Monday, December 15, 2008

starting to make some chatter

So Laurel is finally starting to make a little chatter! With a little encouragement, she can be taught:). This video shows a few of her common and most reliable words. "Done!" when she's finished in her high chair. "Da da" is very clear in this video too. Megan taught her to say "Me!" in response to "who's pretty?" She now says it as a reply to any question starting with "who". Also on the tape is a little noise she makes in lieu of words. When asked a question, she make a little noise of affirmation. Not on the tape - she says "pretty" about jewelry. I'll have to try and catch it sometime. She's such a girly girl. Lovely necklaces. She is easily entertained in a dept. store jewelry section:). And she says "pretty" completely on her own with no prompting when she sees a pearl necklace. Loves pearls the best:).

In other Laurel news, I am winning Laurel over to the Mickey Mouse fan club! I've been a loooong time disney fan. She watches a show in the morning on the disney channel that has mickey mouse and friends. Whenever I take her to the mall for her gymboree class we visit the Disney Store. Now she looks forward to it and calls him "ki-ki". She races to the back of the store where the stuffed Mickeys are and grabs one and gives him hugs and kisses:). It's very sweet.

We are making small steps in calming down the mega-mommy/daddy attatchment. She hit her height of clingyness about a month ago and we've been struggling it since. Sometimes she just has to be picked up and held. And sometimes I just don't have free hands. Cue temper tantrum - a big one. We're working on waiting for her to calm down and then I pick her up. Or I offer her just a finger to hold onto so we're connected, but I still can't pick her up. Mostly she's a happy child, sweet and energetic. But every now and then, she gets upset and there's no turning back. I do think her gymboree classes are helping her to get used to being around other kids and walking away from me to play with others. Today I took her to the class and I stood chatting with another mom while she walked off and played by herself. Watching her grown and emerge as a little person just had me bursting! 6 months ago, when we first started gymboree, she wouldn't leave my lap. Slowly, with time, she's become so comfortable and really loves it there.

Laurel had her 15 month appt last week. She is officially 20 pounds! A marker that most kids hit at age 12 months:). She's in the 10th percentile for weight. She's now 31 inches tall, almost a foot longer than at birth. 75th percentile for height. She's still very healthy, but low on iron, so we started a supplement that she gets in her dinner every night. Laurel also got 4 injections - poor baby. So many vaccines are done in stages, it takes several shots to complete the rounds.

I realized I forgot to mention our Thanksgiving events! My mom came out for Thanksgiving and we took a much needed trip away to San Diego. We had a lot of fun together at a couple of different parks. For T-day dinner, we went to George's in La Jolla. We had a gorgeous view at sunset next to the full glass wall. The meal was delicious and best of all - no clean up! Friday, we went to Sea World. Laurel's highlite - Sesame Street Bay of Play. She continues her Elmo obsession and loved seeing all of the Sesame Street characters. She saw someone in the elmo costume and was so giddy! Saturday we went to the wild animal park and the home.

Monday, December 1, 2008

family photos

Time again for family pics! We took some photos in the park recently for our holiday card. Here's a couple of shots. Laurel had a rough morning, but chippered up in time to run amuck in the grass.
(I haven't uploaded a video in a while because I can't find my little point and shoot camera that I usual capture quick videos with...will try to get my video camera videos online.)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Yes, this is a family blog:)...but our little family witnessed a historic event last night that will impact us all! So I had to take a minute to write about the election of Barack Obama!

We are so proud to be Americans today after electing an African American president last night. Alex and I both support him 100% and now we are waiting with great anticipation for his move into office in January. What a huge step our nation has taken! We are so moved by Obama's election, I am so excited for our future. And we can of course think of no one else but Laurel and what this means for her future. Oh the possibilities! I feel so honored to be around to witness this event and will never forget where I was on November 4th, 2008.

On the flip side of the coin, we are still fighting against prop 8 in California as the ban was passed last night. With one great step against discrimination, there is one huge set back.

But as Obama says, Yes we can!

Monday, November 3, 2008

the littlest mermaid

Laurel dressed up as a tiny mermaid for halloween this year. Auntie Megan made it for her, with a little help from Grandma O. when she was here. Laurel looked so cute! She helped answer the door for a few trick-or-treaters and then we went up the street to a friend's, Brigitta. Her daughter, Lauren, just loves Laurel. Ryder also came by with Ryan and they 3 little ones went to the neighbor's to have an official trick-or-treat moment. Otherwise, we didn't want the candy!

Earlier in the day, I took Laurel to the park in her daytime Halloween outfit. She just loves the swings and will softly say "vweee!" while she swings. We also strolled around the park so that I could take photos of her.

A little Laurel update:
Laurel seems to be putting on weight and growing! She feels a lot heavier and is just eating and eating! She loves cheese, graham crackers, grapes and peas...yes, peas. Her elmo obsession keeps getting stronger and stronger. She understands that the remote turns the program on and she will pick it up and point it at the tv. When nothing happens she will bring it to me and impatiently shove it into my hands. Laurel loves balloons too. They give them out to the kids in Trader Joe's, so whenever we go, she just jumps out of her skin over them and isn't satisfied with just, she wants them all! She loves shoes and jewelry, always drawn to beads and gems in the store. She carries our shoes around and tries to put them on. She will hand you everything, right now she likes to share:)...we'll see how long that lasts:). She has a little tea set and knows how to "stir" her tea with her tiny spoon.
She's not talking much, still. I do get worried about that. She seemed to collect a few words about a month or more ago. Then for some reason, she stopped saying them and almost regressed. She now calls everything Da-da, including me, much to my joy. She only just started saying "da" for "done" when she doesn't want to be in her high chair eating anymore. Alex thinks she said "pretty" tonight, but we'll see if that happens again.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

pumpkin patch

Last weekend, we went up to Moorpark (hour away) and visited Underwood Family Farms for some fall fun. The farm has lots of do with kids and families and we had a lovely afternoon! Grandma O. was in town and we went with Megan as well. The farm had some great barbeque and pie for lunch. We also took Laurel into the little petting zoo pen, watched an animal show, took a tractor pull ride, got frustrated in a corn maze, and of course picked out a pint sized pumpkin for our pumpkin! Laurel loved the tractor pull. We sat at the very front of the wagon and she was able to stand on the bench and hold onto the front wood panels. She got such a kick out of it! She was kind of neutral about the animals, more interested in observing them than petting them. The farm also had several large haystacks for climbing and she loved going up and down...she has a love for steps.:)

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

fall 2008

Wow, it's been almost a month since my last post. yikes. Time got away from me again! And lots to report!
The beginning of September started off nicely with a trip to San Diego. Laurel and I drove down the first friday of the month and met up with my childhood friend, Katy, for her mom's wedding in La Jolla. It was an absolutely gorgeous day, but it really always is gorgeous in San Diego! Leora came down on the train with Ryder and we met up with Katy and her husband, John, for dinner in Little Italy. It was really nice to relax and chat. The kids were their usual handful, but it was a really nice evening catching up with them. Saturday morning, Ryan and Alex drove down to meet us and we spent the afternoon/evening with Jason and Jennifer. We attended their wedding in New Orleans in May. It was our first time seeing their new apartment. They had a barbeque with lots of yummy food! Sunday, after checking out of our hotel, we spent the day at the San Diego Zoo. And yes, it's just as amazing as you've probably heard. Easily the best I've ever been to. I've been there before, but not in a while, plus it's nice to revisit with a toddler and experience everything "new".
Laurel was very flexible on the trip and we got to experience napping in a stroller (with much resistance from her) and even a day without a nap at all...which I do not recommend! She was getting more and more confident on her feet and would toddle around on occasion. She has very little fear, of course never having experienced the consequences. We went down to the waterfront in San Diego to see the tall ships and she would charge right up to the edge of the dock and probably would've kept going if we didn't pull her back. She wants to explore every nook now that she can move at her own will.
The rest of the month was filled with studio time, gymboree classes, some time at church and a few weekend outtings. Alex and I bought a membership to Huntington Gardens. Wonderful botanical gardens. Laurel loved the koi fish in the pond in the sculpture garden. We've been to the beach and the promenade a handful of times, giving Laurel as much time on her feet as we can. She likes to walk, then gets excited or anxious and turns to be picked up. Then she squirms to be put down and we do the whole thing over again:).
Laurel has been taking a little gym class at Gymboree at the mall. She loves the little shaker toys that they have and enjoys playing with the rubber balls and running around in the open space. Once she becomes accustomed to a place, she feels more secure about walking on her own and will just take off. She loves to walk around and grab clothes in a department store. It's so funny how fascinated she is with the fabric and how she will "hug" a bunch of jeans hanging from a rack. She is definitely a girl and LOVES jewelry. She likes how bangles and pearls sounds when hey jingle together and she likes to study the little crystals and jewels on necklaces and earrings. She's very patient and gently, poking and prodding at everything very meticulously. We can almost see the wheels turning as she takes in the little details. Even today, she was walking around, holding my keys and held them against her leg, all the while, looking down, watching how the keys would jingle as she took a step.
I've been attending a mommy group at Church for the past month. It's been really nice to share time and conversation with other moms. Megan has watched Laurel while I go to the group, but once I did bring her along and stayed with her in the Nursery while she played. I'm hoping she will get used to the nursery at some point! I've also started teaching 3rd grade sunday school and our bell choir has started up again.
Let's see, other Laurel tid bits: She's not talking much yet. I'm waiting for her to grasp on to words and doesn't seem to be in any rush. She has her own "language" and loves to babble and make all kinds of noise and "words". We do believe she knows a lot of words and understands a lot of what we are saying, but doesn't repeat anything. Laurel is continuing to expand her solid food tastes. She will pretty much eat anything off of our plates now. Even if she shows a distaste in the beginning, she will eat it if encouraged and will eventually like it. She is still skinny and petite. She needs the length of the 12 month clothes, but the waste band on all of the 12 month pants are way too large. Laurel love to read! We have a book shelf in the front room that has her books on the bottom shelf. She will walk up and sit herself down and pull out the books, page through them, talk to herself as she "reads". It's very sweet. I've gotten it on video and will try to get it up online. She will also bring books to us to read to her. Laurel will bring anything to us actually, sometimes just to show it to us. :)
Alex's game was just announced as well! Check it out!

Friday, September 12, 2008

more bday pics up online

I've uploaded all of our pictures from Laurel's party in the park!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Laurel's 1 year check-up

Laurel had her 12 month check-up today. She was measured too, which is always exciting for me to see how she's grown in numbers. Laurel is 30 inches long! 75th percentile for her age. Her head measures in the 50th, but didn't get that number. Her weight is low for her age, 18.5 lbs, 10th percentile! But again, the doctor remains unsurprised. She believes she's growing like her parents, long and lean. We of course had to endure the 12 month shots. Laurel got her first of 2 Hep A shots, an MMR, and a Chicken pox. But the pox isn't supposed to be 100%. She was pretty chipper throughout the general exam and was walking about the exam room. But it's like she knew danger was on the horizon when I layed her down on the exam bed. One in each thigh and another in the top of her butt cheek. There was much screaming and it did take her a while to calm down, but she seemed to take the shots well through the rest of the day.

I'm putting up the rest of our photo shoot from a few weekends ago. Slowly, but surely! View at:

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Laurel is one!

Well, it's officially a year since we became parents. And what a busy, wonderful year it was. We are so very grateful for our baby and everything that has come with her. So to celebrate, we had a fun picnic at our local park! We invited some friends and local family (plus grandma o.) over for a barbeque and some cake and socializing. It was a beautiful afternoon and Laurel was so very cute as usual. And to top it all off, she is officially walking on her own! She's been practicing and is now confidently toddling about all by herself.

For the party, we made a character cake shaped like Elmo's face. Each child also got a cupcake with a candy Elmo on it and their name. We barbecued hot dogs and burgers, ate potato salad, deviled eggs, chips and dip, shrimp cocktail, and fruit salad. Laurel was very excited to eat her own cupcake. She took some huge bites and got a decent amount of frosting on her fingers and mouth:). With the party came some great gifts as well. She's well stocked on wardrobe items, lots of cute things came from the grandmas! She also received lots of Elmo-themed gifts. We are now the official owners of a Tickle-Me-Elmo, which is funny because I can remember the craze for them when they first came out 10 year ago! She also has a toddler-sized basketball hoop, a tea set, a musical drum, an elmo purse with Elmo-themed contents, a small rocking horse, and some money in the college fund.

Overall, a great success, exactly what we wanted to have for her! Happy Birthday to our little girl!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

One year photos

Here's a couple of pics from our photo shoot in honor of Laurel's first birthday. She was so cute and happy during the session, we couldn't have asked for better shots! I'll try to put the rest up online when i can:)...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

August quickly passing

We're over half way through August! Nothing makes time fly faster than when you're watching someone grow. Laurel will be 1 year old in just 2 weeks. I can't believe it! Of course with that milestone, we took some professional photos of her and of the 3 of us. We hired Holly Port again, the same photographer who took our maternity photos and Laurel's newborn pics. She is does such a great job and makes it all so casual and relaxed. Her photos should be to use by the end of this week, so I'll pop some of the best shots up on the blog!

My 29th birthday was this past Wednesday. Last one before 30! We had a nice day, just doing the usual with the biz and Laurel. In the evening, the girls the live next door came and sat at the house while Laurel slept. Alex, Megan, Anne, Leora, Ryan and I went up to Gyenari, where Megan hosts a few times a week, for dinner. They have great food and it was sooo nice to get out of the house and have an adult dinner:). Several of my gifts were clothes, which I sorely needed. Most of the money I spend is on Laurel! I also received some money which I put towards the purchase of a nice digital SLR camera. I found an excellent deal on ebay. I can't wait for it to arrive!

Alex gave me a trip to Disneyland for my bday. We went yesterday. On our way, we stopped at Alex's parents' house and left Laurel with them for the day. It was a very nice visit for them. Usually Alex and I are around and Laurel would prefer that we hold her. Without us around, she was much more comfortable and actually preferred Grandma, which I think was much to her delight! Cyndy and the cousins stopped by too, Sierra just loves Laurel. It's very sweet.

Disneyland had gotten even more expensive. It's really ridiculous. $94 for a 1-day park hopper. Fortunately, I belong to a discount club and got the price down to $68 per ticket. Oye. But we had a great time! We're not as young as we used to be though, we were just exhausted by 9! But overall, it was a great day. Soon, we will always bring Laurel with us, so this was nice to have a grown-up day of adult rides.

Laurel updates:
-She has increased her vocabulary. She says "go, go" to walk. She loves to walk as usual and is getting much faster. She really took off in her gymboree class the other day and walked across the room without me! I don't think she meant to let go, but once she was going, she didn't know how to stop. So there was a small crash at the end, but she walked so far! She still says "nigh, nigh" for sleep. "Na-na" for banana, "mo-mo" for Elmo. She can say "Jake", Alex's mom's dog.
-Laurel likes to go for walks and push her own stroller. The stroller has a basket underneath and she can hold onto the rear bar and push. She also thinks it's funny to tilt her head to the side and have you do the same. We've gotten into the habit of having "chase" sessions at night when Alex gets home. We chase eash other around the house and she just squeals! If you crouch down and say "I'm gonna get you!", she squeals and runs the other way.
-Laurel's body is really changing. She's gotten much leaner, eventhough she eats a ton! She's going to be a long, skinny person. Her feet are larger too, she's moved into 3/3.5 sized baby shoes.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

couple more vacation pics!

back from Georgia

Grandma O. was out for a wonderful week recently. She spent lots of time with Laurel and we got some good family hang-out time. Mom, Megan and I also went and saw Julie Andrews at the Hollywood Bowl.

We took kind of a last-minute trip to visit my aunt and uncle in Georgia last week. Mom was planning on going there from her visit here and so Laurel and I tacked on a trip too! We got back Monday night and left the previous Monday. They live about an hour outside of Savannah in the glorious country. I tell ya, it was a break that the doctor ordered! We relaxed by the pool, played with Laurel, ate amazing food courtesy of my aunt and just did a lot of nothing! Couldn't have asked for a better time away. Laurel was as usual a real traveling trouper.

Going, we took a red-eye and she slept for the few hours we were on that flight. She also got her first kiss from a little boy sitting in the row infront of us:). She thought it was the best thing to stand on the lap tray and hold onto the seat in front and just flirt her little heart out. He was grabbing at her arms to play and his mom said he was being too rough and to give her a kiss. Well he did!:) It was very sweet. Upon arriving in DC, we had to catch a connection to Savannah. The airline troubles are definitely causing a lot of confusion and delays. After sitting for a bit, an attendant announced that our flight was down-sized and that we had to line up to see who got the seats. What?! So mom got in line and came back to say that she had a seat, but Laurel and I did not. That is just not ok! I had a baby with me and mom had a dog, so it's not like we could just hang out for hours. Then, they changed our gate, so everyone hauled their stuff down the corridor and got into lines again to find out about seat assignments. Mom once again went up and was told we'd have to wait to see if a seat became available. Luckily, someone did give up her seat and so we were ready to go! The flight back was similarly troublesome. Upon checking in in Savannah, I was told my flight became delayed and I might not make my connection DC. Once again, I played the baby card and got us transferred to a flight on Continental. FYI, the troubled airline was United. Anyway, we got back and forth and that's what matters in the end!

Laurel was cute as can be on her trip. She's popping out teeth like mad and actually handles it very well. She has her cranky moments, but she doesn't complain as often as i surely would! I give her some tylenol and we have some teeth gel...oh and she loves to chew on the rubber cap on the tylenol bottle. Soon, she'll have 8 full teeth. Just before Georgia, her top two broke through. While away, the two out from that and the next two in line on the bottom made their way through. Laurel also loved having animals around. There were 2 cats and a dog to catch her attention constantly. She's very gentle and just holds out her little index finger for a lick and them moves on. And yes, she does move! She now walks confidently only holding onto our finger with one hand. This leaves her other hand available for touching and digging and throwing, etc. Laurel likes to pick up a ball and throw it, then chase it, pick it up and throw it again. She is now "speaking" by saying just the first letter of things. The dogs were "Duh" and she called for them loudly all the time:). She loves balloons and they are "Bah"s. Her blankie is "Blah" and Elmo is "mo-mo". Love that last one.

But now we're back and getting to be on west coast time and back to work. August though is shaping up to be busy! We'll be visiting Alex's family in OC this weekend. The following weekend, we are going to a barbeque. We have family pictures scheduled for the 17th. Alex and I may be going to Disney on the 16th for my birthday. I know we have something on the 23rd/24th weekend which is currently escaping me. And then Laurel's birthday party on the 31st!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

some other recent pics

We went to the pool last week and here's a photo of us. Aunt Megan came along and we did a little swim session. Laurel was a little cold, so we were in and out. She had more fun touching the tiles on the side and making hand prints with water on the floor than actually being in the water. We kept telling her it was a "big bath". :)

The other picture is of Laurel giving out "kisses". She knows what a kiss is and will kiss you back if you ask her for a kiss. She will also give you a kiss at random when she is particularly happy with you:). Her kisses are all open-mouthed, but they used to include tongue, so we're getting better!

Oh and side-note, Megan and I went to see Wicked...fantastic! Highly recommended.

The video is bath-time. She finds spashing most interesting when we do it, not when she splashes.

Happy 4th of July!

Last night, our little family of 3 went with the Bradley family to the Culver City High School to watch fireworks. We had so much fun! The stands and football field were filled with people and we brought blankets and had a picnic. Laurel just loves her little friend Lauren (16 months older). And Laurel wasn't frightened by the fireworks, actually quite fascinated. It was a great show. Laurel also went down to OC during the day to visit and attend a street fair with Grandpa and Grandma Velez.

We also got great news that my business partner Leora is expecting a boy! She is due in very early January and just found out the gender. Our godson, Ryder, will be a big brother before we know it!:)

Friday, June 27, 2008

Copper Willow gets big press!

A couple of new updates to our list of editorial press on Copper Willow!
A trendy online blog about all things wedding has written about us:

We were also on the cover of the premiere issue of a new trade magazine. It was released at the stationery show in NY and I keep forgetting to put this link up!

And much to our excitement, on the stands right now is a nice bit about us in In Style Magazine! Check out the July issue (with Anne Hathaway on the front), in the What's Hot Now section!

Here's the other mentions we've gotten lately -

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

baby summer fun!

Laurel has a lot of exciting activities going on this summer! And a lot of recent adventures to report. Mid-month, we went to Disneyland with the Mauck family. We had a blast! Laurel went on a lot of rides with us - Peter Pan, Snow White, Monster's Inc, Finding Nemo, etc. Really calm, kid friendly rides, that Alex and I have grown out of, are now really fun again! Alex said it's the most fun he's had in Disney. Ryder really liked all of the Pixar rides in California Adventure because he's a fan of Monster's Inc. and Cars.
We also took a trip to OC to visit Grandpa V. for father's day and had a great barbeque!

Last week, we had a visit from Grandpa O. in the midst of his work travels. He helped watch Laurel so I could work a bit at the shop during the day instead of the evenings. We went out and bought "Rock Band", a band simulation video game which was fresh on the shelves for the Wii system on Sunday. Laurel loves to bang on the drums. We also took a trip to Home Depot (which got us out of the heat wave) and bought some baby proofing items. Laurel isn't walking on her own, but it should be any week now!

On Tuesday, Laurel starts a Mommy and Me Music class at Gymboree. I think I'm more excited about it than she will be! We also went over to the town's public pool to see about swimming classes. They're full, but the open pool hours are perfect, right in the middle of the day between her naps. So today, we went to target and bought some little swimmers diapers and a tiny bathing suit! Again, mom more excited than baby.

Laurel had a 9 month well-baby check up. She is 28" long (65 percentile), 16 lbs, 15 oz (20 percentile) and head circumference of 28 cm (65 percentile). So basically a head on a stick:). But the doctor isn't worried about the weight, I was a skinny baby. She also had a TB test (fine) and a glucose screening (prick for blood on the finger). No cries for either! Her blood screen showed low iron levels, so she gets supplements everyday. I was told it is normal for breastfed babies. Formula includes the supplement.

Laurel is now feeding herself every bit of food and loves adult foods. She's putting all kinds of baby snacks into her mouth. She loves the sweet potato puffs by gerber and the little freeze dried fruit bits. (mom sneaks some too!)

Sunday, June 8, 2008


Summertime is upon us! Fortunately, that means beautiful, mid to upper 70s weather with no humidity in So. Cal! And lots of super cute summer dresses for Miss Laurel. We've been taking more walks and trying to get out of the house. This past weekend, we were at the park for a birthday picnic. There were other kids/babies and Laurel was just fascinated. She was also still "running" around as much as she could. (She did find a large bouncy ball frightening, which was unexpected.)

Friday, May 30, 2008

the right leg gets with the program!

She's now a mover and a shaker....and won't have anything else! Our backs are sore from bending over all day. But she loves it!

Monday, May 26, 2008

the laurel update!

In my flurry of travel postings, I've forgotten to make my little update on the new things Laurel is doing.

Laurel loves "walking"! She looks for your hands and twists out of your hold so that she can stand and do her little dance-march walk. Her left leg seems to have the walking bug, but the right isn't with the program yet:).

Laurel is really enjoying grown-up food. She loves to eat whatever you're eating. She will eat her food if there's nothing else around, but wants to sample ours if it's out. She really likes rice, potato in any form, fruits especially banana, and has gotten into some of the baby snack foods like the puffed cereal. She hasn't yet figured out that she can feed herself with all foods. If it's a long french fry, she will put it into her mouth because she is used to sucking on a straw or her spoon. She can hold small pieces with her thumb and first finger but then doesn't understand that she should put it into her mouth. yet!

Her hair has really grown and lays down nicely instead of sticking up:).
She is getting interested in crawling but doesn't really understand that she can move. Laurel pretty much dives for anything she wants, so we have to be very aware of her in our laps. If she's sitting and playing on her own, she has no qualms about diving forward and getting onto her stomach. But then she's stuck and doesn't know what to do after that:). She can pull herself so that she rotates around on her stomach.

Laurel still has the 2 teeth, nothing new coming in. Her clothing size is fitting nicely at 9 months and even some 12 months are sized for her. We've been putting more shoes on her since she likes to stand. Keeps her socks and feet clean:).

A few more New Orleans pics

The New Orleans summary

We traveled immediately from NYC to New Orleans for a wedding over Memorial weekend. Alex's long time friend, Jason married Jennifer Chappell. They met in New Orleans when they both generously donated their time for hurricane katrina relief efforts in Baton Rouge. They decided to return to Louisiana for that reason, and gave us a reason as well to visit! The parts of the city we saw weren't the ones touched by the hurricane, but had experienced several feet of flooding. All damage has been repaired, so life seemed to be back to the norm for the most part. We stayed at the reception site, Maison DuPuy. Very nice! A lot nicer than NYC:).

We arrived in the afternoon on the 22nd and immediately crashed in the rooms! Alex, Ryan and Ryder got in a few hours after, so we had some nice down time. Again, Laurel did very well with the travels. Thursday was very chill and we ate at the restaurant at the hotel. Thursday was also very wet, so we didn't walk about. Friday started out with rain but dried up a bit. I wandered the French Quarter area while Alex and the guys took care of getting tuxes. Friday evening was the Rehearsal Dinner with 5 courses! Turtle soup....that was new...tasted like ground beef. The restaurant was wonderful, but was in the midst of Bourbon Street - aka the Red light district! Nothing makes you feel older than pushing a stroller past unsavory areas and frowning while people stumble about drunk.

Saturday was the wedding held at First Presbyterian Church of New Orleans. A very nice older church. Laurel was "flower baby", sitting in a gorgeous old wagon that Jennifer's family has found and repainted. Ryder pulled the wagon down the aisle as a ring bearer and everyone clapped for them as they walked down. It was very sweet...and went so well, much to my relief! Laurel also remained content and quiet during the ceremony...sedated a couple of times with her new favorite sweet potato puffies. We then returned for a quick afternoon reception (the wedding was at noon) back at the Maison. After the reception and naps, we wandered the streets and the promenade "Moon Walk" off of the river. Several of us gathered at The Gumbo Shop for dinner and I had my first Jambalaya. Yum!

We took off for LA late afternoon yesterday, the 25th. Beforehand, we did a little more strolling and went to Cafe du Mond to sample the french donuts which were dumped on by a powdered sugar truck:). Double yum!

The flight back went just fine again. Laurel's bedtime was due about half way through the second flight and Laurel actually fell asleep with her blankie on the floor in front of my feet. We luckily had the bulkhead seats.

We're all recovering today, Memorial Day. Laurel quickly switched to east coast time and then has slowly changed to central. With the little sleep she had in transit yesterday, she slept for a 3 hour nap and a 2 hour afternoon nap today! Should be an easy transition back to west coast time. We're still exhausted, but nothing we can do - we're the parents! Lots to do with Copper Willow still as we assemble wedding books, print some custom orders and package the orders from NYC.

The NYC summary

Well, it's been a whirlwind trip, but lots of news, goings on and exhaustion!

Laurel, Leora and I left for NYC on the 16th and got in early evening. Laurel was sooo well behaved. She didn't sleep well for her naps, just cat napping here and there, but she hardly complained and was easily entertained. I did buy a few new hard books for the plane and an elmo dvd - which is now well loved! Our hotel room in NY was ok...see the lovely bed spread in the photo. We were all quite smooshed in there with my mom and Tracey, but it worked out fine for the purpose - sleep!

We were busy with Copper Willow each day we were there of course. Set up was on Saturday, full show days (9-6) the next few days, but 9-3 on Wednesday with breakdown to follow. Copper Willow did well considering the economic crunch that was definitely evident with the buyers at the show. Not as much money being spontaneously thrown about like last year. But we did make 50% more than last year and our wedding album did very well. Laurel spent her days with Grandma back at the hotel and made afternoon visits to the showroom. Laurel was admired by all, as usual:).

We left NYC for New Orleans on the 22nd...not too hot, but humid!!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

getting ready for nyc!

Next week we'll be leaving for New York for the National Stationery Show! Copper Willow has been a crazy whirlwind and I've been working a lot of long hours. I spend my week days with Laurel, but have been at the shop at night and all day on the weekends printing. I'm pretty much going on sheer will power at this point! About a week and a half left and then we can get to New York and finally have everything out on display. Right after, on the 22nd, we will then travel to New Orleans for a friend's wedding. A much needed break. I'm just hoping Laurel transitions and adapts to the new surroundings smoothly! Not to mention the time change. While she stayed on pacific coast time over the xmas holiday, she will have to change to east coast or at least central. We leave on the 16th and the show is the 18th through the 21st. We're wishing for another successful show! Last year went very well for our first time:).

Copper Willow is also featured in an LA magazine!

Laurel has been a busy body lately. She's more curious than ever and is constantly crawling all over us to get to whatever she wants. What she wants is always keys, the computer, phone or remote control:). She's not crawling yet and really hates being on her tummy, but she may crawl yet. When we push her into a crawling position, she does rock back and forth, which is supposed to be the precursor to actually crawling. But her preference is to stand, so who knows!

Laurel was sick for the first time 2 weekends ago. We thought she was just running a fever because her second tooth was on the way in. Plus we had a heat wave out here in CA and maybe it worse. But the Monday she had a rash all over her body. The doctor said she probably had a virus that gave her a fever and then a lot of babies break out in a rash afterwards. It took her several days to feel back to normal, lots of whining and complaining and crying. Poor baby:(. But while at the doctor, she did get weighed and was 16 lbs, 1 oz! A big girl! Her jumparoo gym was set on the lowest level, but we've had to move her up a size range, so I know she's really grown.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

da-da & ma-ma

here's some late easter photos...better late than never!

Laurel is starting some actual "talking"! About a week or so ago, "da-da" became quite recognizable and directed at Alex. Very exciting and he's eating it up! At the end of the day, I think Laurel remembers that he returns from work and starts chatting about him. We look out the front window and she babbles, "da-da, da-da...". Ma-ma is starting to come out as well, much to my delight:). She says it mostly when we're in the car and she's tired of sitting in the back alone in her car seat. But oh well. Laurel also says what I think is "no"...she says "nah, nah". Mostly when she's unhappy. When she is happy, she gurgles and it's almost like baby purring:).
Laurel's little tooth is still trying to come up. Not much further along. I think the tooth just next to it is about to break the surface as well.

Copper Willow is getting some exciting press. We've had attention from a couple of important online sites and will be expecting a few in print as well!
We're also expecting write ups in InStyle magazine and LA Confidential. We also had some nice attention in a couple of industry magazines. We had a nice large article in Gifts and Accessories magazine and will be on the cover of Stationery Trends Magazine! All great press and our business is slowly growing!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Lot of events!

Megan pointed out that I haven't posted in a while and I looked at the date, and yes, it's been way too long! But for good reason, we've been really busy! Lots going on for everyone and some big events for Miss Laurel.
At the end of March, we had a visit from Grandma O. to help get ready for the baptism, help around the house, babysit and spend time with us. The biggest help was getting Laurel on a good schedule! She is now, finally adjusted to 2 longer naps per day! Yay, thanks Grandma! Laurel's schedule now flows so easily that she goes down to sleep on her own, with little to no fuss. She wakes at 7 like usual, has milk and then cereal and fruit at 9. Nap from 9:30-11:30. Play until noon and then we have lunch. Sesame Street is on at noon and she just adores Elmo! She goes crazy when he comes on and grins and chats with him . That is at 12:30. More play and milk around 1:45. Nap from 2 until 3:30 or 4. Play until 5, break for a snack. Dinner at 6:30 and milk before bed at 7/7:30 depending on how the naps went. So much easier!!

Sierra's 5th Birthday was at the end of the month as well. We went to Orange County to an indoor play gym. Lots of bounce houses and inflatable slides. Lots of fun and Laurel seemed to enjoy the bustling kids. She drove a large plastic car! It was fun to see Amber and Laurel interact. They were the tiniest kids, and both sat together in high chairs when lunch was served.

Easter was held at the Velez home in Orange Country (alex's parents). It was a lovely day and Laurel wore a super cute dress!

Laurel was baptized on April 6th at the 6 pm service. Megan and I joined Bel Air Presbyterian church in February and the service was held there. The "ceremony" was really short...the the sermon was way too long...but it was a nice service. And Laurel was SOOO well behaved! Very content and even when the hour ticked to her bedtime, she hung in and smiled for all of the pictures! Grandma O. spent hours upon hours sewing a beautiful dress for Laurel out of the train from her wedding dress. The front was smocked as well as a bit on the bonnet. A very sweet dress, lots of pictures were taken! One of the biggest highlights of the day though was finding a new little tooth poking through Laurel's gums. Its the left lower front tooth. It's made a little bit of progress surfacing, but it's been a week since it's appearance and is taking a long time coming out. For the most part she has handled it really well. Saturday, the 5th (day before the baptism), she seemed to show signs of a small fever and was quite cranky. But when the tooth appeared, we understood why! Laurel is rarely cranky for no reason! She's has some moments of the same this week as well, but seems to be all teeth related.

Grandpa O. is out with us right now. He arrived on Tuesday and has been helping with Laurel as well. Grandma O. baby sat a lot so that I could be at the shop printing. We're working on our wedding album for the stationery show in May. We have also had some great PR opportunities come up for our company, so lots of prep for that has taken priority as well.

What else is new with Laurel? In addition to tooth, being baptized...hmmm...she's definitely getting the chubs. She sits up so well on her own, she can be plopped down like a sack of potatoes! She's a very good eater now and goes through entire jars at eat meal. She used to just sample out of the jars in the beginning, then worked up to half entire jars! and she loves it, lots of agressive and excited "mmmm"s :). Her hair is getting longer on top and is starting to lay down a little, at least in the front. The spikey hair was so cute though! She is also getting a hang of mimicking what you do and is trying to give mouthed or with her tongue stuck out, but kisses non the less. Oh and her blanket is officially the pink knitted blanket with the open weave. She won't go to sleep without it. She loves to cuddle with it and just rolls around her crib with it. I feel more comfortable because it's a huge weave, so it helps me sleep at night knowing I don't have to worry about her. She is capable of rolling onto her stomach, but she hates it. She just rolls from side to side. She may never crawl! Laurel has also decided she doesn't need her pacifier anymore. I might bring it with me for comfort when I take her out some where. But no longer necessary and not needed for sleep at all!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

check up!

Laurel is about 50% all around...for now:).

She had her doctor appt. yesterday and measures 26" long and 14 lbs, 14 oz. Pretty good! She's slightly under weight for her length, but the doctor isn't worried and attributes it to the body type she's gotten from her parents:). ha.

We reviewed all of her abilities to make sure she's on track and we're all good there too. She has a few more 1st foods to make her way through. She's done:
peas, carrots, squash, sweet potato, bananas, peaches, pears, applesauce, and beef.
rice cereal, oatmeal, and barley cereal.

We have to do the mixed cereal, chicken and turkey, and green beans. I had a lot of trouble finding green beans in the starter size, but finally found it last week.

Laurel has also tried bananas in the hand-held's a little pourous fabric pouch attached to a ring, so she can hold it and chew and squeeze on the food through the fabric. The doctor said that in a month or so she can start to have tiny pieces of mashable food and also the little puffy baby cereal, when she can pick tiny things up with her hand.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

6 months and growing fast!

(The video at the end is of my mom feeding Laurel - she was out here for a lovely visit at the beginning of the month)

Whew, I had no idea it had actually been so long since our last post! It didn't seem that long!

Anyway, I've been busy at Copper Willow. We're developing our wedding album for stores and I can't remember the last time I had this much to do. I know I was super busy in grad school working and going to school-both full time. Add a baby onto that much and that's what I do now. Laurel and I do it all! I do my calligraphy at night and Laurel and I go to Copper Willow, run errands, play, and nap (well she does) all during the day...oh and laundry, lots of that:).

I think Laurel is going through a growth spurt. She seems much heavier than just a few weeks ago. She has a bouncy baby gym at the shop. (Kind of like the walker I had as a baby, but they don't make those anymore for safety reasons.) Anyway, the gym is all based on weight and at the end of February, her little feet could barely reach the floor, and now she's so heavy that she can bounce up and down, pushing off with her feet!

Laurel is also loving her baby food now. We've done carrots, sweet potatos, squash, peas (her face was quite disgusted at her first taste of peas, but ok now!), bananas, peaches, pears, and applesauce. Her poops have really changed. Much more adult like and yes, stinky! In the morning (9am) she has oatmeal with Mommy (I eat oatmeal too!), but I mix prunes into hers to help her out a bit. She just started a lunch meal. She was having breakfast and dinner but has been just starving constantly lately and whenever I get our food, she wants to eat too! So today at the shop, I had a banana and she went crazy, so I mashed some up and gave it to her. She loved it! So we will now do lunch. Her dinners are at about 6:30 and she has a veggie and some fruit. Tonight it was carrots and applesauce. She's eating so much better. She's excited to have the food and I can hear her swallow. She does make a huge mess though...I really should take a before and after picture. We go through one bib each meal! Refer to the lots of laundry comment earlier.

Laurel is still napping 3 one hour naps per day, not much change there. We had a little fluxuation when we had to adjust to the one hour change last weekend. But back to normal now. She goes to bed very easily and completely on her own. I put her down awake. She is also addicted to having a blanket. I started giving her a loose stitched knitted blanket so that it's not super thick and easy to breathe through. (found that tip online!) I think it may be her "blankie" now...she has to have it. She still uses the pacifier, but I think it's not a big deal if that's not there. Thumb and blankie like her auntie megan.

Laurel has spent some nice quality time at Grandma and Grandpa Velez's house. I did work all day at the shop a couple of weekends ago, we were getting press kits ready about the biz for magazines. And then this past weekend, I went for some much needed R&R with Megan to Disneyland! Alex took Laurel to visit both times. It's good for her to be with family and be passed around. She went through some serious mommy attachment not long ago and still get freaked out by strangers.

Laurel also got her 6 month picture taken on the 3rd. We will get photos back on the 17th and i'll post the meantime, here's one (at the top)! It's a low resolution, stolen from the sears photo studio site:). As you can see, she's sitting up quite well on her own! She's had a couple of times she tipped over and bonked her head and cried, but she's fine:). She's also into everything! I'm actually starting to fear the day when she crawls and walks. My house is no where close to prepared! But now when she sits with you she has to have everything you have or anything within reach. The phone, remotes, love the computer...and it all goes in the mouth:).

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Laurel goes Pro!

We had a very busy week this past week! Lots of things going on with business and family. My dad was in town this past week and we had the opportunity to attend the local stop on the PGA tour. Gorgeous day, beautiful course. Not the most ideal place to take a baby:)...lots of silence required, but we made it through and she was very good. The couple of times she fussed seemed to be timed for the most silent moments:), but babies are unpredictable! The same thing happened in church last weekend. She had a rough time in the nursery, didn't like being left with strangers for the first time. But in the church service, she waited until the silent prayer to cry out. I made a dash for the door to the nursing room and we were all good.
Laurel also took her second trip to the beach this past Saturday. The week before was her first trip. And this past weekend we all took the walk along the beach to Venice and back.

Alex and my dad spent the rest of the long weekend in our shop finishing up the back room. They layed the rest of the flooring and we painted the walls. It's dangerously close to being finished. Just some tidying and putting things in new homes.