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Friday, September 29, 2006

Binky vs. Binky-Baby



Does it look like Elaina made a new friend ? This 26 pound bundle of joy belongs to our friends who coddle their coon just like a baby. (That's more than Elaina weighs, by the way.)

We had gone out for dinner tonight at our regular, local pizza place and ran into some friends just finishing their dinner. As we were talking, and discussing Elaina's "binky addiction" they invited us out to see their "Binky." Binky is the name of their raccoon ! They have had him since he was just a baby, abondoned by his mom and they've bottle fed him and raised him as a pet. Let me just tell you that Binky has quite the life. He lives in a mansion by raccoon standards. He has indoor and outdoor dwelling areas, a tire swing, fish pond (with waterfall) to catch his dessert, a three story abode to fit his mood, a tunnel, and 2 ladders to climb ! Come on ! Does this coon have it made or what ?

Elaina was very interested in Binky as Binky only wanted to share his friendship (note his extended paw.) We spent the remainder of the evening visiting as Elaina fell asleep in my arms, still attached to her favorite binky of all !

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Exposed

Come on ... Seriously .... Are you kidding me ?

So let's just rewind for a minute. After spending a wonderful day in Columbus with my family for Colin's baptism on Sunday, I get a call from my brother saying, " You're gonna hate this - but I think that Colin may have pink eye." Oh. You mean the same sweet, happy, little Colin that Elaina just spent the day playing with ? Yeah. Great.

So, I tell my brother, "No big deal - if she's going to get it, she's going to get it. She had a great day and there's really no use worrying until we know for sure."

Fast forward... I get a call from my mom tonight and she tells me that Colin definately has pink eye. Poor guy ! He's got prescription eyedrops and he's recovering. At this point, I'm thinking that pink eye is generally very contagious and that she would have expressed symptoms by now if she had picked it up from him. I think that we might be in the clear. Thank you Lord !

Moving on ... when I went to pick Elaina up from the babysitter's house today, she tells me that one of the other kids has a full-blown case of the chicken pox ! Chicken pox ? Pink eye ? Are you kidding me ? So, okay, no use in worrying, she'd be getting both eventually at some point or another. I guess that neither of these just really crossed my mind so early on . Let me just top this off by saying that I have suffering miserably with horrible allergies and a sore throat (as you can see, my entries haven't been very consistent) and most often that turns into a cold for me at the drop of a hat. I could be yet another petrie dish of infection for my own daughter. A triple whammy of crud for my sweet baby ! Ugh.

Be sure to stay tuned to hear how the "every-bad-germ-infection-for-kids-plague" affects our family in the coming days ! In the meantime, I'll be disinfecting everywhere in the house, washing Elaina's hands to no end and she'll be in a quarantined lockdown.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Chatterbox

Day after day, Elaina continues to blow me away with how many words she picks up. Okay, I'll be the first to admit that her words are not perfectly pronounced, although it is plainly obvious that she knows what she is talking about and has the jist of the word. I guess that I don't know how long it should take a toddler to learn new words, but as far as I'm concerned, she is a quick learner. For example, when we had taken her to our dentist office appointment, she was fascinated by the colorful fish in the saltwater aquariums. Within minutes, she was pointing and saying, "Fsh ?" (Not a typo - she really just didn't pronounce an "i" sound within her word.)
I'm just going to have to be impressed because she is my daughter and I will never cease to be amazed by her.

Our standard bedtime routine is for me to cuddle Elaina in the recliner until she falls asleep. Sometimes she'll pop up, stalling to go to sleep and point to my nose, saying "nose" and pat her head, saying " hair." Depending on how tired she is or isn't, she'll sometimes say and point to her entire rundown of words she knows relating to her body parts.

The words that she is able to identify include : nose, eyes, mouth, ears, hair, belly button, feet, shoes, Keegan, Mommy, Daddy and Nanna
I love it when she copies us when she says, " Keegy, Go !" when Keegan begins to beg or get in her face. And she has been putting words together like crazy. She says, "Bye Dadda !" "Hi Keegan !" and we've been working on something that sounds close to "I love you." I only tell her that I love her about 187 times a day - I can't believe that she hasn't picked that up by now. So, she's not up to putting 3 words together quite yet ... her day (and mine) will come soon enough !

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Cookie Monster !


Hmmm ... would I get in trouble if I begged for another cookie ?

Little Packer

Tonight Eric had to leave home, headed for Youngstown to teach a class for the next 2 days. Since he has to be on time early in the morning, it just made sense for him to stay over the night before. He waited until Elaina's bedtime before leaving as not to miss another day away from his Princess. We spent the evening together playing and reading books and helping daddy pack his bag. Elaina thought this was a great activity as she rummaged through our room looking for things to put into daddy's bag. As far as Elaina was concerned, he would need some books, binkies, size 4 Elaina shoes and an armful of feminine hygiene products. (Okay - that may be a little embarassing to post on my blog - but it was really funny !)

She was a dedicated little packer and probably didn't understand that daddy was actually going to be away from home, but she sure had fun loading his bag with goodies ! What a good girl !

Monday, September 25, 2006

Slide into Bed !

This evening, as I arrived home from work, I knew that I needed to take full advantage of this beautiful fall weather. The sun was shining, the temperature was mild and there was a whole playground yellling for a kid to come play. The "kid" to play was Elaina !

With her little jacket and hat on, we strolled down to the park to burn off the last bit of energy she had for the day. Her eyes lit up and she pointed out as far as her arm would reach once we got close to the jungle gym. Lucky for us that I am quick at getting her unfastened from her stroller seat because she tore herself out of there as fast as she could and darted for the slide ! Elaina has decided that the slide is her favorite of all time !

She climbed through the tunnels, took a turn on the swingset, rocked on a giant yellow duck with mommy and climed the big steps to the slide all by herself at least a dozen times. She squealed with laughter and beamed with accomplishment. What fun we had !

It's amazing how much she can grow and develop in such a short amount of time. It doesn't seem that long ago that we had gone to the same playground and she was a little bit timid to climb through the tunnels and didn't really enjoy the playground as much. I love to see the delight in her smiling face and her sparkling eyes as she takes charge of her own recreation.

By the time we got home and dinner was ready, she managed about 2 bites and a sip of milk before she fell asleep in her highchair. Big girls have to get their sleep - there is plenty of playing to do tomorrow !

Sunday, September 24, 2006

At Colin's House !




Today, Eric and I had the honor and pleasure as serving as Colin's godparents as he was baptised. The Methodist Church that he is a member of, is rather different from our long-time-traditional Catholic ceremony. It was much more relaxed and upbeat and much less conservative. Very different than what I am accustomed to, yet serving the same purpose to praise Our Lord. I did love that it was very personal and they all seemed to embrace Colin and gladly celebrated his special day.

And a special day it was. Greg and Kate invited their closest friends and family over to their house following the service for lunch and to spend time with their blessed boy. It was so much fun to see Colin and Elaina play together and check out all of Colin's fun toys that he enjoys being 6 months older than Elaina. Also, I glad to finally meet "the" Wesley that I read about from Kate's blog link. Despite his ever-so-cute- pictures on his blog, he's even cuter in person ! What a great time we all had; spending time with my sweet nephew who welcomed me with a cuddly bear hug, built-in friends and toys for Elaina, great food and spending time with my family ! All that and becoming Colin's godparents !


As you can tell, grandpa proved to be very popular as he fed the little "birdies" ice cream cake from his plate ! Yum !

God Bless You Colin !

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Long Distance Neighbors


It's been almost 2 months since our neighbors left us. Ugh.

Craig, Shannon, baby Megan and Hunter and Daisy (their dogs) moved to the big city just 30 miles north. It's no longer convenient for me when I need to borrow a cup of sugar or go over to enjoy one of Shannon's awesome chocolate chip cookies straight from the oven. No more gathering against our wall at 10 pm for talks that last way past all of our bedtimes. Keegan doesn't get to play with his friends anymore. Hunter can no longer come over to beg to be let in our back door and steal Keegan's "babies." The guesswork is no more : if Eric is at neighbor-Sam's house or at neighbor-Craig's house. And I've lost a walking partner.

Believe it or not - I miss this craziness ! Craig and Shannon weren't only great neighbors to end up with, they became even greater friends.

With this said, our friends and old neighbors invited us to their new house for dinner. Our neighbor, Sam met us there for old times sake. I have to admit that I am really happy for them as they have purchased a beautiful new home that is about as comforatable and homey as you could ever dream of. They deserve it. It's perfectly suited for them. Also, it is much closer in proximity to their jobs and Craig's family, so it really just made sense.

On top of having a fabulous home, the previous homeowners had left behind an amazing jungle gym for 7 month- old Megan to enjoy. Okay - so she probably isn't squealing with excitement just yet, but Elaina was more than impressed. It had a slide ! Elaina's favorite of all. I'm pretty sure that she would have been content to slide the entire evening.

So, it's not quite like old times since we had to "drive" ourselves home, but we did have a most enjoyable evening with our old friends at their new pad.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Fumble and Miss !

GO STEELERS !


This evening, Eric, Elaina and I drove to Akron for our scheduled 6 month check- up- dentist appointments The office staff was so accommodating to us and happy to see our big one year old. They all remembered the last time we were there when she was just little, as she sat in her infant carrier. This time, Elaina entertained herself playing in the the little toy house/ cubby watching cartoons and reading some new books. She did great. The hygenist even picked out a special pink, kid-sized toothbrush, just for Elaina. As I was thanking her for the new toothbrush, I told her how I hadn't yet bought an actual toothbrush still been using a finger brush to do Elaina's teeth and that she bites down on my finger when I do this. The receptionist boldly asked Elaina, " Do you bite your mommy's finger ?" To which Elaina happily said, "yeeaah !" It was so funny ! I'm not entirely sure that Elaina understood the question, but her truthful answer was right on cue !

Since our dentist's office is directly across the street from the mall, we decided to schedule an appointment with one of the photo places for a professional portrait. Actually, a coupon for a free 8x10 photo is what sparked our attention for a candid pose of our favorite cheerleader. We knew that we were taking a gamble since our appointment was reaching close to her regular bedtime and we didn't really expect her full cooperation. And it was cooperation that we didn't get. Elaina was way too busy to stand still for even a moment. She wasn't particularly bad, she just wasn't in the mood for posing. Regardless, we didn't have anything to lose. So, the above picture was the best we could get away with. And "free" -made it even better. We love it anyhow and GO STEELERS !

Monday, September 18, 2006

Bad Mom Day

Most often I feel that I am fairly capable of scheduling and organizing my days fairly well. Somehow, I try and make everything on my need-to-do-list and want-to-do-list fit into the short amount of time I have after my work day. Today, was a different story.

It seems as though I had scheduled two doctor appointments for myself right in a row. I had to leave work early to make the first one and, 90 minutes later, I was finally out their door, on my way to the next appointment. Oh yeah, and I have to mention that there is 30 minutes drive time between the two. So, I get to my next appointment, surprisingly on time, and end up finishing my string of appointments at 7pm. Because the grocery store is across the street and I try multi-task as much as possible, I headed for Round 3 of my evening agenda. With my list in hand, I chased my cart through the store at top speed. After a fair amount of success in the grocery store, I had to fill my gas tank and finally head home.

I have to tell you that I hate wrapping up my evening at 8:00 which happens to be Elaina's bedtime. Once I got in the door, Elaina had wrangled herself from her daddy's lap to greet me with a hug and let me kiss all over her ! Needless to say, Elaina got her second wind and her bedtime was pushed back considerably ! I was able to spend some time with my favorite girl and was able to put her to bed afterall. This is the best ending to everyday - lots of hugs and cuddle time !

Editor's note : I'm only seeing my doctor's for routine appointments. No reason to worry. No cause for concern. Tomorrow night is our dentist appointment !!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Home Again !

** Okay... so I happened to dig out my camera only once this whole weekend and happened to get only one picture when Elaina was being fussy. Of course. Patti, the natural beauty was fresh from the shower with wet hair as I asked her to pose with my little, sweet, Squirmy.

We're headed for home today. Bevin and I enjoyed the best visit ever with our friend, Patti and her husband, Jason. They were especially accomodating and lots of fun ! Our round trip 10 hour drive was well worth it to see our friend !

Our morning plan fell into place nicely with only one hitch, Elaina fell down the steps. Worse yet, I was right next to her when she fell and couldn't do a single thing to stop her. Miss Independent has recently decided that she is big enough to take on the stairs at home all by herself, despite her Mother's opposition. Patti and Jason have loads of stairs in 6-8 step sections. The bad news is that she fell from the 2nd step down; the good news is that she was perfectly fine and barely cried. I think that I was more of a freaked -out mess than she was. At this point, I have my fingers crossed that she will give it some more time before she's willing to try going down the stairs again - wherever she is.

We got our things packed and headed out the door just as the girls were ready for their morning naps. Three hours into our trip, we made only 1 stop at a Burger King restaurant with a lame playland to let the banshees run wild and grab a bite to eat. Our drive was flawless, uneventful and quiet - just perfect for our young company. After dropping Bevin and Kelsey off at home, Elaina and I arrived at our house around 6:30. Then the madness ensued. Elaina was ecstatic to be out of her carseat and getting into things and playing with her own toys again. Meanwhile, I unloaded the truck as fast as I could before we had to leave to pick up Keegan. Elaina had a fit when I tried to wrangle her little bootie back into the seat, despite my promise that it was only going to be a 20 minute trip this time. How do you reason with a 14 month old, asking that they believe you ? She calmed down soon after and Keegan was overjoyed that his mommy and sister came back to take him home.

Hopefully, we'll all get our schedules back to normal and I'll get all of our things put away one day soon. Regardless, we couldn't have asked for a better trip or even better friends !

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Shopped Till We Dropped !

Let the shopping commence !!

Just one more thing that I love about my girlfriends is that they like to shop every bit as much as I do ! This morning, Jason went out to pick up breakfast while we all got ourselves ready for the day and the girls took a morning nap. Shortly after, we were off for a shopping marathon ! The weather was beautiful to enjoy the shops at a nearby outdoor mall with fabulous stores. Both Elaina and Kelsey seem to be following in their mother's footsteps when it comes to shopping - they were very content for most of our browsing and even squeezed in a stroller-nap here and there. We decided on a late lunch and Elaina had reached her breaking point. She ate reasonably well, yet her table manners weren't anything worth sharing. Luckily, we had previously agreed on an intermission following lunch to go home and let the girls take a real nap. Also, we had to take some time to unload our purchases to free up some space in the truck.

The little girls napped for over an hour, meanwhile, the big girls decorated our cell phones with some serious sticker bling. (Yeah, we already know we aren't 16 - but it was fun !) Once the girls woke from their naps and our phones were sparkling like disco balls, we headed out to the real mall for Round 2 of shopping. This mall included very high end stores and seemed rather pretentious and expensive. In fact, when we were browsing in the Coach store, Elaina pulled a $358 handbag from the display, popped it over her arm, and said, "Bye-bye." As a mother, I couldn't be more proud - or scared ! Only joking, although it was very cute !

Again, the girls held up well in the mall and as we made our way to dinner at Champs restaurant. The food was excellent, the service was top-notch and the girls were about to fall out of their high-chairs-tired. Thank goodness, our evening was wrapping up. We went home, tucked the tired twosome into their beds and while Jason played the role as the babysitter, we headed out for Round 3: shopping at Meijer, our favorite 24 hour store. Truly, we were even wearing down as we headed out of the store with our purchases at midnight. I do believe that this could be the most shopping I have ever done in a day's time. Elaina set a new record for sure !

Friday, September 15, 2006

Girls' Getaway Weekend !

Today, the White's are all leaving town. Eric is headed to New York for a gun show and Elaina and I are driving to Indiana with a friend of mine and her daughter to see a close mutual friend of ours. Let the fun begin !

It's too bad that our morning didn't quite start off on the right foot. It all began last night when Elaina had a bout of baby-insomnia, otherwise known as restlessness. She was flopping around in her bed about midnight and began to cry on and off. Upon checking on her, she had a stinky diaper and was wide awake. While changing her diaper, I couldn't help to notice that all of her bottom looked sun-burned-bright-red. She cried and pleaded, "Mommy ! Mommy!" as I carefully wiped her and slathered her with Balmex. From that point on, she wanted to be held and comforted. I just couldn't put her down knowing that she was in pain. Our night was only growing longer by the minute and Eric needed to be up at 5 a.m. I pulled Elaina into bed with me in the spare bedroom and we both were finally able to get some rest between her popping up in bed to reposition.

After a rather sleepless night, I decided that I wouldn't be particularly useful at work and I still faced a 5 hour drive ahead of me. I called off work for the rest of the morning ( I had already scheduled my afternoon off) in attempt to get my day back on track. I ended up taking Elaina to the sitter's house for a few hours while I packed and took Keegan to the kennel and caught an hour long nap. Things were looking up ! I picked up Elaina, headed to pick up my friend, Bevin and her 17 month old daughter, Kelsey and we were off !

Our 5 hour drive went exceptionally well. We were headed to Carmel, Indiana to visit with our good friend, Patti and her husband Jason. They are about 4 months into their year- long-relocation for Jason's job. We made one stop along the way to stretch and recharge and got right back on the road. We arrived just past 8:00 the girls were ready to run wild. They went to bed easily and the big girls stayed up past midnight enjoying our slumber party over a glass of wine ! I have to say that I love my friends ! What a great evening !

Thursday, September 14, 2006

The Sweetest Sound

I LOVE IT !!

Elaina has just begun to say "Mommy" consistently ! Previously, she had said "Mama" on occasion, until finally, out of nowhere, she has begun to say "Mommy" over and over again !

To encourage her to keep up her trend, I flap my arms in the air, clap my hands and smooch all over her face and belly ! She smiles and squeals with laughter ! Oh the joys of being "Mommy !"

Tonight, as Eric and I were having a conversation, Elaina interrupted and said "Mommy, Mommy." I answered her plea with some attention and then turned to Eric to ask him if that wasn't the sweetest sound he has ever heard. As if on cue, Elaina quickly answers my question with a sweet, "No."

She's mistaken... it is the sweetest sound in the whole world !

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

What's Your Name ?

This morning, while sharing breakfast with her Daddy, Elaina learned to say her name ! Somewhere between her banana and dry cereal, Eric taught Elaina to say "Laina" when asked her name. It is so incredibly cute !! We often call her Laina, when she isn't "Lulu" or "Lulee" or "Stinkerbell" - but her version sometimes comes out sounding more like "Yaina" when she isn't putting any effort into her response. Yet, from this day forward, I'll never forget the sweet sound of hearing her say her name for the first time, clear as a bell, " Laina !" with her silly-sweet-smiling angel face !

Way to go Daddy ! I'm hoping that over breakfast-school tomorrow, he can teach her numbers and days of the week !

Monday, September 11, 2006

Somebody is in trouble ...


I'm gonna have to say that it's Daddy who got in trouble tonight ! He offered to "watch" Elaina outside as he worked in the yard, while I cleaned up the dishes from dinner.

Upon seeing his little dirt-digger, he asked Elaina, " How can you get into the dirt so fast and eat it ? " Hahahahahaha .... has he ever met our one-year-old ? Umm.. any kid for that matter !He's crazy !

If you love Elaina like we love Elaina, please take a moment for the following prayer :

Dear God,
Please bless the dirt that Elaina ate and let it have been free from bugs, worms, parasites, feces, urine and everything else that her mother worries about. Please, Father, let her find many things more pleasing to her palate than dirt and that she'll never do this again. Amen.

Thank you !

Boy did she smell good after her bath !!

9/11

Five years have gone by since the terrorist attack upon America.

Let us never forget the lives that were lost, the brave who fought to save so many and the families left behind.

Let us never forget the tragedy which united every American together with pride in our country and strength to move forward.

Let us not forget that we don't need a tragedy to show unity and compassion for every one around us, every single day.

God bless us all and God bless the USA !

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Elaina's Masterpiece


Needless to say, Elaina had a little difficulty falling asleep at naptime today. She was obviously tired and an entire hour had passed since her usual naptime, so I lay her in her crib with her lullabies on for her to fall asleep. Not.

I was downstairs and heard an eerie thud, thud, thud and couldn't place where the sound was coming from except for upstairs. I rushed up the steps, scared to death what was going on with my baby up there only to find a happy Elaina, laying on her back, binkies in both hands and mouth, kicking on her crib rail. After she had re-decorated her crib apparently. I could only laugh. That's my sweet, little clown !

Just for the record, Elaina never really did take a decent nap today. She caught about 30 minutes on the way to the mall and did surprisingly alright throughout our shopping trip. Amazingly, I even got Round 2 completed which involved going grocery shopping. It sure made for a tired girl by the time 8:00 rolled around. Night night !

*** Elaina learned how to say banana today. It sounds something like this : " dnbdnanah." I'm gonna have to say that counts !

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Two at the Zoo !


The two of us, the two of them. Two kids, two moms. Two strollers, two pushers ... However you want to look at it, we had too much fun at the zoo today !

For the past several weeks, Eric and I had wanted to take Elaina to the Akron Zoo. With gun show season upon us and full weekends ahead, I didn't see that it would be likely that the 3 of us would make it there anytime this year. With that in mind, I happened to be talking to my dear friend, Becky, and invited her and her grandson along for the day. Becky, as you remember is one of the nurses who cared for and loved Ava in her time in the hospital.

Becky and Lucas were on board for a fun filled day at the zoo. With Elaina being almost 2 months older than Lucas, it was fascinating to see them interact and point out the animals to us and each other. They both had their share of, "uh- uh-uh's" with their little arms outstretched. Unfortunately, many of the exhibits weren't especially stroller-rider-friendly and neither Becky nor myself, were willing to gamble on getting the kids out, only to have to pop them back in their seats again two minutes later.


During our stroll throughout the zoo, we came across a kid's recreation area to let the little stinkers burn off some energy. They both did really well sitting in their seats for the majority of the time, but they were more than ready to get out and explore and play. I'm not sure what a one year old finds more fascinating; a rock wall that they can't climb or the gym mat on the floor that's cool to the touch and squishy -but no interaction. Becky, however, found a fabric wall that had the most wonderful shadow on the other side. With the kids on the shadow- side of the panel, she began to play "get-the-baby-through-the-screen." At first, she scared Elaina as I held her hand up and Becky grabbed it through the fabric, but then she caught on that it was a game and squealed with laughter.


Elaina did manage to find some entertainment on her own. She was determined to get to the top of this wall ... and she did. (With a little help from mommy.) She was thrilled ! This is the kind of girl that makes for a proud daddy - not like he could love her any more, but this could be the start of plenty of recreation together.

Just when we thought our day couldn't get any better, we ran into Nancy, the babysitter, with her daughter and grandkids. Elaina was sure that she had come just to see her. She couldn't get out of her stroller fast enough to give "Nana" a hug and kiss. She didn't want to let her go until I reminded her that I wanted to keep her for the day and then she was fine. Way to hurt a mommy's feelings.

So, it really turned out to be a perfect day. Despite the threat of the rumbling thunder in the distance, the sun was shining and the temperature was great. After the zoo trip, Elaina even let me run a few errands on the way home. She, of course, was rewarded with a shared ice cream cone at the mall after such a long day.

What a beautiful day to spend with friends and a great experience to share with my daughter ! Thanks for coming Becky ... we'll be looking forward to seeing you in the fall for " Boo-at-the-Zoo ! "

Friday, September 08, 2006

One of THOSE days !

Oh ... how much do I love this time of year ! The beautiful crisp days that the concrete doesn't melt beneath your feet, the sun shining gloriously with the leaves beginning to change and the cool, evening air perfect for leaving the windows open. Aahh ... this is what I consider my perfect time of year !

Now, with that said, let's think about all of the other things that come our way ... we have football season, hunting season and Eric's part time job, which we affectionately refer to as "gun-show-season." Eric hasn't done a show in months and now is the time when things are going to be kicking into high gear with availibilty to do shows every weekend. (We've tried to put a cap on doing only 2 per month.) Early this morning, Eric fed Elaina breakfast, hugged and kissed his girls goodbye and headed for a show in Pennsylvania. Looks like a play weekend for Elaina and me.

We had made plans to meet my girlfriend and her 20 month old daughter for pizza. The girls were quite well behaved and so interested in each other that it was more than cute. They both tried to mimic one another's behavior - the good and the bad. Remember, "monkey-see-monkey-do ?" We had dinner with the monkeys !

After dinner, I was on a mission to find the locally published newspaper with our picture in it, taken at the fair. Because this paper is published weekly, it is sometimes scarce in the local stores. Elaina and I went to 3 stores before finding a single paper ... and we bought 4 of them. ( Grandparents - your copies are on their way ! )
*** Here's where the entertainment starts ***
As we were in Rite-Aid, the only store not sold out of newspapers, I decided that since Elaina was being so good, I would just take a few more minutes to browse the store. Upon finding a point of interest, with Elaina on my hip, I began to feel a very warm sensation at my side. Oh yeah ... she peed on me ! Her diaper must have just had the perfect gap for her to wet through it as if she were naked. Okay ... so we'll deal with this. I clung her a little tighter and we made our way to the checkout counter. Once we get to the front of the store, I discovered a line at the register, 4 customers deep. I continue to walk around trying to keep her attention, with Elaina in one arm and clutching 4 newspapers and a few other items between us. She decided that she had enough of helping mommy out and threw a bottle of lotion to the floor, breaking off the plastic base and lid. If you think about this for a minute, tell me how in the world can I pick that off the floor with my 30 pounds of loot in my arms ? Very carefully .... So I go to get a cart and put Elaina's wet bottom right in the seat (I'm sure it's dried by now- safe for another little wet butt) dumped my purchases in the cart and stood in line. It's our turn and my products aren't ringing up the right price. Price check please ! More waiting. Elaina had reached her maximum and began to grab for everything and squirm. I reached for an emergency lollipop from my purse and she grew sweeter by the second. On my way out of the store, Elaina dripped lollipop-spit onto my shoulder, lollipop "sticky" onto my hair and hers and she screamed as I peeled it out of her grip for the ride home.

Finally home, I gave her a bath and decided I may as well pop my stinky, sticky self in too. Without her bath seat, she yelled until she realized that mommy was right behind her. Way more cushiony than that old bath seat ! By this time, I could tell that her day was catching up with her and she had just had enough. It was definately bedtime. As I made ourselves comforatable in the recliner with the tv on, I realize that our relic television set no longer makes any noise. No volume, just picture. So we literally just "watched" tv. My whole 30 minutes of tv watching per day, just got foiled.

I realize that my day really could have been worse, but it was just too comical not to share. Eric arrived to his show safely and my beautiful daughter is sleeping like a baby. That's a good day in my book !
It's almost midnight and I have only a few things to do before I go to bed ... I have my fingers crossed that this day will pass without another flaw. Let the countdown begin -----

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Hungry Piggy !

We've started a new nightly ritual.

Recently Elaina noticed her piggy bank that sits upon the highest shelf of her bookcase. Out of nowhere, she began pointing at her pig and so we pulled him down for a visit. Eric went downstairs and raided all of my spare change to "feed" the piggy bank. We dropped some coins onto the carpet and one, by one, Elaina carefully loaded her treasure into her pig. Clink by clink, the biggest smiles crossed her face.

She is so diligent to drop the money directly into the slot and beems with pride on a job well-done. I have been giving her five coins each night and I count coin by coin in an effort for her to become familiar with her numbers too. Talk about "enriching" your child !

Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor - Free Day !


















Remember how I reported that Elaina has recently begun to feed herself with a fork and a spoon ? Well ... for this morning's snack, she decided against her spoon. She likes her yogurt in her own "special" way ! Messy !

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Homeward Bound

The last picture we have of Ma-ma with Elaina was last August and Elaina was a teensy, little one month old infant. Whew ... Just look at her now !

I'm pretty sure that Ma-ma enjoyed our visit and spending time with our busy one year old. We all had a nice time. For a new environment, Elaina faired reasonably well; not getting into absolutely everything in the house. She explored her surroundings, talked to the dogs and settled in quite well. Unfortunately, she had her own issues at the dinner table each day, but forgiving great- aunt's and grandma excused her poor behavior. To all of our family in the South - thank you for a lovely visit !

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Clowning Around

















Can you spot the "real" clown in the above pictures ?

We took in plenty of entertainment on this beautiful, crisp day in West Virginia. The city of Charleston was celebrating the annual "Sternwheel Festival" on the river. We decided to head down to take in the sights and enjoy some lunch and free entertainment on the riverwalk. Once we had soaked in enough walking and fresh air and bad-for-you-fair-food-that-I-love-so-much, we made our way to the mall. On our way, we happened to pass a rather stylish clown who was making her way down to the event. Like a shutterbug mother, knowing it would make a great blog picture, I asked if she wouldn't mind posing with Elaina. She happily obliged and Elaina, surprisingly, went to her without a fuss. Once the clown had her in her arms, Elaina tried to ignore her and looked at us, wondering why we surrendered her into the arms of the lady with fluffy, pink hair and a nose as big and red as a cherry.

I have to confess that I do love mall in Charleston ! The three of us walked around for nearly 3 hours and finally wore Elaina out. With one foot kicked up on her stroller tray, she laid back and napped for almost an hour. We returned home to visit with more of Eric's family - aunt's and uncles and enjoyed a pleasant, relaxing evening together. We were all too pooped to do too much more. What a day !

***Editor's note***
The above picture of Elaina in the house was at the most fabulous toystore in the mall. The family is accepting donations to make her toyhouse a backyard reality. We have only $ 400 more to go and it's hers !!

Sooo joking .... I guess you have to know me better than that ! **smile**

14 Months Old !


I've thought about quitting reporting Elaina's monthly accomplishments, but then I thought that this is the time that she is really learning new things everyday and doing so many more things. I can't quit. You can skip reading them, but I love that Elaina can compare these with her kids when she becomes a mom one day. ( You know, when she in her mid 20's ... I think about these things, you know ?)

So ... as a 13 month old, this is what Elaina has been up to :

* Learned to turn every light switch in the house on and off ; tries to say "on" and "off"
* Has become very particular about always placing ehr sippy cup in the proper hole on her highchair tray every last time
* Gives hugs and open mouth kisses
* Knows the sounds for a cat, dog and cow; can identify each
* New words : " more, " "hot" and " hat"
* Will follow directions when requested to get her book, binky or shoes
* She identifies her books by the title or key words from the book and will retrieve them
* Beginning to run when being chased by mommy or daddy; new game
* tooth count : 8 (4 top, 4 bottom) a few molars are in the works
* Will blow on food as I bring her plate to the table and says, "ott." Which is of course, "hot."
* Has begun to use a fork and spoon to feed herself; not consistent, but definately entertaining
* All of her warts have cleared up at the beginning of this month. So much for the 6-8 month norm... and I'm certainly not complaining.

As always, she is the greatest girl ever and this mommy and daddy couldn't be happier. Except if we had 3 of her !

Friday, September 01, 2006

Over the river and thru the woods ...

to Ma-ma's house we go !

Wild and Wonderful ... West Virginia !
Watch out West Virginia - here we come !

For this wonderful, long, Labor Day weekend, we headed to West Virginia for a long overdue visit with Eric's grandmother. She hadn't seen Elaina since last August and, obvioulsy, she's come a long, long way over the past year.

Our 3 hour drive went exceptionally well with Elaina sleeping 2/3 of the trip. When she awoke, she whimpered with her " feed-me !" yell and, luckily, we were already pulling into a Wendy's drive thru. A quick snack of frosty's and french fries made the duration of the trip happier for all of us.

Ma-ma was happy to see all of us and Elaina took to her immediately with a big hug. The remainder of the evening, we spent visiting until Mama rocked Elaina and herself to sleep !