June 2011

Mama Mia  June 4th

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We love going to see Mama Mia!  I think this was my 3rd or 4th time!  Nicole and Gabby have seen it many more times I am sure!  It is always a fun show Whether on Broadway in New York or in San Diego at the Civic Theater with a stop at The Local before hand!  Yes, the feather boas were all Nicole!!

Aunt’s Day at Stone  June 5th                                                 Every year we celebrate “Aunt’s Day”  a made up but very real holiday honoring the best auntie ever!  This was the 3rd annual celebration of The Zavodny Family Aunt’s Day and we celebrated at Stone Bistro and World Gardens!  Beers and lunch with people we love!  Happy Aunt’s Day Nicole!  You are the best auntie we could have every wished for our children!  We love you!

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A sweet hug From “Ahta”

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Sharing desert with another great “Auntie” in Layla’s life, Auntie Val.

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My Dad and Donna

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During lunch Layla kept herself very busy with a princess coloring book they just happened to have at Stone.

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And of course harassing and feeding the Koi fish with Uncle Dave T. Layla told Uncle Dave T., “You’re not supposed to to that”  She is a rule follower, and has compassion toward animals like her Mama!

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Layla and Uncle Dave T.

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The Team

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Me with the love of my life!

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The Zavodny Girls

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Climbing a tree with Uncle Dave T.

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Layla with Nonna and Papa

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We ended the night reading stories with our favorite little girl!  Here is Uncle Dave T. reading Layla Walter the Farting Dog!

Hangin’ Out with Ellery  June 8th                                  Ellery arrived in San Diego on June 7th and stayed for a whole month!  We were so lucky to have her with us most of the month she was here!  She is an amazing young woman and I would be nothing but proud if Layla grew up to be anything like her!

Here she and Layla are hanging out at Nanny’s reading books,

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and chatting on the phone!

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We also did lots of snuggling with Ellery!

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Sometimes the snuggling, during movie night would lead to sleeping!  All the girls ASLEEP!

We Had to say, “Good Bye” to The Willdog”  June 14th

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We had to make the extremely difficult decision to say, “goodbye” to the one and only Willdog on June 14th.  He was the best, most amazing dog we will ever own!  I miss him more than I can put into words!  We have had to say good bye to family and loved ones which is never easy. But saying goodbye to my first baby, the first being that I took care of, that depended on me, and loved me unconditionally was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.  He was old and had arthritis and decided to plop down and could not get back up!  It was time.  We never wanted him to suffer and did not want to be selfish.  We chose to have the vet come to our home, his home, and do it here, where he would be comfortable and familiar!  It was very peaceful for him but very hard for us.  Layla was not here, she said her goodbyes and went to the park with Ahta.  His absence from our home is one I will never get used to.  But when I think about him I smile and I always will.  One day, I was sad and told Layla how much I missed The Willdog, we were upstairs and she said, “It’s okay Mommy, you can say hi to him.”  She took my by the hand and lead me out on the the upstairs deck outside of our bedroom.  She said, “Put your hand up in the air, and wave to him and say, “hello.”  My daughter is amazing.  Occasionally she talks about him being in the clouds and knows he will always be in our hearts!  I miss you Willdog!  So does everyone who ever knew you!  The front yard is empty without you.  I miss the way your fur feels, saying good morning to you every morning and good night to you every night, you amazing and infectious smile, and the sound of your paws on the hardwood floors!  You were my first baby and I will always love you!

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Zoomar’s Petting Zoo  June 15th                                            One of the many adventures Ellery got to join us on was a trip to Zoomar’s Petting Zoo in San Juan Capistrano!  Layla and I had a fun day at Zoomar’s and lunch at Ruby’s with Ellery, Nicole, and Gracie!

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Ellery and a guinea pig.

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Gracie and a guinea pig.

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Gracie holding a huge bunny.

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Layla and Gracie riding the train.

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Layla’s horse ride at Zoomar’s.

Father’s Day June 19th                                                                                    We celebrated Father’s Day at home this year.  Guy really wanted to Barbeque and hang out at home, so that is exactly what we did!  I feel bad there are no pictures of Guy but we always wake up and do gifts right away in the morning while we are still in our jammies in bed!  But here are a couple of my dad opening his gifts on Father’s Day with a little help from Layla!  Happy Father’s Day Guy and Dad!  Two amazing men and father’s I am grateful for each and everyday!  I am so lucky and so is Layla.  I love you both very much!

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Scripps Aquarium  June 21st                                                      While Ellery was here visiting from Texas, we tried to spend as much time with Nanny as we could.  Ellery does not get to see her often enough!   On June 22nd we joined Karen, Nanny, and Jocelyn for a trip to Scripps aquarium and then lunch at the University City Round Table.  A great day out with family.

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Announced Pregnancy to Family at Nanny’ 81st Birthday Party  June 22nd

Unfortunately we can not find any still photo’s of Nanny and Layla announcing my pregnancy to the entire family at her birthday celebration.  We have it on video but no one can seem to find any stills!  If we come across any I will add them later! 

Before we sang, “Happy Birthday” to Nanny she said, “  this year I am getting the best birthday gift ever, Layla, what are you going to be?”  and Layla said, A big sister!”

After that there were some tears and lots of happy hugs and congratulations!  Everyone know how difficult this journey has been for us and was so happy to hear the great news!

Fun in the Sun  June 23rd

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All ready to swim at Nanny’s “Old Lady Home” sporting Nanny’s hat!

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Fun at the beach.

Party Prep  June 23rd

We had lots of Party Prep to do to get ready for “Fiesta de Layla”  Thank goodness for Ellery and Nicole!  We made a couple hundred sugar cookies in the shape of chili peppers, maracas, and sombreros.  We also made about 80 home made ding dongs!  Lots of work but all fun! 

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Here is Ellery covered in flour rolling out and cutting sugar cookies!

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Layla also “helped”

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She was the official taste tester! 

Layla’s 3rd Birthday  June 25th

Birthday Morning                                                          Happy 3rd birthday to our amazing, beautiful daughter!  We love you more than you can imagine.  Our lives are rich and incredible each day because you were born!

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Here is Layla on the morning of her birthday opening a few of her presents, the ones from Mommy and Daddy, Ahta, The Carroll Family, Aunt Bette and Uncle Tom,Gramma Sheri, and Ellery and The Texas Capuozzos.

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A HUMONGUS bag of gardening gear from Gramma Sheri!

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A couple of the Disney Princes!

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And of course, her annual Tiffany little blue box from Ahta!

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Thank you Aunt Bette and Uncle Tom for the adorable ladybug bathing suit.

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Here she is putting her birthday cards up on the counter.

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A silly look on her face as she poses in her new Snow White shirt from the Fowler family in Va.  Then Layla and Ahta went off to the Disney store for a Cars 2 event while the rest of us worked on Fiesta de Layla party prep!

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Layla and Daddy do some pre party jumping!

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Fiesta de Layla  June 25th

Fiesta de Layla was a huge success!  The theme was a blast for the kids and the adults!  We had Guillermo’s Taco Truck come and cater!  DELICIOUS!  A Dora Jumpy, each kid got a sombrero and a goody bag with a maraca and sugar cookies, we had a piñata and pin the tail on the burro!  Grown ups enjoyed the tacos, margaritas, and keg of Pacifico!  Some people even dressed up!  Guy wore a Mexican Wedding shirt, Layla and I had matching Mexican blouses, and Nicole and Ellery also wore Mexican blouses.  Michelle Ross and Nanny wore full on Mexican dresses!  It was awesome!

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Three years old!

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Our little family.

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Layla and Ellery.

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Layla and Mommy.

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Layla and Ahta.

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Enjoying a pre party snack because taking photos is exhausting.

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Mi amor.

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Michelle and Joe!  Michelle made the most gorgeous senorita!

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Nanny dressed the part too!

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Layla trying to rock the piñata!

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Here she is trying even harder!

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Hayden’s turn!

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The delicious home made ding dongs!  They  were amazing!

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Happy Birthday to our little ding dong.

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Singing “Happy Birthday”

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Making a wish and blowing out the # 3 candle.

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Birthday kisses from Nonna.

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Beautiful Birthday girl.

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Layla and her Auntie Val.

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Having fun in the jumpy.

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Guy may have had as much, if not more, fun than the kids in the jumpy!  A couple tequila shots never hurt!

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Nicole and Ali

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Even Nanny got in the Jumpy! It scared the crap out of me, I mean she is 81 years old but she had a ball!  And Layla was stoked that Nanny got in!

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Go Nanny go!  Just don’t break a hip!

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Lauren even got in.

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I loved all of the décor, the big paper Mexican flowers from TJ, sombreros, the mini decorative piñatas, and maracas.

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These are the goody bags.  A maraca and sugar cookies shaped like chili peppers, maracas, and sombreros.

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Gracie and Jack always hang out and wait until most of the crowd has cleared because they really want Layla to open her gift from them!  Layla was so happy to get two more of the Disney Princes, Flynn Rider and Prince Charming.

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A bunch of family also stayed including Michelle and Joe who got her Lincoln Logs!  Ellery and I were super excited to play with the Lincoln Logs.

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Even Uncle Steven got in the jumpy!

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Guy was having a great time! 

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Nicole and Michelle in the jumpy.

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“DOG PILE” Diana, Michelle, Ellery, and Layla having a a ball in the jumpy during a late night jump session!  The party went until 1am or later, I finally had to call it a night!  Pregnant lady needed her sleep!

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Thank you to everyone who came and made Fiesta de Layla a super special Birthday for her!  I know she loves and appreciates all of you being there to help her celebrate her 3rd Birthday.

More Presents & Birthday Fun  June 26th

Early the next morning Layla was back in the jumpy, in her jammies and all!

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She had to enjoy the jumpy while she had it all to herself before it got picked up.

Later that day we opened more presents and got to hang out with more of our peeps.  Uncle Marky came over and gave Layla a super fun Dr. Seuss themed game, Layla helped Daddy put together her super cool new balance bike from Auntie Val, an awesome jumping apparatus from The Thomas Family  and we packed and got ready for our upcoming 4 day trip to Disneyland!

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Uncle Marky even played the Red Fish, Blue Fish game with us.

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Opening her Balance Bike from Auntie Val.

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Jumping over and running around her cool new spinning jumpy thing with Uncle Marky!

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Our beautiful boy Lou!

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All that jumping makes a girl thirsty!

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Layla and Daddy putting together her cool new balance bike.

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Taking it for a spin around the back yard!

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We love our Ellery!  Silly!

May 2011

Sprinkler Fun!  May 1st

What is more fun that running around the front yard in the sprinklers?

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Well, I guess doing it with a popsicle in hand is more fun!

Backyard Pool Day  May 2nd

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Strawberry Picking at the U-Pick Fields with the Little Sprouts  May 4th                                            We joined our Little Sprouts play group for a morning of strawberry picking at the U-Pick Strawberry Fields.  We filled two huge buckets, got muddy feet, and had fun with our friends.

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Two large empty buckets to fill!  This should be fun.

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Searching for the ripe red strawberries.

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Enough picked to cover the bottom of the bucket!  We’ve got lots more to pick.

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Layla picking a nice red one.

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Searching the strawberry plants for the perfect pick!

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Two full buckets and sticky strawberry fingers.

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Layla loves her little friend Alex.

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Trying to find just a few more!

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Muddy feet!  Strawberry picking is a dirty job but somebody has to do it!

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We had fun picking strawberries now it is time to run home and plan dessert!

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Of course we had to have strawberry short cake that night!

Mother’s Day 2011  May 8th                                                              On Mother’s Day this year we went to the Rancho Bernardo Inn to have their amazing Mother’s Day Brunch in the Ballroom!  Guy booked a room for the Saturday night before, so he and Layla played in the pool in the afternoon and we had a nice night away.  On Mother’s Day morning Guy let me sleep in and he and Layla took a walk to the pool and explored!  When they came back; Mother’s Day presents and Layla helped make a cute yellow daisy corsage for me. Then we enjoyed a beautiful brunch with Donna, my Dad, Nicole, Nanny, Karen, Marty, Diana, Michelle and Joe!  The food was awesome.  They had everything you could have ever wanted and the desert room was out of this world!  There was even pony rides and a petting zoo for Layla to enjoy!

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Layla’s first pony ride of the day!

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The reason I get to celebrate this day!  I love being your mommy Layla

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Our 4 generations photo

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Me and the love of my life!  The other reason I get to celebrate Mother’s Day!  Thank you for making me the mother of your children Guy!  I love you.

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Donna and Diana, Cheers!

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Layla waited very patiently for her turn to hold a bunny.  The bunny is wrapped in the towel.  Layla loved holding it, it was very sweet.

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Michelle and Joe.  Thank you for planning and making the reservations for Mother’s Day Michelle!  We had a wonderful time.

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Layla snuggling and petting a baby goat.  So Sweet.

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One more pony ride to end the day.

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What a wonderful way to entertain the kids!

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All of the lovely ladies on Mother’s Day.

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Everyone on Mother’s Day!

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The Mother that I celebrate on Mother’s Day!  Thank you for being the most amazing mom, Donna!  I am so grateful for you in my life.  Thank you for always being there for me with love, support, and encouragement.

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Karen and Donna with their amazing mom on Mother’s Day!  Happy Mother’s Day to all three of you!  You are all three amazing moms.

Brooklyn’s Rapunzel Birthday Party    May 14th                                                                                                                                       We had fun when we went up to Aliso Viejo for Brooklyn’s Rapunzel Birthday Party!  Layla wanted to wear her Belle dress and had lots of fun dancing with Rapunzel and getting her face painted.

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Layla wanted to wear her Belle dress to the princess party!

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Before Rapunzel arrived we had pizza and snacks.

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Rapunzel arrived and all of the girls were so excited!

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Rapunzel lead them in games, they sang songs, and danced.

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Then Rapunzel, being such a great artist. painted their faces!

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Group photo!  Layla was over the Belle dress at this point and just wanted to be barefoot and comfortable.

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Rapunzel loved Layla.  She kept saying how smart and precocious she was and almost couldn’t express to us the fact that she was so impressed that she was so talkative and cute!

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Layla and Rapunzel posed so it looked like Layla had long hair just like hers.  It was a very fun party!  Thank you for having us!  Happy Birthday Brooklyn!

Round Table Visit  May 18th

Another trip to Round Table with Papa to visit Nonna at work.

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Walking on campus with Papa and Nonna.

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Hand on hip, spreading sauce on her pizza skin.

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Sprinkling her cheese onto her pizza.

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and adding toppings, she usually eats about as many as she puts on while she is making it.

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and into the oven!  Glad she has this down already.  As soon as she can get a work permit she is all about it! because, Harvard is spendy! Smile

Layla’s First Professional Pedicure       May 19th                                                                                                                                     Layla loves to get her toes done.  So I decided to take her with me to get a professional pedicure.  She loved it, I mean, what little girl wouldn’t right?  She chose blue and enjoyed all of the attention the girls at the shop gave her!  It was very cute.  I love having a little girl!

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Disneyland May 20th

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This was the first trip to Disneyland just the three of us!  We got a hotel and stayed up in Anaheim for the night.  Wow, you can already see the little baby bump! At this point I was only 8 weeks.

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We always get a picture in front of Sleeping Beauties Castle.

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The Churro’s at Disneyland are the best churro’s on earth!  Hot, soft, and perfectly cinnamony!  We usually always get at least one.

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Guy and Layla both enjoying their delicious Disneyland churros.

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We’re getting close… When you are in line for Dumbo, you know you are next when you get the feather!

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Dumbo is always one of our favorite rides!

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Little Miss Layla was posing up a storm in front of the Walt and Mickey Mouse statue!  A few ladies even noticed and started talking her up, she even posed in one of their pictures with them!  It was very cute!  She is quite precocious!  That little hand on her hip is just too much!

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Layla and Peter Pan!  This is the first and only time we have ever seen Peter!  We of course had to get his autograph and some photos with him!

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We love “It’s a Small World”  It is so fun to go on with Layla because she now points out all of the familiar Disney characters and sings along.  It’s priceless!  It was a great day with our little family!

Told My Parents We are Pregnant May 21st My Dad, Donna, Guy, and I went out to The Pamplemouse for an amazing dinner, celebrating someone’s belated birthday of course.  When I did not toast with a glass of champagne, we had to tell them the news of our pregnancy!  They were so happy for us!  Of course with our history we wanted them to be cautiously optimistic.

Telling Nanny We Are Pregnant  May 22nd    We knew we wanted to wait as long as we could to tell our family that we were pregnant but we could not hold off telling my Grandmother any longer.  Nanny had been waiting, praying, and knitting blankets to be blessed by priests to “help” us get pregnant.  She was so happy to hear the news!  She cried and promised to keep it a secret until her birthday when she and Layla would announce it to the entire family!

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