First Haircut!

Most kids get their first haircut at a much younger age. Kate, however, at nearly four has just received her first!  I’ve never been great at styling her hair and the thinness and messy curliness of it has always presented a challenge for me.  I hesitated to cut it because I thought I needed the length in order to properly style it.  Well, it was getting gross.  The old baby hair just had to go.  I had to get my hair done so I asked my long-time stylist, Laurie (also the sister of my dear friend Denise), if she would be able to fit in Kate as well.  She had time and here are the results! Kate did protest a little bit.  She hates getting her head wet and the blow drier so I am surprised she didn’t freak out more.  When I was putting her in the chair for the cut she went stiff as a board so she couldn’t sit and kept sliding down.  Glad I had an extra dose of patience that morning.  I am so glad that I finally did this and I should have done it a lot earlier.  Of course now that I have washed her hair I will never be able to do it like Laurie again.  Oh well.

 

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Before (scary)

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After

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Kate’s First Big Dance Recital

Hopes of becoming a professional dancer aren’t high on our list for her, but Kate still had fun at her first dance recital.  She really enjoys dance class three days a weeks with her friends Layla, Aerowyn, Kendyl and Anika.  The dance gene is definitely not in our DNA pool so we know an invitation to try out for the company team won’t happen but for now Kate can enjoy expending some energy and getting more flexible!  She had three different dances with three costumes at this recital – “Good Ship Lollipop” (song and dance), “Peppermint Twist (tap) and “Splish Splash” (pre jazz).  Nana Wende, Papa Tony, Gramps, Uncle Anthony, Aunt Cherise and Uncle Kyle and Aunt Stephani all came out to watch!

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Good Ship Lollipop - Kate, Layla, Aerowyn, Anika, Kendyl

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Clare, Kate, Aunt Cherise

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Clare, Kate, Nana Wende

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Kate and Gramps

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Kate, Uncle Kyle and Aunt Stephani (with cousin Gavin in her belly)

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Our family

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Kate and mama

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Good Ship Lollipop

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Good Ship Lollipop

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Splish Splash

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Splish Splash

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Splish Splash - Kate, Layla, Aerowyn

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Peppermint Twist

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Peppermint Twist

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Peppermint Twist - Layla, Anika, Kate (the giant), Kendyl, Aerowyn

Does size matter?

A whole lot to update everyone on but we have been very busy so this is a short one!  Clare is now one year old! I was looking at pictures of Kate at her first birthday party and the size difference between the two of them astounds me.  So, I looked up Kate’s stats.  Here you go:

Kate at 12-months

21.9 lbs

30.25″

 

Clare at 12-months

19.13 lbs (25%)

27.5″ (10%)

 

Yowza!

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Clare Catch-up

Clare turned 10-months old yesterday!  She is actively walking around the couches and coffee table but hasn’t taken that first solo step yet.  Kate was 10.5 months when she walked so we will see!  Clare is so tiny that it will be pretty cute seeing her toddle around.  She is also cutting her first tooth on the bottom front.  It is taking forever to come in and is causing her a lot of discomfort.  She has a runny nose, which made her get a nasty cough, and I had to give her some baby Advil the other night so she could finally sleep after hours of crying.  Here are some pictures to catch you up.

Clare 10-months

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Clare 8-months

She’s standing!

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Clare’s 9-month and Kate’s 3-year check up

I am so behind but we are busy, busy busy!!  And, obviously having a lot of fun!

Clare 9-months

Weight: 17.5 lbs – 20%

Height: 26.5″ – 10-15%

She is still a champion crawling, eats as if a bottomless pit and learned to wave and say “bye-bye”.  We were in Kingman, AZ on 3/22 on our way back from visiting Brett’s Aunt Marian, Uncle Richard and Mama Ellie (grandma) in Albuquerque, NM along with Brett’s parents.  So, here are some pictures of her on the hotel couch in her PJs.

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Kate’s 3-year stats:

Weight: 32lbs – 45%

Height” 39″ – 80%

Doctor estimated that she would be between 5’6 and 5’7 full grown.  I’m hoping for taller.  Clare, on the other had, is estimated at 5’1 to 5’2!!  Maybe she will have a growth spurt someday.

Kate’s Birthday

Disneyland holds a special place in this family’s heart so naturally we love to celebrate special occasions at the happiest place on earth.  Brett was able to take a half day and meet us to enjoy the beautiful day.  We stayed late in to the evening to take in the new “World of Color”.  We had seen it a few months ago and did not have wonderful seats and overall I was very disappointed.  However, this time, we took advantage of the special dining package.  Basically you eat at a specified restaurant and a fixed meal and get priority seat tickets.  The new perspective made all the difference.  I thought the show was beautiful.

Overall, I think Kate had a blast.  Her current fav ride is the Matterhorn.

First off, let’s take a look at Kate in her chair at one year and now, at three years.

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And of course we need one with baby sister as well.

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Next, let’s look at Kate last year with Minnie Mouse on her birthday and this year with Minnie.

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Minnie doesn’t seem to have aged at all.

Kate’s gift from Nana Wende and Papa Tony was her very own annual pass to Disneyland!  I was content to let her still slide in under the radar but Brett and my mom would not have that.  So, as a right of passage for a proper orange county girl, at three, Kate now has a Premium Annual Pass.  Hopefully my parents will continue to purchase this. {smile}

Getting her picture taken.

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Yay!  An almost $500 flimsy piece of plastic.  But, oh the memories it will be responsible for!

Love this picture with Clare’s hand on Kate.

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Having fun with Papa Tony.

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Two peas in a pod.

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Birthday candle #1.

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And #2.

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So glad my parent’s have annual passes too!

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Happy Birthday to my sweet little girl.  I can hardly believe that three years have gone by.  You astound me every day with how observant, humorous and unique you are. I can’t wait to see the person you will become.

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She’s Petite?

At Clare’s 6-month check-up I was shocked to find out that she was only in the 30% for weight and 40% for height.  She weighed 15.4 lbs and was 25 1/4″ long.  I commented to the doctor that this seemed small since Kate’s measurements were so much larger.  He replied back that she is “petite”.  This was so surprising to me because she has such chunky legs.  She can’t even keep socks on because they don’t go over her cankles.  If she truly is petite this must come from Brett’s side.  There is also a high possibility she will be petite plus.

At 6-months Kate was 17lbs and 26 3/4″.  That was the 75% for weight and 80% for height so you can see my concern over the difference.  My fear is that Clare is smaller because she is breastfed and not getting all the nutrients that she needs from me.  Kate on the other hand was formula fed.

Clare is very mobile but not crawling.  She basically army crawls to any where she wants to go.  She gets in the crawl position but just can’t get forward momentum.  Always a happy baby, she is so much fun to play with and just adores her big sister.

Here are her 6-month pictures in the pink chair!

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I recently started a new job.

It actually is a major career change. I had been freelancing in the industry for almost three years and finally decided to go all in.  The new position holds the most responsibility and accountability then I have ever had to experience before.  I am directly responsible for all financials, full P&L accountability, I will oversee operations and logistics and most importantly complete management and development of the product line.  Currently, two in-house products require complete dedication and direction from the ground up.  There is also the possibility to add additional products to the line-up.  Luckily, as with the first two, I will be able to provide creative input into any additions.  I’m sure there will be endless HR issues I will have to deal with as well.

The hours are long and grueling.  I will hardly be able to take any time off.  Gratefully, the vice president has assured me that he will step-in when needed so I can be allowed some R&R.  However, I will be expected to be on-call at all times.  There is a clear understanding that my ability to properly execute my job depends on the support from the team.  The team is comprised of a diverse group of individuals, young and old, some I have known all my life and others more recently.  They all have unique attributes and experience that allow them to provide priceless consulting input into the development of the product line.  I will also allow them full hands-on application in the management of the products. I feel it is important that everyone in the team feel that they are an important contributor to the company’s goals and objectives.

The product management responsibility could make me or break me.  Not only am I responsible for the development of the product life cycle I must also ensure the products sustain viability and practicality once released in the ever changing market.  As we all know, the current market climate can be very volatile.  It is my duty to provide the necessary features and benefits to the products so they are well rounded and able to adjust to varying public trends.  Ultimately, the goal would be to launch products that over time become extremely profitable and are able to find growth on their own with little additional management on my part.  Likewise, it is a core belief of the company that the products be wholesome and appealing and provide joy to those that interact with them.  Negative connotations, lack of moral grounding or the possibility for bad press will not be tolerated.

While I will assume more responsibility than my previous positions, I will actually be providing my services on a complimentary basis.  This was a huge hurdle for me and a big sacrifice (the new job is all about sacrifices).  I was very hesitant and frightened to give up my income and my cushy lifestyle.  Let me tell you, it was very scary walking away from a job I loved that provided great personal satisfaction and a solid income, especially in this questionable economy.  I had to do a lot of soul-searching to determine if this was the right choice.  I decided that I had my time for me in corporate America and now it was time to push myself to the limits and see what I am capable of in a non-traditional role.  I have great faith in the company and am confident that the personal rewards I will receive will far outweigh the monetary results from previous employment.  Those that came before me in this position have nothing but positive feedback regarding the fulfillment and enlightenment gained, although they do not dismiss the trials ahead.  It is clear that this position, while challenging, is singular in its ability to provide sheer joy, amazement and a full heart.

I am tremendously nervous about this new undertaking and the amount of responsibility it entails.  No one wants his or her products to fail.  I definitely do not want to make a bad reputation for this company or embarrass the shareholders in anyway.  Nevertheless, I am also eager for the challenge and excited to see how my input will affect the company and its products and leave a lasting impression.  The VP and the solid team I have in place will help me through this transition and doubtless provide a ton of support to the overall goals I have outlined.  It is time for me to gather my confidence and march bravely and passionately in to my new position of CMO – Chief Mom Officer for the Dunst OC Household.  Wish me luck!

Clare: 5-months

Sweet baby chunk is now 5-months old.  She is full of smiles and giggles.  She is constantly communicating with us via squeals, screams, grunts and coos.  Clare loves her big sister the most.  Really, she has to be the cutest baby ever.

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Our little family had a beautiful day on Nov 22 when we went to Mission San Juan Capistrano to take our annual photos with Tonya Joy.  The place is magical.  I was lost in the beauty and the history.  The little town around the mission is adorable and I can’t wait to go back there again soon.  To see Tonya’s sneak peak of our shots go here.  Below are a couple I took in the harsh light but I had to get the gorgeous fountain.

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Bugs and growing babies

I never realized how busy Halloween can be when you have littles!  On Saturday the 30th, we had our playgroup family Halloween party and later that evening, Brett and I were able to have some adult-fun at the annual DreamHost Halloween party.  Trick-or-Treating topped off the weekend.  But, before we get to that, guess who is 4-months old! (I realize this is a tad late since Clare will be 5-months next week, but what are you going to do?)

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Stats:

Weight – 13.11 lbs, 50%

Height – 24 3/4″, 70%

Head circumference – 42″

At 4-months, Kate was 14.14 lbs and 24 3/4″!  You can see my 4-month post on her here.  Wow, they really do look a lot alike. I am wondering if Kate weighed more because she was formula-fed and Clare is breastfed.  Clare is also enjoying the same exersaucer and is an avid communicator.  She only needs to make eye contact with you to smile and she constantly is making little squeals and grunts.  A total cuddle-bug and another thumb-sucker.

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I had a couple of bugs around here for Halloween.

A ladybug…IMG 5596 e1289889744655 333x500  Bugs and growing babies

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…and a butterfly to be exact.

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Clare’s costume wasn’t very functional so at our playgroup party she wore a fun onsie that said Pumpkin Princess with an adorable custom tutu and headband that my friend, Lynn, made for her.

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Brett and I had an amazing time at the DreamHost Halloween party.  Last year, we went with a group of friends as renaissance people and won the group prize.  This year, we all went as geishas and samurais and won the group award again!  Our friend Jason spent months hand making an awesome samurai warrior costume so we decided to have that be the theme for the group.  Unfortunately I didn’t get a pic of him alone but you can see him peeking out behind the group of Asian lovelies.

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Brett was the “sensei master” and my costume was called “jade princess” but I’m not sure what that means.  All I know is that all the girls succeeded in looking like Asian hookers!

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The party was at the most amazing venue called the Edison.  I hope they have it there again.  I pretty much wanted to move in to the place.  It gave me the idea for our group to dress in steampunk for next year.

I am lucky that my brother Anthony and his fiancee Cherise (yep my baby bro is engaged!!!!) also go with us to this party.  It is always fun having them around!

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We had some of Kate’s friends over on Halloween, along with their parentals, to do trick or treating around our neighborhood. I was happy to discover that we have a great treat giving street!  We only made it down our street and half of the one below us before the kids pooped out.  I want to make it a tradition to have the kids and parents over every Halloween for trick or treating and hot apple cider and sweets after.  It reminds me of the amazing Halloween memories I have growing up on LeRoy.