Thursday, November 30, 2006

Elaina's New Friend

Elaina's new friend, Cole, is now 5 weeks old already and we finally made it over to meet him !! He is only 11 months shy of his first birthday so I figured that we better get ourselve in gear to pay him a visit !

I had planned on giving my friends, Scott and Jessica (Cole's parents) a week to recover,adjust and allow time with their families. I had thought by the second or third week, we'd get over to visit. NOPE. At that point, Elaina was going through a stage where she was plenty tired by 6:00 and I wasn't about to dare to leave the house with her. Following that, was her first bout with this same set of teeth, busting their way into her gums. Another sneeze and snot fest for her.

So, finally ... the day has come that Elaina gets to meet her new friend. She often says "ba-bee" as she happily points to pictures of babies in her books or on TV. I had told her that today, we were going to see a real, live baby ! That piqued her interest and I was anxious to see her reaction to an actual moving, fussing, baby who made noises unlike her babydolls. She greeted my friend Jessica with a casual "hi" and a wave, barely seeming to notice the little guy she held in her arms. And then ... she spotted Jasmine. The cat. Elaina has really only been around dogs and doesn't seem to pay them any interest. This cat, however, the kind that says "meow" was fascinating. I was impressed that she only watched Jasmine. She wasn't overly eager to pet her, but only if Jasmine initiated the touch by rubbing against her and Elaina wasn't scared. After that, Jasmine was the only thing that mattered. She didn't pay any attention to the beautifully lit Christmas tree, the baby, Jessica or myself. What a way to start a relationship !

For the record, as you can plainly see, Cole is an absolute doll !

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Feeling Good

And it's about time !

This is the first morning that Elaina has woke up without a fever in a while. I think that anytime your child has a fever it's too long. This morning she seemed alert, happy and ready to start her day. I took her to the babysitter's house with the disclaimer that she had no meds this morning, so with any symptoms, feel free to dose. At the end of the day, Nancy reported that Elaina had a great, medicine-free day. Yeah !

As my readers can tell, I've been a little behind on the blogging lately. However, for the sake of posterity, I've tried to pretend that I am perfectly up-to-date ! Play along, would you ?

I did forget to report one thing that happened on Sunday evening. A scary thing that I really can't believe that I failed to mention. Sunday night, Elaina was still at her peek of feeling bad and I had been keeping her well dosed with her meds. I did realize that she was going to be due for her next dose around 10:00 p.m. though. Obviously, she had been sleeping for a couple hours by then and I feared that I would wake her, reminding her how miserable she felt if I tried to give her medicine. Her forehead felt fine about 11:00 and I foolishly believed that the worst was finally behind her and didn't want to dose her unnecessarily. About 12:30, she was screaming and crying a different story. She had a fever of 104.6 !!! That's too high for me to feel the least bit comforatable with the situation. Immediately, I loaded her with Tylenol and cool water and juice from her sippy and rocked her patiently as I waited. She was like a little hot potato.

I was crushed as I felt responsible for letting this happen if I would have just woke her when I should have. I was only minutes from either (1) calling the doctor (2) tossing her sleepy, miserable behind in the bathtub and really tick her off or (3) stripping her clothes off and sponge bathing her. ( just as maddening to a child )

When I finally allowed for my sensible-self to begin doing some thinking, I decided to wait it out and let the meds do their stuff. Nearly 30 minutes and 10 miles on the rocking chair later, her temperature had dropped to 103. Still not loving the triple digits, but especially pleased that it was lower.

Needless to say, this has been quite a week for all of us ! That could have had something to do with my behind-the-times-blogging method. Since Sunday night, I have learned how to give medicine to Elaina without arousing her from her sleep. Something I will much more diligent about.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Silly Little Self

The older I've gotten, the more I have learned that it's the silly little things in life that keep us going. That's another great reason for this blog. I tend not to have earth-shattering information to share each and every day. Most times, I find myself reporting a daily roster of how our day unfolds that is really only significant to me. Yet, at the same time, the "little things" really do mean so much. I can reread several older posts and they take me back as if the event just happened yesterday. That's the beauty and the purpose behind my daily roster. It's like Elaina was just little yesterday. Being able to hold onto each sweet memory as we make them together while she grows into an incredible little girl.

So, about those "little things." Here are some short samples of Elaina in all silliness that I live for each day;

* Tonight, she thought herself to be especially clever when she had the bright idea to dip her binky, rather than her spoon into her "assauce" at dinnertime. I think that she was more impressed that mommy and daddy let her get away with that little feat. Alas, we're putting the binky wars behind us if that what it takes to make a little girl happy. A bit more messy I should say, but entertained and eating up. Go for it !

** Elaina has been running into the bathroom lately for the sole purpose of brushing her teeth. Whoa ! I'm thrilled with her enthusiasm over basic hygiene. Not only does she like to brush her teeth, she grabs the handle of my toothbrush and helps me brush too. She stares intently into my frothy mouth, with her hand over mine and says, "brush." Keep up the good work, Baby ! The dentist will love you !

*** Eric has taught Elaina to spin as he sings "Ring Around the Rosey" to her. Sometimes, she'll just begin to spin while looking at you, waiting for her tune to begin. She doesn't quite fall down at the end of the song yet, but rather, spins and falls when she has had her fill of dizzy. And then - right back up ! She has also added her own unique spin to the alphabet song as she feels that this makes a great spinning song as well.

**** I was totally impressed the other morning when Elaina randomly ran to the bathroom and began to "feel out" the counter for her missing object. I discovered that she had been searching for the crayon and post-it pad of paper that I had taken from her hand before her bath the night before. I had thought I had done this rather swiftly as I redirected her attention on her bath bubbles and there was no fuss or fit from my budding artist - she barely seemed to notice. However, she remembered. I was a little suprised to say the least.

***** Just some bonus material - hand washing now agrees with her and willingly. She constantly says new words; things she only hears once, she will attempt to say. She's been showing great appreciation for music and songs as she'll kick out a foot randomly, make a stomp motion (which is amusing for a little size 4 foot) and clap her hands. She still loves the game of peek-a-boo and loves to see where mommy will pop up with a "boo" when she reveals herself. Books are still her true love, with paper and crayons running a close second.

I continue to be amazed by what goes through this little girl's mind and that she is constantly learning. Each day, her personality and humor becomes more evident. She thrills me to no end and just when I think I couldn't love her any more than I already do - she gives me a little bonus of silly or sweet that just sends me over the top !

Monday, November 27, 2006

Lucky For Us All

Can I just mention one more time what a great babysitter we have for Elaina ? We love Nancy !

This morning, Eric was already in the woods at 5:00 a.m. for the opening day of gun season in Ohio. (Oh yeah ... this is a big day for my hunter !) I wasn't entirely sure about taking Elaina to Nancy's house while she wasn't feeling so well, but didn't really have a choice not to go into to work after a 4 day weekend. By the time I finally reached Eric on his cell phone, I was already at Nancy's house and learned that Elaina was the only one there. Since all of the other kids' moms are teachers, they had the day off for vacation and kept their kids at home. Nancy was more than willing to care for Elaina despite her bouts with the crankies and the need for a box of kleenex with every sneeze.

To Elaina, thanks for not cutting into the opening day of gun season ! Love, Dadda

To Nancy, thanks for loving Elaina so much and treating her so well ! Love, Elaina's mommy

To Elaina, hope you feel better soon so we can have fun ! Love, Mommy

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Home to Dadda !

After a long and wonderful weekend of visiting with my parents, Elaina and I packed up our bags and got back on the road, heading for home. It's been a full 8 days that Elaina has gone without seeing her Dadda. Trust me when I tell you that it wasn't easy for her to be away from him so long. Lucky for my dad, "Pop-Pop," rather, that Elaina gravitated to him immediately and his warm hugs in lieu of her regular daddy hugs.

Still suffering from her misery, I loaded Elaina with her meds and we set off for our 3 hour drive back home. Eric had arrived home from West Virginia Friday night and had spent the past 2 days doing projects outside. I have to mention that Ohio has had a rare, but welcome, heat wave. For this time of year, we can typically expect temps to hover between 20-40 degrees. Happily, we were able to enjoy a comfortable 60 degrees over the past 2 days. Eric was able to get loads of projects done in this great weather without interference.

Elaina and I got home around 5:00 to find Dadda sitting in the living room. Her face lit up when she saw him, but surprisingly, wasn't over anxious to run to him. We were both shocked at her hesitation after she had talked about him all week long. Eric scooped her in his arms and she rested happily on his chest for a melty-hug. It's nice for the 3 of us to be home and together again !

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Thanksgiving Family Style

So, this is the way my family celebrates the holidays; not particular on which day we celebrate, little rest, much fun and lots of food !

This is the day that everyone was able to join together to celebrate our Thanksgiving dinner. Greg, Kate and Colin arrived at the house before my mom, Elaina and myself returned home from some stores and were ready to party with Elaina. It was especially unfortunate that Elaina had only allowed herself about a 30 minute nap all day and refused to eat anything at lunch time. She has run a fever most of the day and her nose is still an active goo- filled volcano, erupting with every sneeze. I started her on regular doses of Tylenol and infant's Triamenic strips today to deal with her congestion. Within an hour, her symptoms seemed to have subsided.

We sat down for our thanksgiving feast around 3:30 and Elaina refused to eat anything. Not that this was particularly unusual, but the fact that she immediately began to throw and spit her food was unusual and didn't go over well with this mom. While trying to clean her up enough to remove her from her highchair, she tried to maneuver my hand into her mouth to bite me. Big mistake, my Love. My sympathy to her in not feeling well, however, the whole idea of thinking she could bite me, wasn't happening no matter how bad she felt. After a painful discipline for the both of us, I put her down in her bed to sleep away her hostility and get some much needed rest. After dinner, I realized that she hadn't yet got any more sleep and lay down with her for a serious nap. A little over an hour later, she was refreshed, recharged and far more pleasant to be around.

The remainder of our evening is better able told through pictures. Here is the rest of the story :

The kids started out their time together with a rousing game of shut-out-Auntie.

The less familiar version of the game "telephone."
Learned that Elaina isn't so much into sharing crayons just yet. Colin, however, sacrificed his crayons to Elaina to get the big 'ol baby to stop crying. Thank you, Colin !

Story time with Pop-Pop.

(**** Note the characters' postions on the TV screen and Colin and Elaina. Nice shot, Kate !)
Decorating your cousin with stickers is a lot of fun. As a result, our children look like diseased manifestations of their former selves.

Thanks for the sticker book, Grandma !

Is this day almost over ?

Friday, November 24, 2006

More to life than shopping

And yes, after a fun filled morning of shopping, my day has only just begun. Elaina had loads 'o' fun playing chase, pick up and nose catching all morning with grandma and grandpa. We had lunch together and snuggled down for a 2 hour nap. Oh yeah, can my day really get any better ? Shopping. Food. Snuggle-nap with my baby melted against me. Love it !

Now, about the nose-catching that grandma and grandpa had to deal with today. Let's count this as Round 3 in her nasty battle against her enamaled enemies - her teeth. The two teeth on either side of her bottom 4 have taken their own sweet time on making their grand appearance. In the meantime, they have been the root of much pain and discomfort for her. Elaina has been cranky, overly- tired and a slim-pickin's eater for the past month. She got a short reprieve, just to get back to the same old pain. This round includes, but is not limited to, the sneezy-volcano-nose and high fevers which accompany her misery.

We did manage to squeeze plenty of fun into the day and not allow her teething issues to bring us down. After dinnertime, we set out to deliver cousin Evan's birthday gift to him. The birthday boy would be turning 4 the next day, so we arrived early to play his new game of Elefun with him. Elefun consists of an elephant head base with a blowing fan that sends little "butterfly" spinners into the air via the 3 foot long trunk. The players are armed with butterfly nets to collect the airborne prizes before they fall to the ground. Evan was amused and wanted to play over and over. Elaina enjoyed the entertainment of mommy and Aunt Cindy filling the elephant's head over and over and over. She did manage to collected her butterflies in her net with a little help from mom and cheated by pulling some from the floor. (Don't tell Evan !)

One million plus ONE ...

That's how many other shoppers I encountered at the stores this morning - one million crazy people. The one is accounting for myself.

Oh Yes I Did ! I went shopping the day after Thanksgiving !

Last night, I mapped out my sale route and accepted grandma and grandpa's offer to watch Elaina at home while I enjoyed my early morning spending spree. I woke at 4:00 a.m and was scraping frost off of my truck at 4:30 before hitting the gas station for my morning fuel, cappuccino. I joined a respectful stream of cars on the way to the mall, which is about 25 miles from my parents' home in the dark, dense fog. I arrived at my first destination at 5:04 for the sale which supposedly started at 5 a.m. I was surprised to see customers rushing out of the doors with their carts brimming with bargains. Silly me had to remember that the store I was at was open 24 hours. Duh. I also heard that those same shoppers had been there since 2 a.m. waiting for the sale items to roll out onto the floor. That takes shopping to a whole new level of commitment. (They should be committed. ) Apparently, I'm not there yet.

I made some new friends as I stood in line in the electronics department to request a Magellan GPS navigator as a Christmas treat to myself. Because the register lines were almost to the back of the store when I arrived, I took my time browsing through the store to seek out the remaining items on my list. By the time I was ready to check out, the line was a tolerable 10 minute wait.

My next stop was to the mall where I was surprised to find so many incredible buys. I loaded up in Elder- Beerman, took my toll on Bath & Body Works, overwhelmed myself at JCPenney and struggled out of KB Toy Store. And that was just the tip of the iceberg. It made me wonder why the mall doesn't have carts ? I was about to d i e a slow and painful death of shopping-bag-overload. Lucky for me I was able to recover long enough to hit one more store.

I'll admit that I impressed myself with getting so many gifts purchased ( for other people too !) and that I racked up some great deals in the meantime. I did find my way home in the 11:00 a.m. hour, bringing lunch to my diligent babysitters. And about getting up at 4:00 a.m. - that's so not me. I'm generally not even conscious at that hour, let alone wanting to peel myself out of bed. All in all, I am pleased with my finds and enjoyed scouring so many stores at my own pace. Today marks a success and the beginning of a new tradition. Thanks mom and dad for rendering your grandma and grandpa babysitting services !

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Plenty to be Thankful For ...

This marks Elaina's second Thanksgiving holiday. Last year, she was just a wee-bitty infant who was learning to sit on her bottom and charmed us all with her sweet smiles. We have all come a long in a year's time and have been fortunate that the blessings keep rolling in. There isn't a day that goes by that we don't think that we are the luckiest parents alive. In my opinion, every parent should be so lucky to feel the same way about their own child.

For tonight's entry, I've thought long and hard about how to condense all of the things that I am thankful for into a reasonable sized post that won't result in a long jumble. I've pinpointed the thing that I am absolutely most grateful for is God. That was easy. With God, all things are possible and I feel that I have been blessed by The Best with every smile that crosses my face. Now, I don't tend to be of the preachy- sort and will never claim to be "holier-than-thou" (as the saying goes) however, with all of the different twists and turns than my (our) lives have taken, I am happy to come out on the other end a better person. I have grown stronger in my faith and have been blessed, firsthand, with the miracle of Elaina.

With that said, my Thanksgiving list will revolve around all of the wonderful facets that come with being Elaina's mommy. After all, this is Elaina's story ...

And thus my list of which I am thankful :

* The beautiful smiles of my daughter and the sparkle in her eyes
* Hearing my daughter call me "Mommy"
* Having a daughter to call my own
* Squealy, giggly laughter that infects every fiber of my being with joy
* The never ending awe in everything Elaina does; watching her learn, think, play, discover, and grow
* Learning Elaina's personality and helping to shape the values of my daughter
* Witnessing my husband melt over his little girl
* Warm snuggly hugs and cuddling before bedtime
* Stroking my baby's hair and holding her hand
* The way my heart wants to burst when Elaina learns something new and beams with pride in her latest accomplishment
* Lots of pink. Little clothes. Little shoes. Baby dolls. Binkies. Diapers.
* Cleaning up the messes that she makes and changing dirty diapers, because that means that she is a perfectly healthy, happy and functioning child
* Not enough sleep because my time spent with my girl and blogging memories is more important than anything in the world
* The lump that I get in my throat when I think of how our lives have played out and that Elaina is our child because God created her just for us. The tears that always follow the lump when I recall how many people prayed so hard for a healthy baby for us and being able to proudly share our miracle with the world. This is what God did ... this perfect, healthy child that He blessed us with.
* This blog. This blog originated due to the insistence of Elaina's grandparents, and great-grandparents so that they would be able to follow in her life from hundreds of miles away. And to Aunt Kate, who serves as my personal tech support for my blog. This blog that will serve as bedtime story telling to Elaina when she is older and that she'll know that there has never been a single day in her entire life that she wasn't loved more than anything in the world.

That's just a sampling of the wonderful, great things that I am thankful for. My husband also holds a spot pretty high on my list as well. There are plenty more, such as our loving families and great friendships with never ending support from both. Stability and security at home and at work. All of the blessings that have made our lives so comfortable. The health and well-being of all of those we love. And daily prayers that God continues to draw us closer to him each and every day.

I've learned to be thankful every day and never take a thing for granted because we aren't guaranteed a tomorrow. Thanks to all of you for following Elaina's story and sharing in our lives.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Little Bit Busy

Here I am. It's after midnight. I'm finally making time for a quick entry before I finish my to-do list for the day. You may find yourself asking, "why doesn't she have it all together yet ? It is midnight !" I've been getting things packed and organized to leave home tomorrow for our long weekend ahead.

Welllll .... I haven't stopped since 6:30 this morning !! And it's just funny how the longer your day gets, the more "stuff" you can cram in. Oh wait ... make time for a quick heart -attack ! Elaina must have set her alarm clock to go off again at midnight !! Big house, all alone, peace and quiet and then BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP BEEP !!
Aack ! I hate it when she does that !

Where was I? Oh yeah ... my evening. Elaina played hard at the babysitter's house again today and came home tired again. Good dinner, playtime, bath and book ! I actually did pull out my camera to capture how animated she became right before bedtime. Apparently, she made time to squeeze in a quick story all by herself.

After I put Elaina down for the night, my real work began. Tomorrow, we are headed out of town to stay with my parents until Sunday. With a three hour drive ahead of us, I want to get on the road just before Elaina's nap and try to have everything prepared to roll out on a moment's notice. All I have left to do is pack her clothes, without her help, and begin loading some random things into the truck. It's to my advantage to do as much as I can tonight rather than deal with Little-Busy- Body- Helper and a neurotic dog who wants to constantly be underfoot when he senses there is a trip to go on. He gets incredibly anxious as the bags begin to leave the house and pile into the truck. Maybe I'll throw him off since he's least expecting a trip in the middle of the night. Surprise !

Now, I'm off to finish my list and catch some zzzz's ... maybe Elaina could drive us to grandma and grandpa's house tomorrow .. I mean today !

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

My Surrender

Yep... I admit it. My 16 month-old has done me in. I'm not too proud to admit my defeat.

I handed over her binky during her dinner tonight.
( Gasp ! )

When I arrived to pick Elaina up at the babysitter's house, she was so tired that she lay down on her coat as I was trying to put it on her. Once we got home, I already knew what our night entailed :
10 minute sit-down/cuddle time/ quiet time with a snack on the sofa watching Franklin (on Noggin) followed by a screaming/ crying / kicking dinner without a binky - starring Upset Mommy and Emotional- Wreck- Baby and to conclude our evening : a bath and books and bedtime.

Sounds great with the exception of the dinnertime fiasco. So, why not try to eliminate that from the get- go ? Sure. I waived my white flag and handed over her binky. She ate. No tears. Bite, Binky. Bite. Binky. She is like a binky-junkie in need of quick "fix" in order to function. Who knew that binkies are like crack for babies ? Now I know. I'm her "supplier."

Life is too short and there aren't enough hours in a day to spend with the ones you love the most. We'll work on this situation later and in the meantime, I'm going to do everything I can to enjoy my evening with my daughter and begin saving money for her braces.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Melt me why don't you !

This begins Day 3 of 7 of Eric being away from home on his hunting trip. Elaina has been missing her " Dadda " very much and calls out for him randomly throughout the house. Every time the phone rings she is certain that it's going to be Dadda on the other end. When she wakes up in the morning she puts her arms around me and shouts, "Dadda !" as she points to our room, hoping that he is still lying in his bed. She is a sad case, that girl.

Apparently, I am a pretty sad case myself. I miss Eric too. I've always been mostly independent and able to handle things well on my own. I'm capable and strong- willed. Yet, when it comes to my husband, I'd rather have him near than far. That's why I married him !

This morning, I fulfilled Daddy's role in feeding Elaina her breakfast. She ate reasonably well (without her blasted Binky !) and was very pleasant. Upon lifting her from her highchair, I requested a hug from my big girl. Elaina happily complied offering the biggest, warmest hug which lasted well over a minute ! Her sweet, little self melted onto me as she clung to me with her arms and legs wrapped tight and her head on my shoulder. Just for the record, Elaina is fairly new at giving hugs and has never offered one like this before. What a perfect way to begin my whole day. I'll forever remember how she melted into me and we were joined as one for this moment in time.

Thank you Elaina ! Better save one for your Father !

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Gametime !

If you live outside the great state of Ohio, you may not be aware that today marks the day of one of the greatest college football rivalry games ever; OSU v. UM. Goooo Buckeyes !

Oh, who am I kidding ? I'm not a football fan. That was just fun. Of course I know the team to say I root for that won't get me pummeled into a pile of yesterday's garbage. It seems as though Canton is a hotbed of Buckeye fans, no comparison to Columbus - but Canton is football town. You know .. the home of the Football Hall of Fame ? Them folks like their football. Our town is just a short distance from the madness and times like this, I really prefer it that way.

While every other Cantonian was cheering on the Buckeyes, I had devised a game plan of my own. We were going shopping. Yeah, big surprise. I figured that at least 75 % of the average Saturday mall shoppers were football fans or at least made a better attempt to fake it than myself and would be somewhere other than the mall to take in the big game.

After a rough morning and a long nap, we were ready to brave the rest of the day at the stores. We made a pretty good dent in picking up a few Christmas gifts and a few fun things for Elaina. Not wanting to sound like a perpetual spokesperson for must-have toddler gadgets, these are definitely worth sharing. ( I really hope I'm not the very last person to know about these things... and if I am, why didn't anyone tell me sooner ? )

The greatest out-to-eat-companion and must- carry item is the stick-on disposable place mats. Love them ! We picked up Dora mats and all through dinner at the mall, Elaina happily pointed out Dora and Boots and flowers and a ball and flowers and... you get the picture. She made a fine little mess on her placemat and mommy didn't have to freak out over her food and fingers touching the nasty-germ-laden tabletop. You like this so far ? It gets better ! On two separate occasions, with two separate snacks today, Elaina managed to spill out her goodies from her snack cups. She made quite a mess in one store with chocolate chip graham cracker cookies and then Goldfish crackers all over another store's parking lot. Not to mention that she wasted her snacks and still wanted more. I found the solution today. The SnackTrap ! It's great ! It's a little cup with handles on either side and a lid which resembles the rubber flap leading down to the garbage disposal. It's severed flaps allow for a kid-sized hand to dig in and pull out snacks, but when toppled over, snacks stay put. How clever ! I've found this little gadget also takes a little more time for Elaina to eat her dry cereal in the morning which allows me just a few extra minutes to get her breakfast together while she sits occupied over dipping her hand in and out of her new cup. What's not to love ?

** Just in case you were wondering, both great items can be found at Babies "R Us and online.

Mommy Meanest

Today marks Day One of Eric being away from home on his annual hunting trip. Today also marks Battle Number One between Elaina and myself over her binky addiction. I'm just going to put an earmark label on it because I believe there are plenty of battles that will be waged in the months ahead.
So, let's just start at the beginning of our day, which I foolishly thought would continue to be peaceful. Eric was out of the house by 7:00 am and tried to soak in as many hugs and kisses from the both of us to last him a good couple of days. Following his departure, Elaina and I stayed cuddled in bed through a couple episodes on Noggin. Getting our fill of "lazy" for the day, we headed down for breakfast and Elaina refused to eat without her binky. I believe Eric just fought this battle with her the previous two mornings. Mommy wasn't about to give in and hand the binky over while she was eating. The tears ensued and breakfast was over. Without much of an option, I handed over her binky and proceeded to clean up the kitchen while she sat hungry in her seat. Before I had finished, she had fallen asleep in her highchair. Oooh boy, that lesson went over like a lead balloon.
Obviously, her 20 minute fit wore her out so I let her carry on with her early morning nap. (Mind you, we had just gotten out of bed 40 minutes earlier. Whatever. ) This gave me time to get a shower while she slept the grumpies out of her system. We both finished in time for our town's first annual Christmas parade. Oh yeah ... I said Christmas ! Great idea - get it out of the way before Thanksgiving, especially since Santa didn't have anything better to do. We bundled up and joined a few neighbors on the street, collecting our share of candy and catching up with each other's lives. Elaina was completely fascinated with the colorful floats and music of the high school band. Most impressive were the beautiful horses that strutted only a few feet from where we stood. Her eyes lit up and she looked to be in a state of disbelief that these massive creatures were right in front of her. For a little town parade in the middle of November, it went over well and even brought Ronald McDonald and Santa Claus into town. What a great team !
Back in the warmth of our home, we played for a little while until I fed her lunch. Correction : tried to feed her lunch. A reenactment of the whole binky scenario played out once again. Come on ! She is getting worse, not better. I tried everything to get her focus off of her binky and she did eat a minimal amount of food just to get me off her back I'm guessing.
Next, it was time for a bath. Our house felt a little cool today and Elaina had some remnants of some sticky-something in her hair from the day before. Also, I thought that this would be a good diversion to take her mind off of her binky and play in the tub. Before I carried my half naked child into the bathroom, I took her binky from her and placed it on her dresser, letting her know she could have it when we finished. Again, the tears were immediate and continued throughout the whole bath. Okay, let me make that just a little more clear; the tears and sobbing and yelling and climbing and pure disgust for Mommy Meanest carried on throughout her entire bath. That was her bath.
So, what's a mom to do in this situation ? I gave her a bath while she was standing up. Generally, I am most careful to rinse her hair, avoiding the water and soap running in her face - not this time. I really didn't have time to be so delicate and so... I doused her. Sounds mean, right ? She stopped yelling. At this point, I really wonder what in the world made her stop. Maybe she realized that she wasn't getting anywhere with her tears and forced crying and probably couldn't believe that this was the same tender mommy who would let this happen to her. My sympathy over her "needing" her binky 24/7 is zilch. Nada. Nothing.
I have to admit that I hate dealing with this situation as a whole. Yet, at the same time, cannot let her binky-dependency take over her little life. What I hate the most is that this was pretty much the theme of our entire morning. She finally conceeded to a nap and became more pleasant as a result. And for the record, she now says "binky" rather than "bingy." I guess she caught onto the word after I repeatedly told her "No Binky" all day long. Today was somewhat stressful and just a frightening glimpse of what our lives will be like when the child is made to go binky-free forever and ever. Anyone want to come and babysit for that month ?

Friday, November 17, 2006


Thank God It's Friday !!

Tonight, we went out to dinner and Elaina was super-well behaved although she was super-tired after playing with her girlfriends all day. The girls I am referring to are Christine and Madison who are at the babysitter's house 2-3 times a week. They are both 4 and they love Elaina. They play "house" and Elaina gets to be the "little sister." Not the baby - but the little sister. Okay, I think that is way cute ! I'm not so sure that Elaina knows that she's a token character in their charade, however, they pay attention to her and treat her well. When Elaina arrives in the morning, they drop what they're doing and rush to greet her, yelling "Elaina's here !" My 16 month-old has her own fan club !

Good thing it's Friday ! I'm pretty sure that every work day this week lasted too long. I'm thinking that somehow, we had at least 12 hours of work and problems shoved into our 8 hour workday every single day this week !

It's that time of year again ... hunting season. Eric has got his bags packed, his hunting gear gathered, his 4-wheeler on it's trailer, all ready to leave for West Virginia at 7:00 tomorrow morning. Part of our marriage vows included something to the effect of , "For better or for worse, In sickness and in health, with the exception of hunting season." We've only spent one Thanksgiving Day holiday together in the nearly 11 years that we have known one another. That was part of the package when I married him. "A husband to have and to hold - 355 days a year." That would account for 2 weeks of gun season, West Virginia and Ohio, back-to-back.

Funny ! That would be our little goofyball, Elaina ! Tonight, as she was taking her own special inventory of her books, she came across her ABC book. She has begun to recognize her books by some key words or phrases in the story, rather than their exact titles. Knowing that was her ABC book, she held it up proudly and shouted, "A-Beees !" noting a strong accent on the "beees" part and a high pitched tone for her "s'' sound. In her mind, A-Beees sounds similar to ABC. Okay ... I get that ! She was plenty entertaining until she found a comfy place on Dadda's lap to cuddle down and go to sleep. What a week !

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Just Keep Me Happy !

The first step in any treatment program is to admit that you have a problem.

Hello, my name is Elaina and I have a problem.

I am addicted to "Noggie" on the computer. Even though Mommy has to wrangle me down from the computer screen, I still like to climb up to point to my favorite characters that I am watching. I like Noggie as much as my mommy likes to blog and shop on ebay !

I am hopelessly and desperately addicted to my binky. I really prefer to have one binky in my mouth and one in each hand at all times. This helps to soothe me and gives me something to keep my little hands busy as I squeeze and pull at the ends. I already to know that my binky will serve me well throughout high school and even help me through some hard times as I work on my thesis in college. I won't be a nervous bride as I walk down the aisle, because I'll have my 3 binkies right along with me ! I love my binky and need my binky !

Tonight at dinner, I was so tired yet tried my best to eat a good dinner to keep the folks happy. Afterward, I thought I was making my repeated request for my "bingy" very clear - just like Mom wants me to do. I guess they were too busy laughing at me to notice that I seriously wanted my bingy. What the heck ?

Since I made a substancial mess on myself eating my "assauce" with my hands, mom wanted to give me a bath. ( By the way, the folks laugh when I say "assauce" too. They are the ones who say it funny : aPPLesauce. Go figure.) Thinking I would be even more helpful, I carried my own beanbag chair into the bathroom so that mommy could kick back and let me do my bath my own way for once. I climbed onto my stool to try brush my pearly whites and then thought I would take my brush into my room to use it to do some random cleaning. Mommy didn't love this idea and ushered me back into the bathroom.

So, she won and got her own way as usual. I did a pretty good job of hiding the fact that I secretly love taking baths without my bathseat for a pretty long time. It was a fun trick to play on mom when she discovered I really didn't even need it afterall.

Sometimes, mommy presses her luck and thinks that I am going to sit still while she wipes soap bubbles all over my face. What is she thinking ? As if that isn't enough, she wipes the same bubble goo all over my head and tries to press it into my brain ! Even crying isn't enough to stop Mommy's evil scheme of getting me clean.

Just hand over the binky and no one will get hurt !
I've had a long enough day trying to keep my folks in line - I'm going to bed ! Could someone get me my bingys ?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Manners Matter ...

... Even when you're one !

Lately, we've been trying our best to teach Elaina some manners. The best way, of course, is by setting a good example for her to follow. Also, we try to correct her behavior on the spot and, likewise, offer much praise when we catch her doing something good. We seem to have struck an even code of conduct so far. (Elaina - please don't make me eat my words ! )

It seems like months now that she has been saying thank you, which comes out more like "thnkyu," but we get the message. We get a thnkyu when we take her unwanted food off her tray, when we offer snacks, toys or books and even when we pull her hidden binky off the counter at her request. So, it looks like she has grasped the context of the word and it has become natural for her to say. Now, we've moved on to "please." In the past two days, she's almost there when she gets out a "plz." Close enough for now.

We've been pretty diligent on the "please" when she wants something rather than allowing her to make her unknown demand with an "uh,uh,uh" and little pointed finger. I just can't accept the "uh,uh,uh" for any amount of time, so we've introduced her to "please." I think she's catching on that she's getting her request for the item that hasn't yet made it onto her list of words.

Tonight, she blew me away - again ! We were reading our standard 7-books-before-bed and usually, while I'm reading, I'll point and direct her finger to the items named in the story. We hadn't followed our routine tonight because she seemed so incredibly tired that I just wanted to appease her and get her to bed. Once we had read about 4 books, she pulled one from the stack for a re-run. Rather than reading the book again, I just asked her to point to different objects on each page. She nailed everyone of them ! She pointed out a little girl, little boy, dog, ball, shoe, sock, stars, sunshine, bed, and a babydoll all in one book ! Not that I shouldn't expect her to know these objects, but she did it with such ease and attention ! Okay - I was proud of her !!! Way to go Elaina !!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Buried Treasure !!

Just In : Take advantage of this exclusive offer for busy moms everywhere !! Hurry ! This is a limited time offer, so act fast ! Christmas is just around the corner !

Every kid should have, must have and absolutely needs this fantastic, fun filled, time consuming activity for their child ! Yes, folks, it offers your child their own freedom to create, practice their manual dexterity, and problem solve. This exclusive one piece portable device travels everywhere and doesn't even make a sound ! All of this for one incredible price ! What if I were to tell you that it was under $20 ? Unheard of !
A bargain price at that for a super fascinating toy for your child which will hold their undivided attention for nearly an hour ! Can you really put a price on that ? What ? Under $10 ? Tell me more !!

Let's just review : a toy which offers your child endless hours of sheer, independent creativity, enhances their manual dexterity skills, requires no batteries and is portable ? Is sounds too good to be true ! Under $5 ?

Whoa ... For my loyal readers, I am going to share this exclusive device, or as I like to call it " successful- shopping -trips -made -easy" for a limited time only ! Are you ready ?

It's a mini Magna- Doodle !

Really - this thing is great ! If you're anything like me, I try to be as prepared as possible when I take Elaina anywhere. Today's agenda included shoe shopping, the pet store for dog food and grocery shopping. In that order. Elaina did reasonably well in the shoe store as she sat in her stroller and munched on Goldfish crackers and she loved going to PetSmart to check out the birds, fish and the visiting dog taking a leak on the store shelf while his owner was looking the other direction. Great way to spend an afternoon ! Our last trip was a major undertaking as we have very little edible food remaining in the house.

As we entered the grocery store, Elaina made it clear that sitting in a shopping cart seat was against her wishes. Unfortunately, this mom had an agenda and wasn't about to let her family starve because of a one year-old tushie not wanting to sit in the cart. So, she dried up her pointless waterworks and we got down to business. I offered her the remaining "fshes" from her bowl and she sat wondering what mom going to do next to appease her since it was clear that her bottom wasn't about to leave the cart. Voila ! I pulled out the amazing Magna-Doodle ! She entertained herself for the remainder of our trip and we were in and out of the store in a flash ! Aah ... the amazing, incredible, Magna-Doodle.

Lately, Elaina has taken a great interest in drawing and coloring and is most content to be holding a big, giant, bold marker in one hand (she gets a crayon) and a stack of paper in the other hand. She will plop herself anywhere she finds inspiration for her next masterpiece. Sometimes it's in the back foyer in the dark, sometimes it's sitting atop her slide. She's even found "inspiration" sitting alongside Mommy in the ladies room ! That one was simply pee-lightful !

In conclusion, the Magna-Doodle is a blessed thing. Also, gift-giving hints for Christmastime (family) is that a big Magna-Doodle is surely better than a little one and "art" seems to be sparking her interests at this point also. Hopefully this was helpful for everyone !

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Accomplished !

After months of procrastinating and putting aside, I have finally made to time to work on to completion a new letter to send to attorney's offices for birthmom's to learn about us. All in hope of being selected to be adoptive parents once again.

I think the reason that I have put this off for so long, is not because we haven't been ready or that we think it will be as easy as last time, but because it's still a rather touchy subject to put onto paper. How do you begin to pour your heart and soul into mere words that will cross the desk of an attorney to be able to speak volumes to a stranger looking for a family to raise her child ? The last letter I wrote was shortly after Ava had passed and it was a time of much desperation. The thought of becoming parents again was just a glimmer of hope. To put it simply - it was all God. Neither Eric or myself can take any credit for that miracle which was to become Elaina.

So, now it's done. A new letter that I plan to send to attorney's who handle private adoptions. This letter is for birthmoms to read and learn about our family and our need to adopt in hopes of being chosen. I know this can likely be a lengthy process, but God only helps those who help themselves. This was the spark beneath me to push me forward. I'm doing my part and then we wait.

Speaking of doing our part, that leads me to my readers. I can't come close to identifying all who read, and that's really okay, but this is a message to everyone who reads, even if you're what's known in the "blog-world" as a "lurker." We're ready for a baby. So, there you have it - I've said it to the world ! We want a baby and if you know of anyone who is considering placing their baby with adoptive parents, we're the ones to tell !

This is the point where you get to do your part. Start asking around. I believe that if there are even 10 people who read this blog and those ten people know 10 people and those 10 know 10 more... you get my drift. Somewhere, somehow, there is possibly a young (or older) mother who finds herself not wanting to raise her unborn baby. So then the information can loop back to us ! Now that sounds easy ! Do I really expect for it to happen that easily ? Not really, but you can't blame me for asking. I do believe that our desire will reach the right woman's ears and touch her heart and our prayers of another child will be fulfilled. That - I do believe.

The only way I was able to complete my letter today was due to my lovely husband taking Elaina to a friend's house to watch the game. Originally, we had both planned on accepting their annual invitation, but I have been plagued with a sore throat and cold symptoms since yesterday and really just needed some time apart from the world. Eric and Elaina enjoyed 5 hours of together time and I enjoyed my lockdown, chained to the computer desk and quiet time to really put forth the effort into a quality letter. I sipped on hot tea and lots of water and actually began to feel better throughout the course of the evening. I even had time to spare for some house cleaning.

When my favorite pair arrived home, Eric was happy to report that they had a nice time and Elaina was on good behavior the whole evening. She stayed only an arm length away from him most of the day, but was able to play with the other kids as long as they were in the same room as Dadda.

The day had a happy ending for all of us and I feel good about the work I completed. After everything was said and done, I was able to cuddle my sweet girl in my arms for bedtime hugs and kisses. I can't think of a better way to end my day. (Except for 2 kids to hug and kiss ! Now everyone get to work !)

Friday, November 10, 2006

Familiar ?

And ... we're back at pink !

I couldn't really get used to the new background for Elaina's story. Our trusty, old pink screams for Elaina and just seems right. Like a comfy pair of slippers, it's just the right fit !

So - welcome home "Pink !" Hope you like it here !

Another day off ?

Hip, hip ! Hooray !

Happy Veteran's Day from your favorite government workers. Oh, I do love that government offices recognize so many holidays throughout the year ! Although it doesn't even begin to compete with having the summers off, (like some people I know), but a random free day every now and then is pretty rewarding to me.

I think we signed our names on the "Bad Parents' List" today when we took Elaina to the babysitter's house while we were home. Oh the guilt ! However, I will always stand firm on my justification that the time she is having fun and playing with the other kids while we work our tails off at home, makes for more free time when we are all together. I can't even begin to list the countless number of little things I was able to accomplish today without Elaina's assistance. I feel good about the progress I made in tackling the little things I've put off doing. Eric, of course, was playing the role of a carpenter from 8- 5:00. He put in a very full day to say the least.

I did make arrangements to pick Elaina up early and we played and read books until dinnertime. She ate surprisingly well and even began asking for what she wants. We have been working on saying meat, fish (Goldfish crackers), milk and sippy. "Sippy" applies to any liquid contained within the actual cup which is not milk. Most often, she is happy with water and rarely even likes it flavored with juice. She is very good about saying "coookeee !" in her monster voice, with her crazy eyes and smiling face. I wouldn't know how she ever came to know that term. Certainly not from her mother ! Elaina likes "Cooookeeez !" I guess we're both guilty. Oh yeah, and she knows how to say brownie too. She's just smart, I guess.

We spent the rest of our evening dancing the night away. It was like the way-white-not-so-talented-scaled-down-version of American Bandstand with toddlers. Right here in our house ! It all started as Elaina began to bounce and turn in circles from the ABC song blasting from her LeapFrog Fridge Phonics. I decided to help her out a bit and swept her off her feet and we danced and bounced together. The ABC song has never rated on Billboard's Top Ten, although, watching Elaina bounce, you'd never know it. From there, we moved onto her favorite songs on and Daddy came in and bounced her around and taught her a few new dance steps. Then it was bath time. Daddy took a shower in one bathroom, while I scrubbed Elaina down in her bathroom. Eric had turned up Classic Country songs on the music channel, tuned into some old Dolly Parton, Kenny Rogers, and Johnny Cash. Elaina loved it. She tried to climb out of the bathtub to join the party before the soap had a chance to suds. Once she and daddy were cleaned up, we all met in our bedroom, turned on the disco ball and shook our groove thangs. She squealed in delight and had so much fun ! I guess that would explain why she carried her blanket into me and tried to direct me to the night-night chair only 20 minutes later. She was the dancing queen for the evening !

Construction Destruction

So ? What ? Wasn't our three car garage big enough ? Do we really just make up projects to do because we have too much free time on our hands and too much money in the bank ? Make that a answer a quick " NO !"

This is the project Eric has been working on the majority of the week. He has hired a carpenter team of two and himself to build on an additional 12' onto two bays of our garage in order to accomodate the length of both of our vehicles. My truck barely fit in and his truck never stood a chance. Oh, and don't think we could buy smaller vehicles - oh no, we make our garages bigger ! It's a man thing, what can I say. I'm just excited to finally have my truck in the garage and not worry about scraping ice and snow each morning ! I'll be so spoiled ! I won't know how to act without first starting my day with popsicle fingers that begin to thaw by lunchtime.

Truly, this is one of Eric's projects that he has been looking forward to having completed for some time now. He'll be able to finish off his workshop in the upstairs loft of the garage and make it into his very own little clubhouse. I mean workshop. All I can think of is this space used as his own little oasis, his haven like in the Little Rascals with a crooked sign out front that reads, "No Girlz Allowed."

I'll keep you posted on the progress !

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

It's really still me ...

So, what do you think about the new template ? I've published over 215 short stories about our lives with Little Precious and thought maybe it's just about time to take on a new look. We'll see. The pink template was sweet, but I think that reading through polka dots is much more fun ! Feel free to leave your input. It's pretty easy to make adjustments and I want to keep Elaina's fans tuned in, rather than tuned out over a dotted, black background.

Just a short Elaina update for tonight. She is feeling 100% better since the beginning of the week and happily takes her prescribed antibiotic with gusto. In fact, we have been so reliant on pain relievers, fever reducers and cough suppressants over the past 2 weeks that Elaina went to her nightstand the other day and reached her little hand up and said, "mecine." I'm guessing she didn't feel well or she just really likes to suck the dropper filled with overly sweet, hyped up, cherry flavored goo. "Mecine" time is easy at our house to say the least.

Monday night, however, there wasn't enough medicine in our house to relieve Elaina's pain and discomfort. She is hardly a cry-baby, yet, her earache / teething pain caused our angelic, little, Sweetness to cry for nearly 2 1/2 hours at bedtime. She woke 3 times in the middle of the night, but was able to handle 2/3 of the wake-ups on her own. Eric and I took shifts with our miserable, crying, overly-tired child before she finally gave in to sleep close to 11:30. I held her close and massaged and stroked her little leg over her warm, fleecy jammies and calmed her enough to sleep. This was my mom's magic trick she used on me when I was little. Oh, who am I kidding, I still melt when someone rubs my back or any gentle, soothing stroke for comfort. My mom couldn't keep her hands off of my brother and myself. Always, rubbing our hair, our back, our hands, our arms, etc.... (Okay, so I could really use a neck massage about now. Mom ? Eric ?) I remember how soothing it was and how I would wake up the minute she stopped and demand more. So, she's passed the torch - or the tired hands in our case- and Elaina is soaking up every bit of her little back rubs and sweet caresses. I guess that when you're so much in love with your child it's easy to give them every ounce of comfort you can muster. Tired hands and tired Mommies easily fall second on the list.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Should Mommy ever go to work ?

Alas, another day at home with my sweet, sickly child. I love all of the time we have gotten to spend together, but next time I get 3 consecutive days of one-to-one Elaina time, could she be healthy please ?

This morning, I called off work and called Nancy to let her know that she shouldn't expect Elaina today. About 4o minutes after my initial phone call, Nancy calls back to let me know that Luke, the petri -dish- of-everything- infectious-kid, now has Foot and Mouth Disease. (Same kid who had the chicken pox a few months ago !) Great ! One more thing to run by the doctor. I do love that Nancy is so incredibly cautious and was already using Clorox wipes to sanitize all of the toys and surface areas in the kids' playroom. Kids will be kids though, they're going to get germs somewhere, somehow when we least expect it. I just had really wanted for Elaina to be able to kick her cold without any more worries to top her off.

I called the doctor's office as soon as they opened and gave the rundown of events, including the threat of foot and mouth disease. They easily accomodated her and scheduled her appointment time only a few hours later. We barely waited this time and Dr. Joni was in to see us within 5 minutes. A far cry different from our last appointment; remember the 2 hour shot appointment ? Elaina whimpered and fussed when the doctor listened to her heart, checked in her ears and mouth. Yet, after she finished each test, Elaina said very sweetly, "Thankyou." To this, we both had to laugh.

All in all, Elaina has no visible signs of foot & mouth disease, yet she does have her first ear infection and plenty of crud left over from her cold. We were on our way with an antibiotic prescription and another fun day at home. We spent our third day together reading books and many intermissions to slide and be silly. Our day went well, especially after an afternoon nap and a dose of medicine.

One other party making out in all of this at-home time is Keegan. Elaina loves Keegan so much and gives him hugs before going night-night and sits next to him and reads him books. She will often get his "Baby" for him and stuff it right in his mouth. Luckily, Keegan still has Elaina to give him the attention that his mom and dad have diverted to his sister. Poor pup ! Here are some pictures of the buddies together. I'm thinking that Elaina was tallying up how many hairs Keegan has on his back and later, racked up his score. She estimated that he has approximately 86,453 hairs on his back and about 1,975 shed onto our floor !

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Elaina the Wet Faced Girl

Everything in our house got a dose of damp from Elaina the Wet Faced Girl. From our bedding to the carpets, the dog and many, many clothes; Elaina's face was like a faucet with a slow leak today.

Over the course of the day, she shed many tears, her nose is still dripping out the final remnants of her cold and she drooled like a machine. Her fever has barely lifted, however I am much preferring the 100 degree reading versus anything higher. I woke us both in the middle of the night to dose her Tylenol and by morning, her temperature was closer to 99 degrees. Not fabulous, but a much welcome and needed relief after holding her smoldering little self yesterday. Even her hands felt hot to the touch. She woke up crying just a short while ago and for the first time in two days, her forehead felt just fine !! I am worn out but elated !

There were plenty of times throughout the day where I was only minutes from putting Elaina's coat on her to head to the nearest Statcare to have her seen. I'm not usually this uptight over a fever, but her behavior and the rumbling in her chest when she breathes and the amount of discomfort she demonstrated sent too many bad feelings through my body. I worry about pneumonia, RSV, and pretty much everything else that isn't healthy. Each time I was able to calm her long enough to think about heading out the door, she began eating, drinking and acting like she was better. She must have known what was going on in my head.

About the drool machine ... to make matters worse for our girl, she's teething like crazy ! Sometimes it's easy to confuse a cold with teething but she has gotten hit with a bad dose of both this past week. Today, she barely swallowed and just let the slobber fall where it may. She went through 5 shirts, 2 bibs and a pair of pants. Trust me, we're not talking about a little bit of drool here and there, I'm talking about practically being able to wring out her shirt after 30 minutes of wear. The above picture shows off her fifth and final shirt of the day and how mommy got smart and just tucked a bib inside of her shirt to keep the dampness off of her. Still, I powdered her chest and neck with each change of clothes to dry her up a little.

All in all, today was an exhausting day for the both of us. Eric arrived home about 20 minutes ago and missed all of the tears and anxiety of the past 2 days, let alone what Elaina went through.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Sad times 3

Elaina is sad. Mommy is sad. Daddy is sad.

Elaina is sad because she is still sick. In fact she is up in her bed with a raging fever that has persisted most of the evening. Her highest recorded temperature has been 102 and that's when her mom finally was able to get a reading.

Mommy is sad because my baby girl is sick and has a raging fever. My heart hurts when Elaina isn't well. I feel even worse because I took her out shopping most of the afternoon without any indication that she was running a fever. In our last store, she felt considerably warm, but I wasn't sure how well I was able to judge her temperature because I have been cold all day. My hands, my lips, my face ; all useful fever-feeling-techniques. If only my kisses could make her better !

Another complaint from this sad mom is the Tylenol dosage for a one year old. I've been giving her Children's Tylenol Multi -Symptom. I've heard from every other mom of a 1 year old that she's moved on from Infant's Tylenol to Children's. And even after consulting with the nurse from the doctor's office, the dosage information is still about as clear as mud.
Any recommendations of how much to dose a 22 pound child ?

I hate to feel that I'm not giving her enough and risking a spike in her fever and I would die if I gave her too much ! Where is her middle ?

Daddy is sad because he left early yesterday morning for a gun show in Maryland and can't do anything to make his girl better either. Elaina has talked to him on the phone several times which still doesn't make it any easier. Each time we go upstairs or downstairs or inside or outside, Elaina says "Dadda" very firmly, like he's just in that next place, hiding, waiting for her to find him.

Sorry to share the mopey-mom-blog tonight. I know that every mom knows just how I feel. I'll be getting back to hugging on my hot baby now.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Winter Recreation !

Here it is, Elaina's favorite pastime, when she's not reading books or watching "Noggie" on tv or on the computer. A slide of her very own ! The girl is all about the slide !

I happened upon this great find at my favorite resale shop on my lunch hour. I was actually searching for some new books to get us through until Christmas. I inquired about the slide on the shelf wondering how frequently they get them in. The saleswoman informed me that it is rare to get that particular size and they just received that one yesterday. At that point, I was running out of time and didn't want to rush into making any quick decisions. Interestingly enough, I just happened to be pricing the same slides online and on ebay this same morning. The store was asking a fair price and I really wanted Elaina to have one. I called back to the store on my way back to work and asked them to hold it for me and I would be back to pick it up after work. Why didn't I just do that from the beginning ?

When I arrived home, I brought Elaina her new books and she couldn't seem to get them out of the bag fast enough. She scanned through each book and loved that there were so many new ones to choose from. A few minutes later, I carried in her giganto-slide and she could barely believe what was coming into her house. I set it in the middle of the kitchen floor where and she immediately began to climb and slide. I think I made the right decision to make a second trip back to the store.

She played on her new slide for the better part of a half hour and moved back to her books. Elaina made it pretty clear how much she likes to slide when she was taking her bath a few nights ago and she backed her rear into the back wall of the tub and let her tushie try to slide down the wall as she slid her feet from under her. A little risky for bathtub play, but she was aiming for the effect of sliding no matter. Speaking of the bathtub, Little Weirdo ( I use that affectionately ) has decided that she loves taking a bath. In fact, she is trying to climb into the tub with her clothes on without being asked. Yesterday, she was in such a hurry to get in, that she helped me take her shirt off and she threw it into the tub filling with water. She loves to play, splash, read bathtub books and move around. This is a far cry from the bath-seat-dependent-child I dealt with only a month ago. She's come a long way.

So, about this slide ... Elaina loves it and has already mastered climbing the steps, transitioning into feet first position and sliding down onto her feet. Looks like my internet search has come to an end and Elaina won't be forced to scoot down the bathtub wall from now on.

Mommy cracked the code ...

Elaina : "Bobby"

Daddy : Who is this "Bobby" of which you speak ?

Elaina : "Bobby"

Mommy : Do you have a boyfriend ? Who is "Bobby?"

Elaina : "Bobby"

Between Eric and myself, I'm not certain that we know anyone named "Bobby." We know plenty of Bob's and Rob's - but no "Bobby's." Elaina has said "Bobby" many times over which leaves us scratching our heads wondering who in the world she is referring to. She says "Mommy" and "baby" very clearly as she isn't confusing the words or their meanings.

This morning as I dropped Elaina off at the babysitter's house, there she said it ! "Bobby !" Nancy responds by saying to her, "Yes, that's "RUBY." Her dog's name is Ruby ! I was on to something now ...

"Does she call "Ruby" "Bobby?" YES !! Apparently, her almost 2 year-old friend, Luke, calls Ruby "Robby" and Elaina took it a step further renaming her "Bobby !" Aahhh .... it's all coming together. Whew, it's not a new friend, it's not a stranger - it's a 5 pound-ankle-biting-poodle named "Ruby !"

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Just dropped in to say "Boo..."

Halloween greetings from long distance relatives didn't go unnoticed this year. We're a little slow at getting our mail from the post office sometimes and I've been a little behind on getting Elaina to stand still long enough for a picture. Great Grandma and Grandpa H. and Aunt Jan and Uncle Stan sent Elaina some spooktacular Halloween cards right on time. My blog posting is a different story !