August 2012
10 - Run with Ali and Cosmo. Need a jogging stroller. Grilled steak
*11 - Spent the morning with Sara, Armando & Charlie at the petting zoo. Toured St Charles and found a dream neighborhood. Patio drinks with Brad. Alora is singing a lot.
*12 - Quiet day at home. Haircut for Jake.
13 - Rain run!
14 - Happy birthday, Dad! Jake's work move is officially announced.  Pancakes and peanut butter for dinner with my girl.
15 - Crazy day at home with a crabby girl.
16 - Productive day at work, then heading to Wisconsin.  
17 - Spent the afternoon with my parents at the river. Ali's first trip to the beach.
*18 - Visited the Peck's petting zoo. Dinner at the riverside and a campfire.
*19 - Playdate with Kelly and Aubrey. I was amazed by the crowd at 4 Pete's Sake. What an amazing community I grew up in.
20 - I drove back to Chicago with a singing Turkey and a sleeping Cosmo. Thanks for a great weekend everyone!
21 - Long day at work but I'm loving my new schedule. Nice dinner with the family.
22 - Got lots done today!
23 - Exhausted.
24 - Alora is really into coloring in her new notebook. We went for a run with Cosmo and to the swimming pool. We all walked to Bad Dog for dinner. I love their Ahi Tacos!
*25 - A family shopping trip to Gurnee Mills. When trying on a dress, Alora said to me, "Whoa, pretty girl!". :0)
*26 -  Diner for breakfast and a lazy day at home.
27 - Errands, a bike ride to the park, some new color pencil/crayons and taco pie for dinner.
28 - Work and leftovers.
29 - My mom came. Spaghetti for dinner.
30 - A long day of work followed by a drive to Spring Green. Thankfully my mom shared the drive and we had a singing Turkey for most of the way.
31 - A relaxing day in Spring Green. Ali played with Papa in the pool while my mom and I wandered through the shops. Dinner on the river.
September 2012
*1 - Go Bucky! A Badger football game with Jake, Nate and Katie followed by a snuggle in bed with my girl.  Spending the rest of the weekend with Jake's fam.
*2 - The day started off well but derailed with a fender bender on our way to New Glarus. Ughhh.
3 - Happy Labor Day! Spent a relaxing day with the Malek family.
4 - Happy Birthday to the best mother in law a girl could ask for! I finished piecing my first ever quilt tonight. I love it! Now on to the actual quilting.
5 - We celebrated our repaired air conditioner with yummy chicken and homemade french fries.
6 - Jake celebrated a friend's birthday. I stayed home with the kiddo after a long day of work.
7 - Alora's 2-year check up went great. Jake went to the Springstien concert at Wrigley. I had a quite evening at home. (Sounds like he's getting all the fun lately, but I've been savoring these quiet nights.)
*8 - A drive up to Madison for Emily's bachelorette party. We had a great night and I got to catch up with some old friends.
*9 - I stayed up waaay to late the night before so I took a nice long nap to get rested up for the week. Alora got to hang out with Baki and Grandpa Steve.
10 - A whirlwind cleaning day of work and cleaning. Alora ate her bbq chicken and pasta like a champ.
11 - We had a realtor stop by and an "Oh my goodness!"
12 - Ran 3 miles with Ali and Cosmo and made a pit stop at almost every jungle gym we passed.
13 - A long day of work, then on the road again...
14 - Not the best of days.
*15 - Celebrated our friend Emily's wedding. It was a beautiful day. 
*16 - Ali was on the go with Papa and Grammie. She even got a pumpkin!
17 - Lots of running around today. I'm so proud of how well Ali behaved.
18 - Just another day.
19 -
20 - When tucking Ali into bed, she pointed to the door and said, "Good bye.  Good night. Close door." Well then... Jake was on business travel so I used me free night to finish a crochet scarf and I worked on my quilt. I've officially used my first full spool of thread. Who would have ever thought.
21 - Dance party in the living room and a movie night with strawberry milk shakes.
*22 - A lovely trip the thrift store.
*23 - Baking with Alora, a run with Cosmo and our annual condo picnic.
24 - Alora ate "matoes" (tomatoes) by the handful while the rest of us enjoyed tacos. She has also been showing off her new skills - confidently walking backwards for long stretches, lots of high jumps, twirling, skipping, walking on tip toes, and the newest - standing on one foot.'
25 - 
26 - so much to do and not a lot got done!
27 - After a long day of work, we headed up to Wisconsin to my parents' house. We got there around 11. ugh.
28 - River Valley homecoming was going strong. Alora and I walked to the school fair with Papa to see the animals. She looooved it! Then we all hit the road and headed to the cabin where Maleks joined us later in the evening. The cabin had the most beautiful fall colors on the hills.
29 - Apple Festival in Gays Mills, WI!  Alora, Papa and me ran the in road race. We each placed in our age bracket! We spend the rest of the day looking for treasures at the flea market, catching up with family and enjoying a campfire. Alora was SO excited to see her cousins!
30 - We went to the local parade where Alora leaned smiling, clapping and waving = more candy. She had a blast!
October 2012
1 - We made the long journey  back to Chicago. Exhausted doesn't describe it.
2 - Alora was excited to head back to school, or may it was just the sugar rush from the leftover apple cider donuts. On the way home, our good day came to a crashing halt. Literally. We were rear-ended while waiting at a stop light. Thankfully no one was hurt (except the cars) and the sweet lady accepted full responsibility.
3 - Ali and I took trip to the police station to file our report, and followed up with 101 calls to insurance agencies. Alora has taken to sleeping with %90 of her stuffed animals in the crib with her. This is a drastic increase from the %20 of last month. She also likes to give kisses, "One more time." Melt. my. heart.
4 -
5 -
*6 - Dance party in the dinning room! Followed by a movie night with pop corn (!) and strawberry milk shakes. Alora now does chops and kicks when she says "Kung Fu Panda!", her new favorite movie.
*7 - We all met up with Sarah, Armando & Charlie for fun at the park and lunch. Ali wants to be a panda for halloween. :0)
8 - The house has been a disaster lately (complete with a fort and tunnel running through our living room). It feels good to get things put back together.
9 -
10 - A great day with Ali. She was a trooper during our non-stop morning of errands.
11 -  Alora had a fun day at school and an even better night with her dad. She was her number one man tonight. We also had a lot of laughs "throwing love" around the dinner table.
12 - Friday! Alora stayed up laaate to see her Uncle Nate and Katie. She told me, "Uncle Nate has a big nose. Katie has a little nose. Katie has a pretty nose." Lol!
*13 - Diner! Love, love, love the diner. A few errands, then  a lazy day. We found out that "boo-ba-ba" = "bibbity-bobbity-boo" from Cinderella. Alora LOVED grilled cheese and tomato soup - giggles and all. :0)
*14 - Jake and Ali built the best fort ever! (even has a place for Jake to lay on the couch and watch tv, lol!)
15 - Ali and I dropped off the car to get fixed and Ali fell in love with our "new white car." When we pulled up at home she said, "No home. No. New white car." So we decided to take it for a spin to the grocery store. When I filled her bath up extra high, she exclaimed, "Whoa! Big water!" I was also wondering how she had energy to giggle and run wind sprints for over a half hour straight. The I discovered a half eaten bowl of candy corn on a now-reachable shelf.
16 -work, work ,work and even more work for Jake.
17 - Ali and I visited our friends Sonya and baby Kaylee for  a morning play date.
18 -
19 - Movie night! We made popcorn and watched Racing Stripes. It was pretty cute. Alora LOVED it. She was even yelling "Go Stripes!!" and leaning forward in her seat.
20 - A trip to the mall to check out new phones. Alora was running around the house yelling "Go Stripes" as she ran. Jake went out with the guys while I helped Sara with some wedding stuff.
21 - A lazy day at home with a walk to the park and a hair cut for me.
22 - Lots of errands today. Ali even got to see my work for a little while. She was amazed that Cinderella was on my shelf and had to give her "one more hug" before leaving.
23 - A busy day at work and leftover for dinner. Alora got really excited when she realized that there were stripes on her tights AND her zebra. Stripes!
24 -
25 - Jake: "Ali, do you want to watch the football game with me?" Alora: "Ummmm...Cinderall?" So he watched the game and her set up on computer next to him on the couch. It was a pretty sweet sight. I worked away on my quilt and got the quilting part done, finally!
26 - We have a sick Turkey.
*27 - Alora's first trick-or-treating in Lincoln Square! She dressed as a panda and had a great time. She even got to enjoy a candy bracelet on the way home. Jake and I had a date night. We went to Fork for dinner and drinks at Bad Dog. It was a wonderful day and a great night out.
*28 - Diner! Me:"Ali, would you like apple juice or orange juice?" Alora: "How about yellow juice?"
Me: laughing. Alora: "Purple juice?"
29 -  I can feel myself getting sick so Alora and I crammed in a bunch of errands in the morning. Sure enough I felt like I was hit by a train by 3pm.
30 - Alora and I both stayed home sick today. Ugh.
31 - Happy Halloween! Alora and I are still nursing our colds but we're at least back to the land of the living.

November, 2012
1 - Busy, busy at work.
2 - Alora and I took the day off and headed to Milwaukee to see family. Ali was in LOVE with her cousin Maddy. The cats were a close second.
*3 - Hotel swimming in the morning, a big chicken lunch with the fam and back home. We ordered a ridiculous amount of pizza for dinner. Yu-umm!
*4 - Groceries in the morning and a lazy day at home. I've been working on my quilt and (after sever mess-ups) I'm almost done.
5 - We spent the day cooped up inside waiting for a UPS package that we could. not. miss. again. Of course it didn't arrive until 5 to 5. We had a nice (skype) breakfast with Baki, who introduced Alora to Baby Rayah. Alora has since named one of her babies Rayah. She also spend the day covering Cosmo in a blanket, saying "Night-night" and laughing historically. Jake had to work late so it was just a quiet dinner with just Ali and I. I introduced her to the magic of starwberry jelly on your leftover dinner rolls. Mmmm! And then we burned off some of our we've-been-stuck-inside-all-day energy with a little dance party.
6 - Election day. Obama wins again. The traffic from voters took us 2 hours to get home. Ugh.
7 - What a fun day we had. Ali ate 2 waffles and 2/3 of an orange.  I don't know where it goes. Maybe her hair? She stores her food in her head of massive hair?
8 -  Work was busy with a capital B.
9 -  Ali and walked to the hardware store. She was such a good girl so I bought her a chocolate treat. She was so excited she started talking to the guy in line behind us about her chocolate. "Wowie (Alora) have chocolaaaaaate!" and on and on...
*10 - We went to Norah's first birthday party! What a cutie! Karen and Bill went out to dinner with us. She's due on Monday!
* 11 - I practiced making some flower rosettes. I'm hooked and am planning all kinds of strategies. Jake got us McDonalds for breakfast. When Alora saw him bring in the food she ran around the house screaming "Juice!! Juice!! Juuuuuuuice!" I was hysterical. I've never seen her so excited about something like juice...
12 -  Groceries and errands are the name of our Monday game. I made one of our favorites for dinner - salmon, broccoli and pasta.
13 - womp-womp.
14 -
15 -
16 - Our fist trip the the library!
*17 - Mom and Ali day. Lots of books, a walk and a movie night.
*18 - trying to figure out html - can you hear me slamming my head into the table?
19 - work, pack, work, pack!
20 - work and a looong drive to Spring Green.
21 - Of course the day we plan to hit the road early, Alora (our alarm clock) sleeps until 9AM! We drive, drive, drive to Minnesota. Thank heavens for the new dvd player in the car and a basket full of activities.
22 - Happy Thanksgiving! We spent the day with Jake's Grandma Ade and family. His aunt Audry made the most beautiful quilt for Alora.
23 - We spent the day hanging out with Jake's family Sara & Dave who were kind enough to let us take over the house for the long weekend. Later we met up with more family, Jeremy and Amanda and all had way too much to drink too much fun.
*24 - Jake's cousin Amanda is an Amazing (with a capitol A) photography of kids, babies and families. We hit her up for a mini photo shoot while were there there. Later in the day we had Thanksgiving Round 2 with heaps of spaghetti and the Young's famous white sauce.
*25 - We said our goodbuys to the MN gang and headed to Wisconsin Dells. We stayed at the Great Wolf Lodge and water park. And it. was. awesome! I bet there were only 30 families in the entire place so we had the waterpark to ourselves. Alora had a blast. She got to go to story time before bed with Wiley the wolf.  Wiley was a hit. She's been talking about him ever since.
26 - another full day at the water park. Once Alora got used to the slides, she LOVED them. We also hit up the arcade. We will defiantly have to do this again, on this same weekend. I can't tell you how nice it was not having ANY lines! I actually had to look around to find other families in the park.
27 - We took our time getting ready and then headed home. Cosmo fell asleep with his chin resting on Alora's car seat. She would pet his head and say, "Good boy, Bobbo." We started off our holiday season with a Rudolf movie before bed.
28 - work, laundry, work, laundry, work, laundry. Alora saw Santa at the mall. She gave him a high-five (or "up-high" as she calls them this week). When we moved up to the second floor of the mall, she stood there with her face pressed against the glass railing, whispering "Hi Santa, Hi Santa." and waving. She has officially been swept up by the magic of Christmas.
29 - busy, busy
30 -
*1 - Pulled out the holiday decorations and made our house feel like Christmas! Alora even "helped".
*2 - Did a little shopping and made some Christmas crafts with Alora. She could have cared less about the bead project, but she had fun with the paper. We might have to save the beads for next year...
3 - Alora had her first pomegranate and loved it! She even had fun helping prepare it. My little helper. :0)
4 - 
5 - Ran some errands. Alora asks to go on the "big hill" when we go out. The big hill is the steep parking ramp at Dominicks, lol! We made reindeer hats today. She loves hers! She's been really loving Bobo (Cosmo) lately. He was wining because he wanted a toy down and she walked over to him, "What's wrong, Bobo? It's Ok. Good boy."
6 - crabby is the house of Malek. I think we tried to cram too much into our evening. We're starting a try a little potty training. Nothing to intense yet, just when she's interested, but somehow I was the one who got pee on my pants!
7 - Our friends Micah and Becca came over tonight. We went to Bad Dog for dinner and Alora was just smitten with Becca. It's always so nice to get together with them!
*8 - We bought our Christmas tree today! Alora thought it was pretty neat. I went out during Alora's nap for some Christmas shopping. Time to start checking things of my list!
*9 -  My parents came to visit today. Alora was SO excited. We ordered in Thai food from our favorite restaurant.
10 -  We all took a walk to Lincoln Square today and stopped in at the toy store. Tonight we decorated the tree! I love how cozy our home is with Christmas lights.
11 - Jake is traveling for work so Alora and I had our favorite "girls' night" dinner - pancakes! To accomplish a christmas-a-day activity we added green foodcoloring and sprinkles and  called them Christmas Tree Pancakes. Alora was super excited!I have an idea in the works...
12 - Alora and I have been reading our Christmas books we got from the library. She slept a lot today. That's good for helping me get more work done, but I'm wondering if she's getting sick. We spend the evening wrapping presents but she got upset when I wouldn't let her have Cosmo's toy. The whole "season of giving" doesn't quite make sense to 2 year old. Can't wait for Jake to get home tomorrow!
13 - Alora's last day at her "school". They're moving buildings next week. I'm crossing my fingers for a  smooth transition. Jake's home!
14 -a very sad day. My heart is breaking for the families hurt by today's tragedy. Lot's of snuggles for everyone tonight.
*15 - Alora saw Santa today! She marched right up to him and sat on his lap. But she was so in awe she could hardly speak. She's been telling everyone that she met Santa.
*16 - feeling under the weather today. Staying snuggled up at home. Jake even took care of dinner for us.
17 - Today was one of those days were I feel like I've accomplished nothing...
18 - a fun holiday lunch with co-workers at Hugos. We shared the biggest slice of carrot cake I've ever seen! Seriously, it could have been someone's wedding cake. Ali's first day at their new school. It went over great!
19 - A quick trip the library.
20 -
21 - Work, speed shopping, a train ride (for Ali) and packing.
22 - We crammed into the car with 4 months worth of clothes and toys and headed north. Luke, Katie, Haddie and Libbie met at my parents' house along with Jim and Allison (my aunt and uncle). We hit the sledding hill and the girls had a blast running around. It is SO much fun to see them together. Katie and Luke went out with us while my parents watched the kiddos. We hit up a new(er) local resturant called Freddie Valentine's. I'm a fan.
23 - Church in the morning. My mom played bells ("That's my Grammie!"). Jake and I met up with the "old gang" and hit the town. It was a SO nice catching up with everyone. Even though our lives are all over the place, it feels like no time has passed when we get together. Thanks for a great night everyone!
24 - Christmas Eve!!! We had a relaxing day with my parents, church in the evening and presents(!!) later that night. Alora has a few favorites ready. She loves her new Calico Critters house and bunnies.
25 - Merry Christmas! Santa came to visit and made Alora one happy girl. He brought the much-requested choo-choo train AND Buzz, Woody and the gang. Big. Hit.
26 -
27 - Play date with Kelly, Dave and Aubrey! So nice to see them! Kelly is due with their second any day.
28 - Swimming in the morning and then we packed up and headed to see Jake's family. We opened more fun presents and Alora shadowed Katie most of the evening. Ali's new sleeping bag and tent was a big hit!
29 - Yay! Jake and I went to Sara and Howie's beautiful wedding in Lake Geneva. Every detail was lovely and we had such a great time hanging out with friends for the night. We danced the night away.
30 - Back to Oregon where Alora has held Katie hostage in her new fort most of the day. :0) We went up to Nate's club house to watch the Packer/Vikings game.
31 - New Year's Eve! We had a mellow night with the Malek's, played cards, ate a ridiculous amount of lasagna and toasted in the new year.
January 2013
1 - So. Much. To. Pack. Jake and I spend the morning packing the car with all our holiday loot.  Sad to leave our families but it's so nice to get home.
2 - Getting back into the swing of work... ugh. And SO much unpacking to do...later.
3 - Busybusybusy still trying to make a dent into my work from the past week. So so tired tonight.
4 - Why is unpacking so unpleasant?

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