Sunday, November 18, 2012


After our trip from Chicago, Jacob and I were headed for a few busy weekends. First of them being a weekend visit to Cleveland to celebrate our friend Stephen's 30th birthday.

 Our trip started with a bit of a rocky start. For those that haven't flown with an 8 month old with a diaper rash lets just say its no walk in the park. Ayanna was truly unhappy for most of the flight and now that she is unable to sleep in my arms it was almost impossible to calm her down. The iPhone apps and toys only worked for a bit and finally we just had to resort to the fact that we were "those" people on the plane. I think the thought that we were going to repeat the dreaded flight in two days did not help the situation. All in all we survived the flight and Ayanna was ready for a weekend of being spoiled by my family.

Jacob spent Saturday hanging out with Stephen and checking out all the new things taking place in Cleveland. With Ayanna not feeling great I decided to stay back and just meet up with everyone for Stephen's birthday dinner. The birthday dinner was a lot of fun and a mini reunion for us. The remainder of our weekend was spent enjoying my mom's cooking and spending time with family. Our flight back was pretty similar to the first one so lets just say we aren't looking forward to our next flying trip.

To my friend Stephen: happy happy birthday! I am truly fortunate to have such a wonderful best friend and I wish you all the love and happiness in this next decade. I hope you had a wonderful day and I look forward to many more adventures together.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Weekend with Grandma

While Jacob and I spent a weekend in Chicago, Ayanna spent the weekend with her grandma and great aunt.  A huge thank you to the both of them for being wonderful baby sitters.
Here is a little recap of their weekend by her grandma:

Ayanna’s parents planned a big weekend in Chicago to meet friends for Akanksha’s 29th birthday, leaving Ayanna in the inexperienced hands of her Grandma Conrad and Aunt Debbie.  A full first day to learn Ayanna’s routines and then we were on our own, except for Dewey who is still Ayanna’s best friend and a great distraction.  

Great weather in St. Louis.  Saturday we had a picnic in Tower Grove Park together.  We discovered a few foods than Ayanna enjoyed although generally she is not a food oriented child as she is just too busy to stop and enjoy eating. A last late afternoon walk to the local ice cream store.  
Sunday our outing was to the Art Museum for a special exhibit of Federico Barocci, an Italian Renaissance painter.  While one of us studied the exhibit, the other carried Ayanna throughout the rest of the museum and then we switched.  While talkative in the galleries, Ayanna was also charming and attracted lots of smiles from other art lovers.  One thought she was already in training to be an art critic.

By Sunday the rain had arrived and cooler weather.  Monday was a trip to Carters to buy a snow suit so that Ayanna can be outdoors even in cold weather.  Parents were back home by evening, and Ayanna was very forgiving of their absence, with lots of big smiles.

Comments -

 Socks don’t stay on little feet and somehow disappear without a trace.
While not a coffee drinker, Ayanna is well known at the local coffee shop and enjoyed her daily early morning trips.
Dewey tolerates anything Ayanna contrives to do to him, including extensive pulling and chewing on his dog tags.
Good naps make for happier babies.
The theme songs for “Dora the Explorer” and “Parks and Rec” are entirely too short - while fascinating to Ayanna, they are not long enough to effectively change a diaper.
While kiddie lit is a great idea for sharing with young children, not all are ready to focus attention.  Despite dramatic readings with sound effects, Ayanna is still more interested in climbing all around the bedroom floor and eating book pages.

Eating Great Aunt Debbie's grapes

Helping Grandma finish that large bowl of ice cream


Jacob and I did a parents getaway to the Windy City for my birthday weekend. Jacob's mom and aunt were kind enough to watch Ayanna and Dewey for us while we enjoyed a little quality time with one another and our friends. This year the annual ophthalmology meeting was taking place in Chicago and as chance would have it, it fell on my birthday weekend. It was a great time as we got to spend a long weekend with some of our favorite people that we had to leave behind in Winston. An added bonus was that Stephen, our friend from Cleveland, was also able to join us for the trip.

We have both been to Chicago a few times so we didn't have any big plans on the agenda besides relaxing and hanging out with friends. We arrived in Chicago and met up with Stephen, and Steve and Erin who arranged our very cute boutique hotel. I was so excited to see them as they are two of my very favorite people and they had just gotten engaged a few weeks ago! Once we were all checked into the hotel we headed out to meet up with the Foster's and the Bonkowske's at a high end bowling alley/bar. It has been a few years since I had seen them and it was great to catch up and hear what life is like once the residency and fellowship are complete (apparently it's awesome)! After a few drinks and good catch up session we headed back to our hotel. Steve and Erin being the smart folks that they are headed to bed. Stephen and myself convinced Jacob that we needed to go out to a nearby bar for another drink ( not a brilliant idea). Being parents of a 7 month old we should know when we get the chance to sleep we should jump on it! Poor decisions aside, it was fun reminiscing with Stephen about times gone by.

The following day basically involved lots of eating and roaming the city. I indulged in a mid day pedicure which felt like such a luxury. We had such wonderful meals for our weekend. I am going to share Jamie's blog post on the meals as she does such a fabulous job capturing and describing the food.

Other fun activities of the weekend were walking down magnificent mile, checking out the bean, and having drinks with great friends at the signature lounge. I probably should have slept in more but I didn't want to waste the little time I had with my friends. Of course by the time the weekend ended I was wishing I had indulged in a little more sleep. Next year the academy meeting is in New Orleans and I can't wait to spend a few days with Jamie, Donna, and Erin all over again.  Thanks to Steve and Jamie for all the great pics!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Trick or Treat

Happy Halloween everyone! For Ayanna's first Halloween I decided to dress her up as a ladybug. We were debating wether to take her out for trick or treating or just be a greeter with us at the door. Since we are new to the neighborhood we weren't sure how many people participate and let's be honest the last thing we need around here is more candy for me to eat (7 months later and I am still working off the baby weight). In the end we made the decision to have Ayanna help us hand out candy. We didn't get nearly as many kids as we used to in Winston Salem but still a decent turn out. Ayanna was very cooperative in her costume and charmed everyone that came to the door. Next year we hope to take her out to do some actual trick or treating but for now my biggest task is to avoid all that left over candy!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Perfect weekend

This past weekend was a great nothing special going on kind of weekend. Jacob wasn't on call and we had not one single plan. Friday night we enjoyed some delicious Mediterranean take out and caught up on some sopranos episodes (yes I know we are a few years behind).

Saturday morning Jacob wanted to checkout the Missouri Botanical Gardens. The gardens are located about 1.5 miles walk from our house. It was a perfect fall morning with beautiful sunny sky and crisp cool air. The botanical gardens are free for St. Louis residents Saturday mornings which was an added bonus. We were unable to go through the whole area but we enjoyed the parts we were able to see.  It was a great morning for a walk around to, from, and inside the gardens, about 4.5mi in all.  The remainder of our Saturday was running errands and just being at home.

Sunday Jacob and I took Ayanna to Thies Farm. Every fall they have a large pumpkinland set up. It is definitely geared towards slightly older kids but we thought we would at least get some cute photo ops. Ayanna wasn't a huge fan and she seemed a little overwhelmed by all the kids running around. We were only there for about 45 minutes before her patience wore out and we had to head on home. The weekend ended with a quiet dinner at a co-fellows house. With the holiday season starting and some busy weekends coming up, it is always nice to have some quality family time.

Congratulations to our friends Steve and Erin on their engagement!!!!! We were so happy for you guys and looking forward to celebrating with you guys in a few weeks.