Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Stay Classy San Diego

Yes...our trip to San Diego was full of Anchor Man quotes...we couldn't help it and now I want to watch Anchor Man again...

We are back safe and sound from our trip to San Diego. We had a great time and have come back officially disgusted with Houston weather and the lack of landscaping/views. We want to move to California. I am serious...we really want to move to California. Even my wonderful right-winged/Austin is too hippie for me/I love the parking lot availability of Houston...husband John wants to move! Now I never thought that would happen!

You can see most of our pictures here but I warn you...most of them are of just Peyton so unless you are a grandparent or you just think that our daughter is the most adorable child ever (and why wouldn't you) then you might be bored. I don't know why we didn't take more of the views and our resort. Maybe it was because our precious little child was a tiny but needy and cranky about half of our trip?

Our love of California started when we were landing into San Diego and looked outside and saw the beautiful mountains and vegetation and the ocean (contrast that with the flat, brown fields and large amounts of concrete structures we saw landing back into Houston). Peyton was relatively good on the flight there. We gave her some slack since we were landing what was 11:00 PM Houston time. She pretty much nursed the entire three hour flight. Kind of ridiculous, annoying and mildly painful but it kept her asleep and quiet. When we got to the resort it was pretty late so we just got everyone done for the night...or so we thought...Peyton woke up every 3 hours that first night insisting on being nursed back to sleep. No fun!

We woke up at some ridiculous time on that Friday and all of us were exhausted and cranky. I had a massage scheduled at the spa at 10:00 AM so I was able to get away and not have to deal with the after effects of no sleep for anyone while John took Peyton on a walk around the resort to check things out. She ended up falling asleep and napping which was perfect!

Here are some pictures from their adventure.....

While they were walking around I was getting the most amazing massage ever. It was wonderful! I did end up with multiple bruises from the deep pressure but it felt great. The therapist did tell me that I was a little tense in my arms and shoulders and she wondered what I was doing to cause so many knots.....lets see...carrying around a 19 pound child? It was a great start to the trip and also a great reminder how I need to be taking care of myself and having time away from Peyton to focus on myself so I can come back refreshed and a better mom. So...I have decided to make massages a more regular part of my schedule back home!

The rest of Friday was spent enjoying a local pizza place (GREAT FOOD) called Pizza Port and then looking around the Carlsbad Village area. We tried to have naps that afternoon which Peyton highly protested so we decided to go swimming instead. She later crashed after our pool time so it worked out. She is such a water baby and had so much fun both times we went to the pool. It was a little cold in San Diego (highs about 68) so when we got out of the pool we had to quickly wrap Peyton up, take off her swimsuit and let her heat up in the sun. It was fine in the pool but there was no running in and out of the pool.

One great thing that we did that I highly recommend when traveling with kids is we paid a little more for a room with a balcony. This allowed us to put Peyton down for the night and go out there and have a glass of wine and talk with each other. We had some great conversations and it was great alone time with each other!

Saturday we went shopping! The Nordstrom Rack we went to didn't have any of my jeans but we shopped at a couple of other stores and then came back and relaxed for the rest of the day. Later that night we walked around, took some pictures and Peyton explored the fountains and then on the courtyard there was a jazz band playing. As soon as they started up Peyton squealed with excitement so we stayed and danced with her for a little bit. That night was the first night Peyton slept through the night! So exciting!

Then Sunday we were headed to the regular Nordstrom to find some jeans and ended up finding a better Nordstrom Rack on the way and I scored! I got three new pairs of jeans! I was so excited! That afternoon I had a facial appointment at the spa and was off for more pampering! The therapist mentioned that my skin is great but that I could use some under eye fatigue cream....again....I thank my nine month old for that!

That night we ate dinner at the restaurant at the resort and we both laughed how much that experience showed us how much our life has changed. Trust me...we have noticed that many other times before but this was a funny experience for us both. We have never gone out to a really nice restaurant with Peyton and this was a pretty nice place. They welcome kids before 8:00 PM so we headed there at 6:00 PM. There is nothing like a nice, romantic dinner with a kids buffet (nuggets, mac and cheese) and lots and lots of kids, to remind you how different your life is. We just laughed how we were in this nice place with our little one trying to eat our gourmet meal, feeding pears out of a jar to Peyton and picking up puffs of the was an experience and one we wouldn't trade in for anything!

Monday was zoo day! We got there about 45 minutes before opening which was perfect! We had bought tickets at our resort so we just waited at the front of the line for the zoo to open. By the time it opened the line was crazy long but since the zoo is HUGE we really didn't notice anyone and it didn't get crowded until noon and we ended up leaving around 1:00 anyways. When we got in we went straight for big animals that we knew Peyton could see. Well, first we stopped and checked out the ducks that were wandering around which Peyton loved! Too bad we paid for a trip to San Diego when we could just go down the street and look at ducks! After the ducks, the first stop was the giraffes and when we got there we were the only ones in that whole area. It was great! Even better was how close we were to them. It was crazy and so cool. We were right up close and felt like we could reach out and touch them. They were all pretty active since it was almost breakfast time and Peyton was in awe. I love the giraffes and it was great see the excitement in Peyton's eyes!

Mommy and Daddy saw a whole bunch of other animals while Peyton just hung out in her stroller. We tried showing her stuff but no real reaction and many of the animals are too small or too far away like the Pandas. After lunch though we checked out the Children's Zoo and looked at some goats and on our way out she noticed the Meerkat exhibit which has glass all the way to the ground and it is perfect for kids to look in. I stood Peyton up and she watched them move around forever. She thought they were very amusing and was so content watching them! Overall the zoo lived up to its hype but is big and we were tired so we left which allowed us some more pool time!
It was a great trip and lots of good Mommy and Daddy time and also fun times watching Peyton explore new surroundings. Only thing is that we wished we could have stayed longer...or not come home.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Message to Peyton's Teeth...


This week has been filled with middle of the night feedings, crankiness, redness on her chin and cheeks and attacking every toy. Poor Peyton has been dealing with her stinking teeth! I know they are close to coming in and we would really just like them to come in already. It is awful seeing how miserable she is. Sometimes I think that this regression to middle of the night feedings is God's way of seeing if you want to have a second child any time soon. I personally love my sleep right now and am in no way ready for baby #2.

Despite the crankiness, one laugh from earlier this week was watching Peyton turn the fan light off and on. John was walking by the fan holding Peyton and reached up to pull the light cord thing and Peyton also reached up and tried to grab it. So, we held her up (don't worry Grandparents...the fan was off) and let her pull the cord over and over again. She loved it! It was pretty amusing and I didn't think much more of it until the next morning when every fan we walked by she would start to get excited and want to grab it. Silly girl! I love moments like that...seeing the excitement in the simplest things and watching her learn about the world! Check out the even greater excitement on daddy's face!

Today we are off to San Diego! John and I are so excited and both are very ready for a vacation. We are really praying that this will be a relaxing and energizing vacation where we can focus on our family, our marriage and come back stronger. We will be there through Tuesday and pretty much all we have planned is a trip to the zoo, a massage and facial for me and then a shopping trip to Nordstrom Rack. Other than that we are going to relax by the pool, look around and see the beach and relax in our room.  I am also excited about having some time to take pictures of Peyton! I haven't been using my camera at all lately. I hope that Peyton does OK on the plane, adjusts to the time change and enjoys the change in scenery. 

Have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend everyone!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Dinner and a walk across the parking lot...

Yesterday was a fun day but a long day! We drove to the Rice University area and had lunch with some of my old co-workers. It was nice to see old friends and as much as I don't really miss my job, I do miss the people I worked with and being around them every day. They are great people and so much fun! Peyton thought it was a little crazy how many new faces there were but she was a good girl and even with all of the excitement managed to finish her lunch.

That afternoon we both crashed and had a nap so when Daddy got home we had no dinner made or any desire to start cooking so we went out to a new pizza place here. It was good and a nice change. I was still tired and Peyton was pretty cranky getting into her car seat, fussed some at the restaurant and just being a turkey and so I was losing my patience (not really but a little...I probably had about 50% left). Well, when we left the restaurant we needed to go to Target which is about 0.25 miles across the parking lot. I honestly didn't want to deal with the drama of putting Peyton in the car seat and listen to her cry, arch her back and throw a temper tantrum so I told John that he should walk to Target carrying Peyton. At first he thought I was crazy but when I only opened the driver side door he realized he should start walking and he did. I laughed so hard the whole way to Target seeing them walking across the parking lot with Peyton's little hand up in the air and when I got there I got a cart all set up, picked them up and we went shopping as a happy family.

You know it was a long day when you make your husband walk 0.25 miles across a parking lot, carrying a 20 lb baby all because you just don't want the drama....

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Peyton's New Lazy Boy

I had an bad day today! It was so frustrating!

So...yesterday I was thinking about how big Peyton has gotten and how many of her "baby" things are needing to be stored. We have already stored the swing, her bouncer is about to go up and of course there are an insane amount of clothes I need to organize and store. Then I was thinking about her car seat. I knew there was a weight limit but I was wondering about the height limit. Well there is one...30 inches. She was 27.5 inches at her 6 month appointment and so when she woke up I measured her and she was 29 inches. Time to get a new car seat. Great...

So, yesterday I went to Babies R Us to browse and then came home and did a ton of research. I settled on the Britax brand so I headed back to Babies R Us to check them out and put Peyton in them to see what I liked. I arrive there and am in the car seat aisle with Peyton in one hand (because she is being cranky) and trying to pull car seat floor samples down with
the other hand. FOUR employees...yes FOUR...walk by and look right at me without offering any help. It took forever but I finally chose one and then lifted the huge box into the cart by myself and checked out. They never asked me at the front if I needed help to my car even though they saw I had my hands full. So I finally get outside and the stupid box doesn't fit in the car. UGH! So, I take the car seat out of the box, dismantle the box in case I need to return, try to get everything in my car (total time about 20 minutes) all the meanwhile THREE employees were outside picking up carts and no one offered to help me. Are you kidding!?! I was furious and it didn't help that Peyton was hungry for lunch and letting me know it. I finally got home and on my way home I called the store to complain. I never call to complain but I was so mad. The manager was apologetic especially when I told him I was so frustrated that I almost wanted to come back and return the item and never shop there again but since I have a hungry baby it wasn't worth it. 

So we get home, I feed Peyton lunch, she falls asleep and I go outside to inspect this expensive and troublesome purchase. I put it in the back seat and it is HUGE! It looks like a space ship chair! Which means that the passenger seat has to go way up. I just lost it! I was so frustrated, tired, and annoyed. Well, John came home later and we looked at it again and I decided to get the other model because it was not as bulky so I made another trip to BRU but solo this time. I exchanged the car seat and the new box fit in the car. When I got home it is still big and bulky but not as bad and honestly when we can turn it around from rear facing to forward the passenger side gets a whole lot more room. It will have to do until we decide to buy a new car which our original plan is not until next Summer at the earliest. 

A long and frustrating day which means I did not install the new car seat and will attempt
that tomorrow. But I am excited about what we got...the Britax Marathon. It was a highly rated car seat and even recommended by several friends so I am happy with what we went with. 

Even more exciting was that this was the first non gender neutral big thing that I have got for Peyton. We have been good about getting gender neutral big ticket items but when I did the planning on how long Peyton will be in this seat and when we are planning on a second child and when baby #2 will need a bigger car seat there is about 12-18 month overlap where both of them will need to be in a convertible seat so that means that Peyton can have the girl one and if our plan doesn't work out and baby #2 needs this seat and it is a boy they do sell covers for not that much.

And because I am crazy...I decided to rearrange the living room tonight to relax...

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Shutter Speed, F-stops, ISO....

I finally had my first photography class tonight! I found a bunch of classes with Houston Center for Photography but the problem was that they filled up so quickly. When I finally figured out what I wanted to take and when it would be full. I registered in February for this class and was so excited that it was finally here. 

I took a Introduction class that pretty much went over the three camera controls of film speed, shutter speed and aperture and learned some helpful advice as well as critiqued work to determine what camera control was the main focus. It was a packed two hours of information and me not being in a learning environment for awhile made it a little harder to pick things up but I made it through it with tons of notes. I am hoping this weekend I could practice some of the things I learned and get more comfortable on the manual setting. Peyton better be ready! Actually I am probably going to play with more still objects for now and also take some pictures of cars to work on shutter speed settings.

Next couple of classes I want to take is a Beyond the Basics class and then a Portraiture class. Hopefully I register for those early and take them this summer before I leave for Canada and then I can have a month to practice and take some Intermediate classes in the fall. 

Fun times!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Mother's Day!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day! We had a great weekend at the Acord house and I am filled with thankfulness that I am a mom and have a wonderful husband who appreciates the work I do and an adorable daughter....check out the red tints in her hair!

Friday we hung out in the morning and then Peyton and I headed to the gym! I finally did it! I trusted my little daughter to a complete stranger. It was so hard and I probably did my leg workout the fastest I ever have and I was worried the whole time but I did it! I only checked on her once during my 30 minute workout and she did great! She had a great time hanging out with the bigger kids. We came home and had lunch and Daddy was home right around then. That afternoon I went and got a pedicure which was so relaxing! Only frustrating thing was that I forgot to use then remainder of my gift card but that means I have to go back soon before it expires. 

Saturday we ventured out to our neighborhood pool for the first time with Peyton and as expected she LOVED it! As we were walking in she saw the fountains and kids splash area and was making her excited noises! It was a little cold but that didn't bother her at all and she loved floating around. It was a great practice run for us because now we know what we need/don't need for all the pool time we will be having on vacation. 

That afternoon we went to the airport to pick up Granny after her two week vacation. We have missed her so much and are so excited to have her back. Peyton gave her a big smile as soon as she saw her so she didn't forget her. 

And since our day had been busy enough...that evening we headed to a friend's house for Gumbo and games and had a blast! Peyton had great fun with a 2 1/2 year old boy! He was entertaining her with her stuffed duck and making noises and Peyton just died laughing...she was shrieking with excitement. It was great to see how well he interacted with her since that is around the age that we would like to have a second child (actually a little older...sorry Grandparents). It was a fun night and great times with new friends!

Finally today we celebrated Mother's Day! The morning started with French Toast, Starbucks, flowers and cards! We went to church with my mom and sisters and then went out for lunch.
The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing at Granny's house and then tonight John brought home Zio's for dinner and a bottle of my favorite wine! Kroger no longer carries it and I saw some at World Market the other day so he made a trip over there to get some for me! My other Mother's Day gift is a Some time at the spa on our vacation so I will be counting down the days until we leave and I can be spoiled!

A wonderful Mother's Day!

Friday, May 8, 2009


I hate shorts! I have never liked wearing shorts and have never found them to be very flattering on me and never felt comfortable in them. So, every Houston summer I wear sun dresses and skirts and manage to be comfortable in the heat. I have been thinking how that would work this summer since being practical and all, skirts/dresses don't work very well when you are crawling around on the floor after a baby but I didn't give it much thought because I didn't think summer would be here so soon....well, I walked out of the house today and it was SO HOT! Ridiculous! I was out and about doing some errands and put on some jeans and a tank top and was dying! When I got home, I had to have a second shower because it was so gross.

While I was out I stopped into Old Navy to see if they had some shorts to help me with dilemma. I don't know why it is so hard to find shorts. They are either way too short and make me look like I am trying to be in high school or they are really long and puff out at the hips which make me think of old mommy shorts. Yes I am a mom but I not ready to cross that bridge! I finally found some and they were on sale for $10 which was even better!

I hate the Houston heat and am so glad that I will be in Canada for a whole month instead of sweating down here!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Sunny California...Here We Come

We have been thinking about taking a family trip for a little while now and were looking to go somewhere around Memorial Day weekend.

We started looking at possible destinations and were torn between two being a Disney Cruise out of Florida or going to San Diego. Since we have always wanted to take Peyton on a big girl trip to Disney World followed by a Disney Cruise before we have our second child and and since we are not planning on having our second child anytime soon we decided not to do the Disney cruise and wait until she is older like we planned. Also, San Diego was having some amazing sales! 40% off of airfare, around 40% off our was a good deal!

We finally booked everything last night and are really excited! We originally had one hotel picked out but when we went to book it was full...bummer! But we did some more research and found an even better place in Carlsbad a little north of San Diego. It is a beautiful resort called La Costa Resort and Spa and the best part is that it is very family friendly. We are so excited about relaxing at the resort, doing nothing, visiting the spa, going to the beach and having a great time as a family. We will make a trip to San Diego to go to the zoo and probably do some shopping at the Nordstrom Rack. The last time I was at a Nordstrom Rack was when we were in Portland and I was pregnant and had to walk past the racks of designer jeans since there was no way I knew what size I would be. I am super excited about restocking my jeans! But other than those two things we have no plans besides to have some quality family time and come back as a stronger husband/wife and a father/mother!

We are leaving that Thursday night before Memorial Day and coming back Tuesday so it will be a super long weekend! It actually ended up being just slightly more to stay through Tuesday with great deals on airfare (not flying on Memorial Day) and hotel deals! I can't wait! I only hope and pray that Peyton handles flying as well as she did over Christmas and that she has a good time out there.

Finger Food

So, we didn't make it to the gym yesterday which means I didn't leave Peyton in the daycare. We were having a lazy morning and having such a good time playing and hanging out I just didn't want to go. Which really means that I couldn't do it and I found any excuse not to go. I have no intention of taking her today so our next possible time is tomorrow and really that is our only time since John is home on Friday and that would be silly to take her to the daycare while I work out. This is so hard for me.....but I need to rip off the bandage and show Peyton that it is OK to be without mommy and that she can trust that I will always come back for her....and I used to wonder why parents didn't like leaving their kids at church!

Anyways, so instead of the gym, Peyton and I went to one of our favorite stores Target to pick up some diapers and some other stuff and while I was there I saw the Gerber Puffs and also some Earths Best Teething Biscuits. I had a coupon with me for the puffs and we went ahead and got both of the new food items. We later had our first lunch date with just me and Peyton (we have always been with other people) at Chick a Fila which was so much fun! She was such a happy girl and enjoyed eating out with her mommy.

When we got home I gave Peyton a teething biscuit to see what she would do and at first it became an object to hit other toys with and make noise but once it made it into her mouth and she realized it tasted like something she was sold. She slobbered on it for awhile and then left it on the ottoman...later I went back to get it and it was gone. I know that Peyton didn't magically figure out how to pull herself up and eat it so I am assuming that the dog found it. Ohhh Titus!

Later that night I gave her some of the puffs after she ate her dinner and she was a little hesitant at first but quickly realized that she could pick them up and put them in her mouth and then little Miss Independent was sold. She thought they were great! Like the cup these could become something that she loves a little too much so I need to make sure they make their debut after she eats her main meal until she can have them as snacks throughout the day. Since she is not crawling yet I want to only give them to her when she is sitting in her highchair so I can make sure she isn't choking.

Lots of fun seeing her explore new foods and textures! I love it!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

8 Months Old

Peyton turned 8 months old today!

She has changed so much this past month and mostly in these past two weeks that she is a completely different baby almost.

She is so much more mobile. She wants to move constantly and will wiggle, roll, crawl backwards, reach and anything else to keep moving. As soon as she figures out the rest of
the details associated with crawling I know she will be trouble. She also constantly is looking for something else. She is so much more aware of what is around her and will go for anything. Many times that is the one thing she shouldn't be playing with so it is a little crazy trying to keep things away from her. She is also moving when she is going to sleep which means you need to check more on her when she is crying because many times she has flipped herself on her stomach and can't get back over.

She is doing great with solids and is eating twice a day about half a jar (2 ounces) mixed with oatmeal or rice cereal. She loves Sweet Potatoes and just tried Winter Squash today with good reviews. She is doing great with opening her mouth and letting me feed her and is a champ! She still loves her cup and is getting better and better about keeping more in her mouth and not on her bib.

Peyton is starting to babble like you wouldn't believe. She is stringing together an assortment of consonant sounds and many times you will hear her doing something like this, "baaaaadaaaewaodamaaabaaadaa," or something like that! No "dada" or "mama" but those building blocks are there and I am sure it won't be long. Today she was even reading her book! Kind of...she was looking at her Baby Einstein "My First Words" and she would turn a page, make a string of random sounds while pointing at stuff and then stop, turn the page and repeat. It was awesome! She also was reading another book today that has touch and feel pages and for the first time was actually really focusing on feeling the stuff. She is even starting to turn the pages one by one instead of just eating the book!

She is also standing more and more and loves to push her self up on you to stand up. She will even start grabbing at our ottoman trying to pull herself up which she can't do yet so we help her up and she will hold herself up and play with toys up there. She is really starting to enjoy her little toy table.

I am sure I could go on and on about how much she has grown but honestly so much has happened it is hard to keep everything straight. She is just so much fun to play with and we are always laughing! I know though that if I have seen a such a big change in appearance and development in such a short time her Granny will be in disbelief when she gets back from vacation!

Tomorrow we will be attempting another big milestone...mostly for mommy....leaving Peyton with strangers (daycare really didn't count and neither does the church nursery). I will be using the Kiddie Korner at the gym I go to and leaving Peyton there for the first time. I am going to try it out and probably check on her every 10 minutes at first but using that service would be such a big help. I go to the gym now after she goes to bed which is late and normally means I skip so it would be helpful to be able to do that during the day. We will see how it goes....I am nervous/sick to my stomach!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sunday's Best

I love that it is warm enough for Peyton to wear dresses! I decided to take some pictures of her while we were waiting for daddy to get ready for church.

I really have nothing to write about, mostly I wanted to share the cute pictures of Peyton from this morning. We also have a pretty calm week this week which is nice but nothing to really write about. Besides a playdate on Thursday we have nothing planned and have pretty much no errands to run. We are going to have to find some stuff to keep us busy....I might do some baking since I have a bunch of recipes I have been meaning to try and also catch up on some boring to do things.
Also...Peyton is 8 months old tomorrow! She has changed so much these past two weeks so I will be posting about that!

Derby Day

Today was the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby!

I have always been a horse racing fan partly because I was able to ride and compete horses growing up (I did English/jumping not racing). Owning a horse and just being around them so much I have always loved horses and have loved watching the Derby. I was even able to visit Churchill Downs last March when I was in Louisville for a work event.

Well, last year when John and I were watching the Derby I remember telling John that it would be fun to have a party so this year we did!

It was fun to plan everything and I realized very quickly how much more time things take to plan and do with a baby. I will make sure to leave a whole lot more time for any future parties!

It was tons of fun though and we had a great time with friends and even Peyton had two friends over. I love seeing her with other babies!

We asked all of the ladies to wear a Derby Hat and I was so excited that everyone participated. Even the two little baby girls had bows/hats for the Derby. Sarah won for best hat and I am sad that I don't have a picture of just her but she is the one on the far left of the group picture with the large black hat. Her daughter also matched her with a black head band with a red bow/feather. So cute!
I had fun making my hat and also a very large bow with a flower for Peyton. She was such a good sport! I already have some ideas for what I want next year's hat to look like!

We decorated with some arrangements of roses (since it is the Ride for the Roses), some of my old horse show ribbons and even brought out my old saddle and helmet from the attic.

I made an assortment of food and made sure to throw in some Kentucky based cuisine including a Derby Pie, Benedictine Spread for Veggies, and Beef Tenderloin with Henry Bain sauce. We even tried Mint Juleps which we could have done without. Not something I would be standing in line for anytime soon.

We had everyone place their bets at the betting area and did betting off of a point system instead of money. We had information sheets made out with all of the horses stats that I pulled on Thursday. It was fun to see everyone try to pick their horses. We had a prize for whoever got the most points off of their bet which I ended up winning getting only 2 points and only because my second place finisher was correct but no one else.

It was tons of fun hanging out and waiting for the race to start and when it did it was a shocker. I think they said it was the second biggest upset in Derby history with 50-1 "Mine that Bird," pulling off an impressive finish. Like I said earlier I only got the second place horse correct and my first place bet finished second to last and my other pick was in the middle of the pack.

Tons of fun and something we might have to do every year! Hope everyone had a great Derby Day!

Here are some of the pictures from the day....