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Friday, June 30, 2006

And We're Off !!

Let the birthday weekend commence !!

Our little princess will be turning one on Sunday and we have a full weekend ahead of us celebrating with friends and family and enjoying the 4th of July holiday. And, because Eric and I have taken Monday off work, it will be like a 4 day weekend vacation. That's rare - but lucky for us.

I hitched a ride to work with a friend this morning so that Eric, Elaina and Keegan could pick me up from work and jump on the highway for the long ride to my parents' house. (That always means lots of packing the night before - but saves a lot of time in the long run. ) Elaina talked and played with her toys for all of about 20 minutes until she was lulled to sleep by the car motor and the air conditioning. We reached our halfway point and decided to make a pit stop for dinner at SkyLine Chili ( my favorite place ever with the closest restaurant 90 minutes away ! ) . I took Elaina into the bathroom to take care of her soggy rear and I begged another attempt for her to say "Mama." In her beautiful, crystal clear voice she said it ! Ack ! Where's "Dada" when you need a witness ? I clapped my hands and tried to make a big fuss - but somewhat quietly as we were in a public bathroom and fellow diners were enjoying their meals just outside the door. But, take my word for it, the mama- strike has ended ! She says it and my heart melts. Now, I do realize that the day will come when she will say : " Mom, I want this !" or "Mom, you don't know what you're talking about." So, now is the time I am soaking in all of the sweetness from our girl, so I can remember that this is the same girl my heart has been craving.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Mama Strike


"Dada. Dadda. Daddee." That's all I ever hear at my house. Elaina talks about her daddy all of the time. It seems as though she has forgotten how to say "Mama." (Brat.)

Eric thinks it's hilarious when he prompts her to say mama - she says daddy with her giant, silly smile and they laugh together ! (Brat x's 2 ) Elaina came across a photo cube that can record a 20 second voice message. I filled the whole 20 seconds by saying mama. mama, mommy over and over again. (It's pretty irritating even to me, but I'm hoping she'll get the reminder.) Her little finger is constantly pressing the button, yet have I heard any new "mama's" uttered from her little mouth ? NO !

Now, don't get me wrong, she hasn't lost any affection for her mom - but her recent memory lapse of saying my name has left my ego a little bit bruised !

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Round 2

Yep... CrankyPants is in the house !

Tonight, Elaina didn't want to eat, she didn't want to play, she just wanted to stumble around and get into trouble. So before you begin thinking that this is just normal kid behavior - I have to tell you the difference. The difference is when she is in cranky-mode, she gets reckless and falls down alot and nothing can hold her attention. The smiles are few and her eyes look like they need their own luggage tag because of the pink, puffy bags under them. Sweet- mode makes for a happy Elaina and an even happier mommy and daddy. Sweet mode involves perfect walking and bringing books to mommy on the floor to read and entertained smiles and sparkling eyes. She'll eat with gusto and sing us her baby songs.

My solution for tonight's visitor ( CrankyPants ) was to pack her in the stroller and took her for a walk to the park for some swinging and a stroll around town after that. That was enough to calm her mood and I was able to bring home my sweet Elaina again and left the "Crank" in the park !

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

CrankyPants

Lately, Elaina has been having some bouts with the "fussies." I am guessing ( and hoping ) that is just involving her cutting in her one year molars. And just for her benefit, let's just say that she is playing more and wearing herself more by the end of the day.

In the evenings, we've been met by a sweet, little girl when she is picked up at the babysitter's house and then by 6:30 - she evolves into a little crank. She gets reckless and walks around like a little ADD maniac as she gets into everything until the whining ensues. After 5 minutes and a hug from mom or dad - she's all better until Round 2. This behavior is truly out of the ordinary. It doesn't seem to be every night - but the pattern is certainly become more frequent. For the past 4 months, she has been on a regular nap schedule at the babysitter's house where she'll sleep for 2-3 consecutive hours. This is all she gets until bedtime at 8:00pm.

So at this point, Eric and I are just hoping that this will be just a phase and we'll get our little sweetheart back soon !

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Almost done !


Happy Birthday Grandpa H !!!


Just a few more ingredients and your birthday cake will be done !


*** This would be another one of Elaina's birthday presents - given to her early by Great-Grandma and Grandpa H.
Seriously, how can you not spoil that little girl ? I'm here to tell you that it is impossible !

A light at the end of the tunnel ...


The light and the tunnel that I am referring to is my parents' house, of course. Our town is still without power with rumors that it may not be on until Monday !

Okay - I'll just admit it ... I like having electricity ! I can't live without it ! Think about it : 3 days with no power, a toddler to entertain and feed, and NO POWER ! I threw in the towel - it's off to grandma and grandpa's house !

I really hadn't made up my mind to leave for the weekend until I contemplated the grim reality of what my weekend would really be like if I were to stay at home. No fun. Oh yeah, and Friday morning I had to pack my bags for work with my hairdryer and curling iron to do my hair in the bathroom at work. I couldn't take it any more! I easily talked myself into spending the weeekend away. Eric was committed to assisting with a concert in our area all day Saturday and I would be back on Sunday to spend some time together.

My parents happily welcomed the Princess and myself and Keegan too. They were so much looking forward to seeing her and being witness to her new achievement of walking. To make things even better was the fact that my grandparents had made their way up from their home in Florida to visit for the summer. They were more than ready to get their hands on their great-granddaughter !

Elaina melted great- grandma immediately ! Within minutes of their arrival, she stretched out her arms to give great-grandma a hug. That wasn't the case with great-grandpa. She took some time to warm up to him, but she ended up snuggled in his arms by the end of the day. What a lucky girl to be surrounded by adoring grandparents all weekend long !

Saturday, the grandma's, Elaina and myself shopped and later joined Eric's parents for lunch. Grandma W. couldn't resist the sweet, charm of Elaina and pulled out her birthday present early ! ( her parents had the same trouble ! ) Grandma and grandpa W. were happy to get some play time with their girl before the big birthday celebration scheduled at their house next weekend.

I think it's safe to say that we all had a very enjoyable weekend with all of our family and that we couldn't have even come close to that kind of joy if we had stayed here in the dark !

And just for the record ... we finally got electricity at 12:30 am on Sunday morning !

In The Dark...


I apologize for not keeping up with new Elaina stories over the past few days. We can collectively blame it on our tornadic thunderstorm from Thursday night. In truth, a tornado was actually said to have touched down in the town right next to us. Our power got zapped from our homes at approximately 6:15 pm, thus, keeping us all in the dark. No power - no blog !

The above picture was taken from our front bedroom window. One of the beautiful, old, landmark trees had gotten struck by lightning and came down into the middle of the street. If it hadn't been for the power lines to halt it's descent, it would have landed on our neighbor's house. In the middle of his rooftop no less.

I never thought I would be so affected by the loss of a tree, but it was with sad remorse that I watched them cut down that hundred year old tree in just a matter of hours. The work crew and their big trucks and chainsaws were on sight until nearly 11:00pm that night. It was sad to see that a century of growth could be turned into sawdust in just a few hours time.

It looks like we'll have to adjust to a less scenic view as we make our way through our sleepy little town. There won't be another tree like that for decades to come !

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

How Old ?


One !!
That's how old Elaina will be !

I have to confess ... I am a sucker for buying things for Elaina ! I have never wanted anything more than a little girl to spoil like crazy and my plan is finally coming into fruition. On our shopping trip last night, I bought Elaina her birthday present. It's a bean-bag stuffed armchair with a cute Cabbage Patch Kids pattern all over it. I'm not usually into commercial- themed merchandise, but I saw this chair and new that she had to have it. The pattern was tasteful, not tacky and I had been looking for a chair such as this, just perfect for her size. I sat her into her new comfy nest of a chair and she smiled a big grin and began to bounce ! I guess that is her seal of approval. So, it looks like her birthday present from her mom and dad has arrived early and we'll just have to keep buying her stuff along the way. Oh darn.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Smile Pretty !

Elaina's first birthday is creeping up on us sooner than we think - it's only 2 weeks away !

Since I try to be somewhat organized and think that I'm on the ball once in a while, I decided to take Elaina to get her birthday pictures taken. Yay ... I did something ahead of schedule for once !

I left work early and allowed plenty of time to get her around and play prior to plopping her on the table to smile on command. All good mom -stuff, right ? When I got to the sitter's house to pick her up, she told me that Elaina had only had a few short catnaps the whole day versus her typical 2 hour stretch nap that she is accustom to. I nearly hit the floor, she was barely able to keep her eyes open ! As we were driving to the portrait studio, I heard her in the backseat with her motor going. Those are true-tired sounds. I was traumatized thinking that she would surely fall alseep 5 minutes before our arrival and be miserable. Luckily, she proved me wrong !

As I was taking her from the car, we stood outside to let the fresh air and warm breeze refresh her and re-energize her. Going into the store, we checked in for our appointment and the clinging began. Elaina wanted to be held. She wanted her binky and she wanted no part of sitting on a hard table all by herself. Two mugshots into the session, I admitted to the photographer that this may just be a waste of her time. She may have felt the same, yet she continued and actually captured some genuinely sweet smiles from Sleepy - Beauty ! I was impressed !

Once we finished and I was selecting our photos, Miss Smiles proceeded to run around the store, smiling and getting into everything. In fact, another shopper commented on what a lovely, happy baby I had before me ! She was a smile machine - after her pictures !

She never was able to fall asleep and so we went shopping. The funniest part of our night happened in Wal- Mart. I was selecting some baby food off the shelf and a jar slipped off and shattered everywhere on the floor. " Oh CRAP ! " was the first thing to come from my mouth. Elaina looked down at the mess and then looked me in the eye and said, "Uh-Oh !" I nearly forgot about what had just happened as I was laughing out loud ! Elaina was the 'Uh-Oh" girl tonight. When she would drop her binky or fall down - it was followed by an instant "Uh-Oh" used in perfect context every last time ! What a funny girl !

Sunday, June 18, 2006

I Love My Daddy !


Today marks Eric's first father's day ! Happy father's day to my sweet husband !

Eric and I have never really been big on celebrating holidays other than Christmas. Most other holidays consist of spending the day together and maybe enjoying a nice meal out somewhere together. We're both really okay with that extent of holiday recognition.

So, on Eric's first father's day, we didn't make any extraordinary, elaborate plans. Elaina woke up at her usual 7 a.m. start of the day and after a warm bottle and some play time, we all took a little cuddly catnap in our bed together. We finally got motivated to be vertical and Eric was on his way out the door to begin more work on the yard. On this beautiful 85 degree day, Eric spent his time slaving over installing a new garden trellis for our backyard. It's white vinyl to match our fencing and when he's all finished, we are hoping to have transformed our yard into a haven with some style and visual appeal. With all of his hard work, we're well on our way.

Now more about Elaina's dad .....
Since Elaina's birth, I have watched my husband transform. He melts over her sweet smiles and embraces each and every one of Elaina's warm hugs. Eric's vocabulary has changed significantly ! One minute he can be discussing hunting and fishing and the minute Elaina enters the picture, it's "BabyDoll" this and "Honey" that. ( I still get to be his "Honey" once in a while - but I don't mind sharing. ) He is enjoying seeing his little girl dressed in pink and ruffles and fru-froo and bows. I have also discovered that there isn't one thing on the face of this earth that he wouldn't do for his daughter. He has waited long enough to have a baby to love this much and she has him wrapped around her little finger. I love it !

With all of the praising of my fine man, I would be fabricating his character to say that he doesn't get into trouble sometimes. Let me run the list of daddy-needs-to-work-on-this :
Often, Elaina will sit in her highchair and begin to blow raspberries with a mouth full of baby food - what do you think Eric does ? He blows some back to her, encouraging her to blow more as they laugh together. He tried to teach her where the trash can was so that she could throw away her own dirty diaper. Hmmm... might she begin to throw all kinds of stuff in there ? Toys, phones, remotes....? And just to round out the list, he would let her crawl on the driveway and in the grass in her cute outfits - leaving the grass stains and asphalt for me to worry about cleaning.

Obviously, you can see that the praise list shines over his not-so-good list. And his not-so-good list isn't all that bad. He really is the best dad ever without a doubt ! He gets up every morning to feed Elaina and checks on her each night before going to bed. He sings silly songs and reads her books while he makes up his own words. Elaina and are blessed to have this wonderful man in our lives and we'll treasure every memory we make along the way !

And to our Dad's and Great- Grandpa Wade -- Happy Father's Day !!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Little Big Winner

Elaina's big prize !!

Now Elaina can finally carry her load around this house and help with repairs ! She has won her very own 205 piece tool set !! This afternoon our local lumber yard hosted an open house since it has been purchased by new owners. Eric needed some supplies and I hadn't ever been there even though it's right across the street. On top of that, they were serving hot dogs and refreshments and had door prizes. Lucky for us because I hadn't really felt the urge to cook lunch for us yet ( I did make marvelous french toast for breakfast) and we needed an excuse to take a walk and soak up the sunshine. Just as we arrived they were drawing names for the door prizes and encouraged me to sign up. I quickly ran over and filled out entries for the three of us and they allowed me to slip them in the box just before the next name was pulled. Imagine my surprise when they drew Elaina's name !! She won a tool set ! Yes, it was just what she needed - we would have never thought to get that for her on our own.

We happily claimed her prize and celebrated by chowing down on some hot dogs, chips and cookies. As we enjoyed our picnic and visited with some friends, they drew the next batch of names. ERIC !! He won a 100 foot, heavy duty extension cord ! Exactly what he needed ! In the same round of lucky winners, last but not least, they drew my name. Yes ! I won a leather billed logo hat and a giant yellow car magnet to support our troops. The hat got passed on to a friend of ours but the magnet is still up for dibs. What a lucky day !

Friday, June 16, 2006

CHOSEN !!


Today marks the day of anniversary I never want to forget. One year ago today, I received the phone call letting us know that we were about to become the proud parents of the sweetest little angel ever made !

On June 16, 2005, all of our anxiety, nerves, stress and broken hearts were instantly relieved. We had HAPPINESS ! Up until that point, Happiness and The White's weren't exactly mixing. It's funny to think that there were so many things that could have gone wrong with this adoption (any adoption) - but there was barely a time that either of us felt threatened that it wouldn't happen. That's all from God - it was His plan from the beginning and I have to believe that if this wasn't the way our lives were supposed to move forward - He never would have allowed us false hope to think it would. All I can say is that miracles happen and our names made the list this day !

One year ago .....
I was sitting at my desk. The end of the work day was near and I had barely left my desk for a minute in the past few days as I couldn't miss a single phone call. I anxiously jumped at every ringing phone throughout the office this day. I had been waiting to hear if we had been the chosen couple to adopt a baby girl. Our attorney had advised us that the birthmother was set to make her decision on 2 separate dates. The first date had gone by and we learned that she needed more time. Her decision had been narrowed down to us and one other couple. The next date came and went. It seems as though she and her attorney were unable to reach each other by phone for some reason. So this day was the day that everyone expected to hear the outcome of her decision. At 3:50, our attorney called and the first thing she asked was, " Are you sitting down ?" Yes. " The birthmom has chosen you to be the parents of her child."

I think the tears were immediate. The phone call wasn't long and it didn't have to be. I tried to keep my composure at my desk and tried to phone Eric. We ran into a snag in an otherwise, breathtaking moment - I couldn't reach my husband ! Not on his cell phone, his work cell, or at home ! Three numbers to reach him and nothing !!

After probably two rounds of no- answers I couldn't take it anymore - I ran to tell my best friend at work and we hugged and cried some more together. After some long awaited bragging rights of becoming a new mom and sharing our news, I finally got in touch with the new Dad. Instantly I could detect a difference in Eric's voice. A happy, contentment that a hadn't heard in some time. "That's Great ! " - and that's all I needed to hear from Eric to know that everything was going to be okay. It was going to be great !

Our baby's due date was originally thought to be on June 22, 2005. Our minds raced with excitement that we would soon get to meet our little Princess that we couldn't wait to fall in love with !
It's a sure thing that we were all chosen to be a family - there isn't anyone who could love this baby more !

It's a Date


Tonight was the night that Eric and I joined our friends for an adults-only night out. From the picture above, you can see that Elaina was walking her bag right to the door as she was ready to go. ( She was able to carry the bag herself until I jammed it full of her favorite toys for the evening. ) If you look closely, you can see how she has the strap across her shoulder - just like her mother; the bag lady.

Our neighbors were anxious to spend the evening with Elaina. Two of their three girls were home for the evening and they couldn't wait to spend some time with the "baby." Elaina took to all of them immediately, except for Jeff - the dad. He's really one of the nicest guys you could ever meet and has 3 girls of his own and his personality is similar to Eric's. We're all puzzled why Elaina has yet to make peace with our pal. Regardless, they all commented on how good she was and how much they enjoyed having her. That's good for this mom to hear !

As far as our date night - we had a great time. I think I could eat at that restaurant until I burst. Seriously, for a little dumpy-dive of a place, it holds it's regulars and the pizza and secret-salad -dressing-recipe are to die for ! We went along with 2 other couples and while we waited, we played the Newlywed game. A while back, I had purchased the game which basically consists of a question book for the men and women and some dry erase boards and markers to write your answers. At the restaurant, we made due with the question book and sheets of paper- the much more portable version. It was alot of fun. I can't say that Eric and I won - but we did come in 3rd place. ( Remember how there were only 2 other couples - go figure.) The winners have married for over 30 years and the 2nd place couple are close to 15 years together. I can say that we all had fun and we didn't lose by too much ! Apparently, the things we do know about each other weren't the questions being asked.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Bouncin' Baby !

Since Elaina has made the transition to being on her feet all of the time, her little legs and feet are constantly moving. Even when she's relaxed. As I was feeding her bedtime bottle, she got a little case of the kickies. As she lay across my lap, her knees begin to bend and bounce and she started moving her feet, touching the bottoms to everything in her reach. Her body has been overcome by walking and she can't stop. It's like when you turn off your car engine and the motor lets out a final rumble.

Another cause for Baby Girl to bounce is her new love. It's a love of music. Reggae music to be precise. During Eric's sports show that he usually watches while feeding her dinner, a commercial for Red Stripe beer comes on with Reggae music as the theme. The minute she hears the first beat of the song, she makes eye contact and smiles her giant baby- food smile and she begins to bounce in her highchair.

So, if you have the misfortune to enter our kitchen at this time, be prepared to see the three of us bouncing along in our seats to the Red Stripe commercial. Thank God for the Reggae music channel on digital cable ! Honestly - she seems to like all music but the bouncin' type is really the most fun.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Now I know

Even after 11 1/2 months I still find it hard to be away from my little girl. I accept the fact that she'll be at the babysitter's house during the daytime while we're at work and that's a decision that we've become accustom to. However, I still have a problem with leaving her in the evening to go on a date with my husband and our grown-up friends.

We've gotten an invitation to join our friends for dinner on Friday and while the restaurant has great food, the service stinks and it's not especially kid- friendly. The fact is, on previous dinner's at this certain restaurant, we've spent as long as 4 hours there ! Some of that time is eating of course, but the majority of the time is waiting for our food and visiting with our "gang" of friends. Yet, we continue to go there because they have the best salads and pizza I have ever tasted -- and the company is always enjoyable. I guess that sometimes as a parent, you have to make decisions of what is most fair to your baby rather than exactly what course of action you would prefer.

So, now I know that I will probably never be comfortable with making the decision to leave our baby for the evening. I had to surrender myself to accept that Eric and I really allowed to enjoy an adults- only evening out every now and then. And now I know that I will always have to let Eric be the one to call the babysitter to make arrangements, because this mom's guilt complex will sometimes override her practical sensibility and ability to let go.

My apologies to Elaina's grandma's and grandpa's. You're welcome to come and visit anytime as long as you want - but I can't quite part with our Sweetness for very long periods of time yet. Check with me when she reaches her " terrible two's" - I may have had a change of heart by then.

And now you know.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

It's Confirmed ...

Elaina is a professional WALKER !!

A few weeks back I announced that she was well on her way and the past few days she has been on her feet more than on her hands and knees. She is enjoying her new freedom as she is able to actually hold and carry things around with her and she has begun to redecorate our house as she moves things into totally new places.

Since Sunday, she has put in a full - blown effort into practicing her new skill of walking. She started out looking like a mini- drunkard as she took short, fast steps before she fell to the ground. Each day she would take longer strides and her she was able to relax her arms more, rather than bent at her elbows and hands in the air. What a cutie !

Way to go Elaina !!!

Monday, June 12, 2006

New Toy


A climbing bridge / table/ teeter- totter ? Yeah !!

What a great 3 -in- one toy we found for Sweetness ! This handy little contraption is indeed a fine work of toy manufacturing ingenuity. Elaina loves it and it seems like there is enough variety in one item for her not to get bored.

This piece, however, will not be staying at our house for the summer. We bought it to go over to the babysitter's house for Elaina to enjoy some outside fun and playtime. The other kids that Elaina's sitter had watched are all at home for the summer with their teacher mom's. Poor Elaina's mom gets the unfortunate pleasure of working year round. So, the good news is that Elaina is the only kid at the sitter's house. The bad news is that Elaina is the only kid at the sitter's house. I like the fact the she gets to soak up all of the love and attention, yet, she'll be missing out on the playtime and interaction with the other kids. Also, I liked that the attention was shared so that she grows accustom to taking turns and learning patience. In the meantime, Nancy (Elaina's sitter) has made arrangements for her grandkids to come over during the day for a week or two at a time. Her grandson, Gavin, is only a few weeks older than Elaina and so darn cute ! I love that they get a chance to play togehter and learn from one another.

Oh well - 2 more months and her playmates will be back to join the fun.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

You Should Be in Pictures !










Seriously, have you ever seen a more lovable girl ? ( Okay - I am 100% biased ! )

Tonight, Elaina climbed into the recliner using her new toy as a step rather than Keegan this time. After climbing to see what was on the backside of the chair, she made herself comfortable in her model pose. I swear that she positioned herself without any help from this shutter happy photographer. How cute !

Now... can anyone explain to me why she can strike this sweet-as-an-angel-pose at home, in her pajamas at 7:30 before bedtime, yet when we get to the portrait studio for professional portraits - we get a mixed bag of unsure smiles and awkward baby poses ?

Can anyone photoshop a new background and some angel wings for us ?

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Over the Top




We must be a mean set of Mommy and Daddy; we restrict our daughter's play area.

Since our living room is fairly large, we usually will block off a safe play area with an ottoman barricade. Elaina pouts the minute she sees the ottoman begin to move into the "blocked in" position. We've tried to be slick about it, but she is pretty receptive as if the barricade sucks all of the oxygen out of her space as well.

So, what does Little Miss Independent do ? She dives over the top into a head stand and slithers out of trenches of mommy's silly "play area" to escape to her freedom. Just for the record, Mommy always has a way of catching up with her every last time !

Elaina : 3
Mommy : 333 ( and counting)

Teenage Baby


Elaina's favorite toys are all baby- scaled versions of everything that teenagers and adults rely on. She loves the phone and the remote and obviously, alarm clocks. Stuffed animals ? Who cares ? Not Elaina. Baby toys ? Hmp ... she could take them or leave them, those are for babies !

Anything that can drain a pack of batteries within a week is tops on her list ! She somehow knows the difference between our functioning tv remote and the decoy remote which we have provided to her. Sometimes we'll even hold onto it as we watch tv, giving her the impression that the decoy is the real McCoy. Oh no ... she never falls for that old trick. She'll spy the hidden remote and contort her little self into any hiding spot to obtain the holy grail.

We have the same issues with the phone. Last weekend, she called our friend Ryan. He was so happy to hear that Elaina had personally dialed him. I was just thankful that she didn't re-dial a telemarketer or 9-1-1 !

Poor Elaina ... it's as if she doesn't have any toys.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

"Minor" Misdemeanor

COMPLAINT

Defendant : Elaina Rose
Date of Birth : 7-2-2005

Complaintants : Mommy and Daddy

Charge : Inducing Panic , M1 Section Code: ORC 2917.31

To Wit : On June 7, 2006 at 2400 hours, it is alleged that Elaina Rose is suspect in Inducing Panic in the White House setting off 3 alarms in the residence. The first incident which occurred during the bedtime feeding at 2000 hours on June 6, 2006 in which Elaina had set her own alarm clock to go off, racing Frantic Mommy upstairs to investigate the noise. A second incident followed at 2350 hours in which Mommy and Daddy were nearly asleep in bed when Daddy's alarm clock proceeded to go off. Daddy and Mommy were both startled by the unexpected racket. At 2355 hours, Elaina's second alarm on her clock went off to the tune of "Baa Baa Black Sheep" set from her CD player. Once more, startled Daddy was made to silence this alarm as well.

DISPOSITION :
It is in the Defendant's best interest to be placed on supervised house arrest for 15 years and suspend all electronic devices from her personal use.

This court will award the Complaintants of Mommy and Daddy 6 months of uninterrupted, restful nights.

Complaintants Remarks : Frantic Mommy said, " That is the last time I let Elaina play on our nightstands as I attempt to sort laundry."

CASE CLOSED

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Refreshments Anyone ?



Now serving ice cold water. Can I get you anything to drink ? I have added a special flavor to it all on my own !





As if eating table food and drinking juice from a sippy cup weren't enough, Elaina has moved onto drinking from her own little cup ! I didn't quite say that she is exceptionally good at drinking from her own little cup - but she is doing it ! Actually, she is quite good for a beginner. We had just come back from a walk with a friend of mine and since Elaina finished all of her juice at dinnertime, I offered her some water in her own cup. She has taken many a sip from my glass, so I figured maybe she was ready for her own. I could see the excitement in her face as I made the offer of her own beverage. She took some sips, swished her hand around for good measure and then after some more drinks - she dumped it on the floor. All done, Mom ! Oh yeah... and then she burped !

She's her daddy's girl for sure !

Monday, June 05, 2006

I Found It !

















* Make mine a 6-pack !

Yes, Elaina, this is where we hide your yogurt. It's intentional to keep it from you in this giant white rectangle in the corner of our kitchen. This is also where we hold your sippy cup hostage and some of your teething toys for your fussy days. You cracked open our secret stash !

Elaina loves Danimals yogurt ! She enjoys a container of yogurt at the babysitter's house each afternoon for a mid-day snack. Strawberry, banana, orange --- she loves it all !

Food Affair


Mmm ... Baby-food-boot-camp is going well !

At dinnertime tonight, I planned the menu around Elaina's palate. Remember the blog entry a few months back, " Talkin' Turkey ?" Well, that same turkey was our dinner tonight. Eric had the turkey smoked and he was one tasty bird ! Elaina usually hates turkey flavored baby food, but she was all over the real deal. She feasted on turkey (which beared a strong resemblance to smoked ham) french cut green beans (thanks mom) and macaroni cheese spirals. It took some time before she caught onto the plan that we actually wanted her to eat this buffet we had before her, but when she did, it was hand over fist into her mouth. She was awesome ! She ate equal amounts of each food and even primed herself with some Stage 3 apples and bananas, courtesy of dad. I won't say that she wan't entertaining .... Oh, she was her own little food fest. She waved her hands in the air and dropped green beans in her hair, she smashed macaroni spirals into her shirt and she had some unrecognizable sticky-something smeared on her cheek.

The good thing about kids is that they clean up well. The bad thing about green beans left in the highchair is that they still are moist and cold to the touch 3 hours later when they need to be peeled from the seat cushion. Eeww.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Mom : Re-invented


I don't often prefer to show my mug shot on Elaina's story, but there is a reason this time. I've made a change and all of my long-distance readers will just have to wait to see what that change has been when I see you again.

Hmmm.... what could it be ?

Today, I conned Eric into coming to the mall with me and Elaina and spending a family day out of the house. It was a cool, rainy day so we hit the stores. We snacked on some soft pretzels in the food court and we witnessed a little girl go missing from the Stride-Rite store as her parents lost her for nearly 5 minutes. Fortunately, they found her in the middle of the mall carrying a bag of Robeez shoes in tow. This tells me that 1.) Stride Rite doesn't have very much security in regard to their merchandise and 2.) this little girl, maybe all of 3, got a spanking for her careless parents failing to keep her in sight. If you have ever been in a Stride Rite store, you know that they aren't that big and the display shelving isn't high and with 2 parents present, they should have adequate coverage over their one child. I really shouldn't bash them too bad - I was glad that their search ended quickly and successfully, and it was a reality-check for the dangers of Elaina becoming a walker soon.

Parents : be on guard - watch your kids ! That was a situation I would never wish upon any parent !

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Keegan & the Monkey


















Well ... knowing that Keegan is the name of our dog; you can pretty much tell who the "monkey" is in this photo.

Elaina is one determined little girl. She wanted to be on the sofa and so she got herself on the sofa. With a little help from her friend, of course. Afterall, why else would he be sitting right there other than to lend Elaina a paw.

Today, we neglected all responsibilities and had a play day. Eric spent most of the day riding his 4-wheeler with his friends and Elaina and I barely left the house and enjoyed a playdate together. Throughout the week we rarely get enough time just to sit around and be silly - so this was the day.

So what's new with Elaina ? I'll tell you... I am grateful that her teeth grinding was only temporary. She seems to have forgotten the grind as quick as she picked it up. She is, however, the Queen of Jibber-Jabber. Many times, she will just go off on a rant of babytalk in a very matter-of-fact tone. It cracks us up everytime. She will talk out the story in her book, she will converse with her binky and she may even have the solution for global warming. Who knows ? Her ramblings are enough to make you want to believe that she has deep thoughts going on inside her tiny, little girl-self. I prefer to believe that she is a genius in the making ! Just ask her - she'll be sure to tell you what's going on !

Her newest word is, "Uh-oh." Sometimes it comes out more like, "oh-oh" but we get the hint. She drops her book and "uh-oh." She falls on her tushie and, "uh-oh." I love to hear when she uses it in the proper context. She is funny ! Sometimes we get jibber-jabber-ramble-ramble followed with "uh-oh."

Recently, she has learned to point to Mommy, Daddy and Elaina's noses and mouths when prompted. She'll point to the ceiling fan in her bedroom and she has learned the rolling motion for pat-a-cake. She spent a couple minutes today "rollin-it" before she could "mark it with an 'E'" for the pat-a-cake song. Even when we weren't singing, her floppy, little arms were rollin' it.

This mom is going to roll out for now .... I am behind on my posting !

Friday, June 02, 2006

11 Months Old !!



Whew ... where does the time go ?

Only one more month before our little Sweetness celebrates her first birthday ! Eric and I are excited to finally be able to plan a first birthday party for our little girl ! By joining our family, Elaina has given us the best year of our lives and the most joy we have ever experienced.

Here's what Elaina has been doing in her 10th month :

* Elaina was baptized into the Catholic church
* Says "Mama !"
* So close to walking - has taken many consecutive steps
* Profficient in stair climbing
* Waves "Hi"(backward) and "Bye"
* 2 more teeth made an appearance
* first bruise
* Tasting more food
* I started "brushing" Elaina's teeth
* Starts to crawl faster when we go after her when she is into something she shouldn't be in

Like every other month, Elaina has been so much fun and we are enjoying every minute of her !

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Baby Food Boot Camp


Elaina will be turning the big "01" next month and I am beginning to worry that we haven't been exposing her to enough table food lately. She has a whopping 7 teeth already that could be put to good use. (Other than grinding ! ) I bought her the 3rd stage of baby food which she clearly didn't like. Luckily, my friend, Beth, told me not to be concerned because none of her 3 girls cared for the 3rd foods either. So, in that respect, my mind is at ease yet, I realize that we need to begin pushing other foods that she may like and be able to handle.

At this point, she has a special fondness for pancakes, potato chips, cheese, crackers, fruit and veggie puffs and Arrowroot cookies. Oh yeah, she loves a little trickle of Pepsi from the end of my straw occasionally. ( I know, I know -- I never should have started that ! ) That's just the beginning. Each day, I am making the commitment to introduce something new for her to try and work those chompers for what they're meant for - not grinding !

All is going well so far. Only two gagging/ choking incidents to report and those took place nearly a month ago. Each time was on an Arrowroot cookie. Apparently, she loves them so much, she wants to consume it all at one time. Both events, she was able to correct herself with a little help and neither of us remain scarred from any choking trauma. Thank The Lord !

Of course, Elaina needs to feed herself - with her own fingers. Her eating habits leave much to be desired. The food goes in for the initial tasting / identification process. The food comes back out to see how much slobber can stick to the food. The food goes back in for one chew and then back out for a slippery, slide down her chin to see how much gunk can accumulate underneath her chin. All of this pretty much ensures that there is bound to be an additional meal in the bottom of her highchair in the end. The funny part is that I laughed when I found out my brother keeps a shopvac near Colin's highchair for this same reason. Hmmm ... Don't knock it till you try it ! There's some wisdom in that idea.

* Please don't judge me or my baby by the fancy hairstyle she is sporting - bathtime was next on the agenda. Note the puff going down the front of her shirt ! She usually is wearing a bib - this was just a snack !

Grin and Grrrind

Elaina has a new trick. If you can call it a trick - she has learned to grind her teeth. This mommy isn't entirely fond of this newfound baby noise. Her teeth are coming in beautifully, I don't want her to flatten them all out already. ( Okay - I realize that's a little over the top.) Each time I heard a "grind " tonight, I would squeeze her little cheeks together and she would stop. "Grind." One more time. The funniest part is that she had the biggest smile on her face as if she had a great new accomplishment for mommy and daddy to commend her on. Not so lucky this time, Baby !