Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Playing Never Stops!

Well, we had another fun weekend! On Saturday morning Olivia and Alexis started their day off with Randy. I had a baby shower to attend for Courtney. Here are some pictures of Olivia and Alexis having fun with Dad!

Here are some black and white shots of little bitty baby hands and toes...

On Sunday morning we started the day off slowly at home in pajamas. Olivia has a dance party every Sunday to the country music videos. Her favorite song right now is Stuck Like Glue by Sugarland.

Then we headed out to Mimi and Papa's for some fun! Olivia enjoys the bouncer, especially with Papa!

We couldn't decide if we liked the black and white better or the color version on this one...

We ate dinner and headed home way too late in the day. Here are some of our final pictures...

When we got home the dogs had been alone and sleeping all day. Olivia missed her nap so she fell asleep on the way home, but her schedule was off. In the middle of the night we had Olivia climb in our bed twice after she woke up three times screaming. And I mean SCREAMING. We hardly ever have wake-ups in the middle of the night unless there are teeth coming in...but last night she made up for a bunch of the quiet ones we had. The dogs would randomly start barking or playing with the cats because they had too much energy after sleeping all day.

When I called Randy at work to see how his day was going we could only laugh. Both of us are exhausted after a restless night. I asked what could have made things worse last night. He pointed out Alexis could have been screaming too. She was the only one who slept peacefully the whole night.

We'll try again tonight I suppose. And next time, we either have to stay home long enough for Olivia to nap or get home early enough to get Olivia to bed earlier. It's just way too hard to function after a circus night of craziness!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Yawn...A Weekend of Nothing

Watch out, it's contagious over here in the Smith household!

After a long week of not feeling well, finding myself in the hospital and being sent home to recover, we spent the weekend relaxing away.

We played with the Little People Village in our living room, had a dance party and did quite a bit of sitting around.

And even though it was an uneventful weekend, Bugsy was sad to see it end.

It's official baby...she has a nickname that has stuck. There are variations...but for the most part it's Bugsy. Sometimes it's Lexi-Bugs, Bugsy-Bug, Big Bug, etc...but Bugsy seems to be the common thread. So now I have an Ozie and a Bugsy. Our two little girls. I hear that she's smiling on the couch at her dad right now...I'm going to go so I don't miss the smiles.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

It's Gonna Get Crazy

It's about to get crazy and it needs to so I can get better. This blog is going to be a place where I stretch to new places, try new things and get my creative juices flowing so I can be a better story-teller...and in return, a better trial lawyer. And I plan to talk like a person when I'm in trial...not a wanna-be-hoitey-toity lawyer who talks over everyone's head. There really isn't a better place to practice than here. Here's my wanna-be-smarty-pants daughter...

As a lawyer, my job always involves telling other people's stories. Snippets of their stories are a little part of everyone's story at one time or another...times where we feel depressed, hopeless, alone. When I'm trying to get ready for trial and trying to digest my client's story...I sit and think about the dialogue that comes from within them all day long. I try to put myself in their shoes. I imagine what they would think about. I pretend to be them in the silence of my car as I drive and talk to myself aloud...trying to feel like what it's like to be them. I try to understand why they do what they do. How they came to certain decisions. How they got to me. I realize that lately I'm having trouble bringing the stories to life.

Sometimes I think to myself....can I really say that with a straight face?!? At the very least, I know I can tell my own stories. Fun times with my kids, moments that take my breath away, how I look at things and how I feel about them. So, on this blog I can practice doing just that. Telling the stories that I know so well. And using the incredible images my husband snaps with his camera to go along for the ride.

So I'm trying something new. I'm writing from my heart. Talking from my soul. Not antagonizing myself with does this sound right? Do I really want people to see this? I could say this better. Forget hitting backspace, delete, cut and paste, etc. etc. I'm just gonna do it. Jump right in and try saying things in new ways. I sound like I'm on heavy meds, huh? Well, tonight I am. But that's not my excuse. It instead will be my commitment.

And with this commitment, I'm going to be a rule breaker. When I think about trial strategy, the rules of evidence and procedure are the last things that come to mind. They get in the way of a good story. Likewise, punctuation and proper spelling do to. For me to really go with it, I have to put that aside. Let myself screw it up. Start sentences with and. And not worry about it.
It's time to exercise my mind. Time to stretch to new places, out of reach...farther than what I can see. I need to be sharp. I need to see what works. So this blog can be my sounding board. Even if I mess it up, my husband's incredible pictures will be here for you to see. Maybe he'll stretch a little too. Maybe we'll just surprise you with all kinds of stuff that makes no sense. Oh well, here it goes. We're opening new doors, baby! And I'll take another shot of that dilaudid...I need to relax and get going with the flow.

A Word from Felix

Dear Shannon:

It's been a while since I've checked in with you. I thought I should see if things are going okay before it happens again. I was pretty convinced you had lost your mind about a year ago this time...but you really sealed the deal for me in October to know it was true. I didn't say anything when I saw it coming...I kept thinking, "Nah, this will reason to worry." Little did I know, you really had lost your mind and by the time that four-legged-spawn of the devil came crashing through the door, it was too late.

And now we are stuck with him. With Jake. The decision you made. And don't blame Randy. We've heard him lately, loud and clear. Randy calls him "your dog" for a reason. I will admit, he is really well-disguised and presents at first like a cute, lovable puppy.

Despite his cute face, he might be the worst behaved animal I've ever seen. As soon as he gets around Olivia, you seem to forget how he races through the house knocking over furniture like a tornado and how he's so out of control at times your head looks like it's spinning off. He has you wrapped around that big fat clumsy paw of his. He's playing you...and he knows it.

And the goofier he gets, the more he has to step it up. I watched him process that idea just the other day. He realized you were about ready to kill him so he stooped to an all time low and shoved his big puppy head in right by Alexis. I watched him use that poor, innocent baby to make himself look like a hero. And you fell for it! "Randy!! Quick...get the camera! This is so cute...oh my gosh!" Insert eye roll here. Maybe two eye rolls in fact.

Jake is a master manipulator. He's smart enough to be a cat. The devil in disguise....who jumps on my back, tortures the other cats too, bites Fred's butt while Fred is sleeping....such a little jerk. How about the fact that Randy can't even get him in the cage at times? Randy tries to say, "Go to bed, Jake." That's translation for, "Get in the cage-before-I-kill-you-now!" And Jake won't do it. Do you really think Olivia just leads him in there like Jesus led the people?

I don't think so. It's part of the act.

He knows it's super cute that a 16 month old can get him in the cage. And then it's especially cute to let her climb in with him. As soon as he hears, "Quick, Randy! Get the camera!" he knows he's golden. He bought his meal ticket for another day.

And this picture above...yeah, that's right....he bought his meal ticket for at least a week with that one.

Don't say I didn't warn you.


Sunday, September 12, 2010

Kicking Off Fall 2010

It's finally happening...cooler weather blowing in, college football, talk of costumes and most importantly, the pumpkin latte featured at Starbucks is back! The summer that was way too long and way too hot is finally over and my favorite time of year is just beginning...and this Fall...we will make sure to savor every moment ahead. There's so much to look forward to....carving pumpkins, picking out Olivia's second Halloween costume, stripping Alexis down to her diaper and grabbing pictures of her in a hallowed out pumpkin...after all, we have traditions to honor. Today we kicked our favorite season off with a trip just down the street to Yate's cider mill.

The day was perfect...well, mostly perfect. We snacked on caramel apples, cider and brought home more fudge than we could eat in a year. We strolled around and took it all in...painted pumpkins for sale, the creek rippling by behind us, the pony rides going around and around and the stench of the petting zoo. That's the part that makes this story not quite perfect, but creates the need to qualify the day as "mostly" perfect. Despite the overwhelming smell of donkey poop, we couldn't pass up the Kodak moment. At least we would get a few shots of Olivia petting the animals. So we bought an ice cream cone full of pellets and held our breath for the sake of getting some good shots.

My hopes and dreams of good pictures were instantly shattered. I hardly thought about how cute my dear daughter was as I yelled, "Don't touch the poop!" and screamed, "Get your hand out of your mouth!" after I watched her touch the sheep's tongue. Horrified, I found myself telling Olivia not to eat the pellets herself..."They're for the donkeys!" The whole moment went to shambles in heartbeat. Not only did the smell gross me out, but realizing that Olivia had no concept of gross made the experience overwhelming. No concept of gross whatsoever. We might wait a few years before we venture close to the animals again. And next time, we'll go armed with hand sanitizer. Lots of hand sanitizer.

Even though we didn't get the petting zoo pictures I dreamed of, I'll still cherish the ones we took today. I especially love the ones of Olivia on her daddy's shoulders. I like where she seems to be picking out the grays.