Sunday, July 29, 2012

911, What is your emergency?

I set my alarm for 5:06 this morning. I wiped my tired eyes and listened to the calm of the sleeping house. I wanted a peaceful moment to remember (seriously, how could I ever forget) the unbelievable craziness that lead up to 5:07 am, July 29, 2011. I quickly flashed through memories of my screams, my panic, my attempts at convincing my husband to call an ambulance, the sound of sirens, the pain (oh my the pain!), the lack of coverage on the lower half of my body while being carted out of my house on a stretcher, the silliness of asking for medication in the ambulance, the first two of four pushes that I thought I might not live through, the last two that I'm still not sure how my body was able to do and then...5:07! "It's a boy!", I said. I know I said it even though Paul claims I didn't say a word. And there he was, my son, delivered on the 5000 block of Kimball Avenue, just past a small bridge over the north branch of the Chicago river, in the back of Ambulance 32. 

And here is Gannon today, in that same special location (no ambulance needed). A perfect day, just like the first day he joined our family.

Mr. Man is 1!

Happy Birthday, Gannon. I wouldn't change a thing about the way you came into this world. Your adorable smile, wet kisses and genuine happiness every single day is my reward for the fruits of my labor (literally). I love you, bugaboo.  

Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Gannons

Gannon, this is our son, Gannon.
Gannon, this is the great guy who gave mommy the idea for your super cool name.

On Christmas evening of 2010, we headed down to Joni's house for a festive gathering with Paul's extended family, as we traditionally do. There are always many familiar faces, fabulous food and a revolving door of friends of our favorite girls, Jori, Kelsey and Lindsey.

Some of these friends are the sweetest teenagers I've ever met (and they even remember who we are through the years) and some of them get teased by my husband (for no reason). The guy pictured above was both. Kelsey introduced us to her good friend, Gannon Davis. Gannon! Now that's a name! Normally, I wouldn't have paid much attention to the name after the introduction. But, I was about 8 weeks pregnant and I thought what a cool name for a boy, if we have one. And as soon as we left for the evening, I told Paul how much I loved it and we added it to the list!

And here are the Gannons at Kelsey's high school graduation party. Gannon was so excited to have our Mr. Man named after him. And he was nervous to hold him. But, look at those killer smiles! Gannon is joining the Marines and will report for duty in December. He is one of Kelsey's best friends and a gem of a guy. We hope the Gannons can spend more time together soon. I think they could learn a lot from each other.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Back to the Beach!

It's a hot day. It's a sunny day. So it must be a great day to go back to the beach! This time we headed to Hollywood Beach and it was like a little slice of paradise right here at home.

Aloha, sand sifter! I've missed you.

She wore an itsy, bitsy, teenie, weenie, blue, Hawaiian-flowered bikini, 
that she wore for the first time today!

No more sand-wiches this time, Mr. Man. I'm makin' sand cupcakes!

Perfectly decorated with clown fish, crab, turtle, and starfish toppers.

Ta-dah! For sale, for just a sand dollar. :)

All sold out! Deeeelicious as Isla says.

Warning! A rare appearance by me! This ghost needs some sun if I want to keep up with my Pete Sampras.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Special visits and Special guests

Continuing the fun of July, we had a special visit from Isla's buddy Jacob and my beautifully-pregnant buddy, Maryann!

Since they moved to Valparaiso, we don't see them nearly often enough, but when we do, it's just like old times. 
A happy, relaxing little tea party was the first order of business.

"Playing house" was taken to a new level in this little kitchen. And you can kind of see the belly (far right) holding one of the next additions to our group of friends!

"All this play food is making me hungry!" We know it, Mr. Man!

Thank you, Jacob and Maryann (and the baby belly!) for spending the day with us. So much fun!


And what can be more fun than celebrating a birthday? Celebrating your Gammo's big day!
Isla treated her "special guest" to a lovely dinner and then...
Mmm, fudgicals! Also known as fudgesicles. You can see how much Isla enjoyed hers.

Happy Birthday, Gammo! 
Gannon: "Wait, did you say Gammo or Gannon? I know my big day is almost here!! Bring on the fudgicals!"

Monday, July 23, 2012


After the 4th, there was a break in the heat and humidity, so we decided it would be the perfect day for a get-together with Isla's boys for our summer trip to the LP Zoo. It seems every time we go, the weather is extreme, but we can't break with tradition!

This tiger was eager to greet us. Or eat us.

This picture was my fifth attempt at getting all the kiddos to turn and smile with the tiger in the background. Thanks for humoring me, Isla. You're grrrrrreat! Sorry, had to do it. 

Keaton practiced his tiger growl with Gannon – obviously more funny than fierce. 

Next stop: Chimpanzees. Isla and Kameron were picking up some moves for their next time on the monkey bars at the park.

Look, it's Paul's long lost Uncle! Or is Paul the monkey's Uncle?

Can they get any more cute together? 
Kameron is on a serious mission to find the crocodiles. He recruited Isla to help in this imperative search and scoffed at Paul's suggestion that they were on vacation in Florida. We covered most of the zoo and even went to the area on the zoo map with the crocodile icon thinking a crocodile exhibit was there. Nope.

At last, buried in the dark Reptile/Small Mammal House, we found 5 dwarf crocodiles hiding in and under some logs. Thank goodness! (I don't think Kameron has stopped talking about these things since we left here!)

"Daddy, maybe the crocodile icon was really a dinosaur? I'm so ready to see some of those!"

"Ha! They're definitely on vacation in Florida, Mr. Man!"

So happy to be at the zoo!

And so over Gannon pretending to growl like that tiger from earlier. 
"I should have just kept my noises to myself."

Time for the choo-choo! We think this is the most anticipated 4 minutes of the day. 

They are thrilled to be on this train ride! If you could've seen the expression on the female conductor's face, you'd know she felt the complete opposite.

What a fun day! We'll all be back for Zoo Lights come December. And I bet we'll be wishing for this warm weather to come back too!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Summa, Summa, Summatime

Isla asks me almost every day if it's still "summatime" (summertime). Yes, my lady, it sure is! And we're taking full advantage of all summer has to offer, especially since last year during this time I was on stuck on the couch keeping my legs crossed for 5 weeks. 

Bright and early on the 4th of July, we got these bums out of bed and headed TO THE BEACH!

Beach babes!

Isla: "Let's build the biggest princess sand castle, ever!"
Gannon: "Let's dig to Florida!"

Off to work they go!

Not making much progress on either project...

"All this digging is making me hungry..."

"This is not the kind of sand-wich I had in mind." 

"Alright, buddy. You use that shovel, I'll fill the bucket and we'll get to Florida in no time!"

"Look, here comes the ocean water! We did it!"

As American as apple pie.

Testing the waters...

and being chased by the hairy lake monster!

Testing the waters...

and being thrown (way too high) by the hairy lake monster!

Later in the day, we headed to cousin Lea's house for more food and fun on the 4th! 
Gannon: "I feel like I've been smiling for the camera all day."
Isla: (through her teeth) "Get used to it, dude."

Gannon: "She's ready for her close-up, mom."

This is why I take a million pictures, Gannon. Someday you'll thank me. 

Who needs a big display when you've got these two little firecrackers?! Geovana and Isla make quite a pair!  

LL Cool G (Ladies Love Cool Gannon!)

And he loves these ladies! Kelsey, Jori and a water bottle provided many minutes of good belly laughs for Mr. Man.

Happy Birthday, America! We certainly enjoyed celebrating you today!