Summer Days, Drifting Away…

by Rachel on July 18, 2014

Parker sleeping on the airplane

Summer is over halfway over, which makes me very sad. July was off to an exciting start with a quick trip to Denver. We went out to visit my brother Josh and sister-in-law Jeni for the first time since they moved there last summer. I was looking forward to a relaxing, low-key getaway, and that is exactly what we had…starting with the flight out there. We left super early in the morning, which was perfect because Parker slept the entire way! He is such a wonderful little traveler.

On the car ride from the airport to Josh and Jeni’s house, it was Daddy’s turn to sleep. Parker got a kick out of watching him sleep as he drank his bottle. At that point, he was wide awake and ready to hang out with his uncle and aunt.

Parker watching Daddy sleep in the car

As much as he enjoyed his time with Josh and Jeni, he really loved hanging out with their big dog Lincoln. Parker was not scared of him in the least, even though Lincoln is a GIANT. A very gentle one, though; he was so good with Parker! He didn’t even seem to mind when Parker pulled his tail, tugged on his whiskers, and laid all over him. They were so cute together.

Parker and a big dog!

We had a big family cookout on our first day there, and I think Parker was a little jealous of all the guys playing lawn games while he hung out on the deck with the girls. He did get to go down and run around a little bit later, though :)

Parker watches the big boys play

The next day was the 4th of July, and we were pretty lazy all day long! Zach met up with a friend to watch the World Cup game, while we hung out at the house and made a trip to the park nearby. We met up with Zach later on for lunch downtown, and Parker stood next to the table dancing to the music the restaurant was playing for most of the meal. He is a dance machine, I tell you. He was cracking me up with this “Mr. Cool” pose.

Parker on the 4th of July

That night after we put Parker to bed, Zach and I headed to downtown Littleton for a little 4th of July date. We had ice cream and appetizers (yes, in that order…we are such rebels) and then got to see the fireworks before we headed home. We realized it was our first just-the-two-of-us date since February; how crazy is that?

4th of July Date Night

We headed to Coors Field for the Rockies game the next day. Zach got us amazing tickets in the Club section, and we were in the shade for the entire game. Parker did really well sitting through 3+ hours of baseball, and it definitely helped that there were lots of people to take turns holding him on their laps. As long as he is outside and has plenty to look at, he is a pretty chill dude.

Parker in the Ergo at the baseball game

Family at the Rockies game

We had an awesome time in Denver, and it was a little bit of a bummer to come home — especially since I had to start work the very next day. Zach took Parker to his parents’ house after we got home on Sunday so that I could catch up on laundry, clean the house, and get ready for my students. I was absolutely exhausted by dinner time, but it was an extremely productive day. Parker and I took it pretty easy on Monday until it was time for me to work.

After I was done, we met up with Michelle, Annabelle, and baby Alec for one last dinner before they left. Parker loves his big cousin so much, and I think the feeling is mutual. It will be fun to see their relationship evolve as Parker gets older and can talk back to her.

Cute cousins!

I made it through my first week back to work, though I felt pretty rusty after taking the entire month of June off. I had a big meeting on Friday that went very well, so we went out to dinner that night to celebrate. We chose Obed & Isaac’s because the weather was so nice and they have a great patio. We didn’t even get seated until 8 (past Parker’s bedtime), but he was a perfect angel throughout dinner.

Parker out to dinner

We ended up going out to eat again the next night, this time at American Harvest with my friend Crystal and her family. On Sunday, Zach dressed Parker up like his little mini-me and the two of them went to The Alamo to watch the World Cup finals. I got to enjoy an afternoon to myself at the pool, which was just awesome. I hadn’t done that since before Parker was born, so I soaked up every last minute.

Parker and daddy in matching soccer gear for the World Cup finals

We don’t have any travel plans or big events happening the rest of the summer, so my plan is to just make the most of the weeks we have left. I refuse to even think about the fall until mid-August!

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10 Days in Brazil

by Rachel on July 8, 2014

Dad Comes Home from World Cup

Seven long years ago, before Zach and I were even married, he informed me that he would be going to Brazil for the World Cup in 2014. I said, “Sure, sounds great!” and didn’t think another thing of it…until a few years and one baby later when I realized it was actually happening.

Zach and a few of his good friends started planning their “trip of a lifetime” last summer, shortly after Parker was born. I can’t say I was excited at the thought of him leaving for an extended period of time — especially since he was headed to Rio (which everyone kept reminding me was not exactly the safest destination in the world).

All year, I listened to them discuss flights, game ticket lotteries, travel itineraries, etc. And as much as I was dreading the 10 days he would be gone, I was glad when the time finally came. Of course I was happy for them getting to experience the World Cup, but mostly I was just looking forward to the trip being over so I could stop hearing about it. Admittedly, I was a little jealous; my husband was off to an exotic country to watch soccer and hang out on the beach while I stayed home with the bambino 24/7.

But Parker and I made the best of it. I took the month of June off from work, and my stepsister ended up coming home during that time with my niece and newborn nephew. So we spent lots of time with them, and had quite a few playdates with friends to keep us busy. We got to FaceTime and text Zach throughout the trip, and of course see all of the pictures he posted to Facebook and Instagram (though that didn’t help my jealousy).

Zach Playing Soccer on the Beach in Brazil

10 days sounded like an eternity prior to Zach leaving, but it ended up flying by. Before I knew it, he was headed back home. Parker and I were just getting home from a walk when he pulled into the driveway, and the look on their faces was priceless when they saw each other. (I suppose Zach was happy to see me too, haha!)

Dad Comes Home from World Cup

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Showering Baby Massimo

by Rachel on July 7, 2014

Baby Shower Gender Neutral Clothesline

My best friend Katie is having a baby! She lives in New York City, so I was super excited when she said she’d make the trip home for a baby shower. She threw me an amazing shower last spring, and I wanted to return the favor.

Katie and Justin aren’t finding out the baby’s gender, so everything — from the invites, to the decor, to the gifts — was gender neutral. I got the idea for this cute clothesline from Katie, who did one for my shower (with all nautical clothing, of course).

Baby Shower Watermelon Baby Buggy

My mom made most of the food, and my mother-in-law Libby pitched in with fruit and dessert. How cute is this watermelon baby buggy?! My mom had seen it on Facebook, and Libby (queen of watermelon around here) brought it to life.

Girls at the Baby Shower

It was so much fun having all of my high school friends together again. It doesn’t happen very often! I’m the only Springfield girl, so I was very happy that the rest of them made the trip home to celebrate baby Massimo. And Katie wasn’t the only one with a baby bump; Jennifer and Anna are also expecting.

Rachel and the Pregnant Girls

I’m definitely the odd man out in this photo…no baby in this girl’s belly! Later that night after the shower, I went out to dinner with my 3 pregnant friends. Needless to say, I was the only one who enjoyed a glass of wine with my food ;)

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Parker at the Playground

by Rachel on July 7, 2014

Parker Takes a Drink

One of our favorite summer discoveries has been the splashpad at Southwind Park. We met our friends from mommy/baby group, Angie and her little cutie pie Janie, there for the first time a couple of weeks ago and both kids had a blast. They are just a few weeks apart in age, and it’s so adorable watching them play together.

Parker wasn’t sure about the water fountains at first, but he eventually got over his hesitations and headed into the action. He even tried drinking the water, which was hilarious. There were only a few other kids there, so they pretty much had the run of the place. We spent at least 45 minutes there until Parker got bored and was ready for the next thing.

Parker at the Playground

Southwind Park also has a fun playground, so we headed there for some swinging, sliding, and climbing. Mostly climbing. Parker is really into stairs now, and would be perfectly content spending his time going up and down them over and over again. He’s pretty fearless when it comes to the playground equipment, which makes playing at the park a good workout for me!

Parker at the Splash Pad

We liked the splashpad and park so much that we ended up going back the very next day. We met a bunch of moms and kiddos from mommy/baby group, but unfortunately the splashpad was sooooo crowded (especially with bigger kids) that they didn’t get to play together like we had hoped. Parker still had fun, but I was nervous about him getting knocked down.

Parker at the Splashpad (Day 2)

This dude loves being outside, and I love the nap he takes after burning off all that energy running around. We try to get out and do something active every day, even if it’s just going to Rotary Park (which is within walking distance). We did that one afternoon last week, and Parker had the time of his life running around the empty playground.

Parker at Rotary Park

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The Lazy Days of Summer

June 27, 2014

How ridiculous is this face? It’s Parker’s new go-to expression, and he knows how insanely adorable it is. This baby keeps me on my toes as he becomes more and more like a little boy every day. Each new development reveals a new facet of his personality, and it is so much fun to get […]

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A Weekend Away

June 23, 2014

Good news: I survived my first overnight trip away! And not just one night, but three. I wrote about flying solo as I was waiting for my flight in the airport, and I honestly had no idea how I’d handle the long weekend. But I did much better than expected, and now I know that […]

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“Under the Sea” Playroom

June 19, 2014

On the morning of Parker’s birthday, we took him downstairs so that he could open up his BIG gift: a brand-new playroom! I’m so happy we caught the reveal on video, although he has since grown much more excited about it than he was that morning. This playroom has been a work in progress since […]

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1st Birthday Bash(ful)

June 18, 2014

Parker has always been a charmer, but based on his birthday party, I think it’s safe to say that he specializes in small groups rather than large crowds. As more and more people arrived and showered attention on him, it was clear that the birthday boy was feeling more than a little bashful. But the […]

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52 Weeks of Parker

June 17, 2014

After almost two years of taking weekly photos, we’ve wrapped up our latest project. The first was my pregnancy series, and no one was happier to see that end than Zach and I — finding a fruit that corresponded with the baby’s size became more stressful each week. But the “52 Weeks of Parker” series […]

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Flying Solo

June 14, 2014

The last solo flight I took was almost exactly two years ago — when Parker was just a glint in my eye — to visit my friend Vanessa in Orlando. Since then I’ve traveled a LOT, but it has always been with my family. The last 6 flights I’ve taken have included a carseat, stroller, […]

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