor may keep me at my original due date. Man! Who knew pregnancy would be so complicated!! It’s never just as simple as oops, the condom broke. Or damnit, I was too drunk to remember to take my pill! Or both.
So, the doctor will see me when I have my next regular appointment in a couple of weeks. He’ll examine the Bunnette’s measurements and try to determine when exactly I got knocked up. Until then I’m flipping back and forth between being 17 weeks pregnant and being 20 weeks pregnant and wondering if it will be an entire year before we actually get to meet this little girl.
Eventually, I did grow tolerant of being pregnant (pun!). The morning sickness did gradually subside, not disappear over night like so many other women claim. And I started to find food semi-enjoyable, at least from months 5 through 7. Around 8 months is when the incessant heartburn and subsequent milk-drinking began (Jacob bought 2 gallons of milk every other day from the gas station down the street. They were running a sale on 2 gallons but when the sale ended, the cashier still gave him the discount because he told her of his giant wife's milk demands.).
Some pictures that I don't look at and think, "uuuuugggghhhhhh! I was feeling so lousy that day!" And, of course, our ultrasound pictures. Looking at them now, we should've known all along how cute Zoey would be!
This was from my first ultrasound when the doctor thought my due-date was August 28th, putting me at 19 weeks. Based on her measurements, he changed my due-date to September 16th, and she was finally born on September 24th. He ordered another ultrasound to double-check, which I don't remember the date of. The doctor also said it was hard to visually determine the sex of the baby if I was, in fact, only at 16 weeks. We looked at him, laughed, and said, "Oh no. She was on her side with her butt facing us." "Ohhhhh," he said. "Yeah, sometimes they do that, 'I'm gonna show you exactly what I am so you can go out and buy me stuff.'" It's like the doctor knew me or something......
This was taken at the 2nd ultrasound; she was on-track to be born mid-to-late September.

Jacob and I spotted her giant feet, a la her father, so the tech got closer and took the picture. After her birth, we received a plethora of comments regarding her giant feet.

Some of what I consider to be "highlights" of my pregnancy:

So beyond happy to find this in the Albertson's parking lot, until learning that my friends had known about it for years and had been parking there - sans infants or baking Buns.

I found this shirt at Wal-Mart shortly before Mother's Day. Of course, I had to have it. Unfortunately, the weekend after this picture was taken, I dropped a peanut butter bagel face-down on to my belly, leaving a large, greasy stain that is still there today. So I wear it as pj's.

The happiest day of our lives, and although we did things a bit out of order (I might have to fib to my 3rd grandmother, Florence, because I promised her I would get married THEN have a baby.), I think Zoey being there made it that much more special. My brother joked that the 20-minute ceremony was the only time I took a break from eating. He was not lying.

I just thought this outfit was really cute. :-) Would you believe that top is an extra-small?! Yeah, well, it's not anymore.


41 weeks, 1 day pregnant, and ready to reach up and yank her out myself. She absolutely refused to do anything that resembled being born. She never dropped into my pelvis, and the doctor ended up having to break my water after 30 hours of labor (it was almost right at 36 that she was finally born).
I suppose I provided a nice, slow-cooking environment for her.

At least someone enjoyed my pregnancy...

But one of the absolute major highlights was finding out she was a girl. We picked her name early on and kept it a tightly-locked secret; we wouldn't even tell the doctors when they asked while I was giving birth. If I had known her then how I know her how, I would love to be pregnant with her all of the time (just, please, not so much throwing up!)

Videos

As promised, videos of the almost-crawling. Please forgive the naked, but it is easier to move around unfettered and free! :-)






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This final one, she isn't really doing anything besides learning how to play her Xylophone. Sorry for my voice, I sound like a chipmunk who just sucked on some nitrous oxide.

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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Costco Update

We spent $40 more than we did on our last shopping trip, and we'll never need to go grocery shopping again.

Thisclose to Crawling

We knew it was happening fast; we knew she'd get a move on moving! We just didn't expect it to happen so fast.

I don't mean this in the parental this-is-happening-too-fast! way.

When we get home, I always take her out of her carseat and - depending on the diaper situation - sit her in the middle of my bed while I change out of my work clothes. She'll do a combination of things, including sitting there giggling at me, playing with my Spongebob Squarepants blanket, and rolling over. Our bed is very lumpy and bumpy and doesn't really have anything that constitutes a "flat surface," but this is where she chose to hop up on all-fours for the first time. I may be embellishing a tad when I use the term "hop," but it was as if she had been doing it for ages, and she was completely fine with it. Before my eyes even had a moment to glance away (not that I would ever!), she was rocking back and forth on her hands and knees.

(some pics, but a video coming shortly as soon as I can tear myself away from my mesmerizing super-baby, remember to grab my phone, and shoot a video all before she gets too pissed that her incredibly strong arms are pushing her backward instead of the other way around)



(Taken during naked-time, obviously. It's when we're able to move around the most unfettered)

It only lasted little more than a second since she doesn't have the stomach muscles, and her arms are generously stronger than her legs. But, of course, as the days have gone on, she's only gotten more ready to take off. So when she feels like giving it a go, she'll roll over, push herself up and rock back and forth until she gets frustrated that she isn't going anywhere (because there is usually always something in her eye-line that she's wanting to crawl towards). But she's very determined. If she wants something, she'll find a way to get it (does not remind me of a single person); and since that way isn't yet crawling, her means are either scootching back on her heels, repetitive rolling, or scooting herself in circles on her belly.

Jacob and I are her biggest cheerleaders, always rooting her on. She'll smile and laugh, but still always looks at as us confused, like she doesn't understand why we're praising her for something she feels she should have known how to do already. She's our super baby and we're constantly amazed at everything she does. Who knew something so small, new, and incapable could be so entertaining. Time to cancel the cable!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Chowin' Down NOM NOM NOM

Being her mother, I'm probably the only one who thinks this is absolutely hilarious. Ok, her father probably does too.

This was the 2nd time we fed her overall, the first time for the organic spinach, apples, and rutabaga. She LOVED it.

The video is only sideways for a few seconds before Jacob turned my phone - yes, my phone - around.

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Our First Family Vacation

Once we landed in Tucson, we thought we had the struggles behind us. Indeed, Jacob and I were very much looking forward to spending time with each other and Zoey as a family. Zoey, however, had a rough couple of days. Of course, she couldn't resist big grins for Grandpa whenever the opportunity arose.

She was pretty crabby after crying through most of the 20-minute (I kid you not) plane from Phoenix to Tucson. And even though she hadn't seen my dad since a few weeks after her birth, she gave him a hearty, toothy smile when they picked us up from the airport. From then on - when she wasn't wanting to be with her parents, hungry, or sporting a wet diaper, they were buds.


Zoey had a rough start to our vacation, thus Jacob and I did as well. We tend to get stressed when she's upset because she's an extremely happy, bouncy, smiley baby girl who is often as tough as nails. But she also has a mother who can be a complete space-cadet but refuses to acknowledge that she has this flaw. Had I been paying closer attention to her schedule, she may have adjusted to vacation a little better. But we worked things out and she had a very enjoyable time, it being the first time she emitted a laugh from deep within her belly. Of course it was because she was pooping in her carseat, but we all thought it was wonderful just the same.

After traveling all day, Jacob and I spent a good portion of the evening unloading our crap. Jacob and I shared a suitcase while delegating another one of the same size to nothing but Zoey and her toys. Spoiled? Nah! :-)

We arrived on Saturday. On Sunday Uncle Ken and Aunt Karen wanted to come over to the condo to watch the super bowl game on DVD. Why, no one isn't really sure. But from what I understand, there were mass amounts of tequila during the live game so Dad and Ken missed most of it. Fortunately for the rest of us who did watch the 4-hour-plus game, it was merely a highlight reel of the Packer's season and subsequent Super Bowl win. But we were all ready to party, complete with Packer's colors, hamburgers, brats, and a baby ready to dance.




Her legs are getting stronger every day, and she is always anxious to use them. I had a feeling she was missing her ExerSaucer back home - Grandma did too and even went in search of one before our arrival. But while she found the ones that must have been made of gold, we were able to find one relatively cheap. It was the best $40 I've ever spent on vacation.
Even still, the biggest grins and giggles come from sitting on top of Daddy's shoulders.

In the past, trips to Arizona have included copious amounts of pool-time. While we didn't spend every day at the pool like we did when we were little, we still wanted to give Zoey a jump-start on being a water baby. But, first thing's first - a baby swimsuit.

She was NOT thrilled with the situation, but she was already having a stressful time dealing with the rampant unfamiliar and clearly this wasn't helping matters. But she got into the water and started to get used to it (this would have been a lot easier had the pool heat still been on).
 Mommy could have also made things easier by not being such a lame-brain and not putting her in the obviously too-big pool flotation device first. We all needed a vacation to relax so I guess my brain thought this was the best opportunity for it to disappear too.

In between moment of I'm-uncomfortable crying, she did enjoy being in the pool. She always enjoys her bathtime so we tried our best to help her understand it was just a larger version. Well, if it doesn't work on us adults, we can't expect it to work on a baby. But she did grow accustomed to the water and had bouts of enjoyment. I'm sure she would have enjoyed it more, again, had the pool been heated, and if she had eaten already (well, at least an hour prior ;-)).



Aside from any excitement derived from introducing Zoey to knew experiences, vacation was pretty much exactly like being at home, minus the live-in Grandparents who pretty much had to force us to tear ourselves away from Zoey, and having to worry about work. But we managed to do both. I actually felt a little bad because every time we left the condo to "just go to the store real quick to pick something up," we'd end up being gone for over an hour.
We'd never do anything particularly interesting. Most of the times we left, it was baby-related; i.e. diapers, wipes, toys, formula, and anything else a baby might need at any given moment.

But one evening we were allowed to take the convertible for a booze-run (hey, we need something to do after Zoey goes to bed), and we took the opportunity to pick up my book club's next book that I'll only be allowed to read during my lunch hour, and a new CD for Jacob. That quite possibly could have been the first time we bought something for ourselves since little Zo's arrival. But later on in the week, we did have a hot tub and breakfast date that was very nice, greatly appreciated, and something we could never do at home; mainly because we don't have a hot tub.

I left Arizona - Phoenix - back in 2007, and while I had been to Tucson a few times since, I hadn't been up to Phoenix. But for this trip, I felt the draw and wanted to check it out.

It was incredibly surreal, like driving through a dream.

For starters, once we crossed into Phoenix city limits, we were distracted by the various virtual billboards that peppered the freeway. No wonder that state has one of the worst budgets in the country. Not only are they incredibly gaudy, they're horribly distracting.

I had little interest in a complete Breanne Donahue McIntyre reality tour so I just stuck to the hot-spots since Jacob had never been to Phoenix. Among them, and the main reason I had any desire whatsoever to be in Phoenix, was ASU.

I parked in front of my old 15-story college dorm (don't worry, Dad, no parking tickets) and from there we strolled the campus. Zoey found it particularly exciting.

Walking through campus, it felt so....small; exactly like how walking through my elementary school felt when I was in Junior high. The main walk surrounded by palm trees that served as the main drag between parking and the university seemed cramped and oddly unfamiliar; like walking through a dream. And it didn't take nearly as long to walk through campus as it once did when I was late for class. Ours was the only baby stroller on campus,but I did spot a girl younger than myself with a baby younger than Zoey. I can't even begin to imagine what that's like..........

We took the long way, but my ultimate goal was the bookstore. I made peace with the fact that everything would be lustrously overpriced but I don't anticipate many ASU shopping trips in the near or far future. As it happened, though, they were having a big sidewalk sale so we were able to find some neat things at half the price (still overpriced, however), including Zoey's new doll.
She was skeptical but ultimately finds her presence comforting. And she'll smile real big when you have her doll do cheers, especially when you spell out Zoey.

We received many cute-baby compliments from the variety of students - mostly girls, obviously. And who else got checked out left, right, and forward on campus? MY husband! I'd say Zoey and Jacob were the best looking people in Phoenix that day.

Just catchin' some Zzzz's before headin' to class.

Big girl on campus. (She's feeling, and walking on grass for the first time.)


After walking through the portions of campus I felt to be noteworthy on the tour of my past life, I sought out this sign. There are about 4 - that I know of - situated around campus, serving as the "entrances" to the university (in reality, this is impossible, especially since the university is so large it has expanded to ASU East, ASU West, and ASU Downtown). At this specific sign in this particular location is where I took my first picture as a bona-fide ASU student, moments after I decided that ASU would be where I would continue my education. Unfortunately, the pictures are of the archaic non-digital variety and I never learned how to scan in photographs. But they live in my memory and a non-digital photo album.

Jacob did a lot of golfing with my dad and uncle Ken. From what I understand, he did very well. So much so that they went out for a beer after a round and were ultimately requested to leave the drinking establishment. I defer to my father if you want to know the details......But Jacob said it was an experience nonetheless. I'm glad he had a good time. :-)

While Jacob was off with the men, doing men things, my mom and I were usually off doing women things. Since Montana is the only state in the Union that doesn't have a Babies R Us, she couldn't wait to show me the Wal-Mart-esque stored stocked with everything you'll need - and probably haven't thought of - for baby. Most of the prices are reasonable, and it's where I found the organic baby food Zoey loves.

It just wouldn't have been a vacation to Arizona without attending a Spring Training baseball game. We had been traveling to Arizona during March every year since I was 4-years old for this very purpose, and down to Tucson once Colorado developed a baseball team. Unfortunately, after last Spring Training, any remaining teams in Tucson packed up and moved up to Phoenix. So the only game possible to attend was the Healing Tuscon Together charity game, with proceeds going to the family's affected by the assassination attempt of Congresswoman Giffords. Naturally, the game was sold-out, both because of the charity aspect and that baseball is a relatively good way to spend a sunny, not-too-hot afternoon.

Zoey wasn't too incredibly into it, though. She enjoyed the 20 minutes before the game.

Then she soon shared my sentiments when it comes to baseball:
But I've found that I enjoy baseball games much more as an adult. Hello limitless beer! (Although that really isn't true since I can only handle about 3 before I need to be carried home.)

She must have enjoyed herself to some extent, however, because she belly-laughed all the way home.

Our flight(s) home didn't leave until 3pm Saturday afternoon, leaving us the rest of the afternoon, evening, and night traveling. Again, Jacob and I were apprehensive. But we should have known that Zoey would lead us through the experience yet again.

We consider her first plane trip a triumph. She knew just what to do when she was feeling uncomfortable, but there were times when it just wouldn't cut it - she was irritated at the situation and that's all there was to it. If there was a way we could make her feel better, we certainly would have done it. But she just wanted to cry. Surprisingly, we didn't notice a single annoyed look in our direction. I was fully expecting them too, me being in full back-away-from-me-world! mode. But anyone who did say anything just complimented how good she was and, of course, how gorgeous she is.

The planes home were very different. After only sleeping for about 30 minutes in the car on the way to the airport, she astoundingly was wide awake - and calm - through most of our travels. We had a 2-hour layover in Denver that I was looking forward to, thinking it would be when she took her longest (and subsequently the best) nap. Nope. She was wide-eyed the whole time, looking around, sucking her thumb. But finally on the plane from Denver to Billings she sat in my lap and slept the entire flight.
She slept in the car and woke up when we got home. She looked around and grinned from ear-to-ear; especially after I took her into her room. The house was frigid so we had to warm it up, and unpack some of her things in order to get ready for bed. She was up for another half an hour, finally going to bed around midnight. But she laughed and giggled the entire time. When she went to bed, we didn't hear a peep from her until about 9:30am.

Sunday was a complete blur. Zoey played while I caught up on Days of Our Lives. Our DVR was about 95% full (thanks Top Gear Monday) and I said, "I haven't watched DOOL since March 1st!" Jacob replied, "Well, then you should watch it all day." *swoon* So that's what I did while Jacob picked up our dogs.


I was so excited for when Zoey saw that her doggies were back. She was in her ExerSaucer when they came home, the dogs came running through the house, she got a huge frown and burst into tears. And for the first few times they paid attention to her, she was a little afraid. Now, though, everything is back to normal.

Vacation was wonderful - and very much needed; really was beneficial for the mind, body, and soul. But I'm happy to be back to our normal life. This weekend we're becoming the quintessential American couple and getting a.......wait for it......Costco membership! We figured we'd check it out; with the amount we spend on groceries for how often we do it (once every 2 months), we'd probably spend the same amount but for more at Costco. Well, we'll see how this works out.

This morning I went shopping for new clothes. Nothing fits. I can easily be pansed. So it's led to a lot of cinching. I got a lot of cool things - I was trying on size 6's and even those were too big - and got a little of everything. And, wouldn't you know it, but DKNY jeans fit me the best. :-D
Zoey is currently napping but when she wakes up it's off to Costco! Please pray for us....