Good Night's Sleep

I had the best night's sleep last night! Silly to blog about, perhaps...but maybe not when you're pregnant? I didn't get up at all to go to the bathroom, my hips didn't hurt, no heartburn, body temperature was normal and cozy, and every pillow felt just right on my head. I'm sure I'll still be ready for a nap in a few hours. But hey, that's perfectly acceptable!



Six months ago when I first started blogging, I posted two pictures of Lucy that were taken 6 months apart, in the exact same outfit sitting in her highchair. It was so fun to see how much her hair had grown. In that same post, I said I would take another picture 6 months in the future, when she turned 20 months. And that day has arrived. So here are the pictures! I can't believe 6 months have gone by (and yes, she still fits in that same onesie. It's getting tight though). And the hair continues to grow! (you can see better if you click on the picture)
Lucy at 8, 14, and 20 months:Earlier this week some friends and I were discussing our little girls' hair. They all have the same fine/whispy hair that's grown into the mullet in the back. We were debating whether to trim up the back or not.
Then later during the week, Lucy and I were out driving when Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name" came on the radio. I looked back and found her bouncing her legs to the beat while grinning out the window, the wind blowing her billowing mullet in every direction. I started laughing. She was still doing the same thing 30 seconds later. I decided then that yes, it was time to cut the hair (and to continue listening to Bon Jovi. I'm happy her heart is in the 80s!).
So we did it this morning! She wasn't into the cutting aspect (even with Elmo turned on) and acted like part of her body was being abandoned. But I worked quickly. Here's a before and after pic.
And here's what the hair looks like all dried. I have to admit, I miss some of her whispy curls. But I think in the long run, it will look better as the hair grows at the same length. Maybe she looks older? I still think she looks cute.


The Name Survey

Most of you got our email, but if there's anyone we missed we're pleased to announce the return of:
The Willard Baby Name Survey
If you'd like to participate here you go:
Click Here to take survey

Thank you for helping us gather valuable research. Your comments are appreciated.

Full Moon

It must be a full moon out, because today was kinda weird. I really don't mean for my blog to be a complaining session, but I really feel like our family is going through some strange funk. We seem to be passing the sickness baton. Lucy, who was an happy angel this whole week (while I felt horrible) woke up this morning completely whiny. She was awake for a 1/2 hour, complaining about everything when finally I just put her back to bed, cause I couldn't figure out anything else to do....and she slept till noon! (4 hours!) To sum up the rest of the day, she took another nap in the afternoon, had a fever, and we watched about 4 hours of Elmo while she sat on my lap. Is it really possible that she's sick again???! I think I'm going insane.
There were a few gems of fun in our day, however. She finally took some Tylenol and felt a little better, so we had lunch at Chipotle. Yum Yum. She loves their salsa and quesadillas. AND there's her favorite fountain outside, which she loves to run around. If you've never seen her little walk/run, this video captures it perfectly. It really makes me laugh. She expends so much energy bobbing up and down and doesn't get too far, but it's really cute. The last 5 seconds are the best:

After lunch we went over to KidSpace Museum where they had a huge Halloween Festival going on. Lucy still wasn't herself, so we held her most of the time. But she loved the tons of pumpkins:
And tried to pick most of them up:
I look retarded. But this was the best family shot we could get:
After the pumpkin fun, Lucy took her afternoon nap and then we got ready for the ward Trunk or Treat. I decided that Lucy's costume this year would be something she LOVES. So, she was a Strawberry! It's her favorite food (aside from milk, but that's more of a beverage). She looks really cute in the costume but because she wasn't in the best of moods, I didn't even attempt stuffing it. So, she was a deflated (and sour) Strawberry tonight, but she still looked cute.
Here are our friends the Ragozinnes. Wendi, Peter, and little Tinkerbell. Cute costumes Sarah!
And this picture captures the real mood of our day. This is how Lucy looked (and must have felt) most of the day. We didn't stay long at the activity.
But we did stop at Marie Callender's on the way home for one of their famous Razzleberry pies. We'll be sharing that with Casey's parents tomorrow night!
Hopefully Lucy will be in better spirits this week and I can get some better shots of our little Strawberry girl. And hopefully no more viruses follow us home!


Back to Normal

I haven't felt like myself for a couple weeks now. And while I still don't feel "normal"...the future looks bright. I think our family is finally on the mend. Lucy was sick all last week (the Walmart/croup episode) and just when I thought she was getting better, she took a turn for the worse on Friday and we were ready to head back to the doctor. She actually laid down on the couch in the morning with a pillow and blanket. She looked like a big kid, taking it easy:
But then miraculously after a 4 hour nap on Friday afternoon, she woke up in smiles and spent the afternoon playing with toys. I guess a little R&R is good for any sickness. Here's the return of Happy Lucy:
Most of Lucy's sick days were spent down in Orange County at my parent's house. Casey was on a campout with the scouts. So we hung out with the family AND...my sisters, cousins, mom, and aunt threw me a baby celebration dinner. We went to our favorite Don Jose' in Huntington Beach and ate yummy melty cheese enchiladas. Mmmm. Camille blew up a bunch of balloons (which she tied to my chair), Laura brought Marie Callendars Pies for dessert, and Camille also brought some vanilla ice cream (which she asked our server to stash in their freezer for us till dinner was over. How great!)
We had a fun time eating and chatting. They were more than gracious and gave me the cutest gifts....baby boy clothes, Rachael's homemade blanket, and.....a swing! Surprisingly, that's the only thing we did not buy with Lucy. So it will be a nice addition (to our already crowded apartment.)
While we were down there, Jeremy got to go to Disneyland's Halloween Extravaganza. Camille says it was basically a really expensive trick-or-treat. But the kids had tons of fun. And he looked so cute in his Obi-Won costume. Even his hair was styled properly.
With my cousin Rachael in town, I scored and got my hair done. Blond again! (maybe that's why I'm starting to feel like my normal self). My sister Meredith got her's done at the same time. And three of us had fun watching Liar Liar (on my Top 10 List), eating Golden Spoon Yogurt, and sitting with bleached foils in our hair. It felt like I was in college again, just hanging out in the garage watching movies with friends. Thanks Rachael! I love the results!
Sadly, I finally got what Lucy had last week and yesterday it hit me the hardest. It felt like a brick was weighing on my chest. It hurt to cough, to swallow, and to talk. I really empathized with Lucy's mood of last week. But I got some good sleep last night and slept with the humidifier on, and this morning I woke up feeling much better. I'm still not 100%, but I have more energy and my chest doesn't hurt.
And Casey's allergies have been haunting him for a couple weeks now. But hopefully that's improving as well. You were all so sweet, wishing us a happy Anniversary and hoping we did something fun to celebrate. But we mostly just laid on the couch, feeling sick, and went to bed early. How romantic! Casey did buy me some beautiful flowers though and mini cookie (ice cream-ish) scooper.
I think by the weekend, the whole family will be back to normal. Woohoo! I can't wait!


3 Years

3 Years ago today, Casey and I were sealed in the Los Angeles temple. It was such a beautiful day. It had rained all week, non-stop. But that Friday morning, the clouds parted and the sun came out on that big green hill overlooking Santa Monica Blvd.
I wish there was a way to re-live your wedding day. I guess that's why people have 50th Anniversary parties. But I'm sure most people agree that their wedding day was one of the coolest days of their lives. I loved walking into the temple and seeing Casey there in the lobby with his family. He looked so cute and handsome in his black suit. And of course, the most endearing part of the day was walking into the room with all our closest friends and family there, and being sealed for eternity. What an amazing experience. I'm so happy to know that Casey and I get to be together, forever. Who else would I share dumb jokes with? I really love my husband and I'm thankful for the wonderful man and father that he is. He keeps me laughing, he works hard, we have fun conversation, he honors his priesthood, he has opinions, he loves playing with Lucy, he buys me flowers, he conducts funny experiments, he loves to "do stuff" (rather than just sit around), he makes me feel beautiful and important, and bottom line...we could just talk for hours. I guess that's how we became best friends. Happy Anniversary!

(and now for a barrage of pictures from our past 3 years)...

Our birthday a few years ago (our birthdays are 6 days apart in November):
Eating at Bay Cities in Santa Monica. Great sandwiches (and rootbeer, of course):Halloween, the last year when we were single. Smurfette and Chucky (ew, creepy):
Wedding Day! 10/22/04 Los Angeles TempleHoneymoon in Cancun, Mexico. These are the ruins in Tullum:More honeymoon. Notice the fancy "split-screen" trick with our camera? SnazzyLucy is born! 2/22/06. Another "Best" day of my life.At our friends Melissa and Steve's wedding. Dark hair Dana:At my brother Mark's wedding. 8/06Christmas 2006:


Busy Weekend and Gloomy Monday

Well, we sure had a busy but fun weekend. And I think we're all a little worn out from it.
Friday was filled with playing, chatting, and baking. Lucy and I went to the mall toys in the morning. Then while she took a nap in the afternoon, my friends Melissa and Steve Galbraith stopped by to chat. It was so fun to catch up with them, since lately we only seem to find time for IM chatter. They were in town for our friend Amie Amezcua's wedding reception (pictures below).
Once Casey got off work, we took Lucy to the park and let her play hard before bedtime. Casey was surprised at all the big slides she wanted to go down. I forget how daring she is since I'm around her every day. And then the baking fest began. Jean Anderson and I were throwing a baby shower for our friend Laura Daines the next morning and I was in charge of the food. Many wonderful people brought most of the food. But I still had dessert and bread to make. So, by 9m I got started (and regretted not making the cookies earlier in the day. Oh well, I enjoy being the kitchen). I made 5 dozen cookies, mini carrot cupcakes, and 6 loaves of bread. The house sure smelled yummy! I told Casey that one day, I don't need a fancy kitchen, I just need 2 ovens (and some extra counter space would be nice too.) I got to bed very late that night. But Casey was fabulous Mr. Mom the next day and got up with Lucy and played with her all morning, while I went to the baby shower, which turned out great.
Here's the lovely pregnant lady Laura (with future Baby Daines):
Malinda Hansen let us have the party at her house, which was so lovely. She has a gorgeous home and is the best hostess. When Jean and I got there in the morning, candles were lit, chairs set out, flowers on the table, and Malinda was already asking how she could help us. She was great. All the food was excellent (thank you to all who helped) and the only complaint from the guests were that the plates were too small! We told them to eat while they walked around the table.
Here's a nice overview of some guests. There were about 40 people there altogether.
Jean Anderson, me, and Malinda Hansen:
Once I got home, Casey, Lucy and I headed to In 'N Out for lunch and opted to eat it outside on a nearby lawn. It was great to let Lucy run around while we enjoyed our burgers. The afternoon was naptime (for me and Lucy) and then we drove out to Moorpark (near Simi Valley) for my friend Amie's wedding reception. She was married in Hawaii a month ago and this was her celebration party back at home. Here we are: Me, Amie, and Melissa. Now we have a picture like this from each of our weddings!
Sunday morning, Casey was Mr. Mom again as I headed to Stake choir practice early. We were singing that day for Stake Conference. Lucy did pretty well for the first 1 1/2 hours of the conference and I think the choir sounded great? (I'm a little biased, yes).
Sunday night, we drove back to Simi Valley because Casey was asked to speak at a Fireside for a Youth Conference in his parent's ward. It was only a ward Youth Conference, so the group was smaller and easier to interact with. The theme of the conference was "Follow in his Footsteps". Each youth had to bring a pair of shoes that told something about their life, or shared a fun memory. So, Casey brought a pair of our shoes too: Soccer cleats, my heels from our Wedding Luncheon (probably my favorite and most expensive pair of shoes, yet I've only worn them once! But they have fun sentiment.) and Lucy's little brown PediPeds. As you can tell, she has worn these so much that there are complete holes in both soles (worse than the first pair she wore out). I know this is looking like bad marketing for PediPeds, but they are great shoes. It's just that Lucy literally wore them every day for months on end.
Casey shared fun stories about our shoes and brought a good message to the kids. He was a great speaker and they all seemed to enjoy it.

And there you have it folks, the end of the weekend travelogue. Ahhh.

The only bit to add is the gloomy Monday. Lucy seemed a little bit "off" all weekend. She wasn't horrible, but not herself. Then Sunday night she had a horrible cough that I'd never heard before...sounded like a seal or a dog's bark. We took her to the Dr. on Monday morning and found out she has Croup. It isn't that serious (a virus that starts in your throat) and to be honest, she's been rather content for being sick. But they gave her some medicine and we've just been chilling at home (which makes me a little stir-crazy after a while, esp when it's cloudy and gloomy outside.) She got off on her nap schedule and actually stayed up till 11pm last night. Holy cow, I was done with that.
And today, we ventured to Walmart . I had a full cart of groceries and Lucy was standing up in the back, when she decided to arch her back over the end of the cart and in one split second did a back flip and landed face down on the hard tile. I couldn't believe how fast it all happened. Thankfully she didn't hit her face on the cart and she wasn't bleeding, but it must have hurt and it freaked her out. She started bawling and then....she threw up 3 times in a row all over me in the middle of the Sporting Goods section. Thankfully it wasn't in a crowded area. I hate making a scene. And thankfully I brought a small bag of extra clothes for her and me, since this was bound to happen one day (Lucy has barfed on me more than she ever spit up as an infant and seems to have an easy gag reflex. She throws up often when she gets worked up crying over something.) So, I wiped up the floor, left my cart with the greeter in front and went out the car to remove my cottage cheesey shirt. Yuck. Once we were changed, Lucy was smiling and seemed happy again. And now, at 7pm, she's washed and in bed! Walmart always seems to be an ordeal.
Casey's on his way home with my faaaaavorite pizza from Villa Italian in Culver City (we only get it when he has a softball game and is on the west side).
And so, here's hoping that tomorrow's forecast will be sunny and healthy!


Homecoming Queen?

My mom just called to say that my little sister Meredith was nominated to the Homecoming Court today. How fun! None of us were ever that "popular" to be nominated. The best part about Meredith though, is that she is so likeable and talented yet she honestly doesn't know it. She's very humble and gets along with everyone. If I knew her in high school, I'd nominate her too!
Last night she and my mom were talking and Mere said she probably wasn't going to go to the Homecoming Dance because no one had asked her yet and she didn't have a dress. Well, I guess she'll be going now! (and I'm sure someone will ask her).
Go Meredith! I hope she wins. It would just be...funny. A Suman? On the Homecoming Court? Funny, right?

(addendum...I guess my younger brother Mark was on the Homecoming court too. So, none of the other 4 siblings were popular enough to be nominated. Waah, waah, waah, waaaaaah)


Conference Weekend

General Conference weekend is always a nice time to sit back, relax, and feel okay about being a couch potato. We love having Direct TV because we get the kbyu channel and can tivo it right in our home. This was the first conference, however, that Lucy has been so mobile. So we probably only watched 1/2 of what we could have and will have to spend some months catching up on the rest.
The Saturday started off with some pre-conference activities (no, not thoughtful preparation)...but Splinter Cell and donuts! Casey got a few rounds of a video game in, and Lucy sat close-by to watch. She really likes to be doing what dad's doing. Then we all got dressed and walked to Vons for some yummy donuts (they really were yummy). We finally became responsible and when we got back home, turned on Conference. Even Lucy joined in. She sat right down in her little black chair and attentively watched President Hinckley speak. It was so cute (and only lasted about 5 minutes):
Casey had to work on a school project in the afternoon and then had Priesthood Session that night, so Lucy and I spent most of the day playing in the backyard. We got her some cheap bead necklaces from the dollar section at Target and she LOVES them. She hardly wants to take them off:
Normally on Conference Sunday, we go down to my parent's house to hang out for the day. But my parents and Meredith decided to go to Utah this year and attend a real session at the Conf. Center. So we thought it would be fun to have the siblings up here for dinner. Our place feels tiny with lots of visitors, but it only made it more fun! We hung out, played games, watched silly things on TV, had stroganoff and fresh bread, played outside, and tried to annoy the men by asking them to pause for picture-taking.
Eric and Ava. She is such an adorable little girl:
The women in the kitchen (thank you Camille and Laura for doing all the dishes!). Lucy was more than ready for bed by this point. Her face says it all.
And here's the whole gang:
Jeremy had fun playing outback in our toy car. He was a little big for it, so his legs looked super funny. Even if you don't know him, you should watch this little video (30 seconds long). Casey and I thought it looked funnier with added music:

And for dessert, we baked fresh chocolate chip cookies and put ice cream on top. It was just as yummy as BJs Pazookie (thanks to Camille's yummy cookie dough). Here's what the famous cookies look like. In our family we call the recipe, Eric's Choc. Chip Cookies (I guess because he used to make them a lot?) I'm going to start a Recipe Blog soon, so look out for this recipe! You'll love it.
And that's our Conference weekend recap. We enjoyed the wonderful talks and all the meaningful messages shared. There are always a few talks that really catch my attention and I look forward to reading them again in the Ensign. We hope you had a nice weekend too!


Fun Friday

I didn't get much done today, but we sure had a lot of fun!
A few days ago, I was certain Lucy had turned into a monster and that my life was over. She cried and whined at the slightest touch, she got frustrated with her toys and kicked them away, she hated the car, and she only wanted to watch TV. At one moment I looked over and she was eating her favorite cheerios, while watching TV...all the stars were aligned...and yet, she was still whining. Here's what she looked like most of the day:
And then miraculously, the next day she was totally happy and back to normal. I guess I'll just chalk it up to teething...that's always the best excuse.
So today, we started off the morning by going to the zoo with some friends in Glendale. We bought an annual Zoo pass a year ago and it expires in a month, so it was time to use it up. I have to be honest, the LA Zoo isn't that great. Most of it is under construction and the animals that are there are well, kinda boring. But it's a nice way to get out of the house and hang out with other friends. So that's what we did! The last time Lucy and I had been, she was in the baby bjorn and not walking yet. So I was curious how she was going to do. But she was great! She stayed in the stroller part of the time, ran around part of the time, and climbed on every rock and sidewalk curb that she could. I think she liked that better than the animals.
Here she is entering the zoo, with her favorite rag in hand (which I snatched immediately after the picture and shoved in my purse. Por favor!) And of course, the famous Flamingos. I didn't mean to coordinate my outfit with the animal life.
My favorite animal today was the Koala. He was very lively for the daytime and we got to see him very up-close chomping on leaves.
Lucy loved the Elephant. She really came to life babbling at him as he sauntered around. She also enjoyed the zebras...if only she could climb in their cage. She got her face in as far as it would go:
We left to go home around 12:30pm and on the drive I could tell she was beat. Surely she was going to take a great nap. She fell asleep for the last minute of the drive and I carefully carried her into bed. She curled up and looked cozy. But 10 minutes later, I could hear her jumping up and down in the crib and laughing. This went on for 40 minutes, so I finally got her up. I guess there would be no nap today.
An hour later, Doris (dietcokegirl) and her two kids stopped by to pick up Twilight (woohoo). We had fun chatting for an hour while the kids ran around the house. Visitors are always great. Then an hour after that, Chloe came over while the Ragozzines went out for Date Night. So the girls and I played outside and jumped on the bed (they jumped, I watched). At one point, they both laid down on the bed and got real quiet and still. It was pretty funny.
And once Casey was home from work, both girls were changed and in their beds for the night. It's fun to play hard all day. And it sure makes for a good night's rest.
Perhaps tomorrow I'll be more productive.


Tomorrow is Friday....

.....which means, time for our favorite show!
Now family (who are sick of hearing about this), just hear me out on one quote and a short comment before you stop reading my post.
Friday Night Lights is one of the best shows on television, yet it's on the brink of being canceled because not enough people are tuning in.

A quote from the Sports Guy on espn.com, a truly entertaining writer who writes about more than just sports re: FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS:
"Look, if FNL doesn't make it, we're just going to get more Grey's Anatomy spin-offs, a CSI for every city and 20 Deal or No Deal clones. Hollywood doesn't like to take chances, and it doesn't like to fail; it figures out what works, bleeds it to death, then flips the corpse and bleeds it some more.
Despite what I might have said in the past about jumping on team bandwagons, you shouldn't feel guilty about jumping on this one. Quite simply, FNL is the best date show ever, an improbable cross between The O.C. and every sports show you ever wanted Hollywood to make. It's the first show my wife and I have loved equally, but for different reasons. What can be better than that?"

And I couldn't agree more. What makes FNL so great is that it appeals to men and women. If you know me, you know that I really know nothing about football (which is embarrassing, considering I ran all the instant replays for Cougar Sports)...but...you don't have to be into sports to like this show. The show is more about the people and their lives and living in their community. And the writing is really believable. The story lines are great, cool music, and honestly, the coach and his wife are some of the best actors on TV right now.
Okay, okay, I know you're sick of me talking about Friday Night Lights. If you've gotten this far in my post, then thank you for reading.
But most importantly....it's not too late to tune in! You can start cold turkey this season by just watching and kinda figure out what you missed last season. And you can always watch old episodes from Season 1 online (or rent the DVDs).
Starts THIS Friday 10/5

Come on, what else do you really have going on Friday Nights? And you can't say it's "America's Next Top Model" because I just won't believe it.
Dana, out.
Sorry, that was retarded.