Places to Go, People to See

by Rachel on September 1, 2014

Playing at Funshop

Out of all the ways that becoming a mom has changed me, turning into an extrovert is the one I didn’t see coming. I guess it makes sense, though; spending most of my time at home with a toddler leaves me craving adult interaction now more than ever.

Over the past year, I’ve made a few great “mom friends” through the baby group at St. John’s Hospital, swim lessons, music class, and through mutual friends. I really look forward to playdates so that Parker can have fun while his friends while I get in some grown-up conversations. Win-win situation.

Playing at Ergadoozy

Most recently, a few of us met up at Ergadoozy, which was a huge hit! There were tons of toys to play with, things to climb, and slides to go up the wrong way. An added bonus: the nice long nap that Parker took when we got home.

He’s at the age where he can participate in a lot more activities, which will be great for keeping us busy throughout the week this fall. Last week we attended our first Funshop class, which was quite the experience! There were SO many things to take in and experience that I think it was a bit of sensory overload for Parker, but he had a great time.

Playing at Little Gym

We also tried out the Little Gym, which has a “gymnastics” class for toddlers. It was so funny watching Parker run wild all over the big mat and dancing to the music. He was completely terrified of the gym equipment until the very end of the class, when he decided to try out the little balance beam. Of course, when it was time for everyone to come back to the mat (where he had been the entire class), Parker refused to get off the beam. Typical :)

Swim lessons start back up on Saturday, so our schedule really is going to be chock-full. We have to get all of our fun in before winter hits, especially if this year is anything like last. Until then, we’ll be getting out and about as often as we can (and taking plenty of long naps as a result!).


Under the Weather

by Rachel on August 17, 2014

Under the Weather

It has been a ROUGH weekend in the Rambach household. Zach was out of town, and it is Murphy’s Law that something always goes wrong when he’s away. This time was no exception — my poor baby Parker got sick for the first time ever.

It all started the day Zach left, which was Thursday. After work, Parker and I went over to my parents’ house for dinner. My stepsister was home with my niece, Annabelle, and baby nephew, Alec. Parker and Annabelle are a dynamic duo, and spent most of the evening chasing each other around the house. My mom noticed that Parker felt really warm right as we were getting ready to leave, so I took his temperature as soon as we got home.

Sure enough, he had a fever of 102. He wasn’t crying or acting uncomfortable, so I wasn’t too worried yet. My mom, on the other hand, was much more worried than me and insisted I call the telenurse. She basically told me to monitor him and call the pediatrician in the morning if his fever persisted and he had other symptoms.

Parker slept fine, but when I picked him up out of his crib on Friday morning, I realized he was burning up. He still had a fever of 102, and wasn’t acting like himself. I called the pediatrician’s office, but they didn’t want to see him unless his fever persisted for 72 hours. So I attempted to give him some Tylenol (most of which he spit out) and just tried to keep him comfortable.

Under the Weather

Parker had no interest in eating breakfast, though I did get him to drink some milk. Mostly he wanted to just lay on my lap or on the couch and watch Sesame Street. That is sooo unlike him — this kid never sits still. We went for a walk around the neighborhood, but mostly just hung around the house the rest of the day.

I had to play a gig that night, so my in-laws came over to stay with him. They said he didn’t seem to be in a ton of pain, but he was still not interested in eating and had started tugging on his ears. He cried and whimpered in his sleep throughout the night, so neither of us slept well. I brought him in bed with me early on Saturday morning, and this is how pathetic he was. Poor baby.

Under the Weather

He still had a bit of a fever and was really upset, so it was off to Prompt Care. Not my favorite way to spend a Saturday. That was a two-hour ordeal involving lots of waiting, screaming and crying, and two people holding Parker down so that the doctor could look in Parker’s throat, ears, and administer some drops. I wanted to cry, seeing my baby so miserable.

While we were waiting for the results of the strep test, Parker passed out from sheer exhaustion. Luckily, it wasn’t strep, but it was an ear infection. The doctor prescribed an antibiotic, so off to Walgreens we went.

Under the Weather

Later that afternoon, my dad and stepmom came over to hang out with us. Parker was starting to feel better, thankfully, and did eat some yogurt and crackers. He slept much better at night, too — 12 full hours! My mom came over in the morning so that I could go grocery shopping, and then Parker and I laid low the rest of the day. I’m glad the weather was dreary all weekend; at least we weren’t missing out on being outside.

By Sunday afternoon, Parker was almost back to his old self. He was still more cuddly than usual (I’m not complaining about that!) but he was eating a little more and not tugging at his ears as much. The sun even came out after dinner, so we went for a walk before bedtime.

Under the Weather

I’m really glad Parker’s first illness wasn’t anything serious, and I am so grateful he has stayed healthy for this long. Hopefully we don’t have a repeat of this weekend anytime soon (and Zach better bring me something good home from Vegas, since he got to miss out on all of this!).


6 Years Since “I Do”

by Rachel on August 9, 2014

6th Wedding Anniversary

The day Zach proposed to me (7/27/07), I chose a wedding date based on my lucky number: 08/08/08. Conveniently, it’s also a very memorable date, which has worked to Zach’s advantage ;) We celebrated our 6th year together this week — a year that has been by far the hardest, but also the best, of our lives.

6th Anniversary Collage

Our wedding day was, up until June 8, 2013, the very best day of my life. It has since fallen to the #2 spot, but for good reason. It was a beautiful, sparkling, perfect Friday in Springfield, and I was surrounded by my entire family and best friends. We had a beautiful ceremony at Laurel United Methodist Church, followed by the most fun party I’ve ever attended at the Inn at 835.

I actually cried as the last song played at our reception, because I didn’t want the night to end. Everyone, and I mean, everyone, was still on the dance floor at midnight, and the facility basically had to force us out. That’s when you know you’ve thrown a successful party!

Honeymoon in St. Lucia

We spend the following week on our honeymoon in St. Lucia, and then came back to “real life” as a married couple at our first house on Holmes Avenue. In our six years of marriage, we’ve tackled some big things (home ownership, getting a puppy, owning a business, pregnancy) but nothing could have prepared us for our first year of parenthood.

Raising Parker has brought us together in so many ways, but it has also highlighted our differences and the things we need to work on as a couple. It’s comforting to know that we aren’t the only parents who have gone through this, and I think in the long run our marriage will be stronger because of it.

My mom offered to host Parker’s first sleepover so that Zach and I could go out and celebrate our anniversary. I think they were both pretty excited about it! Parker didn’t even look back as my mom carried him inside and we drove away.

Parker's First Sleepover

We had dinner reservations at Augie’s Front Burner in downtown Springfield, which is one of my favorite restaurants. We don’t go out to dinner alone very often, so it was really nice to be able to take our time eating and enjoy each others’ company. It was really dark in the restaurant, so the photo didn’t turn out great — but we’ll still add it to our album of anniversary dinners.

6th Anniversary Dinner

After dinner, we went out for a drink downtown and then came home at the very late hour of 10 pm. So I suppose we didn’t take FULL advantage of Parker being away for the night, but what can I say…we’re old! We exchanged anniversary gifts, me going first as usual (because Zach always outdoes me in the gift-giving department).

I gave him a memory box with photos from all of our previous anniversaries and the one I took of Parker commemorating #6. I filled the box with smaller gifts, each wrapped with a note sharing a “wish” for year #7. We’ll see how many of them come true this year :)

Zach's Anniversary Present

For the past 5 anniversaries, Zach has given me a photo book containing all the highlights of the previous year. It is my FAVORITE present and I look forward to it every anniversary. We have so much fun looking through it together and reminiscing, and when we have guests over, they love going through all the books. It will be so wonderful for Parker to have photo books of our lives, dating way back to before he was even a glint in our eyes.

Rachel's Anniversary Present

All in all, it was a wonderful anniversary and the start of what has been a great weekend so far! I slept in and woke up to Parker running into my room after Zach had picked him up from my mom’s house. Those two headed to the fair shortly after, so I’ve spent the entire day in my office getting lots of work done. I guess you could call that a bonus anniversary gift!


What Does a _______ Say?

by Rachel on August 5, 2014

Parker's Vocabulary at 14 Months

One of the things I’ve looked forward to the most about Parker growing up is hearing him say actual words and expand his vocabulary. It started with just a few — mama, nana (banana), no, dada — but that list is growing quickly.

Say: Parker is obsessed with our golden retriever, Sadie. She usually spends a good amount of time at my in-laws’ house playing with their dog, but since my mother-in-law recently had knee surgery, Sadie has been at our house full-time. No one is happier about this than Parker, who loves to chase after Sadie and tease her with his toys. He calls her and every other dog he sees “Say!”.

Nananana: Not to be confused with “nana” (his word for banana, which he has been saying for quite some time now). Parker hasn’t yet mastered his l sounds, so the “lalalala” part of the Elmo’s World song is “nananana” instead.

Shoe: This boy loves shoes. He actually cooperates when we put them on his feet, and he even tries to put on other people’s shoes, while saying the word “shoe”.

Hi: His little voice is the cutest, but especially when he says hi. He knows exactly what it means and uses it in the correct context.

Byebye: This is a runner-up to hi for cutest word.

And then there are the sounds he knows. This is probably a very normal developmental milestone for a baby his age, but I still think it’s amazing that Parker can answer these questions:

What does a cow say?” Moo!

“What does a kitty say?” Meow!

“What does a doggy say?” Woof!

What does a train say?” Choo choo!

“What does a birdie say?” Tweet tweet tweet!

“What does a duck say?” Quack quack quack!

Parker will even make these sounds when he sees a picture or toy version, especially cows. He knows the ones I listed by heart, but he can pretty much imitate (or at least attempt to imitate) just about any word or sound. It’s fun to see which ones stick. I can’t wait to see where his language development is in just a few months.


Summer Days, Drifting Away…

July 18, 2014

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 […]

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10 Days in Brazil

July 8, 2014

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 […]

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Showering Baby Massimo

July 7, 2014

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, […]

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Parker at the Playground

July 7, 2014

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 […]

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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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