Thursday, September 27, 2012

Creative Little Munchie

My daughter is quite creative and a good problem solver. It is great fun to watch her playing imaginary things and getting creative with her toys.

We have a gazebo type thing outside on our back deck (I don't know what its called! It was there when we moved in!). It has some strings that hang down from the roll out shades on the sides of it. And I tie rope between the poles for clotheslines in the summer.

Gabriella was outside playing and I spotted her out the window while I was washing dishes. She had made a swing for her doggy!

Very pleased with herself. She kept saying, "my doggy is just swinging!"

I was pretty impressed since she had done this without anyone suggesting it or showing it to her. 

A week later I caught her outside swinging on the swing herself!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Vacation Day 5 (the Final day)

We were up early this morning to get everyone showered, packed up and in the car so we had plenty of time to get across Portland for Xander's doctor appointment.

We said goodbye to Aunt Esther and hit the road towards OHSU and Doernbecher Children's Hospital.

Xander and daddy ready to go inside

Checking in at the Cranio-Facial Rehabilitation Clinic
(at the purple chipmunk)

Getting some pictures taken of his noggin

Gabriella reading books in the exam room. This was about 30 seconds before she started in on a HUGE meltdown (screaming, crying, yelling, body-flailing, you name it! Matt and I are both pretty sure it was from too much vacation)

We were SO relieved to hear that Xander's metopic suture line was normal (Matt actually has the same ridge that you can feel under his forehead) and that he would grow into it. Praise Jesus!! I didn't want him to have a pointy head his whole life!

Here is the exact wording from the official doctor's report:
"Xander is an 8 month old male with a history and physical exam consistent with a metopic ridge. This is a normal variant when the metopic suture normally fuses between 2 months old and 2 years old. He has no signs of craniosynostosis - no trigonocephaly, bitemporal narrowing or hypotelorism. His dad also has a ridge on his forehead that is palpable but no longer visible. Lastly, Xander's head size has crossed over two percentiles on the head growth chart. Again, Dad has a very large size head and it is most likely familial."

So, basically, he will grow into his ridge line and it will fade away from being visible as he grows. We just have to watch his head growth and make sure that it is growing evenly because jumping up and down head sizes can be dangerous too. But we are SO relieved to know that he will not need surgery on his head right now! Woo hoo!!

After a quick lunch at Chipotle (which by the way, is coming to Medford in October!!!) we looked up a gluten-free and vegan bakery. The kids both fell asleep within two minutes of being back in the car. 

 Here I am with my carrot cake! Mmmmmm! Matt got a mini lemon bunt cake thingy. 

Of course we stopped at Trader Joe's in Eugene (for a nursing break, and shopping!). I'm so excited that the Medford store will be opening up next month as well!

Xander discovered himself in the mirror. It was hilarious! He was jabbering away and laughing at himself. Too cute!

At home and asleep in their own beds. Both kids were such good sports on our long trip. 

We had so much fun on our vacation! It was great to spend so much time together with just the four of us and seeing some great friends that we don't see often. We already can't wait to get back up to Tacoma to see Emily, Ryan & Victory again!
We feel so blessed to be able to have such a great time together and to get such awesome news that Xander doesn't have to get surgery on his head! God is good ALL the time!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Vacation Day 4

Tuesday morning we woke up bright and early after a fun sleep over at aunt Esther's house. Gabriella was very eager to go up the big stairs to see "Aunter Esther" (that's what she kept calling her, it was so cute!)

We ate a quick breakfast and then headed out to the Portland Zoo for some more fun and animal viewing.
Along the way we happened to drive by the Portland RSD (the company Matt works for). So we went around the block and came back for a picture before we continued to the zoo.

We had lots of fun just going slow, taking our time and exploring everywhere.
The first animals we saw were some black bears (who looked like they were kissing)

Gabriella being an eagle in the eagle's nest. She was flapping her wings in this picture 

Matt comparing his wingspan to that of a bald eagle

Gabriella taking a shortcut

Xander looking at the frogs

Gabriella wasn't too sure about the giant fish! 

Xander trying to grab at the penguins. It was the cutest thing ever watching him try and grab at them when they swam by.

Saying "hi" to the goats in the petting zoo part

Seeing how they measure up compared to bears

Monkey arms

Gabriella discovered this little plaque at the monkey exhibit and was trying to hold the little metal monkey hand on it. So sweet!

On vacation I mastered mobile nursing ;)

Watching the elephants. She stood there for a long time watching them. 

Playing drums with daddy in the Africa section

Sitting on top of the lion

Gabriella and I inside the snakes cage!

Climbing with daddy


Looking at the giraffes

Feeding the Lorakeets. 
Gabriella was so cute! When we gave her the little cup of nectar she put it up to her mouth to drink it before we could tell her not to. She immediately spit it out. I guess it didn't taste as good as it smelled!
She walked around to the birds saying, "Come here little birdie. I have some food for you!"

Me feeding one. 
They just jump right up on your hands to eat. So fun!

Xander helping daddy feed the Lorakeets. This one nibbled on his finger and he laughed at it.

By then we were tired and hungry so we hopped on the train that rode to Washington Park and back to the Zoo so we could rest and eat our snacks we had brought with us. 

Me and my Munchie on the train

All four of us! I love Gabriella's expression in this picture!

Xander loved the train! He jabbered and squealed and tried to hang his head out the window the entire time!

After the Zoo we stopped at the gift shop to pick out a souvenir with the money Gramma had given the kids. 
Gabriella picked "Beezer" (she named it) and Xander thoroughly enjoyed chomping on his frog. 

The kids fell asleep before we left the parking lot so Matt and I hit up a Jamba Juice and had fun just cruising around for a little while so the kids could sleep. 

We met up with Matt's buddy Matt and his fiance Genevieve and headed to P.F. Chang's for some gluten-free Chinese food. I was pretty bummed because ALL of their sauces had oyster oil in them (I am highly allergic to shellfish). So I had fried rice with no sauce on it :( 

Gabriella was getting antsy so as soon as she was done eating, her and I walked across the street to Whole Foods. Mmmmm!

We said "good-bye" to Matt and Genevieve and then had a couple hours to kill before we could head back to Aunt Esther's house (she and Bill were serving down at the homeless shelter). I had never been to Ikea so (thank Jesus for smartphones) we entered it into the GPS on my phone and headed over. 

Oh my! I could have spent hours (and several thousand dollars) in that store looking at all the fun decorating and storage ideas!

Gabriella had a BLAST because Daddy let her run around. 
She crawled right up into the bed and asked for her binkie!

Making herself comfortable on the couch displays. 
(she crawled up there by herself)

She of course wanted to carry a big yellow bag like mommy.

Ikea had the weirdest carts ever! All four wheels rotated so they kind of slid sideways instead of going straight. It was annoying the heck out of me, but Matt and Gabriella really enjoyed it. 

Fun in the parking lot!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Vacation Day 3

After a quick trip to Value Village (it was 50% off day!) it was time to leave Tacoma :( It was hard to say goodbye to our friends, but we are already scheming up our next visit (The Hobbit......)
All the kiddos together!

Mount Rainier

We left Tacoma and drove down I-5 a few miles to Camp Lewis to see some old friends from Grants Pass.
They sponsored us getting onto the base (Dillon is in the Air Force) and we headed to the playground. The kids had lots of fun playing while the adults chatted and visited. It was SO nice to see them again!!
Xander laughing his head off in the swing!

Gabriella driving the Army truck!

Courtney taking Gabriella and Xander into the sprinkler part of the park. It was SO cool!

After about an hour it was naptime and we hit the road, southern bound for Portland. 
Just a little bored while Matt was driving....

Little cutie pie!
We pulled into Portland and couponed our dinner at Red Robin. I had an amazing salad and Matt had a hamburger with a gluten-free bun. Gabriella ate an entire grilled cheese sandwich, fruit cup and french fries. She was apparently the most hungry!
Love me some salad!!

We had a few hours before we were scheduled to get to my Great Aunt Esther's house so we headed down the street to the Loyd Center Mall. Well, unfortunately it was after 6pm and everything was closed except the ice skating rink and the major clothing stores. We used the bathroom and then watched the ice skaters. Gabriella LOVED it!

We piled back in the car and drove to Aunt Esther's house. It was great to see her and Bill. I haven't seen them for a few years and they had never met Matt. So it was fun to see their house, garden and catch up.

By then it was bedtime and we were all exhausted!