Sunday, August 30, 2009

Winding Up Summer!!

I can't believe the summer is over already. Dylan turns 5 months old on Monday and starts daycare as well. (pics and video from that soon!) Here's a recap (along with a ton of pics as always) of the last few weeks!

Nicki officially wrapped up her baby internship. She passed with flying colors!! Grandma Toni came to visit in Nicki's second to last week. Everybody had a great time! Toni of course got Dylan some adorable new outfits. She's going to single handedly keep Dylan one of the best dressed babies around! We all had a great time hanging out (although unfortunately it's not as fun for me since I still have to work). They even went to the park with Andrea and Ella for an extra adventure!

Nothing but smiles in Grandma Toni's arms :)

Grandpa Richard also came to see Dylan for a day. I had to work all day, but got to join them for lunch. Dylan enjoyed getting to hang out and going on a walk.


Nicki's birthday was during the last week of her internship. Luckily for her, she quickly learned that we do birthday weeks in my family so the birthday/farewell celebration lasted all week long! We had a great birthday dinner with all of my family on Monday. As you can see, Nicki isn't only a pro with Dylan but Ella as well. In fact, one of Ella's favorite words to say is Nicki :) Dylan liked helping Nicki open her present and blow out the candle on her cake (no cake for Dylan quite yet...)

What could be a better present than a digital picture frame full of pictures of Dylan??

Nicki's so good, she can easily handle two kiddos!

Nicki's final week / birthday celebration culminated with a trip to the Iowa State Fair. My dad had driven Nicki's car up to DSM earlier in the week so she could ride with Dylan and me. I took Friday off of work and Nicki, Dylan, Ella, Andrea, Vito and I (along with a lot of stuff) piled into the minivan. It was quite a sight to see! The kiddos were great, although we did have a bit of an adventure at the Bethany exit (about 1/2 way in between KC and DSM). We stopped to let Vito out, feed Dylan and get some food for ourselves. Dylan had managed to leak out of his diaper all over himself so we got him cleaned up and into a new outfit. We made his bottle and Nicki fed him. He did a great job eating and burping and we were just about ready to go when he started spitting up. Once again it wasn't a little drooling spit up, it was a fountain of spit up all over Dylan, Nicki and the van. Well, I had only packed one back up outfit in the diaper bag, so we had to get into my bag to get another outfit for Dylan. We also pulled some clothes out for Nicki and cleaned her and the van off the best we could. So after about an hour at the exit, we were off again. The rest of the drive went smoothly and we had a great weekend!

Friday night, JoAnne, Jeremy, Amy and her daughter Aubrey came over to visit us. Dylan loved seeing everybody again and meeting Jeremy for the first time! It was very nice for everybody to come over and see us and we had a great time hanging out!

Saturday morning we got up and headed to the fair. We had an absolute blast! Ella LOVED the cows. In fact, we took a video of Nicki, Ella and I milking a cow and Ella wants to watch it non-stop still. She walks over to my dad's computer, points at it and says Nick and Cow please. It's SO cute! We enjoyed all of the highlights of the fair (a few of the pics are on Nicki's camera, so I'll post more later). We saw the butter cow, the big pig, the big cow and many more animals. As I mentioned above, Nicki and I both milked a cow which was quite amusing for all of us! Dylan and Ella had their first experience with spin art (and made some masterpieces, I might add). We also had a great time in the baby barn which is a barn they have built that houses baby animals that are born during the 2 weeks of the fair. We saw baby cows, goats, chicks, ducks, pigs etc. As you can see, we took a picture of Dylan in front of the pigs wearing what else but overalls and a shirt with a pig on it :) We ate some yummy fair food and headed home for Ella's nap. Saturday afternoon, Sarah came over to visit us. Dylan loved getting to see her again and make funny faces at her.

Saturday night, my dad, Billy, Nicki and I headed back to the fair. Andrea and my mom stayed home with Dylan and Ella so we were kiddo free. We went and saw the main attractions of the fair again and this time went on the big yellow slide (Nicki won the race) and played the squirt gun water game a few times (apparently Nicki is a HUGE carnival game lover!). The final time Billy won and we brought home a purple ape for Ella. We had a great time at the fair. Zach and I always went every year, so I think Nicki enjoyed getting to see what it was all about. And for any of you out there intrigued, you're more than welcome anytime! I think we'll continue to make it a tradition :)


Hanging with Jeremy!

Welcome to the Iowa State Fair!

Little ham in front of the baby pigs!

Spin art masterpieces! I did the paint, Dylan spun it with his foot!

This calf decided Nicki's jeans looked good for lunch!


City girl milking a cow!

Nicki and Dylan in front of the world famous Butter Cow. This is a picture from my cell phone, but I'll post more when I get Nicki's camera.

Enjoying hanging out with Sarah

One last nap on Aunt Nicole's chest!



Sunday morning, we got up and went for a walk/run at Gray's Lake. Nicki successfully ran every day of her internship and got to over 70 days in a row before the streak finally ended this past week in Greece. She decided that I should run with her at least once a week, so on Sunday we ran around the lake while my mom, Dylan, Andrea, Ella and our friend Andi and her son Jack walked. Billy came as well to run but ran way more quickly than I could handle. It was great getting to see Andi and Jack who is as cute as ever! After we got home, JoAnne and Jeremy came back over with Sherri (JoAnne's mom). Dylan, sensing she was a grandma who knew what she was doing, was full of big smiles for her! We packed up the van and got everything ready to go and said a tearful goodbye to Nicki who was driving back to Chicago. Nicki and I have always been close, but we became even closer this summer. She and Dylan have such an incredible bond and it was the best possible summer we could have had (more on this later, of course she gets her own dedicated post). The drive back was fairly uneventful.



Thanks for visiting me Sherri!

****************************************************************************

Check out this picture of Andrea holding not one, not two but three babies...


That's right for those of you who haven't heard Andrea and Morris are expecting another little one! We are SO excited and feel incredibly blessed to be expanding our family once again. Andrea hasn't been feeling very well, so we've all tried to pitch in and help as much as possible. We even had Ella stay over this past weekend so Andrea could get some much needed rest. We had such a good time that we're thinking of making the slumber parties a weekly event! She is due in late February (and promises to try to keep this one in longer this time). We'll find out the sex of the baby in October although most of the money is on another girl. Dylan is excited that he's not going to be the littlest one around anymore!

We all managed to survive this past week without Nicki although it certainly hasn't been as fun! My dad took care of Dylan this past week and they had a great time together. Dad even taught him how to make a roux for all you chefs out there :) Here are some fun pics from this week.





Teaching him about the Hawks at an early age!





Hanging out in Dylan's crib before the slumber party (of course they didn't sleep together, but did like playing together!)





Grandpa's little chef!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Nothing is Sweeter Than a Baby Laughing!!!

Dylan has started laughing quite a bit. There are usually 1-2 times a day that I can really get him going. Below is a video from Sunday. We were at Kristen's house and I was changing his diaper and he was just cracking up. It's about the sweetest thing that I have ever heard!






video



(Yes, it's quite okay for you to laugh at me in the video as well! I'll do just about anything if Dylan thinks it's funny!)



Dylan also had his first babysitter that wasn't a family member (although one could argue that she is practically family!). Not to worry, I did a thorough background check and decided that 7+ years of NICU experience qualified Kristen to babysit. Dylan and Kristen had an excellent afternoon together (I was so jealous that I had to work) and continued to fall even more in love with each other!!





You can babysit for me anytime, Kris :)



Dylan is getting quite adventurous and loves flying in my arms! (look at that grin)



I can't get enough kisses from Aunt Nicole!



Dylan is very aware that with eyes like these, Grandpa will let him get away with anything!



Bryan and Laura (yes, Tucci it was hard for me to call you that!) came to visit us this weekend from Chicago. We had a GREAT time all weekend. On Friday night, Bryan, Tucci, Kristen and Matt came over with pizza...in fact with a pizza so big they had to turn it sideways to get it in the door and it was actually larger than Dylan. We ended up playing HOURS of Wii Fit and having a blast. Matt even set a couple of records that my dad and Nicki had to spend Saturday beating.


We met up Saturday for lunch and Sunday for breakfast before Bryan and Tucci had to head back to Chicago. It was great seeing them and getting to all hang out together, just like old times when they used to live here. Come back soon, guys!!


Grandma Toni comes back for another visit on Wednesday. And Aunt Nicole is down to her final two weeks of her "baby internship". As mentioned always, she has been an amazing support for me and a wonderful aunt for Dylan (more on this all later...no need to tear up already). We're going to send Aunt Nicole off with a trip to the Iowa State Fair, so look forward to those pics in a few weeks!

Here are a few pics from this weekend:



Dylan loved getting to meet Bryan and Tucci!



Literally, I have NEVER seen a pizza so big. What was impressive was how much of it we ate!!


Dylan saves some of his cutest faces for Grandma!


Kristen decided that Dylan might be a good luck charm for the Wii fit!


I love sleeping on Kristen's shoulder!!




Looking awfully cute in Tucci's arms!


Goodnight, Grandma!

Goodnight, Kristen!

Goodnight, Tucci!


Thanks so much for coming to visit me, Bryan and Tucci! I had a great time!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

All Things Chicago...

As promised here's a bit more information about our trip to Chicago and a TON more pictures!!

The adventure started on Saturday. Nick, Billy and I flew out on the same flight to Chicago. Luckily, the flight was fairly empty, so even though we didn't buy a ticket for Dylan, we were able to take his car seat on the plane and he got his own seat. For any of you who ever travelled with Zach, the picture of Dylan below is a similar expression to the one that Zach often had while we were travelling. However, just like his Daddy, once we were settled and on the plane, Dylan was super happy!!



What exactly is going on here??




Our flight attendant was awesome! Once he knew it was Dylan's first flight he brought us everything under the sun. Dylan got his first wings, a certificate for his first flight, a deck of cards (we're encouraging those gambling skills young these days), a coloring book and some other stuff.






We made it safely to Chicago and Toni picked us up at the airport. I fed Dylan on the airplane, but apparently on the car ride to grandma's, he decided he was STARVING!! I was a little nervous that we were going to get in a car accident on the way home because Grandma Toni doesn't like anything that makes her grandson cry. I assured her although he was a bit hysterical, he was not starving and would be fine. I think at one point Billy even offered to drive :) Once we made it to Grandma's we made his bottle and I fed it to him. Now, I'm by no means a bottle expert. In fact, I very rarely feed him a bottle (Nick's the expert on this one). Well, you basically have to stop feeding him after a few ounces and get him to burp. Sometimes he's okay with this, other times he cries like you might never feed him again. Well, Saturday he decided to go with the crying route...of course it's not so easy for mom to take that so I gave in and fed him some more. Billy and Karl went and got us lunch, so I gave Dylan to Nicki to hold him when he was done eating while I ate lunch. Well, a few minutes later, Dylan started spitting up (what seemed like gallons) all over Nicole, himself and the floor. So, we had an impromptu sink bath which he loved :) Luckily, he was still wearing his plane outfit and not his party outfit, so no worries.



Toni had a party for people to come and meet Dylan (some claimed it was to see me as well, but I know the truth). Dylan had a GREAT time and loved meeting everybody. Thanks so much to all who stopped by. It was very nice to get to see everybody. And yes, as you look through the pictures, Dylan is wearing 2 different outfits. No, he didn't spit up again, he's got so many cute clothes that Nick and I decided he needed to change clothes in the middle of the party. Soon, he'll be too old for us to play dress up with him!

Just taking a bath...in a sink!



Looking awfully cute in Brad's arms :)

+055.JPG">Chillin' with Kevin and Colleen

With Melissa in party outfit number 2



Dylan loved hanging out with Aunt Beth!

Dorian is definitely a natural!


I'm not sure Nicki trusted Tiffany, but she was great!



Sunday morning we got up really early. Billy, Nicki and I camped out in the basement and Dylan slept in the guest room. I didn't sleep well because I was nervous about the timing of everything for Sunday morning. And, I'm not used to listening for Dylan through a monitor (I just leave the doors open at night). Dylan who had partied hard, slept through the night which was great! We got up, put on our Cubs gear and headed to the stadium. We met up with the family and around 9 a.m. the Cubbies let us walk out to the left field warning track. We said a prayer, sang Take Me Out to the Ballgame and left a piece of Zach there. I also took some of the warning track dirt and a bit of ivy back with us. It was a super emotional time for everybody (I can't even write about it without tearing up), but it was very special. Zach would've absolutely loved it and it was so nice of the Cubs to let us honor Zach in such a special way. (another huge thanks to Carrie Mac for making it happen!)












After the ceremony, Nicki's friends graciously had us over for bagels (thanks Heather for getting them). We walked over to Luke, Alicia and Grace's place where they hosted a little brunch for us (complete with an awesome French toast souffle that Luke made). They have a great deck with lots of toys so Ella, Gracie and Dylan were thrilled. They showed us such amazing hospitality, and we are super appreciative! Zach and I have been to a few games with Luke (I think even a few shots might have been done...), but for them to open their house to all of us was above and beyond. They were even sweet enough to let Ella and Morris hang out after we all went back for the game so Ella could get a good nap in. Thanks again Luke, Alicia and especially Gracie! We had a great time!!!!



Gracie was very interested in Dylan. She kept giving him his key rattle to play with! She is SO cute!!!



We headed back to Wrigley Field. One of Nicole's MBA friends who used to work for the Cubs helped us get on the field during batting practice. Because we had the family ceremony in the morning, we decided it would be neat to have Zach's friends come on the field before the game. (I know I always refer to them as Zach's friends, but I truly consider all of the gang there my great friends as well. I've known them since I first started dating Zach and we've all been really great friends ever since. It was very nice getting to see all of them again, and hopefully we'll be able to meet up for a Hawkeye game this fall!). It was really neat to be on the field for the second time that day and we got some really good pictures.

The Cubs won the game that day. The weather was great and we had a great time. Dylan is now officially 2 - 0 for baseball games!

Hanging with the college group on the field before the game!


Sleeping like a baby in mommy's arms

Dylan loved hanging out with all the guys! I think they'll all take it as their personal responsibility to corrupt Dylan when he gets older!

1-2-3 strikes you're out at the old ballgame!!

Hanging with the fam!






After the game, a group of us went to Giordano's (my favorite pizza place). It was great to get to spend some more quality time with everybody.



4 generations :)



On Monday Grandma Toni, Nicki, Andrea, Morris, Ella, Dylan and I explored downtown Chicago a bit. We went to Buckingham fountain and to Millennium Park. Ella loved drumming on the giant "bean" and looking at her reflection in it.



Dylan loved hanging out with Grandpa Karl!!

So, that's pretty much it for the Chicago trip. Thanks again so much to Toni and Karl for their hospitality all weekend. We can't wait to come back and visit again soon!! Dylan did great on the plane back as well. He actually got a bit hysterical in line to get on the plane...but as soon as we got on, I fed him and he literally slept the entire flight. I wanted to hold him up and show everybody what a good baby he was. We flew back with the Morris crew and had a great time playing peek-a-boo with Ella :)

The day after we got back from Chicago, Dylan had his 4 month check up with the pediatrician. He weighed in at 12 pounds 8 ounces (gaining 20 ounces in 26 days, which is great). Dr. Kate said he looked FANTASTIC!! And was super impressed with how physical he was...she told me I better prepare myself for him to be an early crawler/walker since he seems like such a mover and a shaker. Dylan also had to get his 4 month shots :( He did great with them as well. He was a little bit cranky that afternoon (poor Aunt Nicole), but after a little bit of Tylenol he was back to his happy self...although a bit sleepier than normal.

After the pediatrician, we headed to Children's Mercy (south campus) for a follow up appointment with Dr. Ostlie. Dr. Ostlie thought everything looked great. He thinks he'll do the next stomach surgery when Dylan is 6-7 months old. We made a follow up appointment for the end of September and will likely schedule his surgery then but it'll probably be in October.

HAPPY 4 MONTH BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!