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Friday, April 28, 2006

Talkin' Turkey !


This morning Elaina woke up an hour earlier than usual, so rather than staying up with her, of course, I opted for some cuddle time in my bed with her. This morning, however, she wasn't particularly cuddly. She was snotty. She was stuffy. She was restless. Was she getting another cold already ?

We peeled ourselves out from bed and as I put her in her crib to take a shower, she sneezed and the green evidence that shot from her nose was enough to confirm that she was, in fact, getting another cold. Crap. Fast forward.... Because Eric was in the woods turkey hunting, I wasn't able to reach him and was thinking I would have to leave Elaina with the sitter just for a few hours until Eric got home. The one and only day that I actually had to be at work for a meeting in the morning ! Amazingly, he walked in the door just as I was getting ready to feed our girl. He had gotten a turkey ! A big one ! His day of hunting was over and he was able to stay home with Sickly for the morning and I would be with her in the afternoon. I have to say that I love having a job that I can be off whenever necessary - and the world will go on without me being at my desk !

It turns out that Elaina is getting yet another new tooth and it always makes it's presence known with cold symptoms. Poor girl. I know it could be worse though. Elaina's morning was spent with her dad as they went to "tag in" dad's 22 pound bird - that's bigger than Elaina ! I had second shift with her as Eric had to be at work in the afternoon, so we played and watched cartoons. Not nearly as exciting as taggin' a turkey ! How could I compete with that ?

Monday, April 24, 2006

Shoe Love

It seems as though Elaina is following in my footsteps. Literally. We both have a love of shoes !

Tonight I dug through her basket ‘o shoes to weed out the ones that she has outgrown. Hmm... let’s see, Elaina is 9 months old and has 10 pairs of shoes ! What a lucky girl ! As I pulled 4 pair out that no longer fit, she kidnaped them. She put her hands in them and "drove" herself around on the floor. Once she got across the room, she left those shoes there, hidden under her night stand, only to come back for more ! Okay, I get the hint - she wants to keep them.

At this point of the story, I can only bet that my mom is sitting in her chair laughing her head off, remembering my story and my "bluey shoes." Same scenario, my mom was throwing out my shoes which no longer fit me. This included my favorite pair of blue loafers with a mallard duck where a penny insert would be. I wore them with everything, all of the time - they were my favorite ! I wore them so much that a hole in the sole was growing so thin that my feet were getting wet when I walked near rain puddles. Apparently, my mom thought it was time for these to go. OH NO ! I thought otherwise. I remember putting them on my feet (of course to make it harder for her to confiscate them) and fighting her off. They were my "bluey shoes" and I was going to keep them.

My mom did eventually win this battle and we went shoe shopping to restore peace in the home. Did I happen to mention that I wasn’t quite Elaina’s age ? Oh yeah, I was more like 8 or 10. What can I say, I love my shoes ! I am so proud of my little girl ! And she’s only just begun !

As if she couldn't be any more funny... I tried to distract her from the whole shoe issue with some books while I finished what I had to do. Shortly after, she came back to inspect my work. She stood up and proceeded to pull every shoe from her basket, tasting each one before throwing it on the floor. You have to wonder what goes through this little girl's mind. It's as if she was showing her appreciation and love of her remaining shoes with a gentle lick. Those are keepers for sure !
Next time I sort shoes, I'll be more careful to have her out of the room while I do the dirty deed. I wouldn't want my daughter to suffer the same shoe - trauma as my mother put me through.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Backyard Wilderness


Have you ever had that kind of weekend where all of your plans fall to pieces ? Welcome to our life. Eric had plans to work a gun show in Syracuse and I had planned on spending the weekend visiting my family out of town. Nope - neither happened ! Eric's show wasn't offering much inventory to sell and therefore, he declined to go when it wouldn't really be worth his while. (Oh yeah, did I mention that he didn't have any business even leaving the house because he had a horrible cold ?) Thank goodness he was feeling more like himself by Saturday. As for my plans, my mom told me to not worry about coming unless I didn't mind taking a cold shower while I was there - they had a gas leak in and outside of their house which in turn, affected the hot water heater. What a mess ! So, we both stayed home. No plans. Just the 3 of us and some free time. Yeah !!

Saturday, Eric began yet another phase of our landscaping project. With 15 new shrubs and bushes, our backyard finally has some appeal. We're anxious to see how lush and full the plants get by the summertime. It looks as though it will be a growing contest between the new shrubs and our little bug.

You might be able to tell from the photo that hunting season is, again, upon us. Eric suited up in his camoflage along with Elaina before heading out to scout the woods. I had to peel Elaina from his arms to keep her home. He is determined to share his hobbies with her which include fishing, canoeing, camping, backpacking and of course, hunting. He says, "maybe when she turns 5 or so." Mom says maybe " no ! "

We did have yet another weekend of nice weather and with gas prices hovering near $3 a gallon, we took full advantage just staying home. Elaina and I took a walk to the park where we ran into some friends of ours. Angie and her soon-to-be 15 month old daughter, Abby arrived just minutes after we had begun to play. We pushed the girls on the swingset and had some good mommy talk. The girls swung for nearly an hour doing some talking of their own. Jibber-jabber back and forth followed by interested smiles and coos. What a lucky coincidence that they ended up at the park at the same as us.

By the end of the day, Elaina was so worn out yet her motor was still running. It took some long hugs and rocking to help her to unwind, but shortly, she was just a puddle of baby - out like a light ! The cuddling and hugs are always the best way to end a mom's day too !

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Message From Elaina ...

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It turns out that this blog is a mother / daughter project, Elaina pitched in with tonight's entry.
This translates into : "Daddy hurry up and get my bottle so I don't have to do mom's work anymore."

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Are you kidding me ?


This has been one crazy week ! Honestly, I don't know where the time went. Eric and I have both been keeping busy right along with our busy girl. As I picked Elaina up at the babysitter's house this evening, I had the most interesting talk with Nancy (Elaina's sitter) about our angelic little sweetheart. Don't get me wrong, Nancy and her whole family love Elaina, but boy, did she have some stories to share. It was a great opportunity as we both had time to spare and Elaina is ever- changing. So here's some of the scoop I got on my girl.
Elaina will hold onto the sides of the pack'n'play to walk around the perimeter at Nancy's but will scream her little head off with any attempt to be placed inside for longer than a minute. Are you kidding me ? At home, she'll sit in hers to play and take naps. Elaina gets very jealous of the other infant girl, Delaney, that Nancy watches too. She cries and wants to be held at exactly the time that Delaney gets her bottle. In fact, Elaina was investigating one of the baby's bottles and crawled over and popped the baby on the head with it ! Are you kidding me ? (Nancy assured me that it was just an accident.) And finally, Elaina, who generally loves just about about everyone, gets very strange when Nancy's grown son, Andrew, holds her. She cries and makes a severe pout face. Nancy told me that it hurts Andrew's feelings because he likes Elaina so well. Andrew is awefully cute too - Elaina, what's going on ? Is my child the day care bully ? Are you kidding me ?

Monday, April 17, 2006

Getting Down With Dad

Tonight I blew off all responsibility and time I wanted to be with my daughter to get my hair done. I have been neglecting my coiffe for some time and then my stylist changed locations making it further for me to drive to see her. It's been long overdue and tonight was the night. The one and only intermission was to stop by JCPenney and pick up Elaina's long awaited pictures. Going in, I knew they would be offering me some bonus sheets of varying sizes and poses and had previously proclaimed to Eric that I would be strong and that we had already ordered plenty. They broke me down !!! Oh... the pictures were too cute ! They had done an 8x10 in an antiqued black and white (sepia) and they offered different sizes per sheet that aren't available when you place your order. Call me a sucker, but how could I just leave pictures of our little beauty at the store ? That will be $15.98. Thank You !

So, back to the new do. Aside from anything baby related, the feeling of having someone else tossle and do my hair is top notch. Apparently, my mom went overboard stroking my hair when I was younger and I have grown to love that feeling. It was nice to be on the receiving end of some pampering and I was like butter. After 2 hours of showing off baby pictures and a cut and highlights, I was on my way home to play with my own little girl's hair.

While I was away, Elaina and her dad had shared an evening of quality playtime together. Here are some examples of the things that Eric has been teaching Elaina... she can crawl to the 6th step on the stairs before she begins to get scared not knowing what to do next, she will crawl up Eric's legs as he is in a standing position and he will allow her to flip back down onto the floor, he has taught her how to fake-cough as she thinks that this is entirely funny and she has probably tasted her fair share of dust, dirt and dog hair as he allows her to crawl to the far stretches of the house that don't receive a good amount of attention when it comes to cleaning.

Tonight, at home, I discovered them upstairs playing in Elaina's room, interrupting Elaina reading a book to her dad. Eric reported that they had much fun together and mommy can go do mommy- things whenever she wants. Well, it seems as though the things that makes this mommy happiest is just what awaits her at home each night !

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Happy Easter !


What a beautiful day from beginning to end today ! The sun was shining, the air was warm and both sets of grandparents joined us in celebrating Elaina's first Easter.

Funny how a 19 pound girl can be so full of charm ! It's true, when Elaina smiles, her whole face just sparkles and it's every bit contagious. She charmed the socks off of her grandparents with her flirty smiles and plenty of giggles and wiggles. It was the perfect day to wear her pink, velvet Easter dress with a bunny on the front. She was simply adorable from top to bottom.

We all enjoyed a great meal together on the china place settings given to me by my grandmother. Having my grandparents here would have been the only thing to have made this day any better. After dinner was the perfect opportunity to snap some great pictures of Elaina and her grandparents and Elaina with her 3 Easter baskets. She got really involved in checking out the goodies stashed in her baskets. She couldn't let go of the new packaged binkies and some new hair ties that made a fun clinking noise. G&G W. bought her a lavender polka dot bikini and a very sweet summer outfit with a matching bucket hat ! Too cute ! G&GH. bought Elaina a Longaberger Easter baskets to stash her treasures for years to come. ( Grandma also brought a bag of clothes she bought on ebay - her latest winter hobby ! ) Her practical parents - I mean the Easter bunny - filled her baskets with new teethers, binkies, shoes, barretts and some other little goodies. Even her babysitter got in on the spoiling, as she brought over a basket with a new summer outfit and some biter biscuits and Zwieback toast - yum !

We rounded out a great visit together by taking a walk to the cemetary to place some flowers with Elaina's sisters, Ella and Ava. It's heartbreaking each time but having the support of our families, provides extra strength and meaning. Happy Easter to each of our sweet girls !

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Hopping down the bunny lane...


It's true ! Elaina, Grandma H. and I hopped on down the bunny lane today right onto the Easter Bunny's lap ! Oh - just Elaina that is ! The three of us headed out for a day of shopping with a visit to the Easter Bunny as a primary goal. Surprisingly, the line at the mall wasn't long at all and after some primping and a quick spit-shine from grandma on Elaina's stick-up-hair, she was quickly seated on the bunny's lap. Elaina didn't really mind the 8 foot bunny as I really didn't give her a chance to investigate the giant fur-covered human that I passed her to. She was really more concerned about the crazy woman shaking a 6 inch stuffed bunny in her face as she tried to bribe a smile from her. Honestly - with all of the money they rake in from the mugshots of the screaming, crying kids all day, you'd think they could afford some better smile-bribers. Elaina did just fine though and we were satisfied with our keepsake photo and a full day of shopping. Mission accomplished !

Friday, April 14, 2006

Treasured Chest


For the past several months, my dad has been working on hand-crafting a walnut toybox for his favorite granddaughter. Because the wood used was from an old walnut tree at my grandparents house, it will always hold sentimental value. This box has been crafted from cut wood that has been passed through four generation from my mom's side. Before my grandpa had passed, the tree had been cut down and given to my father as he is quite the skilled woodworker. So many years later, Elaina has an heirloom- quality toybox / hope chest that can remain a special keepsake for her. Talk about a "family tree !" Thanks to Grandpa H. for this one of a kind gift !

Waiting and Anticipating...


There are few things on this earth that are better than walking in the door and having the sweetest baby ever flash you a big smile and crawl to you as fast as she can for you to give her a big hug ! That's the best medicine to cure any stress or problem in your life that may have occurred in the hours leading up to her warm embrace ! I love coming home to my family ! (Eric gives good hugs too ! )

I was not the only one Elaina was looking forward to seeing come through the door tonight - Grandma & Grandpa H. were on their way to visit for the weekend. I put Keegan and Elaina on high-alert to stand guard at the door awaiting their arrival. Once they finally pulled up, Keegan couldn't get out the door fast enough - he knows who spoils him most ! Elaina and I greeted them in the driveway and she studied Grandma's face first, knowing that she recognized her voice from the phone and she seemed pretty nice. She went to her easily for a warm hug. Grandpa was waiting in the wings to give his granddaughter some smooches and hugs too. We spent the evening at home playing with our favorite girl and bragging about her daily antics.

What a day ! On Sunday we will play the waiting game again as we look forward to Grandma & Grandpa W. joining us on Easter Day !

Some Bunny Loves Me...


Actually, lots of "some-bunnies" love Elaina ! She has her very own fan club as she got Easter cards from her Grandma and Grandpa W., Great Aunt Jan and Uncle Stan and her cousin Colin ! Thanks for the thoughtful cards - what a sweet sentiment !

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Funny Kind of Bath

I can promise you that this will not be my most enduring post I've ever written, but it's definately a story I want Elaina to read when she's a teenager.

Each month, I have only one commitment to the Canal Society for an evening meeting. Tonight was that night. So, 15 minutes before I had to leave the house, I picked Elaina up from her walker and placing her on my hip, I felt that her foot was wet. I assumed that she must have just spilled her juice somehow and I was going to have a sticky child to deal with when I got home. Upon further investigation, it wasn't exactly juice. I'm gonna just have to call it as I see it ... it was poo. We were both covered in slime. The entire back of her onesie, her capri pants, her sock and her shoe - coated. (Did I mention that it was a brand new outfit ? ) As I was still wearing my work clothes, she got the side of my shirt with a dribble on my pant leg. I was in such disbelief that I actually started to laugh ! What an unbelievable mess ! At this point, I didn't even know where to start. I carried her upstairs horizontally, face down, with her explosion toward the ceiling. I popped her into the bathtub - clothes, shoes, diaper and all. She looked every bit confused as to why, for this bath, she would get to wear her clothes. As I had grabbed the phone on our way up, I quickly dialed my friend to let her know that it would a miracle if I actually made it to the meeting. Next, I started to peel off her layers and then mine and began to search for a bio-hazard bag. Now what ? Elaina pulls her toy basket into the murky water and before I can catch them - every one of them is now contaminated. After changing the bath water 3 times, we finally had a clean and fresh child. Eric finished putting her jammies on her and I went back for clean-up duty : Round 2. I scrubbed out the mess from our clothes and proceeded to bleach out her bath toys and then the tub. Afterall, the grandparents would be using her bathtub this weekend and now it's especially clean for company !

I managed to get to my meeting 30 minutes later with a just a hint of Clorox still lingering on my hands. So, even as the evening started out STINKY, I enjoyed the challenge of a messy diaper just like every other parent, because, at least, I have a sweet child to fill it !!

Fun in Disguise

After a short absence, I'm finally getting back on track with some stories and more updates of our Stinkerbell. Sunday was a day of full- blown germs in our house and a restless night for all. Eric and I shared the day at home with Elaina on Monday as I took care of my job duties in the morning in preparation for being off work in the afternoon and Tuesday. Tuesday rolled into Wednesday with another day off from work . And after 2 consecutive nights of sleeping with our little Snot-nosed-child, it was inevitable that I caught her cold. Verdict : I like staying home with my favorite girl ! In sickness and in health - she's an angel and she is so much fun. By Tuesday afternoon, we both needed some fresh air so we hitched up Keegan and loaded the baby in the stroller and went for a walk. Since we live across the street from the park, the playground would be our first stop. The air was warm with just a slight hint of a cool breeze and Elaina's hoodie was a must. I snapped her little pink jacket with her hood on her head and, Elaina on my lap, we sat down for her first ride on the swing set. She was quiet at first as we picked up speed and then I managed to peek around to see a contented smile across her face. We then moved to a bucket swing for a solo ride. She wasn't sure how she got there without me attached, but as I held her hands and swung her more, she decided that swinging was for her ! I gradually was able to let go and push her faster as she clapped her hands and smiled with delight ! That's my big girl - I was so proud ! She enjoyed watching Keegan down below as he munched (and puked) on a grassy buffet. I promised her that we would come back often and invite dad and her grandparents along this weekend to share in the fun.

By Tuesday evening, I was on the fence about taking Elaina to the babysitter's house for the next day. She seemed to be feeling better and was able to eat and sleep better too. As I called to speak with Nancy (Elaina's sitter) I ended up speaking with her husband who reminded me that Nancy's dad had just ad open-heart surgery that day. That was a deal breaker - if Elaina was any bit contagious , I wouldn't allow her around Nancy so as to avoid passing anything to her father. Really, I didn't need much more convincing to have another day at home with my girl !

On Wednesday, I learned that Elaina's favorite cartoons are on the "Noggin" network with "Maisy" being the best of all. We played, read books and she bounced on her knees as we listened to her favorite CD's. She tasted and gagged herself on her first Arrowroot cookie and frightened her mom. Eric was able to peek inside her gaping smile to count FOUR teeth coming in at the top ! All eye-teeth. She may look like a little vampire for a while ! And she enjoyed a bath every night this week to get the dried snot and day's dirt off of her ! Who wants to go back to work ? Not me !!

Sunday, April 09, 2006

3 Hours of Happiness


That's about all Elaina was able to handle today. Previously, I had mentioned that she has 3 new teeth coming in and no cold. It seems as though I spoke to soon ! Our little Sweetness is miserable ! Overnight, she became consumed by a horrible cold. Just as she was getting back on track with sleeping through the night, this comes up. After about the 3rd crying jag last night, we cuddled her in bed with us and she was still suffering. She has got the worst congestion and runny nose that it's so hard for her to breathe, let alone, drink her bottle. We quickly learned to have a tissue, wipe or cloth on hand in the event of a sneeze. That actually offered her much needed relief as it allowed her drainage an exit. As gross as that is, it helped her to feel better for a little while. Most of the day we were faced with a tired, hungry child who is teething and can't breathe ! The infant Tylenol drops are flowing now right along with the teething tablets and Vick's baby rub and the vaporizer is on it's way. Her happy hours were few and far between today, mostly in the evening lasting only up until after her bath around 9:00. And then... the crying began. Flopping around, restless, yelling, real-tears-crying. As parents, our hearts are breaking with our inconsolable child. After what seemed to be an eternity, she finally wore herself out and fell asleep. Since Elaina rarely cries and is always cheerful - this was hard on all of us. Now, as I hear her crying a restless sob, I will conclude and pray that she can recover quickly and feel better soon ! I have to wonder what we have in store for us tonight.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Party Girls !


Today we joined Elaina's friend, Kelsey, as she celebrated her 1st birthday ! Kelsey is the daughter of one of my closest friends, Bevin. Here you will see Elaina giving Kelsey her first "birthday spanking !" What a fun first birthday for a little girl ! Kelsey loaded up on toys and has an entirely new spring and summer wardrobe of fabulous clothes. She enjoyed her cake and playing with her friend, Elaina. As there is 3 months between them, you'd never know when they took off on their very own crawling-chasing-contest ! I'm not sure if Kelsey was trying to lead Elaina to her toys or get away from her ! Elaina was so interested in her friend as she tried to touch her face and climb on her. Kelsey was incredibly patient - knowing that she was still the star of this show !!

After the party, we enjoyed some time with our little "star" and even learned how to (finally) post pictures. I've matched a picture with each entry, however the dates aren't exact - just some pictures I thought you may enjoy. Be sure to check the archives to see some more smiles from our girl !

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Oh say can you see .....


...the 3 new teeth popping through Elaina's gums ! It's true - the child who has had only two little, bottom teeth for the past 5 months is getting at least 3 new ones - all at the same time ! That would explain her bouts with the "fussies" and her restless sleep. Unlike the last time she got teeth in, she has not been drooling like a leaky faucet and didn't get a cold this time either. She has become a little bit more clingy, which is okay by me as I love to soak her with hugs and kisses anyhow. And we haven't had to rely on the use of Tylenol or Baby Ora-gel to soothe her. My friend had introduced me to Highland's Teething Tablets which seem to relieve much of her discomfort - and they're all natural. So far, we've been able to see two of her "eye-teeth" up top and one on the bottom right side have begun to surface this time around. She has been pretty protective of her new chompers as she isn't a big fan of anyone digging around in her mouth to investigate. I can't say that I blame her, but it would be nice to get a clear view of what's going on in her little mouth.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

7th Month in Review


Since I only started Elaina's Story during her 8th month, I wanted to also share some other notable events which took place as she was 7 months old.

* Said "Mmama !"
* consistant at holding bottle throughout feeding
* Grandma H. taught you Pat-A-Cake
* Became a champion crawler !
* Pulling self up onto everything
* Mom & Dad lowered crib and pack & play
* Got a cold (went to the doctor)
* More regular schedule of baby food at every other feed
* Uncle Ben created a beautiful video of Elaina !
* Attended 1st wedding: Trisha and Steve
* visited Grandma H. at her classroom open house
* First Superbowl with the Steelers becoming the 2005 Football Champions !

8th Month in Review


Here is a rundown of Elaina's "firsts" as she was 8 months old !

* Waved Bye-bye !
* First gun show
* Adapted well to new schedule
* Mimics the word "no"
* Her hair has grown past the tops of her ears, creating wispy's on each side
* Mom started Elaina's blog !

Monday, April 03, 2006

Un-Spoiled

Nope... I'm not suggesting that we are going to stop spoiling our little girl. It's the other way around - Elaina stopped spoiling us last night ! We have been blessed with a baby who has slept through the night since she was 5 weeks old. Last night was a different story. She had only napped for a combined total of an hour yesterday and bedtime was an hour later. Taking into account daylight savings time as we "sprung ahead" one hour, we thought there would be some adjustment time, but didn't count on 4 "get-ups" in the middle of the night ! Eric was up with her 3 times (he claims) before 3 a.m. and finally it was my turn and I knew the only thing to end her fussies once and for all was to just put her into bed with us. While I don't believe in the "family -bed" , we all needed some sleep. She managed to cuddle up as I stroked her arm and patted her gently. And then it was a peaceful rest for all of us for another 3 hours until that darn alarm had to go off ! Ugh.

So, I'm guessing that Elaina has slept away the day at the babysitter's house and we'll see what comes our way tonight ! As we have been rested in the past, we got a feel for what our lives could be like if Elaina didn't spoil us !

Nine Months Old !


Yesterday our precious baby turned 9 months old ! I have always wanted a 9 month old ! (Please realize that I say that for each month she turns.) She is such an incredible little girl and gets more fun every single day. Eric and I took Elaina to get her 9 month pictures taken. She played all morning prior to her appointment and during the car ride to the store, she was sound asleep. I had a slight suspicion that would be the case so we arrived to the appointment early so that she could wake up and get active. As our turn came, she was still a little lethargic and wondering why 3 grown-ups were acting so foolish as we tried to get some smiles out of our girl. She is rarely stingy on the smiles, but for a tired baby, they weren't coming with ease. We chose some springtime backdrops and even had some easter props. Elaina couldn't resist trying to taste one of the easter eggs - probably the same as the 80 other kids who had used the same props ! Her pictures did turn out sweet and cute, but her usual-silly-self wasn't fully expressed . Stay tuned for a picture preview link coming soon !