Monday, June 30, 2014

Birthday Bash!

What a fun weekend birthday bash we had for EG.  The weather turned out perfectly, and we were able to have everyone enjoy the beach in the sun.

My cousins R & G came out to Costco with me, and really made the set-up happen.  Without them we wouldn't have been able to do nearly anything with me injured the way I am.  But, thanks to them, we had an adorable space in the house, and I know that it was quite a success.  I found fun plates and napkins at the 99cents store, they said 'fun in the sun' and were just perfect for the beach party.

For a 'party favor' I gave away buckets with a few toys to each kiddo.  I really hate party favors  and don't think that they need to be a part of a party.  But at the same time I was really hoping to avoid all of those ridiculous fights I new we would have at the party if each kiddo didn't have a bucket and a shovel.  2 year old's can be territorial, and I know that EG has a big soft spot for buckets.  So, in order to avoid the drama, I gave away buckets. 

As I mentioned, it was a birthday beach bash, so we centered everything around the beach ball and EG's favorite toy- a bucket and shovel.  We had lots of people, and so many buckets that we never really had any arguments at all.  I also gave away bottles of bubbles to each kid, which were a fun little addition.

I bought this ridiculous bathing suit for EG- since I knew that 90% of the photos from the day would feature the suit.  And though it was expensive, I'm really glad I did it.  She looks great in it, and it makes me really happy.  Plus I had something that matched okay, so we look cute together!

We kept the menu really simple, going with snack foods (goldfish, chips, popcorn) and lots of fruit.  For the main course we served pasta salad, green salad and homemade crustless quiche.  Lots of things that littles like, so it was easy to keep all the kiddos entertained and well fed.  Though EG was way to distracted to each much that day at all...

Of course, the one thing we could count on her eating- dessert!  When we went shopping we ended up being very lucky.  My cousin spotted a cupcake cake at the Pavillions, and it was the perfect thing.  Being 38 weeks pregnant, and practically immobile made it hard to imagine baking a cake- but the cupcake cake was PERFECT!  We were able to easily split the cupcakes up and give one to each child- EG LOVED her cupcake!

Don't try to distract me mom- I'm eating cupcake here!

We did try to take her up for a nap, and she said goodbye to everyone easily, but in the end it didn't work out.  I think that was the most stressful part of the day for me.  I know she's a sleepy child, and when she doesn't get her nap, she's just impossible.  I felt terrible because she needed to shower before sleep, and we let it get just a bit to late before putting her in the shower.

Add to that the fact that as I expected everyone didn't leave at the time the party ended.  Not a big deal, but I felt badly that EG wasn't napping well (or at all) and yet I was depriving her of time with her friends.

My friend Kate once let her son stay up a good 2-3 hours after bed time while she was hosting a party.  We had put EG down in the same time frame, and I thought, how crazy- I child needs to sleep.  But the reality is that Kate had it right- EG said she was ready, but trying to put her down during the party was a bad plan.  I should have waited until everyone left before even trying.  Notes for next time...

The last piece of decor that we have done for her parties is a large number made of photos.  Last year it featured two colored photos- one of my Aunt Sandy and one of Grandma MaryLou, both of whom had passed. This year I didn't do any in color, though I debated printing the one of her in the 'big sister' t-shirt in color (the most momentous part of the year for her I think).  I work hard to make sure that everyone who's coming to the party can find something of either themselves or an activity that they were a part of.  It just shows a mini-wrap-up of the year, and I think it's fun to see how she's changed. 

Wow!  I look so pregnant in this picture!  

We did have a guestbook, I asked everyone to sign a copy of the book "Beach Day" which I think will be a great reminder for EG to have later on.  It's also so practical, because we'll read it often and can look at the messages. 

We didn't really let EG open most of her presents.  I just think it's too overwhelming.  What do you do about presents?  

That was the gist of the party.  What did you do this weekend?

Friday, June 27, 2014

Beach Baby Turning Two in the Sand

This weekend my darling little EG turns two!  I can't believe how quickly time has flown by, and how much fun we've had over the last few years.

We decided on doing a beach party since virtually every single day EG asks to go to the beach.  she once tried to reason with Working Dad that it would be okay if they didn't go to the beach, she just needed to go to the pier...

I designed the invitation myself, using something I found on Etsy as a visual.  I like things to be bright and colorful, and this year I went a bit simpler than I usually do.... I created it in Photoshop just by adding different layers and using free images that I found and modified.

We're giving away beach buckets to each of the kiddos, so everyone has their own toys to play with at the beach.  I don't really believe in 'party favors' but for me it's not a favor, it's a necessity so everyone can play nicely at the beach.  They will each get a bucket, shovel, rubber ducky, extra impliment and a bottle of bubbles.  That way everyone has stuff to play with.

I'm keeping the decor and the food really simple.  I've bought some beach balls that we'll string up, and I'll be hanging balloons from the front door.  We bought a few buckets for the tables that I'll put flowers in, and I'll be using buckets for pretzels, chips, etc.

Being 38 weeks pregnant and throwing a birthday party isn't easy.  Thank G-d for helpful cousins (here's to you R&G) and helpful husbands!

I'll try to post some photos on Monday with an overview of the party.  Have a wonderful Shabbat and a great weekend!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

When Mommy gets hurt

These past few weeks have been a bit rocky for the family where I am concerned.  Last Monday I got food poisoning, but being 37 weeks pregnant with horrible stomach pain and throwing up multiple times meant a trip to L&D.  Yesterday a casual trip to IKEA turned into a trip to the emergency room when I slipped on some water and pulled my groin muscle.

What's a mommy to do when she's hurt and with her little ones...?

Teddy Bear Hospital by Christaan Triebert

The first time we went to L&D poor EG had to go with us.  Working Dad came home early, took one look and said we need to leave now.  She saw me throw-up at least twice, not to mention seeing all the doctors and nurses come in and take measurements and poke and prod me.  She understands the doctor, and could say "we take mommy doctor" as well as "mommy no feel good today" but it's so hard to try to keep up a brave face when you're in pain for your little one.

Granted, she was amazing- didn't cry, fuss or otherwise make a scene.  Listened to Daddy when he told her not to touch things, and she was only there two hours out of the seven that Mommy was.  

That was followed-up by two regular trips to the doctor.  She had the week off from school and my weekly appointments happened to fall when she was out- so to the doctor we went.   She sat next to me in the office, patting my hand, making sure I was okay.  Looking from the doctor to me with her curious eyes.  Turns out OBGYN has some stickers, so those visits ended nicely.

Then came yesterday, with my pulled groin.  Such a nice and mild day turned into an ambulance ride and 4 hours in the ER/L&D.  Thankfully EG wasn't with me at the time, but when she gets home Mommy can't pick her up to play- I can't even get to the bathroom without using a walker...

So, after all of these experiences, here are my tips and tricks for Hospital/Doctor Visits with your kiddo:

1. Don't be afraid to use hospital resources as toys.  This includes the boxes of tissues (they love pulling them out one at a time), the wooden sticks they put down your throat, and the hospital tray, which makes a really great table for coloring.  Of course, limit this to what's appropriate, which I would say doesn't include a blood pressure cuff, thermometer or any other type of monitoring equipment.

2. Don't be afraid to feel your pain.  I was amazed at how well EG did when she realized that I wasn't feeling well, and how unafraid she was of my pain.  I was probably most worried about that- since I hated for her to see me not feeling well and in pain.  But the reality is that she knows what a boo-boo is, and when we explain in terms she knows, she completely understands and wants to help.

3. Call in back-up.  There's no way around the fact that the ER isn't a great place for your kiddo.  As soon as it looks like you might be there a while, or that there are tests to run, try to get the kiddo out of there.  In our case Working Dad left me in L&D and took EG home to our house where our parents were able to give her dinner and put her to bed.  Last night she was picked up at daycare by my cousins.  Don't be afraid to give friends/classmates a call.  There are LOTS who are willing to help if you let them know.

4. Do what's best for your body.  Last night was awful- with Working Dad giving bath, doing all of bedtime and me sitting on the couch.  You want to spend time with your kiddo, and yesterday I got all of 7 minutes.  But the reality is that the sooner I heal, the sooner I'm back to playing and enjoying our time together.  So really really really try to let yourself take the time you need.  A few days of inactivity is vastly better than a week of ongoing issues. 

5. Try not to stress.  I was completely stressing about how all of this would effect EG, but the reality is that kids are really resilient.  She understands more than we give her credit for, and really can get over things much easier than we realize.  Stress also isn't good when your sick, so knowing that your little will bounce back can be a huge weight lifted as well.

Have you had some trying incidents while taking care of your little one? 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Family Photographs

We have an excellent relationship with the photographer we hired for our wedding, Laura Layera from Luluphoto.  Since our wedding we've had her shoot EG's 6-month and 1-year shoot, all with excellent results.

Now that EG is turning two this weekend, we've scheduled her to come for a 2-year shoot with EG and the family, as well as a semi-maternity shoot for me.  Yes, a lot to pack into one session, but I'm excited.

The only problem I have is what to wear.  With our last shoot we let EG really be the star, and both Working Dad and wore neutrals.  The only problem we had was that I ended up feeling less than thrilled about my outfit- and especially realizing how less than functional it was.

There were lots of photos that seemed great, but then a closer look revealed something that's supposed to be hidden away.... my bra:

 While I don't blame Laura- she's really an 'in the moment' photographer, which is a style I totally love and has given us amazing natural photos of our family that I completely treasure, at the same time it was frustrating to see the images and know that I wouldn't want to bring a few of them because of the bra issue.  I wouldn't want to send this one to Grandma....

So this time I'm trying to do something different.  I want us all to have a sort of matched look, and I'm thinking about investing in some props.

I love the look of a child sitting on a chair, and my in-laws have this great pink chair that I can borrow from them.   Maybe we can put that on the pier, and get some great shots with boats and people passing by...

Chairs are for Standing by Donnie Ray Jones cc

I also love the look of a child posing with ballons:

Happy Ballon by allthecolor cc
Since it's her birthday, I think balloons could be a really great feature.

I've been looking hard at clothing for me, and think I've settled on some good ideas:

1. A tight fitting solid color dress.  That way you can definitely see the baby bump, which is one of the 'features' of the shoot.  I didn't do a maternity session with EG, at least not a formal one, and I think it will be nice to have a few shots of the belly.  I love the idea of putting EG in her 'big sister' shirt to take a few together...

2. A casual matching tone outfit.  This will be based upon the dress that we put EG in, but her in something more fancy, Working Dad and I in something more casual, so she's really the feature of the shoot.

3. More than one location.  We did that last time, the beach, the pier and the park.  Which I think will be similar this time.  I'm also thinking that we may take a few photos of Matt and I a touch more intimately with the belly inside the house...

We have this dress for EG:
And I was thinking that I would wear white pants and something like this focusing on either the peachy undertones, or the teal colors of the dress. We're not totally sold on this combination, but it's sort of along the lines of what we're thinking...

What did you wear for your last family portrait session?  Am I totally over thinking this, and being ridiculous (which is what Working Dad totally thinks, btw)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Alondra Park Splash Pad

Today we went to the Alondra Park Splash Pad in Torrance and had an AMAZING time.  While it's true that EG never turns away from water, this place was like heaven to her, the perfect spot with continuous water flow, lots of other kids to play with and a relatively nice spot for the adults to be.

We met up with lots of kids from EG's daycare, since this was the last day of 'summer break' before EG starts her time in the 2.5 year old classroom tomorrow.

Sorry the pictures aren't that great- I just had my cell phone...

The space is accessible from Redondo Beach Blvd, not Manhattan Beach Blvd. The park is absolutely enourmous, but if you start on the Redondo Beach Blvd side, look for the large building with the writing on it that says "Parks Make Life Better."  I recommend parking away from the lake, towards the smaller play area with the swings.  That's a bit closer to the splash pad.

It's the same area as the pool, which is manned by lifeguards and the building has a nice bathroom with showers.  We didn't take advantage, but it would have been very easy to have showered off before we went home.

The area is filled with jets of water from the ground and the sky.   Unlike some of the other 'splash pads' the water here is really continuous, and definitely forms a little pool for the littlest to play in constantly.  Some of our friends kids really didn't want to stand under the running water, so this was nice, since they could sit on the floor and be sitting in water.

I made EG wear her water shoes, but most of the kids went barefoot.  For this I say know thy child.  EG is prone to running and interacting and moving quickly, so I know she needed to wear them.  Even with them on she still had one fairly bad spill, and cut her knees open just towards the end.

Despite any confusion on the website, it's open from 10am during the 'summer' which seems to be May to October all week long.  Then during the 'winter' October to May it's open only Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11am.  When we got there just at 10am it wasn't very crowded, but by the time we left at about noon, there were definitely at least 50 kids playing around and enjoying themselves.

Technically I guess they don't allow food in the area, but there was no one outside monitoring anything.  Pluses and minuses I guess, because we definitely saw some of the older kids running and playing aggressively and there wasn't any type of lifeguard or supervision for them either.  On the other hand, it meant that all our friends and us were able to enjoy our lunches outside in the sun- and it was nice to sit there and eat a bit while enjoying the water play.

I recommend something really simple- I brought tuna fish and a plate with a fork, but it was way to much for EG to manage.  Sandwiches and snacks are better, and another mom brought left over pizza, which I thought was a fabulous idea.

Additionally I guess we're not supposed to bring any type of 'personal' toys, but the bucket we brought was a definite need.  EG loves to pour and dump the water, and without the bucket it wouldn't have been nearly as much fun for her.

We had a few moments of 'sharing' but most of the kids were really good about knowing what was there's and what wasn't and it didn't create too much drama.

Definitely bring a full change a clothes, a towel (or two) and lots and lots of sunscreen.  That's the one thing we didn't to quite right, as the nighttime bath revealed that she had a minor sunburn.  I brought the spray on while wet sunscreen, but with everything happening forgot to reapply it on her.

Bad Mommy...

All in all, definitely worth it.  Totally free, and a great experience for the littles.

Of course when we got home after nap what did EG want to do... I'll let you guess:

Yup- play with water...

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Jewish Inspired Gifts for a Two-Year Old

EG turns two next week!  I can't believe how quickly things have gone, and how much she's changed, grown and really turned into a kid from a baby.

While gifts are never necessary, I wanted to share some of the gifts that have been Jewish themed that EG really loves, and would be great for any two-year-old out there.
Jewish Nesting Blocks

These blocks are the Graduation gift that the school gave EG a few weeks ago, and they are absolutely wonderful.  They feature a Bible scene, an animal, a scene with a Jewish child, and a counting side with a Jewish twist (aka 10 mezzuzahs).  They all fit together, the colors are really vibrant, and the material is good quality.

I wouldn't get them for anyone younger than about two, since they are made of a cardboard material, which means that putting them in your mouth is a definite no-no.

This adorable Soft Torah scroll is a wonderful gift.  It can go for a child under two as well, but EG has definitely taken a distinctive liking to it now that she's older, and understands more what it is.

I also like that it's a great thing to bring out for the holidays, and for temple- when we go it's always appropriate to have a torah or two on hand, right?

We don't own these blocks, but we did buy some for a friend and I think they are wonderful. The colors are vibrant, the design is really nice and it's a great way to incorporate hebrew into everyday life.

They are bit more on the expensive side, but totally worth it if you want your kids to be invested in hebrew as a language.

This 'holiday bag' is a really great item to have.  It's one of EG's favorites, and will really help with the holidays this year.

It has velcro pieces for each of the holidays (aka candles for Chanukah, a leaf for the sukkah, etc.) and is really interactive.  EG has started to recognize the pieces and really engages with the book as an activity.

The Shira Kline line of CD's is a great gift for any kid, but I have found that now that EG is two, she's really starting to remember songs and want to sing them again.  She's still attached to the Passover songs (she sings the Hammer song all the time, and Dayeinu) so these haven't quite made their way to everyday, but putting on the CD, singing along, and watching her dance to the tunes is a really great thing.

There are LOTS of other CDs, but since we own this one I can speak highly of it.

The last 'gift' I would throw out there is a membership in PJ Library. I know I've talked about it before, but getting all the books has been a wonderful part of our Jewish life, and I know how much EG really appreciates them.  There are some PJ groups that will allow the books to be sent to a grandparents house, if you don't life in the area that's covered.  Definitely check that out.

All links are Amazon Associate links :-)

Friday, June 20, 2014


I mentioned a few days ago that EG was graduating from her daycare class.  Yup, that's right, graduating.  While I'll admit that it seemed a bit strange to have a graduation ceremony, at the end of the day it was so cute, endearing and enchanting to attend.

I didn't think I could let the moment pass without at least sharing a tidbit of the action, so here's some of the fun from the event:

 These were taken early in the morning, since we live so close we were the first student in our class to arrive.  Which was wonderful- since that also meant that we didn't have to fight for parking, and got some good time to take some photos.

Of course, Mommy had to go upstairs to get settled for the ceremony, and EG didn't take that very well.  But we managed, and she stayed in her class with her teachers as her friends arrived.

The backdrop for graduation.  I was quite impressed by the whole thing- they had a section up front ropped off for all the children, and the front row reserved for the parents of the class that was performing.  Since EG's in the Infant Center, her class went first.  We took advantage and just parked ourselves in the front row from the beginning.

 All the kids got lined up onstage for the performance, and it was really cute to see them all together- most of them paying attention and really participating in the experience.

EG loves clapping, and when we were clapping for them, she spotted me and was SO excited to clap along.  They sang two songs, and I took a video, but since there are lots of other kids in it, and a few parents mention their kids names, I don't feel right posting it on the blog.  If you know me and want to see it, I'm happy to share directly.

They sang "Little Seed" and the ABC song.  In the video EG isn't really singing at all, but at home she's totally game for the exact same performance.  It was cute, since all the kids started laying on the floor since they were 'small.'

One of EG's other teachers, Amy.  She's a wonderful teacher, and absolutely inspiring.  You can see behind us along the wall was the gifts the classroom gave out to each of the kids- a photo collage of their year, a Father's Day present (the graduation was a few days before Dad's day) and an awesome nesting block set with a Jewish theme.  EG already loves it!

The last of EG's regular teachers.  The two year's she's spent in the infant center have been by far some of the most wonderful and exciting times we've had.  She's a very outgoing child, and watching her blossom and grow in class has been amazing. They've taught her so much, and it was so wonderful to have this awesome ceremony to end the year on.

I didn't take any photos of the food, but there was a lovely brunch following the ceremony, which had a great variety of bagels, kniches, fruit and desserts.  A wonderful day for all the kids at school.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A Jewish Delivery

LaBellaVida CC

As we're now less than a month away from the arrival of B2- with the due date being mid-July, I thought it was time to chat a bit about some of the customs and traditions, as well as the halacha, around a Jewish delivery.

When you talk about a Jewish delivery, it can become quite a complicated thing.

The first thing I think we should discuss is a notion that you can't deliver on Shabbat.  In fact, the highest law in Judaism is the respect of life- which means that every other law can be broken if it actively saves a life.  This includes the Shabbat.  Obviously we aren't that Orthodox, but any woman can take a few steps to ensure that she is doing the best she can to observe the Shabbat while going to the hospital. Most of us will have already signed all the hospital admittance paperwork, thereby avoiding writing on Shabbat.  Additionally we will likely not bring anything extra with us that we don't need, thereby avoiding too much or unnecessary carrying on Shabbat.  If you will be taking a taxi you can put the money in an envelope for the driver ahead of time- in fact, from a halacha standpoint you are better off being driven by a non-Jew, so as not to violate additional laws by driving.

The next thing to discuss is medical interventions to induce labor. Lots of  resources tell us that we should allow our delivery to come in it's own time, and avoid any medical interventions.  Delivery can be a dangerous thing (it certainly was for me last time) and we don't want to speed up the time we need to be in danger in anyway.  Since we're striving for a natural delivery anyways, it's nice to think that we'll be observing a Jewish tradition by trying to avoid Pitocin, breaking my bag of waters or other means to speed along delivery.

But let's be clear- the law states that it's advisable to let G-d work in his own time.  This says nothing about an epidural or other pain medications, only states that we shouldn't induce labor unnecessarily, nor should we try to schedule it at our convenience.  On a larger halacha note, a major reason why women are exempt from many Jewish laws is not because they aren't important, or because they shouldn't do the mitzvot, but because of childbirth.  It happens when it happens, and even if that's on Yom Kipuur, childbirth comes first for a woman.  How unfair would it be to be breaking the laws in the pursuit of a healthy child and mother?

The last thing to discuss is what to do with Daddy.  As many of you may know, Jewish practices involve a certain amount of restrictions between a man and a woman when she is having her menstrual cycle, called a period of Niddah.  When a woman is pregnant, she has a similar status, called yoledet.

I've already shared our birthplan with you, which makes clear the intricate and necessary involvement of Working Dad as part of the birthing process.  However, according to Jewish halacha and tradition, it would be impossible for Working Dad to be part of the delivery process, since being a yoledet or in a state of niddah means that he shouldn't be seeing any parts of my body, nor should he be touching me.

Again, though, I reference back to the point of law which holds human life as the highest value.  If there is no one else to support you, or help you, then by all means Dad- jump in!

When the baby has been successfully delivered, we have the opportunity to say different prayers thanking G-d for the delivery of new life, and the health of baby and mom.

For a boy, we say a special prayer: HaTov VeHameitiv, for a girl we say the Shehecheyanu.  Why the different blessings?  There is a really great D'var Torah here on that, but in a nutshell it's about how we look at our boys and girls.  The prayer for a boy is about how the boy will go out into the world, and be called upon to fulfill the mitzvot and commandments. Additionally he will go out into the world and make money, and be responsible for his parents.  The prayer for a girl is a thankful prayer thanking G-d, but doing so a bit more privately.  A girl comes to her family, and costs money in the form of a dowry. 

There are many different authorities who state that either prayer is appropriate for the occasion, and I personally lean towards the Shehecheyanu in both occasions.  There are lots of great resources for Jewish deliveries and Jewish pregnancies- just a few I've seen/flipped through for you to take a look at.


Are you having a more traditional Jewish Delivery?  Have you given any thought to these traditions?

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Moments in Motherhood: EG

This past month it seems like EG has just grown by leaps and bounds.  The things that come out of her little head seem to be leap year's ahead of where I thought she would be, and she comes up with the most exceptional things.

Quotes from this week:

We're reading her goodnight story:
EG: You take your glasses off go night night?  Daddy take glasses off go night night?

We're sitting eating dinner, Working Dad yawns:
Eg: Mommy we go for walk. Daddy, you get pajamas and go bed.  You tired Daddy, you go bed.

We are reading and Working Dad turns off the brighter light:
EG: Daddy- you turn off light?  You make me sad Daddy.

We've installed the carseat bases for B2 in each of the cars:
EG: Baby carseat- my baby needs to be strapped in.  This is for her.

We're walking along the pier and Working Dad has tried to move her along the pier:
EG: Daddy pushed me.  Don't push my body Daddy... don't push my body.

But my favorite by far:
We're about to go to bed, and she's just gotten out of the bath:
EG: My nose is running.
Mommy: Really? Where is it going?
EG: Um.... the beach.

I'm amazed by her event recall.  Last week on Wednesday her friend Mor was over visiting and playing.  She tripped on a toy, and EG keeps recalling the experience "Mor fell in my playspace.  She needs ice."

I just can't believe how incredible she is, and how much of a child she's becoming.  She's no longer my little baby- she's turning into such a kid that I don't know what to do about it...

Is your little growing up to fast?

Monday, June 16, 2014

Kveller feature

A while back I saw a request on Kveller for couples to be part of their Kveller Up Close series.  So, I reached out and filled out a little information about our family.

For those of you who found me through Kveller, welcome.

For those of you who are regular readers, you can read all about our 'interfaith' family here.

Kveller is one of the best Jewish resources out there.  From baby names and Jewish customs to Mayim Bialik as a regular contributor.  I highly recommend it as a place to check out, for both Jews and Non-Jews.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father's Day!

I hope that everyone is having a lovely father's day today.  While we mainly celebrated Working Dad yesterday (a wonderful afternoon at Golden Road Brewery) I definitely wanted to take some time today to talk about all the wonderful fathers' that have gone into making our family.

Let's start with my Dad-  Grandpa B:
My sister and me at my pre-wedding bonfire

My Dad is a wonderful person.  He's the kind of Dad who leaves messages on your phone telling you how wonderful, stupendous, amazing, intelligent, etc. you are.  With us two girls, he definitely did something right, since both of us are happily married with kiddos of our own.  He's always there to lend a hand, he's the first person we call if EG is sick and we need to go to work, and is always willing to come and watch her.  When I was working at USC he once drove all the way out to Pasadena to pick me up, drove me home to the OC, fed me, gave me soup, took me to the Doctor, and then drove me all the way home.  I was lucky enough to drive across country with him four different times while in college, and those experiences aren't something I would give up for the world.  (Yes, when I say across country for us that meant an RV, at least 10 days and constant contact.  Yes, I loved it!).  He's taught me so many things, I can't thank him enough!
EG's first carousel ride!  The same carousel I used to ride with my Grandpa!
As a grandpa he really shines.  He loves spending any time he can get with EG, and goes out of his way to try to make connections.  He's fun, adventurous, and definitely makes her a little spoiled.  Once when he was watching her he tripped while carrying her, and sacrificed both his knees to protect her when they fell.  He's gotten even better as she gets older, and has enjoyed her reactions and talking so much.  He's eager to take her to do things, always letting her try her hand at new experiences.  I just know that he can't wait to take her camping, fishing, and to show her all that the world has to offer.

Then there is Grandpa L-  My Father-in-Law:
Hours after EG was born...
I have to be honest, I wasn't quite sure what to make of Grandpa L for a long time.  Unlike my family, Working Dad's isn't as outwardly affectionate in words or actions.  You can't have a conversation with my family without at least 15 "I love you's" and you can't leave a room without a hug.  For Grandpa L, he shows he loves you through his deeds.  When we were getting married he made my lemon lined aisle a reality.  He went out of his way to help us get things done, and always helped everyone keep their cool.  I remember when I had just announced that I was pregnant and when we went to leave that night his hug lingered a little long, and he told me to take care of myself- I definitely knew that he loved me then.  As a father to Working Dad, he's the first person we talk to about financial advice, work details,and definitely the man WD goes to for advice.  He's got a great head on his shoulders, and has really shown my husband how to be a great husband and father.

Two littles- EG and her cousin B
As a grandpa he's spectacular.  From the moment EG was born it was all Grandpa L could do to hold her, snuggle her, and keep her warm.  He's intuitive about babies, realizing things about her crying or her emotions that we as parents didn't even grasp.  The first time I left her at their house she was sleeping in her car seat.  I left with him sitting in a chair staring at her.  45minutes later I returned, and there he was, still sitting there staring at her.  He made the bookshelves for her bedroom, and is currently working on a toddler bed for her.  As I said, he's a dooer!  I know he can't wait to show her his horses, and help her explore.

And of course, the Daddy on this blog: Working Dad
My little sleeping angels- totally twinsy's here...

And what an amazing man he is too!  As a husband he's absolutely wonderful, but as a father I've seen him grow, change and really come into his own.  As you know, we had a traumatic birth experience, which coincided with Working Dad's birthday.  He became a father through trial by fire- responsibilty thrust on his shoulders with such weight... Not only did he handle that situation, but every one since then.  He enjoys his private time with EG- taking her to the beach and the pier.  He loves giving her baths, and has even embraced the girlishness that requires hair bows.  He gets her ready for school each morning, from the frilly shirts to the sparkly shoes.  He also realizes how important his relationship is with her- why he's a key part of her life and how choices that he makes can really effect her self-esteem and self-worth as a woman.

Photo by Laura Layera (luluphoto)
Where would we be without a Daddy like him?

As we make our way from 3 to 4, I want to say how much I appreciate him.  How important he is as a pillar of our family, and how proud I am of him.  He's a wonderful man, a fantastic father, and I know that as we step into becoming parents of two kids, he'll only get better!

Happy Father's Day!

PS- EG wants to say:
Courtesy of HGTV

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