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Monday, April 30, 2007

Anxiety What?

From the minute I woke up this morning, I have carried with me a slight tinge of excitement throughout the day just thinking about meeting our son in exactly one week from today.

This morning at 7 a.m. I began to think about what next Monday morning at 7 a.m. will have in store for us. How long a c-section delivery will take. The thoughts and feelings of the birth-mom and her recovery. If I will cry with tears of joy or pass out from emotion/ delivery overload. How I need to remember not to squeeze him as tight as I really want to, knowing that he'll feel all of my love with the same gentle embrace. How I need to remember to share him with Eric and Elaina. Newborn vs. circumcision. (Ow!) Will he like his formula right away? Will he be a good eater? Which outfit should be his coming home clothes? Is my fill-in at work going to be adequately prepared to cover my work for 2 months? Why am I thinking about work? When are which grandparents coming? Do we have any food in the house? Will Elaina accept the fact that he's going to spend the rest of his life with us? What will he look like? How am I ever going to get through one more week of waiting?

Is that sufficient? If not, e-mail me- there's plenty more just rolling off the tip of my tongue at this point.

Do you suppose this is enough to warrant my very first case of heartburn ever and I feel like my chest could cave in any minute and my whole body may just collapse if I don't pop another Tums within the next 2 seconds?

Deep breaths... ooohhh.... ahhh... We're having a son!

We're ready. Just seven extra days to send our thanks to the Lord and pray that anxiety doesn't overcome any one of us. Just keep the Tums in sight.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Dizzy

To my fellow Noggin comrades: Could someone please hit the "pause" button on your imaginary remote?

Oh, despite my intense dislike for the "Upside Down Show" which I just made reference to, I really wish that I did, in fact, have a secret remote control that I could pause and stop and fast forward my life at my own choosing. If I had my way, I would still have about 6 hours left in my evening, Elaina would already be asleep, and I would never get tired. Like a machine. I just get weak thinking of all of the projects I could finish. And, if I had my own remote control, if I did get tired, I would have an automatic 10 hours built into my day for sleep. Who's with me on this one folks?

As it stands, I don't have a single legitimate complaint about our lives at the moment. (With the exclusion of my sore throat and swollen glands.) We had a great week, a wonderful, fun filled weekend and at almost 11:00, our house is pretty clean. The only thing I've left by the wayside is a lot of blog updates for the bulk of last week. For this reason and for the sake of record keeping, I will recap some highlights of our previous week.

Monday: family night, no plans, dinner together
Tuesday: final tumbling class until May 22nd
Wednesday: had a babysitter come over to watch Elaina while we went to Eric's bowling banquet and ate too much food and greedily ran away with some prize money
Thursday: Eric went to Haz-Mat training class (which he has blown off most of the year already) mommy and Elaina had a girls' night together
Friday: dinner with some friends, Mommy went to a jewelry party in the evening
Saturday: Mommy enjoyed an afternoon out shopping for great little boy items and sustenance to fill our cupboards; had yet another babysitter over to watch Elaina while we ate dinner out and went bowling with a fun group of friends, came home, picked up Elaina and went to a bonfire with the same group.
Sunday-took Elaina to the park, pulled down newborn baby accessories from the attic to prepare for our latest, greatest arrival next week!

And here I sit, dizzy from a whirlwind of all-things-busy. Yet, please don't mistake this for complaining... I wouldn't have it any other way. Oh, except for pausing my night to accommodate 10 hours of sleep!
(And I could also do without the sore throat, thankyouverymuch.)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

"Just Call It a Miracle"

"Just Call It a Miracle"

The most appropriate title as I'm about to spill our secret that is going to change our lives.

We're expecting a baby boy!

Hooray! Hooray! I think I feel as if I'm still floating on a cloud since we first learned about him. I still find it hard to contain myself! The best way to describe my excitement is as if I could jump out of my skin with exuberant joy as we are about to become a family of four!

I'm finding that my attempt to share this news is harder than I had initially suspected since I hardly know where to begin. I don't believe that I even have enough words to be able to begin to express our excitement, anticipation, and longing for this little boy to join our family. Seriously, how can I possibly put into words the fact that all of our prayers have been answered, that we'll be holding onto our deepest heart's desire in just a few days time, and that we feel like the most blessed and humble parents to have such an incredible gift bestowed upon us. All I can really profess is that God is GOOD! He has granted us yet another miracle to love, squeeze and fill our days with happiness and smiles. Where can I even begin?

1. We're adopting.
2. We're going to be the proud parents to a newborn son.
3. It's a private adoption.
4. We learned of this child through a friend of mine who made the connection for us very quickly.
5. We have met the birth mom and she has chosen Eric and myself to be the parents to her child.
6. The birth mom is amazing, selfless, and certain of her decision.
7. We've only known about this for approximatly 5 weeks. This isn't the only thing that took place this day. (double click pink to link) We were also busy finding out that we were chosen as adoptive parents.
8. We don't have a name picked out yet.
9. I have been shopping like a fiend for all-things-blue.
10. Our son is scheduled to be born on Monday, May 7 at 7 a.m. --( It's not to soon to send up the prayers asking many blessings upon the birth mom and our son. It's easy to see that this is all God!)

Wow... what else can I tell you? We're having a BOY!!

Just call it a miracle! Thank God!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Reader's Choice

Here's something new...

I'm asking your input to help decide the title for my next blog.

Your choices are:

A.) Seeing Blue
B.) Just Call It a Miracle
C.) Family of Four
D.) Jumping With Excitement
E.) Elaina's New Role
F.) The Secret is Out

So, what do you think? I can assure you that all titles will facilitate the same information, I just want to be sure that I have chosen the best title as voted on by our friends.

Let me feel the love people... send me your suggestions! I'm really anxious to begin my next post, but I'm going to have to wait until I've received ample input from all of you!

I'm waiting...

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Feeding the Hungry

5:00 a.m. : Baby Girl desperately cries out from her bedroom,"Mommy, Mommy, HELP!!"

5:00 (9 seconds later) : Mommy jumps into action from a nearly comatose state to answer her baby's plea for help

After a quick assessment seeing all things in place (baby in bed, bed in room, no monsters, no vomit, no poo) I ask Said Baby what the matter is. Said Baby replies to Mommy, "Eat."

Oh. Dear. Lord.

As I recall, this would be the same child who didn't want anything to do with eating a dinner last night. I offered everything under the sun, including a knuckle sandwich- all of which were declined. As she hasn't been feeling well, and the cold, hard fact that she is still a very picky eater, I had to let this one meal go by the wayside and didn't force any food upon her.

And now this. At 5 in the morning, the hungry, little girl's stomach was beginning to eat away at her backbone. Couldn't "stomach" have thought about that, oh let's say, like 9 hours sooner?

This fortunate, little tyke earned herself a picnic in mommy's bed with a snack trap full of oyster crackers and a leak-proof sippy. Soon after, we both returned to Dreamland.

Learning from past performance, I gave Elaina some cookies and a drink before bedtime tonight. She wasn't so much into the cookies and thought they would be better suited for the birds. She even offered to share her drink. ** Just so you know, the bird from our basement is currently M.I.A. Don't know if he's there, or if he's out or if he's just lying in wait to scare the crap out of me again. Don't know. I'm guessing we'll be smelling him soon enough if he hasn't already found an exit. There's no continental breakfast here, birdie.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Editor in Chief

That's me! That's the beauty of having your own blog.

Am I the only one who thinks this way?

The good part about holding such authority over this little, old web page of mine is that I can write about any old thing I choose and having any loyal readers along for the ride is just a happy bonus!

The down side about making this blog a part of my life is that I sometimes feel that I can't possibly let a day slip by without even a tiny, little post makes me feel like I let that day pass as if it weren't significant enough to hold a worthwhile spot to occupy all of 5 sentences to make an actual post.

And sometimes, (follow me if you will) if I don't post for a day or two, I get spoiled by the luxury called "free time" and cut anywhere between 20- 60 minutes out of my day by not being glued to my keyboard. If I feel like really spoiling myself and take a little hiatus from blogging, I feel like I'm sinking faster than a midget in quicksand, trying to catch up.

Now, I'm not quite sure what sparked all of that, except leading me into what events I should try to recap from this fine day.

For starters, I could tell you about this bird that somehow trapped himself in our basement and scared the crap out of me and has been causing ruckus downstairs ever since. And how a friend of ours came over to "catch" it and ended up barricading it into a very unfinished portion of our basement beneath our kitchen floor planks.

Or I could tell you about after the greatly unsuccessful bird-chasing, our friend proceeded to tell me that he has grown to a deeper level of faith through witnessing our experiences trying to have a family of our own. How the miracle of Elaina's birth and adoption into our family proved to him that there is a God and that he feels that he is witness to God's power through our testament.

I might divulge that I found a new place to swing. A swing set that is. For Elaina. Peaceful and quiet and all of the beauty that comes with mom and daughter time alone without any schedule, no interruptions and no other noise. Just looking at each other's smiles and knowing that she is every bit of my heart.

Also, I could relay that Elaina's memory is proving to be sharper than ever. I dressed her in her Pittsburgh Steelers t-shirt this morning and told her that it was her Daddy's favorite team. Oh let's see... maybe 10 hours passed without further mention of the same before she stood in the kitchen, tugging on her shirt saying, "Daddy, fa-vit." I was the one trying to recall our previous conversation from so long ago.

So with all of these story topics swimming around in my head, I think I'll just summarize our day's events into a compact, little run-down:

* Elaina developed a cold overnight. Much snot, Fragile temperament at times.
* We hit a great kid's clothes sale and got lots and lots of yummy little outfits.
* Despite being sick, Elaina only napped for approximately 30 minutes (combined) and was still tolerable.
* I have convinced myself that spring is here and am looking forward to packing away winter once and for all. (At least for the next 6 months or so! Come on, it's Ohio!)

With that, I'll be calling it a day!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Legitimate Hooky

Have you ever heard of such a thing?

"Legitimate Hooky."

Let me explain how my day panned out. Eric left for a gun show at the ungodly hour of 5 a.m., (of which I'm barely conscious) as I finally fall back asleep, the ringing phone sends me into a quick panic as I jolt to answer it before Elaina wakes. The 6 a.m. phone call was from none other than the baby sitter's husband letting me know that Nancy is ill with the flu. I offered my most sincere get-well wishes that I could muster being only half awake and immediately called off work myself. We've had offers of friends to be back-up baby sitter's, however, in almost 20 months and the most reliable sitter ever, Elaina hasn't really come to know anyone so well that I would be able to leave her in good conscience for longer than a few hours. The fact that Eric was already out of town (not being able to share the day off in shifts) compiled with the fact that today's forecast was calling for sunshine and blue skies, my decision to take the day off was made with little hesitation.

Elaina slept just a little past 7 (as usual) and we began our day. We played inside, we played outside, we blew bubbles, played chase, and read books. We occupied a large chunk of our day with playing at the playground. Most often, we have the place to ourselves with the exception of a random kid or two, whom we typically outlast, but today was an exception to the norm. If I had to guess, I'd say there were at least a dozen kids running around with a few parents in tow. Is this a typical Friday afternoon for them? I thought I was the lucky one for being able to enjoy a weekday afternoon out with my kid. They're the lucky ones.

To top off our day of play, Elaina requested to go to the potty and made her very first tinkle in the little potty. Wow!! I wouldn't say that we have official begun "real" potty training up to this point, meaning that I don't ask her to go every 20 minutes and I don't have her wearing pull-ups day in and day out. We've just made the potties accessible and have been talking about "excrement" more and more in regular conversation. So far, she likes setting her tiny-hiney upon each throne as if she were playing musical chairs and she loves to see how fast she can reel out the toilet paper in a puddle onto the floor. (Mom loves this! - NOT!) Today's tinkle was impressive since she asked to go and she produced. Potty training boot camp will be starting soon enough.

All in all, we enjoyed an impromptu day off together and looking forward to the rest of our girls' weekend to hang out. Gun show season is coming to a close soon and Eric will be home more to enjoy the same. Can't wait!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Victorious

Just a quick note to let everyone know that I'm going to bed with a bowling champion tonight.

Same guy; Eric's his name, he just happened to earn himself a fancy title after his name since his team swept the roll-off bowling tournament tonight in a victory.

Way to go Honey!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Quick Comeback

Tonight was supposed to be Eric's last night of bowling for the season and I thought it might be nice for Elaina and I drop by for a surprise visit and cheer him on. Eric was especially happy to see us as was the rest of his team. In fact, most of the men turned into melty, mushy fragments of their former selves as they smiled and waved to Elaina, talking in their softest high-pitched voices. So funny!
One man from another team walked by admiring Elaina and jokingly asked Eric where Elaina got her good looks. Without skipping a beat, Eric replied, "Not from me!"
We were both taken a little off guard by such an innocent question from someone who hadn't a clue that she wasn't born from our gene pool. I was impressed with Eric's response; so quick, so natural and honest to boot! Nice job!
[Additional note on our evening: Elaina and I may have been the lucky charm that Eric's team needed to tonight as they won the second half of the season and now face a roll-off with the first-half winners. Oh... the suspense!]

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Second Tumbling Class



Elaina loved her tumbling class so much the first time, that we were disappointed to learn that the end of the session was quickly drawing near. Last week, it was cancelled due to spring break. What the local school district's spring break has to do with a private facility toddler tumbling class, I'll never know.






Regardless, after tonight there will only be one more class until the start of the next 8 week session. For a young, little beginner, Elaina has been doing pretty well. The instructors are great and amazingly patient as they repeatedly herd the little ones back to the rest class and help to keep their attention focused. Keeping in mind that this is a class filled with approximately eight 2-4 year-olds, the mom's table in the back of the room is frequently visited by timid toddlers making sure the mommy is just where she's supposed to be until they're ushered off once again. At one point, Elaina was slightly distracted by a mess she recognized on the floor. Opting to ignore the current activity, she began picking up the rubber placemats that the instructors use on the floor as a flow pattern for the kids to follow to each station. No stepping-stone-flow-pattern tonight, courtesy of Elaina. She picked them all up and stacked them upon one another. (Editor's note: do not be fooled, she is NOT this diligent at home when it comes to picking her things up, but it's nice to see that some of my DNA may be seeping into her pores after all.)

(Check out Elaina's friend, Ali, at the end of the beam. Oh yeah... they have on the same outfit! I spotted these adorable little leotards with the velvety bodice and chiffon tutu and couldn't resist picking up a matching set for the girls! Had Ali stayed just a little longer after class, I would have gotten a much better picture of the cuties together. Definitely next class!)

Monday, April 16, 2007

Tell It Like It Is

Ahh... the fantastic age of toddler hood; just enough evidence of a baby within this independent, little being, yet growing by leaps and bounds at the very same time. Such is the case with Little Miss Elaina anyhow.

Here are some random funny things that are just too cute not to share.

Over the weekend, Elaina became an instant stand-up comic. When she had our attention, she knocked on the bathroom door in the hotel room and says the following, "Knock-knock. Who is it? Me!" Too funny! I just adore the fact that she recognizes humor (toddler humor, that is) and holds her hands up to her face, giggling, while delivering the punch line to her joke!

On our way to pick up Keegan from the kennel, Elaina had requested that her baby doll be able to join us for the trip. In making conversation with her, I brought to Elaina's attention that her baby doll that she received from G&GW for her birthday, had never gotten an official name. Upon asking Elaina what she thought we should call "Baby" she quickly suggested, "Granma Cakes." Laughing, I wondered if that name would actually stick and that Granma Cakes would have to be introduced to the family as such. The story behind Granma Cakes is when my parents were visiting over Easter weekend, my mom had brought along some rice cakes in order to insure some low-cal snacks while at my junk-food haven. Upon leaving, she forgot to take them with her and offered them for us. When I introduced a rice cake to Elaina for the first time, I explained that these were "Grandma's very special rice cakes just for her to eat." From that, Elaina condensed it to "Granma Cakes." Apparently rice cakes and baby dolls are much of the same thing to her.

Last but not least, when we arrived home from our trip to PA, I was getting Elaina ready for her bath and asked if she would sit on the potty. (We have a little potty chair and a Sesame Street potty seat on the "big potty." Elaina always gets to choose.) Immediately, the Sesame Street seat with Big Bird and Elmo caught her eye and she yelled out "Dis one! Dis one!" My darling child ran over to the big potty and gave Big Bird a kiss on the vinyl covered ring which has embraced her tiny-hiney many a time. Kissed the potty seat for God's sake! Goofball!

This is an incredible, amazing age and we're loving every minute of her! She just keeps on getting better and better and the smiles on our faces are never ending!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Good Excuse for a Weekend!

A weekend getaway that is!

This weekend Eric worked a gun show only a few hours from home and invited Elaina and me along for the ride. It sounded like a great idea to me! Since the shows are generally from 8-5 on both Saturday and Sunday, I had visions of lounging around at the hotel room in jammies until noon, taking in some playtime at the hotel pool, long afternoon naps with my favorite girl and some shopping to fill the gaps. Beautiful thought wasn't it?

Unbelievably, my weekend agenda didn't follow the blueprints exactly, but was even better!

Eric drove out early Friday morning and I worked only until noon the same day to arrive with Elaina at our destination before dark. The hotel was newly built approximately 2 months ago and was simply gorgeous. I had been looking forward to taking Elaina swimming at the pool and had been psyching her up for days prior to our trip. All she would talk about is "swemming poo." Oh yeah... we were going to the swimming pool! Last summer, she wasn't a big fan of the water or even getting wet. I had my fingers crossed that she would get much more enjoyment from the pool this time around without any fear or hesitation. After dinner, we came back to suit up the girl and her dad.
She loved her new bathing suit and matching cover up. Notice the bucket she's toting along? That would only have to be the single best bath accessory ever invented. It is a hair rinsing bucket. There's a flexible rubber piece on one side which wraps around your child's forehead and two separate sections for water to pour out, rinsing the shampoo from your kid's hair without getting soap in their eyes.. For under $4 - I fell in love! Now back to the story...



This is the face that Elaina made every last time she or Eric kicked and splashed water in the pool. Surprised indeed that it had the same effect every last time! Splashing! Rippling! Water-in-the-eyes! And she didn't even mind!


She only dared to creep her hiney a mere one step further, but enjoyed having the pool almost entirely to herself and her daddy.



Just prior to us packing our things to head up to our room, Elaina made friends with a 7 year-old and 10 year-old girl from Chicago. They were jumping off the edge of the pool into the water. Of course, our big one-year-old-do-it-yourselfer decided that she wanted to do the same. She got up from her seat to take her place by the pool's edge. I don't think she had any intentions on jumping in alone, but was more than ready for mommy to hoist her into daddy's outstretched arms in the water. Good thing mommy decided against getting wet tonight; I don't know if I would have been able to keep up.

Here's a good excuse for the weekend: snuggling in bed with my favorite girl. We didn't bring the pack 'n play on purpose, rather knowing there were two queen beds in our room, Elaina could sleep alone or with a snuggly parent. I opted to join Elaina as we cuddled down for the night. We don't make a habit of co-sleeping and Elaina doesn't expect it, but we'll often lay down together for afternoon naps on the weekends or rare occasions such as this being away from home. Tonight, little girl was so wiped out from a long day, she was asleep before I could even unpack my own pajamas!
Saturday morning Eric headed out to work early in the morning and Elaina and I were ready to start our day. We had a lovely continental breakfast together and then hit the pool for some playtime before a late morning nap. I tried to be very meticulous about planning our activities of the day in attempt to keep both of us happy. There's rarely a chance that Elaina will be happy for long stretches of time if she goes without a nap. Her nap time gave me ample time to clean up the room, take a shower and get ready for our day on the town. Perfect timing!
The mall--- make that, the most incredible mall ever, was just about 2 minutes from our hotel. In fact the parking lots looped together. It was awesome. I've since learned that the mall itself is relatively new, having it's doors open for only about 2 years now.
Ummm... how shall I put this? We were at the mall all day long! I'm not just talking about wandering around, dumping cash into each store in return for unnecessary items, I'm talking about walking miles around the mall and landing in the greatest kids play area ever. Elaina would have been content to divide her time equally between the hotel pool and the mall playland easily. It was a PBS Kids Land that offered 3 separate play areas for different age groups. Again, being all of 1 year old, creeping close to the magical age of 2, she was able to enjoy all that each had to offer.






She worried me to death when she decided to tackle the flexible bendy ladder that took her to the highest plateau until about her fourth go around, when she was able to climb it effortlessly.









I wish I had taken more pictures of the layout of this magnificent play yard, but it seems as though I only have eyes for my girl. Elaina made a few friends on the three separate occasions that we were there. We spent about 2 hours there on Saturday afternoon, went to a nice restaurant for dinner with daddy and dragged him back to the mall to see his little girl in all of her glory. Oh yeah... mom was able to run wild throughout the mall and drop her cash for unnecessary items then.

And for the grand finale..... I give you Big Bird.

That's all Elaina talked about Saturday night and until we arrived to see him again on Sunday.

Sunday morning, Eric of course, headed off to work and I took Elaina back to the play land/mall to run off some energy. Also, I had to pick up the last final items I had talked myself into buying. (Did I need to mention that?) Thinking that the mall would open at 10:00, Elaina and I arrived at 9:57 sharp. To our surprise, the stores didn't open until 11:00. A lucky accident turned out great as Elaina had Big Bird (and the entire kids area) all to herself for about 15 minutes before the other munchkins began to pour in. Soon after, we scooped up mommy's deals and some lunch for dad and headed to the gun show. Eric was glad to see us and share part of his work with his 2 favorite girls.

Soon after, Elaina and I hit the road heading for home. We had an incredible weekend together and enjoyed seeing Elaina play in an entirely new environment. While it stinks that Eric had to work, he was still home in time to read books with his baby girl and tuck her into bed as she was still mumbling about "swemming poo" and "BigBerd."

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

So Big

I just wanted to pass along some cutie pictures of Elaina that made me laugh.


In the first photo, our model is wearing an exquisite set of genuine plastic jewels showcasing the Easter Bunny emblem atop the bold, bright colors from our Spring collection. Notice her clip on earrings which compliment her stretchy, plastic necklace- all in the bunny theme.

(Not shown: Easter Bunny ring and stretchy bracelet.)
*** Hairstyle compliments of
the banana Elaina had for dinner
and used as mousse for her hair.
(What can I say, she's resourceful!)



Next up is Elaina's baby doll she presented atop her changing table when she realized that baby doll didn't have a diaper on. She reached and pushed her doll to the top and proceeded to pull out a diaper for her and pointing to her doll, said, "Diaper. Butt-cream."

God forbid the baby doll go to bed without a diaper or butt cream.

(Although Elaina has expressed minimal interest in the potty, she always asks for butt cream for herself with every fresh diaper. Good thing she's looking out for what's in the best interest for her doll. Cute!)

Monday, April 09, 2007

Ain't Nothin' Wrong About Holidays!

Top 10 Great Reasons to Love Holidays!

1. Family
2. Food
3. Never knowing what you'll be going home with, but unless it's flu season, it's always going to be something good!
4. Fridge full of leftovers
5. Filling up all of your camera's memory space with sweet photos
6. 50% off holiday merchandise the following day! (I'll never miss that $35 I spent today!)
7. Seeing magic and wonderment in the eyes of my child
8. Creating memories
9. Starting traditions
10. Too little sleep, too much laundry and too much housework to tend to when company leaves because it was all worth the time spent together having fun!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Easter Joy

"Easter Joy" seems the very best way to sum up the very best weekend!

Here's hoping everyone had a joyous Easter weekend also!

For our family's celebration this year, my parents and brother and his family traveled to spend the weekend here. You wanna know what that means? Lots of eating, fun and spoiling! Maybe not so much eating on the kids behalf, unless you count candy necklaces for lunch and jellybeans for dinner. With this in mind, Colin and Elaina couldn't have asked for a better weekend! The good and the bad of the weekend was that we were able to help my sister-in-law, Kate celebrate her birthday with cake and ice cream. Unfortunately, the bad part was that Eric's parents weren't able to join us for the weekend as we had hoped.

Since my parents arrived Friday night, we were able to enjoy somewhat of a normal routine before a whirlwind of activity overtook our house on Saturday when what is to become known as the "Toddler Tornado" touched down at our house. I'm only exaggerating a lot. Elaina and Colin were as thick as thieves this weekend. They were so good and played so well together as if they see each other everyday. In all actuality, we only really get together about once every 4 months or so. (We need to work on that! *smile* ). When Colin arrived at Elaina's house on Saturday afternoon, Elaina showed little hesitation in greeting him with a hug and soon after, led him by his arm to show him her toys. The rest of us stood in the kitchen melting by how sweet they were to take to one another so quickly. Unbelievably, no one had a camera handy at that precise moment. We learned our lesson and had the flashbulbs ready from then on. (You'll see what I mean soon enough!)

The best and only way to even give you a slight hint of the fun we had is through narrating some of my favorite pictures! (of course!)
(captions below each photo)

After much chasing and romping about the house, the little Munchkins took it upon themselves to cozy up to one another long enough to catch the end of their favorite show, Go Diego!Go! and provide the rest of us a sweetly, excellent blackmail picture for they get older! What do you think of our new living room furniture? Should we keep it here? Or maybe turn it to the face the other way? Hah! I would have never believed that one day we would have an 8x8 foot bounce house in our living room! Enter: Greg and Kate to provide just what we needed to fill that empty corner! Since becoming a mommy, these are the types of gifts that Aunt Kate buys for herself for her birthday to see so much joy and exhaustion overtake her little boy! I believe that she once made reference to it as " a good-night's-sleep-in-a-bag!" The kids loved it! Isn't this slightly ridiculous? Guilty. And how many kids are going to wake up at my house in the morning? 47? Um, no. The answer is 2. Two spoiled-rotten-but-so-much-worth-it-kiddos. It looks like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are in cahoots to fill our homes with toys and rot our children's teeth. Lovely. (Inset: Aunt Kate following the Easter Bunny's instructions to make all of this loot fit into two little baskets. That Easter Bunny must have some kind of magic!)
Colin and Elaina did a great job of finding all of the eggs that the Easter Bunny hid around the house. That bunny was good to both of them! They woke to find that there were Easter baskets awaiting them just outside their bedroom doors and that the bunny had hidden Goldfish crackers in about 3 dozen brightly colored eggs. Let's not forget to mention the fact that Elaina's Grandma and Grandpa W. had mailed out some fun Easter goodies and bunny purse for her basket and Elaina's babysitter jammed loads of goodies and a sweet outfit into yet another basket for her. I think that she got only two baskets this year compared to the three she received last year. Poor thing.
With a little help from Grandma, Elaina was able to reach clear to the top of the clock for her favorite colored egg. Orange. ( Everything is "orr-anj.")"How did that bunny know that my Daddy can't wait to take me hunting in the woods? Now I have my own pink, camouflage hat! It goes nicely paired it with my bunny necklace! I really am a girly-girl!"
Colin's trying on bunny ears for size while Elaina is trying to blow bubbles from the best bubble-blowing cup and wand ever made. It fits little hands perfectly and it never leaks a drop when tipped upside down and the soap doesn't stain, or discolor fabric! Available only in EasterBunnyLand. After all of our company left, we still had plans to go to Cleveland to attend calling hours for a very dear family to us. That would explain our 3 outfit change of the day. When we arrived home, much later in the evening, Elaina still had presents she had to open from the Easter bunny. He must know that Elaina is almost ready to begin potty training. He brought her a Sesame Street potty seat! Finally..... me and my girl! Could I possibly love her any more?

Friday, April 06, 2007

As promised...

Allow me to present, Elaina's Easter photo shoot '07! Featuring special guest appearance by Thumper, the Easter Bunny!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

In Which She Chooses Her Own Clothes



This would be the lovely plastic rain coat and rubber boots that Elaina chose to wear to bed a few weeks back for her afternoon nap.

It looks like she may be cooking up something good!









This would be the surprised face she makes every time the phone rings, just before shouting, "Te-e-fone!"
Hey, and whatever happened to "April Showers Bring May Flowers?"
We had a brief little ice storm this morning followed by a dusting of snow everywhere. Aack! All of this just 2 days after we bared our arms and legs and basked in the warmth of 82 degrees on Monday!
Can you say, "S T I N K Y?"

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Word For Word

Would I be overstating the obvious if I mentioned how much I enjoy being Elaina's mom? Umm... more to the point; I love being Elaina's mom.

With each passing month, she gets even more fun than I thought possible. I can honestly say that I have loved every single stage of her life and she just keeps getting better.

In all of her 21 month-old humor, Elaina is an incredible chatterbox and will say things that are just completely, innocently cute. For instance, the other day I was making her lunch and trying to explain to her that her "nuggies" were in the oven baking. She is familiar with the big white thing that mommy stands in front of daily is the thing we call the oven and knows that it is often hot. When I went to pull out her chicken nuggets, she yelled, "Mom-mee! Ca-ful. Hot." Good thing she told me!

It is refreshing that we're able to carry on an actual conversation of sorts with our daughter and not have to dumb-it-down for her benefit. With the exception of calling socks, "sockies"; eggs, "eggies"; Noggin, "Noggie"; and chicken nuggets, "nuggies-" we've never really talked baby talk to her. The majority of our slang has come about, in fact, by Elaina's use of these words. Unfortunately, neither Eric nor myself can resist how cute she is when she throws a random
"-ie" ending onto her words, that we tend to follow suit. She is beginning to string three and four words together gradually and gets her message across rather clearly. It's just amazing how at 21 months, she presents so much knowledge folded within the confines of a little body that still instinctively cries when she doesn't get her way. I guess I just stand in awe of how her mind is developing and forming ideas and processing so much information by the minute. It's as if she has opened my eyes to seeing things around me for the first time.

I hope that she will forever hold onto her ability to think and feel things so freely and so innocently and that she never loses her appreciation for the little things in life. What a beautiful gift!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

First "Tumb-bing" Class

Finally! After 5 attempts to get Elaina enrolled in a tumbling class, we made it tonight!
(or as Elaina calls it, "tumb-bing.)

Why did it take 5 attempts? Let's see... for 2 consecutive weeks, class was cancelled due to the weather (school cancels=tumbling cancelled). The third attempt was in between sessions and no one was there, the fourth time; the instructor had told me the wrong date, and the fifth being last week when we all went to the dentsit. Seriously people! I just wanted to get my kid into a stinkin' tumbling class, not schedule her doctorate program!

The thought of tumbling class first crossed my mind when Elaina discovered a new favorite activity which involved her scaling Eric's hard gun case for his rifle that had been left on the floor. ( Editor's note: No, we don't make a habit of leaving "guns" just lying around the house. This was during hunting season and the case was empty!) Elaina would run into the spare bedroom and say, "Mommy! Watch!" as she walked the length of the case time after time as she beamed with pride over her new skill.

Tonight's toddler class had a minimal attendance of 4 kids versus nearly 10 that can typically be expected. Elaina and her friend, Allison are both close to 2 and the actual "toddlers" of the class. There were only 2 other little girls and they were both 4 year old veterans of the routines. I was impressed to see my little girl showing independence as she following the instructions of a complete stranger while mommy looked on from across the room. Given the fact that she had to check on me sporadically through the session, she did great and required mimimal coaxing to re-join the group. I think that this will soon become one of her favorite activities and hope that she will enjoy this type of organized recreation for years to come.

Here are just a few pictures from class. Elaina is in the hot pink track suit (which she refused to take off her matching jacket!) and her friend, Allison is wearing the light pink leotard. They were utterly adorable!

Monday, April 02, 2007

The bunny named "Thumper"

Can you even believe that Easter is just around the corner?

Can you believe that I was so excited to take Elaina to get her picture taken with a real, live bunny?

Can you believe that Elaina really could have cared less about the real, live bunny?

Sadly, all of this is fact.

Saturday, I took Elaina to a portrait studio that offers appointments at Easter time with live bunnies. I had hoped that she would have been thrilled with the experience and that she would give us loads of smiles that just sang out "Ooohh, Ahhh." Nope. The kid could have cared less. "Yep, it's a bunny alright," is what her reaction seemed to be.

Regardless, her pictures turned out simply adorable! As I'm writing this, I'm realizing that I don't have any photos downloaded to share. And as I'm thinking this, I'm wondering who will come back to check this same post to see them. Just remember, Okay?

And now, back to the story.... so, we hadn't been to this particular studio before and I just really can't say enough good things about them. Their prints were somewhat pricey, but the service was top notch. I was terribly impressed and couldn't have asked for a better experience. This will most definitely be the place that we book her 2 year-old pictures for a splurge.

As soon as we have an opportunity to scan some pictures or pull them from their site, you'll see them here first. In the meantime, just take my word for Elaina looking like the little doll that she is!

Writer's Hiatus

Wow! From Thursday to Monday and no new stories!
I could well be fired for an offense of such great proportion!

Oh, who am I fooling? Within the next few days, I shackle myself to this very keyboard, try to recall some worthwhile stories of our weekend, finally catch up to date by this Thursday and then have another busy weekend smack me in the face! Show me some mercy people!
For tonight, however, I'm writing with the sole intention to provide my dedicated readers with a little something new than my last post you've been clicking to over to see the same thing 5 days in a row, and to intrigue you to stop back soon by eluding to upcoming stories about bunnies, Easter pictures and the playground that rules!
Until then... I'll leave you with this sweet picture of Elaina just one year ago. Sweetsie was just beginning to learn to crawl and get into just about everything!