Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Simone's Nine Month Favorites

Tomorrow Simone will be TEN months old.  How are we already in the double digit months?!  That seems all out crazy to me.  And, everyone was right.  The first year is FLYING by.  Since she's hitting the big 1-0 tomorrow I figured I better post her nine month favorites.  Of course, it's all about the toys right now, or the things she WANTS to be toys.  Here are her top dogs.
Leap Frog Music Table - Chatter Telephone - Mega Blocks Wagon
I will say the blocks top everything.  While we were on vacation in late July Grandma in Michigan had this set & Simone would carry a block everywhere she went.  That meant when I got home, I was on the hunt for the same wagon & blocks.  Luckily, I found it quickly and now we have our very own set up here.
Simone's crawling has turned from cute little army crawls around a small area, into a little speed demon tearing ass across our house.  She is wicked fast (said in a Boston accent) & I can usually be found just trying to keep up.  She's also in full on "pull up and walk around the couches, end tables, coffee tables, cabinets, whatever she can grab" phase, too.  I'm not sure exactly what this is called... but I call it "give Mom a heart attack every five minutes or so". 
I've had to remove all of my cute decorations from end & coffee tables.  She will literally throw anything she gets her sweet little mittens onto across the house.  It was turning into a shit show of me picking it all up and trying to teach her "no".  Clearly, she doesn't get it yet... or doesn't want to.  Either way we've packed away most of the decorative items for a later date.
We recently started Simone in gym classes & swim lessons.  I'm going to dedicate posts to both and where we've decided to join soon.  She is absolutely LOVING being around other kids and I'm LOVING her getting out some of her endless energy. 
More soon.  I'm off to get a facial at a spa right now.  Wait, WHAT?!  No, seriously... this Mom needs some "ME" time in the worst way today.  Make sure you're taking some for yourself, too!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Time to Blog? Most Days I'm Not Even in Clean Clothes...

Seriously that's how I feel right now....
Between chasing Simone around, feeding her three squares (while I nibble off of her tray), & trying to keep my house in at least somewhat of a managed chaos, I'm having a hard time finding... Time.

I feel like so many moments are flying by and I really want to record them all.  Simone, sweet older & reading this (hopefully) Simone... When your baby becomes mobile your ability to get anything done in a timely fashion goes right out the door. 

But, the great part is, it's so much fun to watch her grow & change.  Watch her doing things that I used to think were so far off.  

Like standing!  And walking around the furniture... She's getting so strong.  She's knows how to set herself down gently so she doesn't fall backwards.  Every day I'm blown away by her progress.  I know that walking on her own isn't far off.

So I'll end here.  While she's still nursing in my lap.  Because these days aren't going to last forever.  And I really need to be fully in the moment to cherish every single one.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

I'm Here... Just a Little Lost in the Summer Sun

I'll admit it... Summer has me wrapped up in it's big arms filling my life with gatherings, cool beer, splaying in the pool, and cute bathing suits for Simone.

I've been pretty laid back lately.  We celebrated all of our April-May birthdays and I just kind of found the best outlet in Swimming with Simone.

I really want to get back on my Blogging game though.  Simone is growing so much, and I want to keep better track of it.  Here are a few highlights from our Summer so far.

Now that Simone is fully mobile our lives have been so crazy busy... but I'm back at keeping up with her changes!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Simone's First Word...

On Tuesday, May 28th Simone Michelle Hart said Da-da!

Oh, and she LOVES standing up... scary!
Ekkkk!  I've heard her babble Mama & Dada so many times that I've come to expect hearing it.  She would never repeat it after I said it back to her, so I just figured she's experimenting with her voice.  I always call Todd "Daddy" to her, and when I say Daddy she looks right at him.  She got who he was, but didn't associate the babbling noise to his name.

Tuesday this little sweet monkey was going on and on in the morning.  Focusing solely on "Dada".  After a few minutes of this I said it back to her.  She looked at me and said it again... and again.  I waited a bit, and grabbed a picture of Todd, pointed to him, and she looked me square in the eyes and said it.

I was so excited!  All day long we worked at it and it kept getting clearer and clearer.  I used the picture to help her associate the sound with Todd.  

I didn't want to spoil the surprise for Todd, so I waited until he got home and let him know she had been talking about him all day.  When she said it for him, he lit up.  We practiced pointing at Todd and saying it over and over.  

We had to run to Sprouts for a few things, and ALL the way through Sprouts she said it to Todd.  Now, if she didn't already have him so tightly wrapped around her finger I might say that this sealed the deal.  She's a full blown Daddy's Girl.  

I'm so proud of this step in her development.  The past month her development has snowballed.  Every day there is literally something new she does, a new sound she makes, and she is getting quite strong.

You're growing up my sweet wheat, and we are so proud!!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Swimming with Dolphins

There are many cool things that happened in our world before I started Simone Diaries.  I realized after writing the post about our wedding that I should share more of those past events.

One of the most exhilarating experiences of my life was when Todd & I swam with dolphins.  We did this in Key Largo, FL while driving down the Keys from Miami on our way to get married.  It was a dream of mine since I was a little girl, and Todd wanted to make it happen as a wedding gift to me.  Checking one item off of the bucket list!  Whoo!

The package that we got also included a morning of snorkeling on a reef.  So we started off early in the day by jumping on a boat called the Sundiver.  It was a perfect day for being out on the water, warm with a gentle breeze.

They take you way the heck out over a beautiful coral reef where there are tons of fish.  The water there is really warm (especially in the summer), so you can just wear a swim suit and be fine.  The Key's also have some of the bluest waters around.  Even compared to our honeymoon in Turks & Caicos. 

Between snorkeling locations.  Is it weird that I'm far more scared of snorkeling than scuba?  Something about being on the surface flopping about... like an injured fish, just gets to me!

We got to Theater of the Sea where we would actually be swimming with the dolphins.  This place is amazing... they have different shows you can watch, tours to take, fish, turtles, cats (yes, CATS odd), sharks, etc.  It's a sanctuary for so many types of animals.  You can swim with sting rays or sea lions here as well.  

Before our start time we had plenty of time to explore the whole place.  

One of the coolest things was where you could wade with a bunch of parrot fish.  I was a little nervous at first, because they have little beaks and will nip at you.  You can take fishy food into the water with you and they swarm!  

Finally, it was time for the good stuff aka my dreams coming true!!  After learning about how to "be" in water with the dolphins we got our chance to touch them.  

They are really sweet, and extremely smart.  They knew exactly what they were doing.  We got to choose what we wanted to do with them, and I think far & away my favorite was "dolphin surfing" where you lay on their belly.

Here's a few of our favorite pictures...

What's really adorable...when they kiss you, or you are hugging them...they make sweet little noises and nuzzle you back.  I was in love.

 It was such a great experience.  One that I'm glad I had with Todd just days before our wedding.  It was a perfect day.  I'm so grateful to have had the chance to do it, and I can't wait to take Simone someday!  

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Baby Swimming

It's pool time around here!  That means relaxing in the backyard, drinking frozen drinks, and getting a tan (FINALLY)!  It also means wearing a swim suit.  YIKES!  But, the great part about being in your own backyard is that most of the time there is no one here that would care how you look in one.  SCORE!  

When we are outside with Simone we put her under the trees on the far side of our pool.  This keeps her shaded & happy.  We've tried a few dips in the pool, but she's not big on it yet, and it's still just a bit cold in there for her.

I'm going to take this little miss to infant swimming classes in the next few weeks now that she's old enough.  We want her to be trained to know what to do in the event that she ever found herself in a pool by accident. Of course, you never foresee an event like that... I really can't imagine her getting past us, the doors, and the pool gate.  But, I know that's what every parent thinks.  We will be checking out the Hubbard Swim School in Phoenix soon to get her started.  

Living in Arizona where there are pools in nearly every yard (and not always fences), we look at Simone having this knowledge as mandatory.  If you have never seen a baby who is ISR (infant swimming resource "self-rescue") trained, check this out.  I saw it while I was pregnant with Simone and immediately knew we would get her in swimming right away.  Shortly after I saw that video the Hubbard Swim School sent me a letter about infant swimming lessons.  There are so many accidents where we live involving children and pools, even when parents are good people, and are watching.  

And, on a lighter side of things... we are a swimming, snorkeling, scuba, and pool party family.  This means, we need to get our little guppy up to speed on the water works!  

Stay tuned for our adventures in swimming with Simone!


Sunday, May 26, 2013

Butterfly Wonderland

For our two year anniversary Todd got me the BEST gift.  I really love butterflies, I mean, I got them tattooed on my ribs.  And, anyone who knows about getting a rib tat... you MUST love what you are getting tattooed there.  It stings.  So, for my gift he got our family a membership to the brand new Butterfly Wonderland in Scottsdale, AZ.  It's the largest butterfly pavilion in America.

Butterflies on my side.  Oh, pre-baby body...why was I ever hard on you!?
Honeymoon in Provo, TCI
This is especially special to me because while we were in Key West to get married we ran out of time and missed the butterfly conservatory there.  One of the coolest parts about this new Butterfly Wonderland in Arizona is yesterday was it's grand opening!  

The place is pretty amazing.  They have facts about butterflies everywhere, and I read them all to Simone as we walked through.  You start off going to the 3D theater to watch a short movie (in the most bad ass 3D I've ever seen) about the generations of the monarch butterfly and how they migrate.  It's beautiful, and I was so proud of Simone, she watched the movie like a pro without a single peep!

After you leave the movie you get to see the stages of the cocoon or chrysalis for different butterflies   It's pretty amazing, and there were several that opened up right in front of us.  

Checking out the cocoons 

The best part, in my opinion, is what comes next.  You go into a 10,000 square foot atrium where there are butterflies flying everywhere!  It's basically a rain forest (and feels just like it... so don't blow dry your hair!).  I was in butterfly heaven in there.  Beautiful blue winged butterflies are the dominate species, but there are tons of different butterflies   Best part, THEY FRICKEN LAND ON YOU!!!  

One landed on Todd's shoulder and Simone grabbed for the little thing, and thankfully missed!  As she gets older this place will be a blast to take her to.  Right now, she's just kind of looking around like what the heck?  It's hard to tell in the pictures, but butterflies are swooping all over the place.  

Right when we walked in one landed on my purse!

This butterfly took a ride on my purse for a while

Daddy explaining about butterflies!

Simone was getting extra sleepy at this point...Those eyes.

I was pretty determined to get a butterfly on her!

Me, overly excited....Simone could really care less
Way past nap time...

But this little guy loved us!

And after awhile, she took notice!


He started walking up my arm...

And, they really tickle!

I was telling Simone hey, check this out, he's going to fly away...

And he decided he would hang out on my lips.

Todd started snapping pics, so a few photographers came over...

You have a little something on your face...

Simone was hardly entertained!
       We caught the attention of the right guy.  One of the pho-togs was taking pictures of the opening day for the advertising.  And, guess who is signing a waiver for my image to be used for marketing materials?!  Whattttttttt!?  Too cool!  Right place, right time!

Photo credit to Richard Henne - Really nice guy!
   After all of that excitement, Simone was spent.  She fell asleep like this...

Feel asleep with her arm out waiting for a butterfly!
 I was dying for one to land on Simone all on it's own.  I was bummed that she passed out, but five minutes later this happened...

Have you ever seen anything so cute!?
After you leave the atrium there is a room where you can pet stingrays, live ant colony exhibits, honey bees in their combs, and tons of fish.  We cruised through that part pretty quickly since we already had a sleeping baby.  We lucked out, she opened her eyes just as we were leaving the gift shop, so we were able to grab one family pic before leaving. 

We had such a good time.  I want to go back right away!  Kudos to my hubby for another awesome, thoughtful, and perfectly suited to ME gift.  Here's to two years, baby, and MANY MANY more!