Sunday, December 26, 2010

Amelia Wants Her Two Front Teeth for Christmas

Amelia had a great first Christmas, despite being slightly sick and cranky. She'd been running a fever, had a runny nose, and is trying to break in her two front teeth. This lead to us having a quiet Christmas Eve. We were able to get her to smile for some photos in her Christmas pjs courtesy of Nana. They came with adorable reindeer slippers that Amelia decided to play with instead of wear.
After she went to bed, Matt performed the rite of having to put together presents from Santa. Thankfully it wasn't too complicated, but we didn't realize that her present from Santa even needed to be put together.

Christmas morning (after going back to bed at a 5:30 feeding and letting us sleep till 7:30) Amelia enjoyed her first Christmas morning. She loves the dinosaur ride on/walker toy that we got her. She's managed to figure out how to go backwards while riding it, and is working on moving forward. She does need a little help with the mounting and dismounting without landing on her head.
She was very intrigued by her stocking, and that toys and books kept coming out of it. She immediately started studying so she'll be up on her football knowledge. After opening and playing with presents she needed a quick nap, during which she missed the snowflakes making it a "white Christmas", a first for me as well.

Amelia also checked out what Teddy got in her stocking. She's beginning to understand that some toys aren't hers and Teddy is doing well with her riding around on a singing dinosaur.


Matt's parents and some friends joined us for dinner/dessert and enjoying the rest of the day. We managed to not take any pictures the rest of the day, but a great time was had. Especially by Amelia. She's a ham and enjoys being the center of attention. It also gave her something to think about instead of her teeth.

Amelia (and her parents) hope you all had a great holiday as well.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Amelia's First Snow Storm

Yesterday we had our first real snow storm of the year. Conveniently Matt was in San Francisco, so I dug us out of a full 2 inches of powder. I think it took 10 minutes. It actually took me more time to find everything that I needed than it did to do the shoveling. I went to go pick up Amelia after I was done shoveling. While we were still bundled up we went in the backyard and let Teddy run around like a maniac. (The snow makes everything smell different, so the entire yard needs to be rechecked.) Amelia's outfit didn't have mittens so I let her touch the snow. She put her hand in it, pulled it out, looked at me and started crying. She also wasn't interested in sitting in the snow either. Maybe we'll try again when we have a little more snow.

Instead we had an early dinner and a bath, followed by playtime. This is Amelia in one of the quieter moments of play. As you can see, this child does not sit still for more than 2 seconds. Please pardon the quality of the video. I'm still trying to figure out my new phone.

video

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Start of Christmas

For Amelia's first Christmas we've introduced her to a couple of traditions. The first was the awkward meeting with Santa. My aunt was kind enough to invite us to brunch with Santa at her country club. She was also kind enough to pick the 11:30 seating instead of the 9am. The group at our table included a number of children under the age of 5 (my cousin's in-law family all came with their small children as well.) Some got the idea of Santa, but most were still a little too small to understand. One of the cousins wanted a Barbie that trains dogs to swim. I thought she had totally made that up, but it turns out it's an actual Barbie. There's also one that has Barbie potty training puppies. I think she made the right choice.

Amelia did well being held by Santa, but was immediately confused when he handed her a puppy dog toy and called it a bear. You could tell she wanted to correct him. Or maybe I'm just projecting a little. :)

It rapidly got awkward and she was ready to be done. The lesson for next year is that Amelia needs more eggnog before we send her to Santa.

The club was decorated beautifully for the holidays. There were also Balloonologists (people who make balloon animals) and face painters. We decided to skip that this year, but we did try and get a nice family photo.

Amelia only cooperated from a distance.


The weekend after brunch, we picked out our Christmas tree. As I am slightly obsessed with Christmas, this was a very big deal. We found a Christmas tree lot in the playground of a local church, and picked out just the right size. It was Amelia approved and we were set to go. (Note: we put the tree on a side table so Amelia and Teddy can't reach the branches or the ornaments or the presents shoved under the table. Otherwise we would totally have one of those trees that barely fits in the house.)

Last weekend we had a visit from Matt's mom and step-dad. I would have pictures from it, but Amelia would not stop moving the entire time. She barely stopped to eat, and was very enamored of her new toys. One of them plays a song that I can already hear in my dreams. But she loves the music and claps along with it, so we deal. We also had a short visit from Auntie She and Uncle Mike, with daughter Becca who brought in even more presents! Amelia was a little overwhelmed, but very excited. Most importantly she got her stocking that her great grandmother (Matt's father's mother) knitted for her, so she's all set for Santa. I did decide to hold off on celebrating Santa Lucia Day for a couple more years. I think I was in my teens before I had to put the ring of lit candles on my head, so she can wait a couple of years before her light bulb version.

Amelia has now mastered pulling herself up, and is slowly working on pivoting while standing and has cruised a couple of steps. At the rate she's been going, I'm assuming she'll be full on walking sometime in January. At that point I think we're going to have to put a collar with a bell on her just to keep track of her. She loves to follow people around and needs to know what's going on at all times. I'm not sure how it happened, but I think she inherited some traits from Teddy.

That's all for now, but I promise more pictures and video soon. We've just been so tired from chasing her, that we practically fall asleep right when we put her down. Which wouldn't be so lame except she goes to bed at 7.

Happy holidays to all.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Third and Final Round

This past week was our last trip to California for a while. Matt and I were both out there for work, so we figured we would bring Amelia and make a weekend of it especially since it was Big Game weekend. At my father's house this is a bigger deal than Christmas and Easter combined.

This seemed brilliant even though Matt was going to be in Chicago, so Amelia and I were flying out by ourselves again. This flight was scheduled for later in the day so I went to work that morning and figured that she would eat and sleep most of the flight. I was so wrong. All I can say is if that day was my version of Groundhog Day I would have resorted to killing myself much earlier. Even though we arrived more than two hours before the plane was supposed to leave, because of all the elevator detours you need to take with a stroller, the process of checking our bags, and then getting to the gate (which was past the sign that said "There are no more gift shops or restaurants beyond this point" which I think the airport equivalent of the end of the known universe) we were there 5 minutes before boarding was to start. Not a big deal except, this was the second leg of a flight from Geneva and there had been a problem with the plane so they had to reticket everyone on the flight. And then getting people boarded took an hour. It was the most chaotic airplane scene I have ever witnessed. Oh, and they had to pull a dad with two kids off the plane with the cops. Amelia was pretty good for the first part, and then she started to need her diaper changed. This was an older plane with no good place to change a baby. I ended up with her on the top of the down toilet seat. She was screaming, and then as I was holding her legs and wiping her she arched her back and ended up with her head stuck between the toilet and the wall. Thank God she didn't decide to take that moment to spray pee all over the bathroom. Then there was just general fussiness, eating four times in five hours and inability to sleep. By the time we landed I was ready to drink all of the wine in California.

Thankfully, after a night's sleep we were all doing much better. After my morning meetings, and then some work in the hotel room, we met up with my mother and took Amelia to the San Francisco Zoo. This was Amelia's first zoo experience, and while there were some animals she liked (penguins, peacocks) most earned a look of disbelief. The first animal we saw, a giraffe, especially confused Amelia and she had no idea what she was looking at. Here's what Amelia did enjoy. A ride on the small train around the zoo.

Playing with statues of animals. This baby elephant was especially popular once she figured out she could touch it.
And it wouldn't be a good day for Amelia if it didn't include a ride on the swings. The SF Zoo has a playground and this was definitely Amelia's favorite part.
Saturday was the day of the Big Game. Amelia and I had brunch with my brother and his girlfriend while everyone else went to the game. Here's the family with the final score (Stanford 48, Cal 14 in case you can't read the scoreboard in the background).

This is the trophy that is played for every year. I used to know that whole story, but my family got to go down on the field after the game and touch it. Very cool.
Amelia and I did attend the after party at a friend's house. She was decked out in all her Stanford gear and was the hit of the party. Especially since there were a couple of Cal fans there that need a pick me up.
The next morning we went up to see my mom and step-father and attend his church. He's the head pastor there, so most of the congregation had heard about Amelia and people were very excited to see her. She slept through most of the coffee hour, but was awake during the service. She was very vocal during the whole thing. Thankfully it was mostly laughter, but it was the most talkative I had seen her in a long time. Clearly she had opinions on the service, or at least the parts of the Church bulletin she wasn't allowed to put in her mouth. She got to meet the whole congregation, and Kent almost gave her the microphone, which I'm sure he never would have gotten back if he had. After a lovely brunch we were off to the airport.
While we've had a good time in California, I think we're done with the traveling for a little while. It would be nice to put away the suitcase and not pull it out again for at least a couple of weeks. We are going to my aunt's house for Thanksgiving, and that's only 20 minutes away. I think that sounds perfect. Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Wedding #2 - Abby and Bob

For our second weekend trip to San Diego, we went for my cousin Abby and her now husband Bob's wedding. While John tried to stay out of the way of the Rutherford dancing madness at his wedding, at this wedding the Rutherfords were the reserved ones for the first time in history.

This wedding managed to (eventually) bring together the entire immediate family, including SOs. Here are the ladies (minus Courtney) before the wedding. From left, Terra (Hugh's girlfriend), Bunny, Amanda, Anne, me, and Mary.

Then we tried to do the same thing with the guys. It didn't work out quite as well. And this was before Hugh insulted Europeans. From left, Matt, Pete (Bunny's English boyfriend), Hugh, and Ogi (Anne's Serbian boyfriend).

When we heard the wedding was at a ranch, we didn't realize it would be a real working ranch. There was food provide so guests could go feed the animals. Hugh got close with a horse. I believe this is the same horse that later sneezed carrot goo all over Ogi.

Amanda getting friendly with one of the goats.

I even got into by feeding on of the horses.

The whole family at the end of the night standing at the edge of the pool. By some sort of miracle, no one ended up in the pool the whole night. From left, Pete, Bunny, Hugh, Terra, Will, Matt, Courtney, me, Amanda, Dad, Mary, Anne, and Ogi.

Wedding #1 - Anna Gwyn and John

So I was able to get my hands on some more photos from the first wedding we went to in San Diego (thanks Anne!) so here are some of the highlights.

First, the happy couple. The bride is my cousin with her now husband towards the end of the wedding. There was much dancing and John was smart enough to try not to get in the way of the Rutherfords on the dance floor.


From the day before. Amelia, Matt, and I stopped by to say hi to my parents and sister before they went to the Rehearsal Dinner. Amelia was doing great after the plane ride. I refuse to show the picture of what I looked like. Not pretty.
From the reception:

Will and his girlfriend Courtney take advantage of the picture perfect background for an adorable picture.

My sister Anne and stepmother Mary do the same thing.

Anne, Bunny, and I before it gets too crazy. I think the craziest part of this photo is that everyone is legally able to hold the glass of wine they're holding.

Amelia enjoying herself. She made a cameo at the end of the reception and had a great time.

Also enjoyed using mom as a teething toy.

Amelia with her Grandfather and Grandmodge.

Out on the dance floor. She loved it.
While it will still be awhile till Amelia gets out and dances by herself, she proved herself a true party baby staying up till the very end of the party.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I Totally Lied

There will probably be no pictures or videos this week. Amelia has come down with some sort of massive head cold/fever thing that makes her miserable overnight, unwilling to nap anywhere but in our arms or her car seat, but happy and hyper during the day. While Matt and I appreciate the happy baby during the day, the lack of sleep is starting to get to us and we'll be happy when she returns to normal. We're supposed to travel to San Francisco next week for work/Big Game so we're hoping she's fully over whatever this is by then.

Monday, November 8, 2010

And Repeat

No pictures for this post, but that's probably for the best. Last night Matt and I got back from our second weekend in a row in San Diego for a wedding. While both were fun, this one did have the distinction of being on a working ranch, which lead to some mischief. Interesting fact - if you give a bucket of beer to potbelly pigs they start fighting each other. I was not involved in that at all, just heard about it this next morning. And I think the difference between your 20s and 30s is being sad you missed it vs being glad you were already in bed when that happened.

Amelia stayed at home with Matt's mom. They had a lovely time and I was very impressed that there only new pajamas and no new toys when we got home. Grandma had brought a set of stacking cups and a jack-in-the-box with her but those were the only new toys all weekend. Teddy was very upset that she is no longer the center of Grandma's world, but is willing to forgive because she got cheese.

Amelia has started to pull herself up on things. She started in the laundry basket, but when she tried again we had removed some clothes and she lost her counter balance and ended up face first on Teddy's bed. I think that put her off trying it again for a day, but she's back into with a vengeance. She's also started crawling with startling speed, so we're had to start putting up baby gates so she doesn't imitate her mother and fall down the stairs.

I promise to take some photos soon and post more of them. She's been changing so much that we can't believe. We'll have to do some video because she's also talking a mile a minute and some if it actually sounds like words, but no real speaking yet.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

San Diego in Photos

I have the pictures to prove that we survived San Diego, and even had a good time.

By the time we got off the plane (Matt landed about 30 minutes later so Amelia and I got much needed coffee and picked up the luggage while waiting) Amelia wanted to move around. I sat her in the seat next to me and she somehow slid her way through the crack, but it ended up being the perfect height to help her stand. And yes I did let her stand barefoot on the airport floor, but I made sure to wipe them off before she stuck them in her mouth again.
She totally loved hanging out there and waving and smiling at people walking by. This was the best parenting decision I had all day. Until I tried to pull her out and her pants almost came off. But lucky everything was fine.
Then she put on her shades in an attempt to look like a local. Since she doesn't own flip-flops or a wetsuit, this was the closest she was going to get.
After a rainy start to Saturday morning she did manage to get in her first swim. She was a little unsure of the water when we had her hat on. Once we took that off she was totally into it.
We all blew bubbles and she attempted to do so, but I think ended up drinking pool water instead.
Here she is with Poppy (my step-father) enjoying the water and trying to learn to splash.
While Amelia did love hanging out with my brother, his beard was very confusing to her. We think it reminded her of Teddy and she couldn't figure out why he was human. I think the STRONG resemblance to Mommy was also a little weird. (Will and I have been mistaken for twins in the past.)
She could totally get used to this. The bathtub is going to seem so small now.
With Nana, who pointed out that Amelia might have a future in water polo. She seems to love the water and has enough energy to tread water for three hours. How young do you think they let them start playing?
The only thing she didn't really get was sticking her feet out behind her. She was always in a sitting position. But she seemed to love it anyway. We can't wait to get her signed up for swim lessons after the first of the year.
The reason we were in San Diego was for my cousin's wedding. While Amelia didn't make the service or part of the reception (there were swings that needed to be checked out, lunch to eat and a long nap to take) she did manage to make a cameo towards the end of the reception.
The whole family on the dance floor. Amelia got really into it, especially watching the Rutherford dancing trend known as "The Peacock." You have to see it to experience it fully. Also, spinning lights and music were very cool.
The day we came home was Halloween, and since we were going to spend most of it on a place we went with a simple costume. Here's our slightly angry penguin.
A little happier now. The hat and the shoes lasted about five more minutes, but I did insist on getting the hat back on at the airport.
On our way to the airport we stopped by my aunt's house for the post-wedding brunch. Here she is spending a few minutes with her Grandfather.
And cuddling with her Great Aunt Amanda.
As we started to leave for the airport I think the weekend began to catch up to Amelia.
Yeah, she was really tired. By the time we got her in bed on Sunday night she slept for 14 straight hours, which is her longest stretch yet.
This weekend Amelia gets to spend one on one time with Grandma while Matt and I head back out to San Diego for another family wedding. In two weeks Amelia will make her first trip to San Francisco, where she'll experience fog, the Presbyterian Church and the rite of passage known as tailgating for Big Game. All in all it was a great first trip to California and Amelia did great hanging out with relatives that she had no idea who they were.