Friday, November 6, 2009

Happy Halloween

ELizabeth was blessed to have a wonderful halloween this year. We started out by getting her all dressed and ready and taking her across the street to see her beloved neighbors, Jenna, Sam, Teri and Steve. She just loved to see their reactions to her and we loved to see their costumes too. Here's Jenna and Elizabeth checking each other's costumes out.

Then we got to take Elizabeth to trick or treat at her first house which also happens to be the house of her favorite brothers: Dekan, Chandler and Camden. I don't know if she was more excited about the treats or seeing them in their costumes but it was good times.

And then we kinda lucked out. We go to take Elizabeth's cousins Emma, Camille, Ashley and Nate trick or treating for the rest of the evening. She was worn out by the time we wrapped it up but it was a day well spent. We'll post more pics when we get our computer situation worked out but for now, that's our story.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Elizabeth's Version of "Helping"

Not to point fingers or anything but this it is impossible to keep my house in the kind of order I crave. But thanks for sending the package Mom. Elizabeth was so pleased to see her favorite sippy cup home safe and sound and I was happy to see all of the goodies! You're the best.

Destination: Fresno

As further proof that Nana is just about the greatest hostess ever in the world, she arranged for the last day of our trip to California to include a visit to my sister Michelle's new house and a birthday party for Jake as an added bonus. Plus, Matt, Lisa and Sarah came down from Antelope so we could visit with them too. WHAT A BLAST! Brett and Lisa joined Kristin, Kenz, Nana, Papa, Adam and I on our trip up there.

Well, what to our surprise when we opened the door and there was Courtney! Nana is the best at surprises and this was no exception. Court ended up being in town because her roommate was making a roadtrip to the Fresno area and so the timing worked out perfectly.

Lucky Elizabeth! She got to see EVEN MORE COUSINS! And what beautiful cousins they are! Here's Bella and Malia kicking off the fun. Aren't they stunning?

Isn't the Belly Dancer so pretty?

Coach took Elizabeth out to the trampoline and showed her how to get some air.

Then all the cousins joined in on the fun. Here we have (L to R) Sarah, Kenz, Bella, Coach, Elizabeth and Malia.

Amidst all the running around to get ready for the pool, Elizabeth decided to make use of the time she had to wait.

And since she was on a roll, she decided to take another crack at napping when we got to the pool. Her dad would hate to make her feel left out of all the fun, so he decided to cat nap right along with she wouldn't feel lonely, of course.

They woke up to find a kitty cat hanging around and Elizabeth just loves anything with fur.

Sarah and Lisa showed off their mad swimming skills. Little Sarah has gotten so big and so cute. She keeps singing her ABC's and dancing and talking. She even let me hold her the minute I walked in and saw her which is a first for me. I considered myself quite honored. Sarah has definitely inherited the Lisonbee hair tendencies...e.g. she hasn't got much and she's about 2. So, I was walking past with Elizabeth in arms while Sarah was in Lisa's arms and she kept pointing at Elizabeth's curls and saying in her impossibly cute baby voice "cute hair, cute hair." She is so cute and such a sweet, fun, good natured baby.

After the pool, we went back to Michelle's to have dinner and celebrate Jake's birthday. Here Bella, Mackenzie, Jake and Carter got the party started.

Check out the birthday boy with his special birthday request: dirt pudding. Michelle's kids don't like cake and for us gluten free folks, that's just fine with us!

It was just fine with Elizabeth who somehow managed to convince us that, even after caving on giving her ice cream, in-n-out french fries and various other treats earlier in the week, she also needed some pudding!

She wears it well, though, so I guess that's some consolation.

As the day wore down, Elizabeth wanted to go upstairs to play WII a bit. Jake and Kenz were good sports.

Elizabeth hadn't had a good nap all day so she was pretty grumpy at times but Jake was so good with her. I was amazed. He just tickled her and talked to her. He sang to her and played little games with her.

I love this picture because you can see just the adoration on her face. It was just sweet because she hadn't seen Jakey since she was just about 4 months old and yet she still just took to him immediately. I love Jake because he has such a soft heart and an easy smile. He's a really sincere, conscientious kid.

And of course there is Uncle Brett who has long been a favorite of the kids. He seriously seems to speak baby. I was particularly excited to see Brett this visit because I wanted Elizabeth to get to know him. He's such a fun kid with a heart of gold and I wanted to make sure she got to see that. Brett didn't disappoint. She was sad to say goodbye to him.

This trip to Cali was one of my best in years. It's funny how a baby makes you see things through a brand new lens. It's also amazing how you love someone immediately if they love your baby. I felt like I loved my family way more than i already did before because of the way they loved my baby. Thanks Nana and Papa for all your hard work and planning so we could have 10 days of absolute bliss. See you soon!

Elizabeth meets the beach.

It has been my heart's desire to take my baby to the beach. I grew up loving the beach and I thought it was time my little one got a chance to try it out. She did not disappoint. She may look just like her father, but she proved on this day that she is in fact my baby. YAY!

Her first taste of sand.

She wasn't sure at first but then she decided she liked it and went after it in earnest.

(I just love the sand on her diaper bum!)
Her first touch of her toes in the soft wet sand.

Her first dip of her tippy toes in the water.

She liked it so much, she insisted on sitting down so she could be entirely saturated by the water.

And she liked that so much, she insisted on cralwing herself unassisted head first into the sand. She arched her back and wiggled down every time I tried to pick her up so she could race headlong back into the water. It was hilarious! (And quite a proud day for her mama.)

My beautiful beach baby after drying off. You can see it had become quite cloudy that day. Papas had come down with Elizabeth and I into the surf once more before we decided to pack it up and leave and Papas is ever the adventurous one. He kept luring us in further and further into the water and we kept getting colder and colder. He gets so excited about things like that, goofy little things to test how long you can stay in the water or who chickens our first or whatever, that it's impossible not to love him...or follow him into freezing cold water in brisk, cloudy weather. Elizabeth giggled the whole time.

Elizabeth was happy to be wherever her Papas was. He was up early every morning because he had to get ready to go to work. Because we were still on central time, Elizabeth was up super early too. So, we got Papas all to ourselves every morning for a couple of hours to eat breakfast with him, play tiger or monster, help him pick out his ties, read the paper or play with the new cool toys at their house, and send him off to work. During those hours when she had her Papas all to herself and it was all quiet, Elizabeth decided her Papas was pretty fun and a darned good tiger. He loves babies and babies can just sense that.

Anyway, afterwards we went to get ice cream at Tiny's. (love the irony of a place that specializes in ice cream and hoagies and calls itself Tiny's.) Nana and Papa love this place. They make these ridiculously sized soft serve cones all old school style. Nana may or may not have snuck Elizabeth some ice cream. I won't say that that's the primary reason that Elizabeth loves Nana, but I will say that wherever Nana is, Elizabeth knows she'll be well fed and that she'll get away with murder.

Adam may also have shared his ice cream with Elizabeth, but that's unconfirmed at this point. Does he look guilty to you?

Pool Day!

Nana's house is the best, most baby friendly environment ever known to mankind. And it doesn't hurt that Nana knocks herself out to plan activities that are fun for little ones and big ones alike. Hence, pool day at Nana's. Carrie managed to convince Mark to come with her and the girls. Kristin and Kenz had come in from Arizona to visit and cleared the day to swim with us. Nana never really needs an excuse to be in the sun so we knew she'd be on board. Even Brett and Lisa managed to squeeze us in. In fact, they were good enough to grill up the tastiest lunch I've eaten in a very long time. Let's just say bacon wrapped stuffed hot dogs. All that swimming will make you work up an appetite, you know. Were pleased as punch to have so many swimming buddies.

Do you feel like you are seeing double? Sometimes it amazes me how much she and Adam look alike. It's such a crack up. They're both so cute.

Allegra loved her toy too.

And Kenz was such fun for the girls to play with. They both thought that they had a new best friend. She's just the greatest.

I don't know about you, but it seriously just melts my heart when I see the cousins playing with and loving each other. Elizabeth just loves when she sees Kenzi and it's so cute to me.

And on an unrelated note, we were just randomly shopping and saw cute little matching outfits for Allegra and Elizabeth. We couldn't resist and can you blame us? Look at them in their matchy matchersons. I love seeing babies together.


Popsicles are healthy.

And if you share them with your two cousins, (well 3 counting Kenz), you cut the calories even more!

Kenz was such a good sport. The poor kid didn't get to eat a single thing in peace while Elizabeth was in town and she wasn't bothered at all. It's no wonder Elizabeth adores Kenz.

Dodger Baseball

Since Elizabeth did so well at her first minor league game, we thought she might be ready for the Bigs. Off to Dodger Stadium we went with her Nana, Papas, Aunts, Uncles and cousin Kenz.

(Notice the glow on all of us. It was a mere 104 or so outside.)

Kristin, Kenz and Brett were hilarious as usual. I wish we could take them everywhere. I wish they didn't live so far away. Elizabeth loves them.

How great is it when your sister in law is one of your favorite people on the planet? Carrie, would you please move out here?

Dad showed Elizabeth the view from high atop the city.

Nana showed Elizabeth how to celebrate home run after home run.

Randomly, Papas went missing for over an hour. After Mark, Brett, Adam, Kristin, Kenz and I went searching in fifty million directions, he finally surfaced. It turns out Nana had mentioned that she wanted some garlic fries and so Papas went looking for them without saying anything...sadly, there wasn't a garlic fries stand on the level we were sitting and so he had to go on a wild goose chase and after finally finding the fries stand, Papas the Dodgers had gotten on a roll and so he stopped where he was to watch the rest of the inning so as to not miss the "good part" of the game. I mean, the fries were good. Maybe it was worth all the hullabaloo. The commotion wore Elizabeth out so she took a nap on Nana and Papas so Adam and I could enjoy our Dodger Dog and Nachos. Ah, health food. I dig it.

And we rode off into another perfect sunset, courtesy of LA smog. I love LA.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Thank You, Good Samaritan

Yesterday was quite the day. If I told you, you wouldn't believe me and you'd just think I was making it up so let's just say it was not my favorite day and leave it at that. At the end of the fiasco that was Tuesday, I walked in about the time Adam got home from work and was madly recounting the minutia and gesticulating wildly when the doorbell rang. Nobody rings our doorbell. Adam went and opened the door to find a wonderful little lady about my mom's age. She said "is this the Braun house?" Adam affirmed that it was. She held out my wallet and said "I found this in a cart in the grocery store parking lot." She smiled. We thanked her profusely and offered her any number of rewards. She refused, acting as though we were family or something and that it would be absurd to think we owed her something for her kindness, and she laughed and strolled down the walk to her car.

Please note that I had not just run to our corner grocery store. This was a grocery store several miles away that I had swung by to pick up one thing while I was in the neighboring city running a mazillion errands. My fair Good Samaritan drove some 9 miles out of her way to my house to drop off my silly little wallet. Before I had even realized I'd lost it! So thank you, Mrs. Good Samaritan. Thanks for reaffirming my belief that people are genuinely good. Thanks for being all that is good and right about human kind. And thanks to the Giver of all blessings for yet another blessing I didn't deserve.