Week Seventeen with Vianne

Posted by Amy Evelyn Oden , Wednesday, August 29, 2012 9:16 PM

Week Seventeen, the first full week in the new house...
Vianne, lifting her head up so high!

Hangin' out in the turtle onesie made for her at my first baby shower
A fun diversion from the mounting heat, Vianne & I escaped to Anaheim to rendez-vous with Rebekah & family who were vacationing at Disneyland with the Hsieh extended family.  We enjoyed PF Chang's happy hour and everyone was still nice to Vianne even though she screamed through the whole thing.

 What's this?  A smile?  Must've enjoyed Ian's smooches.
Another fun diversion was meeting up with Andrea at Cheesecake Factory! 
This was a big developmental week - Vianne started using her hands to play with things!  Up to this point she would mostly aim to kick things with her feet on the playmat, and if her hands hit any toys, it was purely random and/or accidental.  But all of a sudden, she realized her hands were functional and started reaching for, spinning, and grabbing the animals. 

Love the crossed hands!
Watching the Olympics :-) (yes, we're horrible parents, she's looking at the TV)

Wheel of Fortune Wheelmobile Adventure

Posted by Amy Evelyn Oden , Sunday, August 26, 2012 10:29 AM

Patrick, Vianne & I had a fun adventure yesterday!  Being a big Wheel of Fortune fan and a Wheel Watchers Club member, I had gotten an email several days ago saying that the Wheelmobile was coming to Mathis Brothers Furniture in Ontario, CA, to find contestants for the show. 

Since I moved to California 3 1/2 years ago, I had been applying online to be a constestant with no luck.  I had gotten other notices about the Wheelmobile during that time, but it was always a long drive or inconvenient times.  This was on a Saturday afternoon, only 20 min. away, so seemed like the perfect occasion to try it.

The day (well, week) before, however, had been wrought with misadventures:  I woke to ants in our bed (one crawling on my face :/), we had to empty the bedroom & bathroom (which we had finally begun to make progress on unpacking) to set off some bug bombs, I had to drive an hour to get a birth certificate for Vianne, which actually went really smoothly until I came out to find a $63 parking ticket on my car even though I had paid for an hour & had 13 min. left on the meter.  I went immediately to the ticket office to contest & started crying at the ticket window.  Not pretty.  

I was in a foul mood and woke Saturday still struggling with my attitude, going back and forth about the Wheelmobile event.  The chances of getting picked were so slim, it seemed like a big hassle for nothing, and I was certain my "bad luck" would continue.  But at the last minute, I decided to trade in foul for fun and go anyway.

We got into the first game round with a few hundred others.  Everyone has to fill out a small application form and put in a big box. (I used my mom's trick of folding the application in an asymmetrical way in hopes that it sticks out among the flat sheets.  My mom often wins drawings, you see.  I never do, though.)  Names were then drawn for a series of truncated rounds of the Wheel of Fortune game, which was to last about an hour.  

The whole thing was being taped, to be reviewed by the show's producers, for them to pick out appealing candidates, but with no guarantee that anyone would actually become a contestant.  It seemed pretty obvious that the most important part was a brief interview by the host with each contestant before each round where you were supposed to sell yourself as a candidate, with outstanding enthusiasm for the game and preferably interesting and unique details about yourself.

We watched the whole "show" and with five minutes left 'til the end of the hour, we were pretty sure neither of us were getting picked and we were going home empty-handed.  They went for one last draw of five names, and we were absolutely stunned to hear them call out "Amy Oden".  I floated up to the front & was in utter bliss as I waited for my turn, practicing my interview answers over in my head.

I think the interview went well - I tried to be as charming as possible ;-).  I played up my French speaking, which no one else had mentioned, and as I guessed, was asked to speak a little.  The actual game play was very quick; I didn't solve the puzzle, but I picked two good letters & did my best to be articulate and enthusiastic.

There are slim chances that a Wheelmobile contestant will make it on to the show, but even still, the whole experience was such a blast!!  After 30 years of watching the show, playing the board game with my siblings and most recently the computer game with Patrick, it was such a rush to be that close to the real thing.  That day, my spirit was really needing a lift, and this proved to be the perfect turn of events, so I'm thrilled to just have gotten to play!

I came home with a few prizes, too - a Wheel of Fortune duffel bag, hat, magnet, minipack, T-shirt, and keychain - and a huge smile!!

The Red Monkey Makes The Music

Posted by Amy Evelyn Oden , Thursday, August 23, 2012 12:08 PM

Yesterday was another milestone in the Oden household. After over two months of owning & enjoying the wonders of her playmat, Vianne - much to her delight, as you'll see - discovered that the red monkey hanging from the center, when pulled or hit, makes the music & lights come on.

Trying simply to get some videographical evidence of her newfound hand-toy skills, I just happened to be recording. It was 95 or so in the house at the time so a) V is half-naked, and b) we're battling fan noise in the background.

This first video is long, but the big discovery comes at about 00:49, then the second round at about 2:00, with the closest thing she's come to a laugh so far.  This is of course a bit of silliness, but we're still fascinated at the process of discovery ;-).

Ten minutes later and she's still at it... :-)

Week Sixteen with Vianne

Posted by Amy Evelyn Oden , Tuesday, August 21, 2012 6:35 PM

This was moving in to new house/cleaning former house week...so only a few snapshots!  But still cute :-).

Napping with Grandpa, who's equally tired from helping us clean
 Waking up for the first time at the new house
 Trying out the playmat at the new house
Super cutie!  Trying out her new summer dress from our friend Kendra

Week Fifteen with Vianne

Posted by Amy Evelyn Oden , 1:19 PM

So, it turns out that a week by week retelling of a baby's life via blog is just too much for a Mama to keep up.  Or at least when that Mama & her husband are packing up the house, moving to another one, trying to unpack, and enduring California's hottest running two weeks in decades.  Which describes our last month of life.  It is finally starting to cool off a bit today and for the first time in days, we are looking hopefully at the prospect of staying home in the afternoons as opposed to fleeing the house (which has only air conditioning in the bedroom) and dragging Vianne from Starbucks to McDonald's to libraries to stores all over the area.

She's been such a trooper this last month, and often has a much better attitude in all this than her mother.  I thank God daily for such a sweet, good natured, resilient baby.

The house is still only about 75% unpacked, only about 25% organized. Fewer photos are being taken these days - and for a week or so most of them were being held hostage on a dead laptop (RIP my fun purple computer :-( ) until Patrick had time to be my hero and retrieve everything on my hard drive.

So, I'm considering the posts about our Oregon trip Weeks 12-14 and starting back up, in an attempt to catch up despite all the aforementioned drama.  Without further ado, I give you Week 15.

Having recently begun to wear her 3 month clothes, Week 15 was something of a fashion show, trying on a bunch of new cute outfits.
Little Monkey :-)

 Adorable outfit from cousin Sarah - I tried really hard, but couldn't get a smile!
Super cute! Cherry onesie & polka dot pants from Bonny Classen
Also the week where she started sucking on her hands almost constantly (as opposed to just when hungry - which made it hard to know when she was hungry!)

 Another onesie in the set from Bonny

 This hilarious shot is one of my very favorites of her yet.  This was moving day, when V & I were hanging out in the bedroom while Grandpa, Daddy & Uncle Jon moved all the stuff into a big truck.  Is she praying over their efforts...or plotting to take over the world?

Amy & Vianne in Oregon (June/July 2012): Part 4

Posted by Amy Evelyn Oden , Thursday, August 9, 2012 4:15 PM

The 5th of July we had a very fun day with cousin Molly & Great Aunt Carol & Grandma G., exploring the wonders of the Oregon Coast.  This was Vianne's first time to a beach!

We had to stop at the Tillamook Cheese Factory, of course!  Vianne decided to sleep through it.  Maybe next time she will be more entranced with its magic.
 Vianne with the Squeaky Cheese
  Can't leave without having had some root beer float ice cream!
 Baby Loaf :-)

So, like a true Oregonian, I wasn't expecting it to actually be nice at the beach.  I was envisioning a more gray/rainy day, perusing shops and such.  So I didn't really prepare for actually taking Vianne onto the beach. Which turned out a bit tragic when it proved to be one of those rare, perfectly sunny days at the Oregon Coast.  Sunny, cloudless days and babies don't mix, so I fear that V's first beach trip was not at all pleasant, and mostly spent crying as I tried to shield her with the nursing cover, pictured below...
 Nonetheless, dear cousin Molly (also helpful with crying babies in cars) helped us leave her mark on the beach.

 Vianne did a lot of this as we traveled about.
After some shopping in Cannon Beach, we headed home & stopped at Camp 18 for dinner - never a bad idea!

The photos seem to be getting a bit more scarce, so there's hope that I will get this trip blogged after all.  The next day, Friday, we spent with the Blairs.  Had to get a shot of Vianne on Margot's ladybug quilt, in her cute new outfit from Aunt Jenny that also has a ladybug.
The second of two photos from Friday - a trip to the park.  Somewhere the Blair ladies are playing in the background.  Someday Vianne will join them...
Saturday morning, lounging & looking pretty at Grandma G.'s

Vianne got her first McMenamin's experience, where we joined the Hsiehs for lunch.  That night, we had a Hsieh-Lincoln-Terwilliger-Oden extravaganza at the Terwilligers house.
 With Kirstin
 Sunday morning, we visited Hope Fellowship.  Vianne wore her festive French dress from Aunt Vera & Uncle Geoff.  Here she is with Debby...
And after church with the Blair ladies...
On this day, Vianne was three months old!  Emily took some great shots in another post, but here's a few I snagged with my camera for the occasion.

On Sunday night, cousin Shannon kindly hosted a Gustafson clan gathering, so even more family could get acquainted with Vianne.  Here she is with Grandma, Shannon, her daughter Cate, and cousin Annie.
 With cousin Annie
 With cousin Shannon
 With Great Aunt Carol
 With Great Uncle Steve and Uncle Chris
 With Great Aunt Gayle
 With Uncle Thom
 Another with cousin Rachael - sooooo sweet!
 On Monday morning, Vianne & our friend Lynn got to meet!
 Family dinner with the Storeys that night, saying goodbye to Chris & Matt

 My lifelong friend Kendra came to visit on Tuesday, along with her adorable twin girls Emily & Grace.

  With Aunt Emily, who often held Vianne but was not often photographed doing so :)
That last night we had a family dinner together, but apparently this photographer was worn out.  The next morning Grandma/Mom took us to the airport, and mid-afternoon we were back with Daddy/Patrick after two great weeks!

That night, sleepy baby & Daddy, reunited!