Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Family Vacation Happy Fun Times!

We had the last of our big summer trips this past weekend.  Shortly after Sylvia was born, my mom came down with a weird and sudden case of homesickness for Norris Lake, the spot where our family used to vacation every summer when I was in middle and high school.  I think she really just wanted an excuse to have her new grandbabies all to herself, but we ran with the "homesick" excuse and jumped right in!  She and Jay reserved a condo for three nights, and rented a pontoon boat for a whole day.  Aside from the fact that babies still wake up in the middle of the night, even when you're on VACATION, and the fact that the pontoon boat was, to say the least, a total BUST, we had a marvelous time relaxing with the family.  The only person missing was Aunt Jenny, who is on her way to Montana.  We missed her, but we had a whole lot of fun!

Here's where Sylvia sat during dinner.  She's finally big enough to join us at the table, even if she is lounging in her bumbo!

Uncle Jordan - always up for a good time.

Grandpa Bird lets the Nugget drive.  She's an avid boater.

She loved riding on the boat - even when stalled in the middle of the lake and we had to flag down a guy on a wave runner to go for help.  While the rest of us went into a frenzied panic, Sylvia remained cool, calm and collected.  Thanks to some good samaritans from Dayton, me, Mom, Jen and Sylvia were all taken back to the docks while the boys waited for help to arrive.  Needless to say, we won't be renting from that marina EVER AGAIN.

And then there was this guy...
Cousin Charlie!!!!
He is so much fun to play with and such a great kid.  He loved crawling over to Sylvia's playmat and "patting" the baby.  He's still learning how to be gentle when it comes to playing with newborns, but I think he's getting the hang of it.  Sylvia only had some minor scratches and dents after Charlie played with her; and I think she enjoyed the rough housing anyway.

Here's the whole crew of kids and grandkids, minus Aunt Jenny.  This picture looked very different ten years ago.  It was probably Matt and his buddy Steve, Jordan and his buddy Jeff, Jenny and her friend Dana, and me and my friend - a book.  I like the addition of spouses and a couple of babies; they really spruce the place up! 

Now we're all home and doing our regular everyday things, which include, but are not limited to, putting the Nugget down for her morning nap.  This is my new favorite time of day.  I realized today that very soon this job will be shared with someone else and I will only be around for morning naptime on Saturdays and Sundays, so I'm trying to savor every last daytime second I have with my little Nugget.  I hold her a little longer, rock her a little slower, and sing an extra lullaby whenever I can.  I'm holding on to this summer for dear life, and it's slipping through my hands like a rope from a dock.  I can tug on it for one more minute or two, but eventually that boat's gonna have to sail! 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Woes of a Blogger

Thanks to everyone who put in their two cents about my blog change dilemmas.  However, none of you bothered to even MENTION a potential new name, except for Krissy, who suggested I use Nugget somewhere in the title.  Very cute idea and duly noted, but I've come to some conclusions.  First of all, since changing the URL to anything cute would be potentially hazardous (since most cutesy names are taken); and secondly, since this is a family blog and our family is constantly changing, I've decided to keep the new URL address simple and easy to remember, so I'm going to try something like fasciottofamily dot blogspot dot com.  That way, no matter how many kids we end up with or what their nicknames are, that web address will always work, and I'll be surprised if someone else is already using it.  If they are, I'd like to meet them.  Also, this will let me change the title to whatever cutesy name I want, but for now, it'll just have to stay put with "Living The Dream."  I think it's a funny title anyway, even if I did steal it from an ex-boyfriend who answered every "How ya doin?" with a "Just living the dream, man!"  He meant it to be a joke, of course, because we were all broke and in college at the time, but now I think it's a pretty apt title for my little family updates!  So be on the lookout for a new URL address in the next week or so.  I'll post it on Facebook once I actually do it, but here's a good head's up.

Also, I was going to wait to change my background (which is long overdue) until I had my new header picture, but that STUPID "cutest blog on the block" site has decided to discontinue my previous background as of tomorrow!  Who does that?!  That's never happened to me before and I think it stinks.  I love setting aside a good chunk (2 hours?) of time to peruse lots of sites for the perfect background, but tonight I feel so rushed!  I just chose one of the first ones I found and, although I don't hate it, I would probably have picked a different one, especially once I have my picture.  Grr!!  So frustrating.

Anyway, this is turning out to be a really boring post that has nothing significant to say except "whine, whine, whine...poor me and my blog," and I'm not into that.  So...goodnight!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Reader's Survey

Okay, so I'm playing around with the design of my blog and readers, we must talk.  So far I've been more than happy sifting through other sites that provide oodles of cute backgrounds so I can change mine up every month or two or ten.  However, I want to start designing my own headers.  Lately I've just been using my own pictures behind the header/title and it's been fine, but I want to start using better pictures and fonts, just because I think it would be fun.  I sort of played around with that idea when I changed my current picture, and in a few weeks I'll have a new picture to put up there that I've been dying to show you.  So, here's what I need to know:

Question #1: Does it bother you that the pictures in my header are just a little bit too big for the stupid blue line that outlines them?  Because it drives me crazy but I have no idea how to fix it.  So if it does bother you, you better be able to tell me how to fix it.  HOW DO I FIX IT???

Question #2: I've been playing around with new titles for my blog, but don't like any of them, so if you have a cute title to suggest, I'm all ears.  Which leads me to...

Question #3:  I hate my url address.  I picked it based on my email address which is based on my old high school nickname which no one uses anymore (except for three people, two of whom haven't called me Pocket since I announced I was pregnant...weird.)  Anyway, if I change it to something else, will that screw everyone up?  I'm thinking about changing it and posting a message on facebook with the new url and that should cover everyone who follows this, right?  I mean, there are only five followers so I'm not too worried.  What I AM worried about is...what do I change it to??  This may be easy depending on what I decide to do with the title.  Should the title and url address be the same?  I think so.  It would make things much easier, right?

I don't know why I care so much.  This is just a silly family blog, but lately it's been my only creative outlet!  Once school starts and I can organize and design my classroom, my blog will not seem nearly as important, so if I'm going to make these changes, it's best to do it now.  I can't wait to hear your input, dear reader!  (Especially on question #2 - I'm really stumped and need lots of ideas, so let 'em flow, folks!  Mom, I expect you to step up on this.  Come on!)

The Smile Spot

Here's one of many videos I took on vacation.  While we were waiting for our food one night, Sylvain discovered one more way to make the Nugget smile! 

I'll spare you the five minute video of Sylvia trying to grab her yellow ducky's pull cord.  You're welcome.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Oh, July

Why do the days of July just seem to slide off the calendar?  They're not any less busy than the days of any other month.  In fact, our calendar seems to be packed with much more exciting "to do's" in July than in any other month.  But instead of being ripped away and swooped up in a tornado of get-it-done-now-ness, the days of July just slip quietly away and flutter to the floor.  Mmmmm, summer.  I'm in heaven.


Anyway, I realized tonight as I rocked my sweet baby to sleep (okay, she was already asleep and I just had to rock her anyway, since this time is so precious and it will be over after I finish this next blink) - I realized that I have way too many pictures and updates waiting to be posted, so I forced myself to put the baby down and hit the blog.  Here you go!

Fourth of July was a wonderful blur.  We spent a lazy afternoon out at my Dad's house, playing with them while they got ready for their own picnic that evening.  Sylvia played on the floor with John and Evan while Sylvain and I tried Sally's signature drink she concocted for that evening, some sort of pink lemonade and vodka delight that I would have had ten more of had we stayed there for the picnic and had I not been breastfeeding a three month old baby - darn it!

After lunch at Dad's we headed to cousin Charlie's birthday party!  He turned ONE YEAR OLD and I cannot believe it.  I was reminded that this time last year Sylvia was nothing but a twinkle in her Daddy's eye!  Oh, what a difference a year makes.  I didn't take pictures there because Mom was snapping photos left and right and she has some good ones, but I don't have them to post, so just imagine the cutest red-headed boy with Matt's face tearing into a giant piece of cake and smearing it all over himself.  There, that's the highlight.  It was FUN!!

Now, on the fifth of July, the three Fasciottos packed up the ol' Toyota Corolla and hit the road for Hotlanta, Georgia!  Let me tell you, we had a BLAST.  Sylvia was made for road trips.  She slept and ate and played by herself in the backseat like it was her job.  She slept in the pack-n-play at the hotel almost better than she sleeps at home.  While Sylvain went to teachery workshops all day, Sylvia and I hit the city's best family-friendly sights.  Here are the highlights:

On Tuesday I took Sylvia to the Zoo (she didn't really care about anything there, but she had a good time cruising in her stroller) and the Aquarium.  Georgia has the largest Aquarium in the world and let me tell you something, that place is a WONDERLAND for three month old babies!  All the lights in the tanks...and the fish swimming in their pattern-like schools...and the soft, slow, watery music.  This girl was in heaven.  I've never seen her stare like that before!  If you've never been there, it's totally worth the trip and the outrageous entrance fee ($27!!?? for some FISH.  That's not even including the special exhibits.)

The next day, we headed downtown to the Center for Puppetry Arts where we saw a Puppet Show!!!  I found this place when I got lost on my way home from the Aquarium and I'm so glad I did.  It was opened in 1974 and Jim Henson cut the red ribbon with Kermit the Frog to honor the Center's goal - keeping the puppet arts alive and well in the south!  They had a museum full of Sesame Street and Muppet characters and the man who put on the one hour show that afternoon was phenomenal!  I cannot describe how impressed I was with this place.  Here's a picture of the set of the show. (Sylvia loved the first five minutes, then she stared at the red exit sign for five minutes, then she fell asleep).

On Thursday, Sylvain got out of his workshops early (woohoo!) so the whole famdamily headed to the Atlanta History Center where we toured an AMAZING Civil War exhibit and a historic nineteenth century farm.  Sylvain and I loved the farm tour but the Nugget...

...was not impressed.

And finally, on Friday before we headed home, we stopped by the Margaret Mitchell House to take the Gone With the Wind tour!  I loved every second of it, but Sylvain couldn't get over the fact that we didn't get to see the whole house.  In fact, it wasn't even a house, it was an apartment building, of which we only saw her apartment on the first floor, and he wanted to see the rest of the place.  Oh well.  I thought it was delightful.

We had some excellent dinners each night at some excellent pubs and restaurants.  Here's a cute picture of the Nugget and her new favorite toy - her thumb:

Since we've been home we've been doing absolutely nothing and it's been glorious.  We've been eating great food from our garden and our share of farm veggies from our CSA.  We've been playing with the baby all day, taking evening walks after it cools off a few degrees, and reading ourselves to sleep at night.  We had Sylvia's three month photos taken today and I cannot WAIT to get these pictures.  I have a big idea for a new blog header, so I hope it works out!  If it were up to me, July would last forever, but alas, August is right around the corner.  I can't wait for school to start and as much as I love watching Sylvia's every move right now, I can't wait to see what she does next.   

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

I'm Skipping Ahead

Okay, so I have lots of fun pictures to post from the Fourth of July and our trip to Atlanta, but here are some pictures from a much more important event: MY birthday (today)!  I went out this morning to get a manicure and pedicure, and buddy, did I need them!  The little lady who did my toes was more than opinionated about the dire state of my toenails.  But don't worry, they're pretty now!  Anyway, I came home to find that there was a gift in the mailbox from my lovely husband (a book wrapped in cupcake wrapping paper - hooray!) and the baby was taking a nap.  An honest to goodness daytime NAP!  It only lasted for 35 minutes, but it was glorious.  Then, when she woke up, I asked her to help me pick out my outift for our dinner date tonight and she got a little squealy when I started pulling out my necklaces.  So......I put one on her.  Then another one, then....the rest of them. 

Most of them were longer than her.  She had a blast.  We narrowed it down to a few of our favorites and picked out a pretty dress.  I can't wait to go out on the town, but I'll miss my little nugget tonight!

Here she steals a look at Daddy behind the camera as if to say, "She can't be serious, right?"

I was having way too much fun, so I also enlisted the cat's help.

She was not amused.

Now, as soon as I find my other camera, I'll post pics from our vacation and the Fourth of July.  It's around here somewhere.  I have some adorable videos to post as well, but I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how to do that. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Three Months

Dear Sweet Sylvia,

My, how you have changed in the last month! You’ve made the leap from newborn to sweet baby and I must say, you take my breath away. When I look at you and you smile back, I sometimes think to myself, there is no greater gift than watching this sweet face. Your smile reminds me of your Uncle Jordan’s smile when he was a kid in that when you open your mouth and turn up the corners, it takes up the entire bottom half of your face. As your daddy would say, you could park a car in there! And you have no teeth yet, which makes your smile look even bigger. Nothing but gums and teeth and giggles all day long. You are such a happy baby!

One thing that still captures your complete and utmost attention is that damn DUCK! You are totally infatuated with his yellow shape and his vibrating tummy. You’ve made a good choice for a first love, too. Daddy and I totally approve because he has taught you some important things – mainly, he’s taught you excellent hand-eye coordination and, well, that’s hard to find in a lover these days, it really is. You have started to figure out how to wrap your tiny little fingers around his pull cord and sometimes, every once in a while, usually when no one else is looking, you can manage to pull it down just a click or two to make him vibrate for a split second. Then you laugh and shake your arms and legs without letting go of the duck, so it looks like you’re trying to kill him, but we all know you’re just overcome with merriment! I hope you find many things in life that make you as genuinely happy as Mr. Quack. I don’t know how any of us ever lived without him.

You’ve done a lot of living this month, little nugget. You helped Daddy celebrate his first Father’s Day and words cannot express how much he loves you. You are so lucky to have such a loving, playful and doting father. He’s so enthralled by every tiny little thing you do. He nudges me all the time and just says, “Look at her!” We spend a lot of time looking at you. He takes great care to change your diapers as gently as he can and when I’m giving you a bath at night he gets your room ready just the way you like it. He closes the blinds, lays out your pajamas and your vitamins, straightens up any stray blankets or burp cloths so that when you’re ready, you and I can sit down and nurse and get you straight to bed. With all the baby love flying around our house lately, I’m surprised the cat hasn’t decided to move out!

Another big first for you this month – your first rooooooooooooooad triiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiip! Daddy and I have always loved taking road trips and I was a little worried that traveling with a baby would be hard. All I can say to that is PISHAW!! You’re a total road warrior baby! Born to ride, made to cruise, loving the open road! Our seven-hour drive to Atlanta, Georgia was an absolute delight, once we figured out that we should feed you after you wake up instead of waiting for you to get fussy. (We had to pull over to the side of the road on the Jellico Mountain to feed you because it was 30 miles to the next exit and you were SCREAMING! Sorry ‘bout that.) Everywhere we go, whether you’re in your stroller, strapped to me in the Moby wrap, or just slung over my shoulder and perched on my arm, you are so interested in everything there is to see. You like to look at lights and faces – especially eyes – so you make friends every time we stop somewhere long enough for you to make eye contact. And let me tell you – people LOVE YOU! The two things people always say are, “She’s so tiny!” and “She’s so alert!” Which means you might not be as gigantic as most American babies your age, but darn it, you look smarter than all of them already!

So here you are, three months old in July. Summer is in full swing, fireworks are the latest nighttime bling, and my own birthday is right around the corner. What more could I want than the sweetest, friendliest, loveliest baby in the world? Nothing but the opportunity to watch you grow and relish in every tiny goal you accomplish. As our favorite song says, you are my sunshine. Thank you for lighting up my life!

Love You,

Friday, July 2, 2010

Day Care

I can't even type those words without wanting to simultaneously breathe into a paper bag.  I've done a lot of research on day care centers in our area and we already chose one that's close, convenient and came highly recommended by lots of friends and co-workers.  We visited many day cares while I was pregnant and I even visited this particular day care a second time before filling out the necessary paperwork just to be SURE that it's the perfect place for us.  And it is, I know it is.  But this morning I had to talk to them about starting Sylvia a week earlier than I had originally planned, so instead of calling, I thought she and I could go pay a visit so I could see the place one more time and ask them a million more questions that have come up since she's been born.  No biggie, I thought.  We'll just go take a peek. 

The good news is, it's just like I remembered it.  The nursery room for infants is lit with small lamps and has soothing music playing.  Each sweet little crib has each sweet little baby's name on it, so she'll have her own little space to sleep and chill out.  They have lots of toys which I know she will love.  There are swings and bouncy chairs and a huge assortment of other baby-friendly things that we just don't have at home, so I know she will absolutely love it.  The young college-aged girl who works in the infant room is very nice and seems more than capable of taking care of many babies.  In fact, it was clear that the babies there all love her.  Sylvia smiled when she said hello to her, so I know she'll take very good care of my baby.  Also, and most importantly, the whole place is...quiet.  Every time I've been there I make a point NOT to call ahead, to just "pop in" and talk to them about a few things, and every time I'm always so impressed by how mellow and calm the atmosphere is there.  Of course, there's a fussy baby here and there, but I've never heard more than one baby at a time crying and that one crying baby is only crying for a minute before someone comes to soothe it.  As a former daycare worker, I know that this is nothing less than a miracle.  These people know what they're doing and I know in my heart that it's the right, and best, place for us. 

But you guys, that was hours ago, and I'm just now returning to a normal breathing pattern. 

I strapped Sylvia in the car when we left, climbed into the front seat, shut the door, and proceeded to hyperventilate.  I was looking at her in the rear view mirror and saying things like, "Isn't that place great, honey?" pant, pant, pant..."You're just going to love it there!" pant, pant, pant...heart about to explode..."You'll make so many new friends!" pant, pant, pant...burst into tears.  And I didn't even leave her there yet!  I don't have to leave her there for another month!  Poor Sylvia has a basket case for a mother.

As I drove around running errands, I had to calm myself down.  I reminded myself that this is what's best for us both.  She'll be around other babies and I get to be around adults again.  We picked a wonderful place and I really am excited about going back to work.  I have a teacher's schedule, so she doesn't have to be there every day - we get lots of days off, including holidays and, oh yeah, summers.  She's really got it pretty easy compared to most babies in day care.  It'll be fine.  It really will be fine.  She'll love it, I'll love it, everyone will adjust accordingly and our family will be A-Okay.

So why do I feel like I need a stiff drink?  Perhaps because I know there's just no substitute for a mom.