Tuesday, November 30, 2010

It's a Girl! Happy Aniversery....Marty's take

Hi everyone.
It has been a long time since I wrote. Let's just say that between work, training and parenting well! Thank god Mel kept you updated.

As you know November 30th will forever be marked in our history. That same day last year, we got THE call. The call that brought us tears of joy but as well lightened our hearts forever.
That day, my birthday, is now associated forever with the greatest moment in our lives, having our daughter.
From my perspective now, on that day, I was not only blessed by the gift of my life, but now blessed with the meaning of it.
It's hard to explain, but it feels like Olivia has been with us since she was born. From day 1, her temperament, her laugh, her silliness felt it was taken right out of our souls.

I say this often, but yes, there is such a thing has 2 soulmates.
I'm just lucky I have found both of them, and now I'm spending the rest of my life with them.

Olivia, Happy Anniversary. Since the first day, Papa loves you.. beaucoup, beaucoup, beaucoup

A year ago everything changed...

Olivia at 6 months.

First of all I want to say Happy Birthday to my husband and beloved father to Olivia. Today is the anniversary I guess you can say when we got the life changing phone call. Martin's birthday of all days. It is exactly 8:47 now, I'm thinking this is the same time last year I was writing about our days event and names floating around our heads.

1 year ago we became a family. People ask "What did you do before Olivia?". Honestly, lots but I don't remember. hahahaha Our lives are completely wound up in this little girl. We eat, sleep, work, play, breathe Olivia. She is our world the moment we said "yes" to Maria. The minute we got the phone call, one year ago today, I became a mommy and Martin became a papa.

Olivia at 17 months

Day 2 at Montessori

Well..there were lots of tears this morning. And when I picked her up her eyes looked tired. The teacher graciously said she was fine. hahhaha. All teachers say that. I'm guilty of that too. It could have been the most stressful day, but I tell the parent with a smile that their child had a good day. :0P

She fell asleep in the car on the way home. Usually when we arrive home, she would wake up when getting out of the car seat. Today...she was fast asleep out of the car, into the house (even with the alarm blaring), and even when I removed her boots. Sigh..poor thing. I gave her lunch and she took at nap. She woke up almost 3 hours later.

A funny story. After dinner, Olivia was walking around the kitchen and all of sudden we hear "Shhhh". There was Olivia with her finger on her lip saying "Shhhhhh" and smiling. To tell everyone, we did not teach her this. She was obviously told to be quiet at school. HAHAHAHHAHAHA. Too hilarious. Sigh...we know all too well how loud Olivia can be. Well, at least she's learned something in 2 days. Let's see what she comes home with tomorrow.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Off to Daycare!

On the eve of our referral anniversary Miss Olivia started her first day at daycare. Last year on this date, I started the blog. The story of our journey. We didn't have a name, a sex, any i inkling of what was to come. Sigh. Now we are getting ready for our daughter to start daycare. She turns 18 months this week. What a year.

We started our morning early, 6:30 to be exact. We had our breakfast and got ready for "school". We jumped into the car. Papa met us there. We approached the building and I think Olivia recognized it because she was somewhat at ease. She immediately want to run down the halls. Hmmm...I guess she does that at any place. :0P

We went outside to meet the first of 2 teachers. She brought us to the room so we could drop off her "supplies" and locate her cubby. She gave us some ideas on how the day was going to go and told us we could walk out to the yard and let Olivia play for a bit before they went in. Oh oh..I could feel the time running out. We had to leave soon then.

We walked outside and there was a girl immediately in her face. Great...she has a friend already. hahahhaha. We said hello to the other teacher and then quietly watched her play and walk around. Okay..this was it. Time to go. We waved goodbye (Martin more so than me) and went back inside to the office. As we started to leave, I think Olivia started to cry. I think it was more like a WAIL. Panic...just keep walking.

Of course we didn't leave right away. We walked through the school and Martin went to the other side of the play yard to see how she was doing. hahahahah. But we couldn't see her because she was already inside.

Now I had 3 hours to kill before I had to pick her up. That's was the good thing about today. It was only 3 hours. Many people told me that this would be a tearful days for everyone. But for me, it was just like dropping off Olivia at a playcentre so I could run some errands. I would see her in 3 hours and give her a lunch and a nap. I was excited to have that free time to run some errands.

But I think the moment I got all choked up was when we came back to get her. We were peeking through the windows and saw Olivia sitting down at the table eating her snack. Then in a few seconds we see her standing up and reaching over to another girl's snack. hahahahha. There was the teacher gently redirecting her to her chair. Sigh. But seeing Olivia at a small table sitting down made things real.

Olivia was going to be in daycare from now on. I will be going back to work for the full day. There will be at least 8 hours of no Olivia time. That's going to kill me. I think when I got back to work in January, that's when I will really feel like she's on her own. Right now, she's enjoying herself. I get to see her still.

It was funny because we told the teacher earlier that Olivia will be more angry at us for leaving her than anything else. Sure enough...as we opened the door and she saw the 2 of us there she screamed and stomped her feet in anger and starting crying. Yes she was exhausted...but she was angry. hahahahha. It was like "How could you leave me?". Sigh. She calmed down and went back to her usual waving "hi" self. hahahhaha

The teacher said she had a good day. She cried off and on during the morning. Okayyyy...I think she sugar-coated it. hahahahha. We know our daughter very well. hahahahha. But apparently she did manage to sit in circle time and do some "work". She quickly reminded us that she was still very young and was excited about the things around her. Which meant....SHE WAS BUSY. hahahhaha.

There are many people who are asking me "Did you cry?". Nope. Not today. We know that she needed this place. She needed some structure and some other stimulation. We trust the establishment. We like the staff. We like the environment. We think this was the best decision for her. I heard her wail before in Florida when I left. I guess it was a good thing because it gave me somewhat of a backbone to this situation. hahahah Will I cry later on? Time will tell. Tomorrow is another day. Tomorrow will be harder than today because she knows this time i will leave. They tell me it will get better and she'll adjust. I know she will, but will I "adjust"?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Back in Orlando

When we arrived to Orlando it was a relief. As much as I loved the beach, coming back to the hotel room every night feeling sandy was not as much fun. We got back to the condo and relaxed for the rest of the night. Olivia was still anxious everytime I left the room. Same old same old. Sigh. They say it's a phase. We headed for bed early because tomorrow would be a tiring day.


When we planned this trip, we thought that Olivia would be too young to enjoy Disney and Universal. However, Sea World would be a different story. After all, she is a water baby and we talked about les poissons and Baby Beluga all the time. She would love Sea World. Or so we thought.

It was another gorgeous day in Orlando. We dropped off Lola and Lola at the Outlet Mall and then proceeded with our day. We parked in the "privileged" section of the parking. Which really meant, we paid an extra $5 to park closer to the entrance. hahahhaa. As we were walking towards the entrance, you could hear Christmas music playing in the distance. It can't be yet I thought. We paid the entrance fee ...which nearly killed us. Times have changed. Who can afford to bring a family to these places nowadays. It's crazy. Anyways... as we walked in, there was Christmas decorations everywhere.

Our first stop was to take a picture with some penguin. Olivia not really amused. Sigh. Off we went to a theme ride. Papa and Grandpapa decided to brave the twisty roller coaster as we waited for them at the bottom. Martin never goes on these rides, or at least not with me. I'm thinking that Grandpapa gave him the courage to go and he was soo happy that he did. He was so happy that he got suckered into buying the photo that they take before you take the dive. Sigh. He's such a consumer. hahahhahah

Then we started getting to the good stuff. The aquariums. There is something about aquariums that is so peaceful and fascinating. Olivia loved walked up the glass and looking at the fishes. She was running from one end to another. Mind you..I think we were more excited than her. It just brought us back to when we were kids and experiencing Sea World for the first time. I think we were much older than her though. :0P

After the aquarium, we went to see the penguins. Exciting for us, not so much for Olivia. These poor things just stood there wondering aimlessly. We decided it may be time for a show. There was a sea lion show about to start. We walked in and probably 10 minutes into the show Olivia was bored. Heck Papa was bored too. So we ended up leaving. Maybe she was a bit too young for Sea World.

We decided to take a break and head for lunch. Sure enough, after lunch Olivia passed out in the stroller. This allowed Mama to go and enjoy some attractions. Grandmaman graciously offered to watch Olivia as we tried the "Polar Express" experience. It was pretty cool because I loved the movie. It started off with the movie actually and then you walk through "Santa's Village" where you get to see the Arctic animals - the polar bear, the beluga whale, and some walruses. We even got to touch some real Artic ice flown in and displayed in the attraction. We even got to touch it...woohoo! :0p

When we came out, Olivia was still asleep. We walked over to the killer whale tank and got to see "Shamu" or his twin swimming around. That's when we heard the cry. Great...she's up. It was funny. She would start to cry but as soon as the whale came to the side tank, she would stop. Then it would swim away and she would start again. Sigh. It was time to get out of the stroller.

We decided to head back to the Children's attractions so she could ride on some rides and at least run around. We took Olivia on her first merry-go-round ride. Of course as we strapped her in, she had no idea what was going on. But as soon as the ride start I wasn't sure if she was scared or enjoying it. She didn't let go of the pole the whole time. But when it finished she said "Encore?". hahahhaha

We tried too look for another ride for her. Of course as we are walking there is a machine that sprays water in efforts to cool people down on a hot day. Olivia was drawn to it. There she was just standing there screaming in glee and getting soaked by the minute. What could we do? This was the best fun she had all day.

As we looked around we saw a splash pad where children were running around playing in the water. That's where we were heading.

By this time, Olivia was soaked. Oh well... We took off her shoes and off she went. Screaming and playing in the water. She was in heaven. It was hilarious. I didn't bring a bathing suit or a towel for her (who knew?) so she danced and jumped in her dress. Luckily, I did have a change of clothing. We spend a good portion of time there. But soon it was time to go. We had to pick up the other grandparents at the mall. hahahahah. We brought her to this amazing Baby Centre, which was had a nursing station, changing rooms, and kitchen. It was awesome setup. There was even rocking chairs in the front for those parents who wanted to use it. Pretty cool.

So although Olivia didn't really understand the whole Sea World thing, I think we ended on a pretty high note. She was happy playing and that was all that mattered. Maybe we'll try again when she's a bit older.

The rest of the days in Orlando seems to be a blur of shopping malls. Hahahhaa. After Sea World, the grandparents took Olivia with them back home (screaming..sigh) and we were able to walk around the outlet just the 2 of us. That hasn't happened for a long time. We pretty much raced around the outlet before it closed and we didn't even have a romantic dinner. ahhahahah. We ate at the food court and pretty much wolfed down our food to get more shops in. Crazy I know.

The next day, was another outlet day. This time we had Olivia which made it a bit difficult. It wasn't the same experience shopping with a toddler. :0P We literally shopped till we dropped. We had dinner at Panera Bread and went home. Crazy day.

The next day Martin had to work in Melbourne. We decided to go visit the "mini" outlet (like we didn't have enough of shopping). We came back and had a nice "dodo" till Papa came. For our last night, we went out for dinner to Macaroni Grill. Pictures say it all.

After dinner, we were allowed to leave Olivia again with the grandparents as we raced over to The Millennium Mall. Love this mall, not only for the stores but for The Cheesecake Factory. We brought some home for everyone for dessert. But by the time we got home, everyone was pooped and headed to bed. Me? I ate the cheesecake. It was delicious. hahahahha. Olivia stayed up and waited for us. :0P

The next morning, we loaded the car rental and we said our goodbyes. It was a great holiday. I really love Florida and hope to visit again soon. As for the attractions for Olivia, I have to say maybe a couple more years. Although Olivia was tied to my hip for the trip, she slept well. She got a tan and she had more time in the water than she would have back in Ottawa. She got a lot of Papa time which was awesome, and when she let them, she had a lot of grandparent time.

She was awesome on the plane back. She slept for an hour and half, which was pretty much most of the flight. Hope to be back again soon.

Clearwater and the World Championships - Part 2

Friday was another beach day, and it seemed that the area was getting more busier. The hotel was definitely buzzing with athletes. Everytime the elevator would open it would be a person with a bike, dressed in running gear, or in a wetsuit. ahhahahaha

When we woke up we walked to this diner that Martin loved last year. We had a great breakfast. Of course Martin trying to carb load, had 6 ginormous pancakes. 2 of which we had to pack and take back to the hotel. sigh. After breakfast, we went back to the beach for another restful day.

The only different thing this time was, I decided to take Olivia to the hotel for her afternoon nap. She was getting a lot of sun and sand. I needed to wash her off and give her a nice "clean" nap. By that time, Martin had returned from his training and decided to take a nap with Olivia. I decided to leave and head down towards the beach to relax and enjoy the sun.

By that time, the wind was getting cooler and it was getting darker. My parents were there in the cabana relaxing when I arrived. I took out my book and started to read. Then my parents decided to head out and walk back to their hotel for the night. We didn't end of having dinner together that night, which was probably a good thing.

THat night we decided to just eat at the hotel. Big mistake. It took more than an hour to get our food. Martin was fuming, Olivia was exhausted, and I was hungry. Not a good combination. WE finally gulpled down our food and headed off to bed. Tomorrow was the big day.


Martin woke up to get ready. Olivia actually sat up and waved good bye to papa before he left at 5am. Then she slumped down back to bed. hahahaha. We woke up to Grandmaman and Grandpapa's knock on the door. They had driven that morning to Clearwater. WE made plans to met at the transistion site when Martin would come out of the water to the bike.

Lola and Lolo came over to the hotel, and we went over to the site to see Martin. Unfortunately we missed him out of the water, so we walked over the bridge where we would see him bike and run. By that time, Olivia was in her stroller. The snacks came out, the toys came out, and eventually the DVD player came out. I didn't want her out of the stroller because she would be running everywhere. After all those distractions, she still was not happy. I took her out and put her in the carrier. Sigh.

As I placed her in the carrier, I gave her a bottle and prayed she would eventually go to sleep. She drank but she didn't sleep. So I walked to the middle of the bridge and waited for Martin to show. Of course, I see this lemon-lime jersey coming up the the bridge. Yay! It was papa and he saw us too. It was perfect. I knew he was headed down to transition and then off for the run. We are almost done the race. hahahhaha.

I walked back to where we were and waited for him to run. He saw us and Olivia shouted for joy. It was a good motivator for Papa I'm sure. After all that excitement, Olivia ended falling asleep! hahahah I guess she just wanted to wait for Papa.

We walked over to the finish line trying to find some shade because it was super hot. She slept for about 45 minutes. When she woke up I knew we had to get her moving. We went over to the park where she could move around. We got some icecream and headed back to the finish line. Papa would be there soon. Within 15 minutes of waiting, we saw Papa race passed a few runners and sprinted to the finish line. YAY!

We finally met up with Grandmaman and Grandpapa at the end. We waited for Papa to come. Olivia was getting more ancy in this heat, that I decided to take her to the water and play. She was most happiest there. When Papa arrived we packed up and returned back to the hotel and finish packing. We checked out and headed for lunch at the same spot where we had dinner and lunch before. I'm telling you...there isn't much in Clearwater. hahahahha.

We had a celebratory lunch and left Clearwater. Olivia again fell asleep for most of the ride back to Orlando. We even got to stop at a Starbucks on our way home. Unfortunately, because of the events that day, we didn't get out pictures. There is one thing I regret. We didn't have any pictures from the race. Boo! Oh well, I'm sure there will be more opportunities to come. :0P

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Clearwater and World Championships

Well we made it to Clearwater, and the beach was as white as can be. The weather couldn't be more perfect. Our hotel was on site of the race venue. Lola and Lolo's hotel was down the street, about a 15 minute walk on the beach boardwalk to our place.

We left Orlando at around lunchtime and drove for about an hour and 30 minutes to Clearwater (an hour of which Olivia took a nap...phew ). We checked in and unloaded our stuff in the hotel room. They we went straight to the site where Martin could register - which was across the hotel parking lot.

As soon as we got there, Olivia caught sight of the huge playground and of course the white powder the surrounded it. She quickly slumped down in the sand and let it run through her hands and fingers. She was in heaven. Yay! She literally did not move from that spot. Even though there were tons of children running around and playing on the giant play structures. She was surely going to enjoy the beach.

After our tour around the site, it was close to dinner time. We drove over to the other hotel where Lola and Lolo were staying. We checked them in and walked around their area. Interestingly enough, although Clearwater is a pretty popular place and beautiful, there is nothing but tacky touristy stores and pubs. It was kind of disappointing. But hey...we didn't come here to shop and dine, we came here to enjoy the beach. After dinner we decided to call it a night. It was a long day and tomorrow would be "beach" day.

The next day we all met up after breakfast and headed down to the beach. We rented a cabana and some beach chairs. We really had quite the set-up. We took out Olivia's sand toys and she was ready to go. She played quite contently with her toys and then realized there was a huge body of water before. That was it, she was gone. I have to say, Martin went swimming early that morning, with a wetsuit and said that the water was freezing. And it was! Nobody really was swimming in the ocean it was too cold. But there was Miss Olivia loving every moment in the water. hahahha. EVerytime a wave would come she would scream and still went back in. :0P

She spent most of the morning with Papa collecting sea shells and running back and forth to the water. We walked over to the beach canteen and had some lunch. Lola and Lolo decided to go for walk around the area and I decided to put Olivia down for a nap at the beach. She slept sooo well under the cabana it was too cute. When she woke up, of course, she wanted back in the water. sigh. It was getting late so it didn't last too long. We had an "athelete" banquet that night, so we called it a day.


For dinner that night, the athletes had to go to this beach site for a buffet dinner. It was quite an experience. We had been to the one in Penticton for Ironman Canada, but that was in a convention centre. This buffet was entirely outside. It was windy and somewhat cold, but the atmosphere was pretty cool. As soon as you walk in, you go under a huge tent where you "collect" you food and then you find you seating in the outdoors. Tables and chairs were set on the sand right next to the water. They had a special flag ceremony which showcased all the countries that were represented in this championship race. Lola and Lola were quite suprised to learn that there was 1 Filipino athlete representing the Philippines. And yes we took a picture of the flag. :0)

Olivia seemed to enjoy it although it was hard feeding her in the dark. Wasn't sure how much or what she was eating. She sat on my lap which made it pretty difficult too. I think though she loved the entertainment but enjoyed running around the site more. In the end, I was soo tired running after I put her in the carrier. hahahaha. Haven't done that in awhile, and man...she was heavy. We decided it was a long day for her, and headed back to the hotel. Tomorrow would be another beach day.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Florida in November! Part 1 - The Plane Ride

Well our first trip going SOLO. Meaning Olivia and I. What was I thinking
We arrived 2 hours before our flight, and the stress already started as the lady at the checkout had this puzzled look when we handed her Olivia`s Korean passport. Oh oh. She had to call her supervisor for help. Finally, she issued both of us a boarding pass and we were on our way to Customs.

At Customs, Olivia was getting a bit ancy. The whole process of taking everything thing out and placing it on the screening belt is a pain in the butt. Down to our socks we walked through the detector. All good. Next...the customs officer. We got to the counter and the man was really nice. Thank goodness. We had an issue with the visa waiver, but it he just explained that it could be resolved by going on this website before we return back to Canada. All good. This left us about 45 minutes till boarding. Perfect. Time to run around. Up and down we went at the terminal. Finally we got the call to board the plane. She ran down the gateway to the plane and walked down the aisle to our seats. Yay! We made it.

She was great sitting on my lap during take off. Luckily the plane was full of kids excited about going to Orlando or should I say Disney World - like this was the name of the city or country they were going to visit. hahahha. The flight attendents were wearing their Mickey Ears. Sigh...things they do. Beside us was an empty seat and by the window there was a really nice man who Olivia continually bothered during the flight. He was really good about it.

Thirty minutes into the flight I took out the first toy. A toy computer that I didn`t know how to work. Note to self...read the instructions on how to use it before giving it to your kids. That was somewhat shortlived. Then on to the snacks. Then on to the playdoh - which she constantly tried to put it in her mouth. Argh. Finally...dinnertime.

An hour and a bit into the flight...Miss O gave me this look. A look that I seen before and recognized. I was not too happy. She gave her little look and wave. Sigh...damn...a caca. I raced her to the back into this tiny cubicle at the back of the plane. I was worried she would smell so we pretty much ran down that aisle. hahahha After that dramatic (traumatic for me) eventm, we came back to our seats and had dinner. While everyone had snacks from the airlines assortments of choices. Olivia had a great healthy dinner. Yay for mommy for bringing veggies and pasta.

That took a chunk of time which was great. Now...onto the DVD. Some Annie Broccoli. She sat in the empty seat, quiet as can be. Then the announcement over the speaker came Hello ladies and Gentlemen and kids, we are now starting out descent into Orlando. WOOHOOO

As I got Olivia ready and started packing off her things, the LOOK came again. No no no..this can`t be happening. Not again. Not 30 minutes before we land. Of course there was the hand on the chair, the red face, the wave. ARGH. When she was done her business, I scooped her up and raced back down to the bathroom to change her. Ugh. It was insane. As we got back to our seats, we strapped ourselves in and hoped that the bottle I gave her would make her fall asleep for at least 30 minutes. Ya, no such luck.

We landed 20 minutes early. Wohoo! It was a great plane ride. We got off the plane and pretty much made Olivia run down off the plane and all the way to the baggage claim. hahahhaha. Mind you I had to put her little Piglet backpack on. You know..the one with the leash. Sigh. I had too.

We got to the baggage claim and Olivia was exhausted. She waited in the stroller while we got our luggage. Then we waited for Grandmaman and Grandpapa to come pick us up. They had just missed us at the gate and they were waiting for us there. The showed up and I was soooo happy to see them. Olivia well...she was exhausted. Time change, travel, shortened nap, and running around in the airports. She was done. I was done. I did it though. It was quite the adventure. I hope and pray it goes well when we come back.


The next day it was beautiful. I couldn't believe we were here Florida in this heat. Olivia was definitely going through her mommy clingy stage. I couldn't leave the room without burst of tears and screams. Sigh...poor grandmaman and grandpapa. During the day we ran a few errands and I bought Olivia a lifejacket so we could go to the pool. We had a lovely lunch and headed to the pool.

I guess it just wasn't the same with Mama in the pool. Although she liked it she wasn't over excited like she usually is during her swimming lessons. Maybe it was the flotation device strapped around here. hahahha. Oh well too bad, we couldn't take the chance with her. After the swim, she took a nice nap and I ate a bag of chips with diet pepsi and it was terrific. I totally felt on vacation. hahahaha.

The next morning, Grandpapa surprised me with a STarbucks coffee. Woohoo. He made me write it down on a piece of paper and from that day on while we were staying at the condo, he made the trek to Starbucks. I'm thinking the baristas know him now. After breakfast we made it to the "mini" outlet by the condo and I was able to shop a bit while Olivia slept in the stroller. Surprising I know. Merci Grandpapa. He was working out a sweat walking all around making sure she wouldn't wake up. hahahahha

Shopping ended when she belted a scream and realized it was Grandpapa moving her and not me. sigh. So we decided to head home and get some lunch. :0) We had awesome Cici's pizza for lunch. Olivia ate a whole slice by herself. Then had another great nap in the afternoon. When she woke up, we dressed her up and get her ready again for the pool. Papa was coming today and he would meet us by the pool.

When he arrived another breathe of relief. Papa was here to help me out with this clingy girl. Although she was happy to see him, it was still all about Mama. Papa unpacked all his stuff from his Tahoe. From the on we waited for Lola and Lolo's place to arrive. Apparently it was delayed for a couple of hours. They finally arrived at the condo at around 8ish. We had a lovely dinner that night with lots of wine. More than my parents usually drink. hahaha. Then we all turned in for the night. Tomorrow would be another busy day.