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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Family Affair

It's that time of year again... our local county fair!

Yee-Haw!

And, once again, I volunteered to work a shift at our court information booth. (Good brownie points for work. Know what I'm sayin'?) And when I sign up to work with 2 of my friends, hanging out behind our booth taking a tally of the number of mullets, fanny packs and men who appear to be 13 months pregnant, it hardly seems like a chore to spend three hours of my time there.

When my shift ended at 7 p.m. Eric was waiting to meet me with both of the kids in tow. Yet another fun-filled family night, hanging out at the fair! And again, how you go wrong with fair food, which you already know my affection for greasy, fried, overpriced junk food. Mmmm...

This year at the fair, Elaina was big enough to ride most of the kiddie rides all by herself. I thought that she was going to pull her arm out of socket as she was pointing so hard at each and every ride, saying over and over, "I wanna ride, I wanna ride, I wanna ride 'dat one," She could hardly finish her sentence, stating what she wanted to ride before she spotted another just as tempting. Yes, Elaina, there isn't a ride here that you don't want to ride. I get it!

Elaina learned a big lesson in patience tonight as she had to wait in line, and then wait for the kids to exit the ride before she could get on. Excruciating for a 2 year old to just sit idle when there are rides to be ridden! Talk about no fun! The better part about going to the fair on a Thursday evening is that the lines for the kiddie rides weren't really that long, In fact, some of the ride operator's were just sitting around waiting for customers. Plenty of times I walked up to the gate and asked if they didn't mind running it just for one rider. Elaina had some of the rides all to herself!

Surprisingly, we were able to inch Elaina away from all of the lights and noise of the kiddie ride area and move onto the animal barns. At this point, it was getting much later in the evening and the crowds were minimal. In fact, plenty of the animals were already asleep in their pens. As we walked down the aisle of the big barn, Elaina peered into the pig pens and said night-night to each and every pig. Eric heard her echoing through the barn and decided to have a little fun with his girl. Instead of saying night-night to the piggies, he had Elaina shouting, " Night-Night Bacon-bacon! Night-night Sausage-sausage!" Although she enjoyed this just as well, she had no idea how hysterical she sounded to everyone else. Good influence, Daddy.

Since we were having such a terrific time, and no one was yelling, screaming or fussing, we ended up leaving at closing time. 10:00. Well past Elaina's typical bedtime and long after we usually have Lincoln snug in bed too, we finally headed for home.

We had such a great evening and can't wait until next year when Elaina will be three and can teach her little brother how to sweet talk the piggies before bedtime!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Torn

Lincoln is almost 4 months old.

I have mother guilt.

I need help.

Here's my confession:

I never had birth announcements made for our little precious.

There. I said it. Guilt. Hate guilt.

When he was, oh let's say 2 months, I was waiting for the perfect, sweet opportunity to snap the most beautiful photo ever and send it to dozens of our family and friends. I found myself waiting around for some peace and quiet with Lincoln all to myself. Well, when you have two kids, those moments generally happen along about 10:00 p.m., in which photo shoots don't necessarily occur to my tired mind. And then there was Elaina's second birthday which crept up on me sooner than I thought possible. And when I had just finally had it with my own procrastination and was determined to make "thee photo" happen, Lincoln had come down with his burning fever which landed him in the hospital. And that's not going to make for very many happy-boy-faces.

I could go on and on with excuse after excuse about being busy, yet it still doesn't excuse the fact that I have severe mom guilt and my baby is only getting older by the day. And still no birth announcements done. Never mind that my camera has been recalled and there is no hope for "thee photo" to be taken in the next 2-3 weeks. I'm thinking of using an older photo and pretending like I had them done a long time ago. Like they just probably took that long to get mailed back to me.

Tell me, is it too late to send birth announcements?

Don't even get me started on when I'll be able to get him to the portrait studio to have his 3 month pictures done. Aaack!

Help. Me.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Performance Appraisal

Notice how I haven't posted any more about potty training?

That would be because Elaina could really care less about the issue as a whole. Of course we talk all about putting her pee-pee in the potty and telling somebody when she feels like she has to go, blah, blah, blah. Still, nothing.

So tonight when she told me, "I go potty, Mommy. In 'dis bafroom," I complied without hesitation. As she was sitting on the potty, I was talking to her in a calming voice and subtly encouraging her to go. Elaina then pat me on the back and said, "Is okay Mommy. You're a good girl."

Melt. Melt. Melt. I don't know which I wanted to do more: laugh or squeeze her into itsy bitsy pieces. God she is a sweet girl!

Thanks Elaina! I needed that!

Sometimes I Think I'm Smart

Yep, it's true! Sometimes I come up with rather intelligent ideas to make my life and living just a little bit easier. Of course I'm not claiming any originality on this idea and it's far from brilliant.


However, while I was changing Lincoln's clothes and peeling off a too-tight-sleeper-which-accidentally-crept-back-into-his-drawer, I had a little spark of smart to keep his too-small clothes from making their way back into rotation. Are you ready for this? I turned them inside out! When they come out of the laundry, inside out, I know it's time to retire them for good.

Oh yeah! Genius! Inside out! In my genius abilities, I do find time to laugh at myself over the fact that it's taken all of 2 years to establish this new system.

Go ahead and use it, this tip is on me!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Good Eater

Now, by the title "Good Eater" who would you guess I am referring to?

Would you guess:
(A) Me, since I enjoy a giant bowl of ice cream about 4 times per week
(B) Keegan, our dog, since I just bought him 70 pounds of dog food (stocking up)
(C) Picky-Pickerson, a.k.a.: Elaina, the non-eater

Well, in case you went out on a limb and guessed Elaina, you are right! Just in case you guessed me or Keegan, you get extra points as well, since neither of us are even slightly under nourished.

Tonight it was Elaina who I am happy to report had a fairly decent dinner. Eric was out working and so it was just me and my girl at the dinner table. The first shocker of the evening was when she told me that she was hungry. The child is never hungry, except for junk food and snacks. She even told me she wanted "awfuls." "Awfuls" are waffles in Elaina-speak. So, waffles for dinner. Okay! She helped me put the frozen waffle into the toaster slot (okay, okay, I'll begin making homemade waffles again when I don't have a 3 month old who is going to begin fussing to eat in 30 minutes!) and we were cooking. The water works began to pour and her bottom lip about hit the table in discontent when I put strawberry jelly ON the waffle, rather than on the bear's head on her little pictured plate. DRAMA! QUEEN! She pushed her plate away, refusing even one bite. At that point, I was trying to gage where this little tiff was headed. I could have easily lost my temper and took her straight to bed without any dinner. And believe me, I was envisioning it in my head. But instead, I took charge and changed my tone (read: yelled) at her explaining that her waffle was the only thing she was going to get tonight and it was going to taste exactly the same. And then I ignored her. Somewhere, a spark of magic happened. Right in my kitchen. She said she would try it! Did you hear the angels singing? Are those harps in the background? My daughter is trying something she had her mind set on that she wouldn't want to eat. In fact, hold onto your seats; she ate 2 (TWO) whole waffles, with a side of peanut butter, strawberry jelly and even asked for some syrup for dippy. And a 1/4 of a banana.

Bear in mind, this is still the girl who won't eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or any combination of them on bread.

Brat.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Three Musketeers

Let me just start by saying that I am in awe of what a great weekend I enjoyed with my two kids. Yep, just the three of us!

I stayed up on Friday night until almost 2 a.m. to finish some of the miscellaneous mom-chores around the house (i.e. 6 loads of laundry) and felt quite accomplished by the time my head finally hit the pillow. As if on schedule, both little munchkins woke at the ripe, old hour of 7 (!) the next morning. Like any good mom, I fed Lincoln his bottle, brought up a sippy of milk and snack trap of dried cereal for Elaina and we all vegged out in bed, watching cartoons for the next 2 hours. Nevermind the fact that I missed several of the shows as I couldn't see through my eyelids. Now that's the way I like to start off my mornings!

Since there's no keeping a busy-body-2 year old still for too long, I peeled myself out of bed and even decided to run some errands with both kids in tow. Again, amazingly, they were easy. No crying, no whining, no fussing and no fits! E-Z! That must have been the key to wearing Elaina out just enough that she settled in bed for her overdue nap time and slept for 3 hours. OMG! I really can't express how thrilling that was. I was tempted to wake her up until the more sensible, practical mother in me snapped me back into realty and I realized that if she was sleeping that much, her body must just need it. The anal, worrisome half of me began to question if she ever be able to fall asleep that same night. (She did!)

And so, remember my big, long, troublesome list of doom? I tackled it head on while sleeping beauty was accounted for. In between each load of laundry or with the completion of each task, I gave myself a 10 minute-ish play break with Lincoln. He enjoyed some tummy time, bouncing and wiggling as we cooed at each other and smiled. If only I had a camera, I could show you just how good he is getting at his big smiles. They are completely contagious!

Sunday morning was almost as leisurely, with the exception of even less sleep on my part the night before. Elaina and I made our favorite cinnamon rolls, (the child has been known to eat three before!) and called Daddy on the phone. Since our church doesn't have a daycare, I didn't even make an effort to think I was hauling two kids there all alone and try to juggle their contentment. While it would have been noble, I feel that most of the message is lost when you're trying to pay some attention to one in an infant carrier while making sure the mobile one isn't coloring on hymnals or crawling atop or underneath pews. Our Sunday was a little more low key. And trust me, I'm always thanking the Lord for that!

Eric arrived home from the race around 3 p.m. and no sooner, ushered me off to the stores to make some returns and buy dog food. Since we live almost 30 miles away from the shopping mecca of the county, going to the out to the stores is quite an event. Unlike my brother and SIL, who live literally 5 minutes away from the best shopping ever, we have a drive. In my opinion, that was good planning on Eric's part to keep my distance from the shopping. I would never come home from work on time and we would have probably run out of money about 3 years ago. So, for my afternoon, I ran errands all alone and savored what was left of my weekend!

A good one by far!

Friday, August 24, 2007

First Things First

First of all, let me just say that I'm having one of "those kind of weeks" that I feel behind on everything. My house is in shambles and my "to-do list" has now become the "must-do-before-I-lose-my-mind-list." Oh yeah, and the list is about as long as my arm. Single spaced.

So here I sit with my neglected friend, Keyboard and my better known friend, Bowl 'O Ice Cream. I have come to believe that ice cream always seems to make my world a little bit better. Mmmm...

This past week has been filled with many "firsts" for my family. Nothing terribly monumental or significant to report like Lincoln figuring Chinese arithmatic or Elaina eating an entire plate of food, but other random things that are still worth the mention. To kick off our week, on Sunday night we switched Lincoln's formula back to milk-based. It was only 2 months ago that he was seeming to have so many issues with being gassy, uncomfortable and most of all, screaming throughout every feeding. When he would arch his back and scream with pain, we were convinced that it had to be an issue with his formula. Our pediatrician recommended that we try lactose-free formula and see if he presented with the same behavior. That seemed to be the magic that we needed and he drank his bottles with pleasure. Much the same way as me and Bowl 'O Ice Cream. What a relief.

This past weekend he gradually began to demonstrate the same symptoms of discomfort when it came to feeding time. Sunday evening he had a 30 minute crying fit while trying to drink his bottle, that would make you believe that someone was severing his limbs with a dull knife. Absolutely heartbreaking cries that nearly broke me in two. I had to pass him off to Eric to see if he had any better luck. After 30 minutes of this torture (for all of us) I finally ran to the kitchen, preparing a bottle of the free Enfamil (milk-based) formula that the company sends to new arrivals. Either he had just worn himself out from all of his yelling or he actually realized the difference and drank it with ease. Let's hear a big 'ol "Amen" for that!

This has been the first full week that he's been back on milk-based formula and not a single problem since. And just a lucky perk from Lincoln's frugal mom; I'm saving $2 a can!

Moving on, this is also the first time I have had to get both kids ready in the morning and out the door for work all by myself. Eric left very early Thursday morning for the NASCAR race in Bristol, TN. He'll be gone until Sunday, giving me 2 work day mornings to handle by myself. I know this sounds a little bit petty, but Eric is such an enormous help with both kids and we work well together. Seeing as though it is already Friday night, I'm happy to report that I made the best of my 6 a.m. mornings and got the three of us fed and ready and out the door, right on schedule.

This week was also the first time that Elaina's drama queen attitude lasted longer than a day and reached an all time high. Monday through Wednesday, she woke up sleepy and grumpy and early, refusing to go back to sleep. Our mornings included her refusing to eat breakfast, fighting to get dressed, yelling while I did her hair and lots of little diva things that just don't fly in our household. Each afternoon, she came home from Nancy's house and claimed she was tired so that she could lay down with her binkies. Plenty of times she was so tired that we allowed her about a 30 minute nap in the middle of the evening, just to get through the remaining hours before bedtime. I'm pretty much convinced that her 2 year molars are still working their way through and it's a side affect of growing also. Oh, but her behavior! Sheesh! A little less bad would work for me! As luck would have it, Thursday and Friday, I got my good girl back. Sweet!

And my final "first" to report is that I finally made time to really tear into my laundry piles. The first time in 2 weeks, I washed, dried, bleached, folded and put away about 6 loads of laundry. It would be easy not to mention that I still have about 3 more loads that I could run through, but whose gonna tell on me if I don't?

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Little Things from my Little Love

3 long forehead wrinkles, arching when he dreams

running my fingers over his soft little fuzzy head

reminding myself daily that he'll nver again be this tiny

the impromptu smiles and grunts he makes while he's sleeping

the opportunity to fall in love and change our lives for the better once again

the way his big grey eyes study my face

how he settles down so quickly once he's soothed

the way he prefers to have his head hang over my elbow when he cuddles in my arms

my lips kiss his forehead and his nose touches my chin

bobbing head when he breathes

laying chest to chest, his cratching little fingers against my skin

remain in fetal position after postion change

baby breath

God I love my baby boy.


Monday, August 20, 2007

I'm a Cool Mom!

Here's a fun story for your amusement-

Like every other morning, during our morning rush out of the house to get the kids to the sitter's house, Elaina stops to pick a little blue flower to take to Nancy. Honestly, I can't believe that there is even a flower there day after day since Elaina picks them all. So, this morning was no different. Elaina picks her flower to take to Nancy, we pull in her driveway and Elaina is poking around her carseat looking for her flower. I find it and show it to her, stating that her flower is "Right HERE" and "Let's go." Elaina seems oblivious to this new development and continues to poke around, wasting time and ignoring me in her seat. I finally raise my voice and announce with a little more authority, "Elaina! Let's go! Your flower is here- we have to go!"

At this point, I am unbuckling her from her carseat belt and digging for her arms buried in the seat cushion. As I pick her up from her seat, in a perplexed tone, Elaina says to me, "OkayOkay Mommy, JustChillOut." Plain as day. My daughter told me to "Chill out."

I asked her, "Did you just tell Mommy to chill out?"

Not knowing if this was the right answer, she buried her head into my shoulder and softly said, "Yes."

I had to turn her around and put her feet on the ground as I began to laugh to myself in disbelief. Oh, she wasn't in trouble. It was too funny to even respond to her in any way.

One might be lead to believe that some parent may advise Elaina to "chill out" occasionally when she strikes up her fragile drama queen attitude. Hmm... is that possible?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Calling all Recalls!

Seriously! Is this the summer of recalls or what?

It's only been three days and I am already experiencing withdrawal. My camera has been recalled. ( Insert the pout face and wrinkled brow of frustration.)

Didn't it all start when they recalled coney sauce in July for fear that it may have contained botulism? Oh yeah, that would have been the very same coney sauce we offered our guests at Elaina's 2nd birthday party that my mom became ill over. And while I'm thinking about it, there were the Veggie Booty chips (salmonella), Thomas the Train toys (lead paint) and then green beans (more botulism) and then Mattel with every-single-Dora -action- figure- known- to- exist and even certain models of Ford trucks. Seriously!

And I'm suffering over my missing camera, forfeiting pictures of my little sweetness children, changing by the day and no one can even offer me a stinkin' coney dog!

Apparently America is selling out our safety to the lowest bidder or the most careless workers.

I'll step down from my soapbox now. Thank you.

We'll have pictures again one day. And then, all will be right in my world. And I'll be content with only ketchup and mustard on my hot dog.

I. Just. Want. My. Camera. BACK.

The Grandparent Adventure

Just how many grandparents can you visit in one weekend?


The answer: 6
Given the fact that Elaina and Lincoln have a grand total of 8 grandparents / great-grandparents, I'd say we covered a lot of ground on our weekend trip to my parents' house and his parents' house.
The reason for the visit was sparked by Eric's grandma coming up from West Virginia to stay with his parents for the week. While she was there, Eric's other grandma came over for the day and we all headed to Eric's brother and sister-in-law's house for a cookout.
Follow all of that? Just in case you're counting, that makes a party of three grandma's and a grandpa all in one place! It was the first time that either great-grandma had ever met Lincoln and they were both surprised at how much Elaina has grown up and changed since they saw her last. Needless to say, they were a lot of hugs being doled out to each of our munchkins.
Just like every other family gathering, we ate loads of great food and enjoyed visiting long past the wee ones bedtimes. While we were there, Elaina enjoyed jumping on the trampoline, riding her cousin Evan's new battery powered 4 wheeler and swinging on the swingset. With entertainment like that, who would ever want to go home?
Surprisingly; Elaina. Apparently, she had worn herself out by all of her recreation and was begging to go to bed by 9:30. The bed we were headed to was at my mom and dad's house. ( Make that grandparent set # 6.) By the time we arrived at grandma and pop-pop's house, she had gotten her second wind and was thrilled to chase around with pop-pop and talk to grandma. Unbelievable. The child who begged for bedtime only an hour earlier, was made to go to bed about 4 times before her daddy finally got her tucked in.
What a great day of visiting!
P.S. Note: Great Grandma and Great Grandpa in Florida- we miss you too and wish that you were within a quick three hour drive away too! Love you! You would have made our weekend complete!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Biographies of the Wee Ones

The Big Sister

Name: Elaina Rose


Alias: LuluBelle, Sweetsie Sue, BabyDoll, Angel
Age: 25 months
Height: 33.5 inches (30 percentile)
Weight: 27 pounds (50 percentile)
Likes: Little brother, "Winkin," binkies at bedtime, books, dancing, swinging at the playground
Dislikes: Healthy food, nutritious food, new foods
Talents: somersaults, sliding, counting to 15, impressive vocabulary, flair for the dramatic
Favorite Toy: viewmaster that Aunt Jan and Uncle Stan sent her for her birthday (otherwise referred to as her "ninnoc-cooyers"

Things she would like you to know: recently had first sighting of new bottom row tooth broken through and bump of another one almost ready to show; Elaina went pee-pee on the potty on Monday night and received 2 M&M's and excitedly did the potty dance with Mommy
The Little Brother
Name: Lincoln Todd

Alias: Sweetie, Love, BabyBoy

Age: 3 months

Height: 24 inches (50 percentile)

Weight: 15.9 pounds (75 percentile)

Likes: holding onto his mommy/daddy/blanket, hanging his head off the bend of mommy's elbow so that she looks like she doesn't know how to hold a baby, smiling, cooing and discovering an almost-giggle in his throat

Dislikes: being hungry or sitting in a soiled diaper

Talents: recently began sleeping through the night like a champ! Consistently drinks 6 ounces at every feeding. Beginning to stand on his strong legs and supports his head very well.

Favorite toy: loves his swing and loves to have something to hold onto

Things he would like you to know: Did I mention him sleeping through the night? He has recently found his thumb and has become a thumb-sucker with the rest of his fingers pressed to the side of his nose.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Weekend Co-Op

It's the time of year once again for our little town's festival weekend. This is the same little festival event that Eric volunteers the majority of his time helping with the fire department food stand and I assist my friends on the same operating committee of which I abandoned almost one year ago.
Since Eric and I do put in several hours throughout the weekend, my parents are always gracious enough to come and take charge of our household operation for the time we are away. It was a pleasant sight coming home from work on Friday evening to have my mom welcome me at the door with Lincoln in her arms and an excited Elaina running in behind her.

While Eric was gone the majority of Friday evening putting in his hours at the park, my mom and dad took the kids to the festival as I scurried around and set up an entire garage sale for the next morning. All in one night. Yes, it can be done. And, well, I might add. Grammy and Pop-Pop reported that Elaina shook her bootie to the music at the bandstand while Lincoln stayed awake, soaking in compliments and attention well past both of their bedtimes.

For the life of me, I cannot understand why our town cannot hold successful garage sales. Saturday morning was a huge disappointment as far as profitable sales. Yes, I got rid of more than I started with and came out ahead with a couple extra dollars in my pocket, but not even close to the traffic of what could be expected. Since I can't shrink my kids to fit their old clothes and I've already run the circuit of selling to resale shops, I priced all of my items dirt cheap to clear my tables. Aside from kid clothes, I had an entire table full of housewares, decorations and even a lawnmower off to the side. No takers! Pooey! I did sell one of my old Coach handbags which was actually easier to part with than I had expected. Woo... now I'm rich.

I had a commitment to volunteering on Saturday afternoon while I let my mom and dad continue to run the show back at home. Afterward, we all headed down to the festival and enjoyed some good junk food and company of our neighbors throughout the town. Every year, I'm reminded how nice it is to live in a small town where we're fortunate enough to have met lots and lots of great and genuine people that we call our friends. When Sunday morning finally rolled around, Elaina was thrilled to still have her Grammy and Pop-Pop with her one more day. We had been telling her that this was the day of the parade and that if she was good and ate all of her lunch, she would get to watch the parade. Around 9 in the morning, Elaina was no where to be found. I searched all of the downstairs until I heard her little voice coming from up above. Elaina had pulled a little stool in front of our spare bedroom window and was perched there waiting for the parade to begin. Little did she know, the parade wouldn't be starting for five more hours and she was facing the wrong side of the house. Poor child.

My second and final commitment of the weekend was to help out with the parade. My job was to help register everyone in attendance and usher them from the field to kick off the parade. Essentially, I got to see all of the parade, only in slow motion. I managed to catch the last 5 minutes of the parade with Elaina and my folks and snap some cutie pics in the meantime. Check out this awesome sign that our neighbors made for Elaina to hold for the parade!Practicing her parade wave with Grandma and Pop-Pop.This is how Lincoln enjoyed his very first parade. Even Elaina's friend, Ali, was able to stop by for a visit, a playground invitation and a share in Elaina's parade candy. Yum!

While I do love my mom and dad plenty, I resorted to sheer bribery in pitching my case to them for one last favor. Since we had all been so busy running around all weekend, I didn't feel like I had hardly any time to spend with them before they intended to leave on Sunday afternoon. I hit below the belt when I offered to take my mom shopping and promised my dad dinner at a great BBQ restaurant if they would stay just one more night. Hooray! They accepted!

We enjoyed our Sunday evening together doing some shopping and eating a great dinner. Even though it wasn't the BBQ that I had boasted, we all enjoyed our Chinese buffet just the same. Better yet, my mom and I got some great buys and finally had some time to visit with one another.

Although we had a very busy weekend, it was one of the best. Thank you mom and dad for running the show in our absence and hugging and squeezing our kids to pieces. Lincoln got to know your voices and your warmth and Elaina was just crazy about having you at her house. A great time by far!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

3 Months Old!

It seems like just yesterday that we were bringing a stringy, little 6.6 pound baby Lincoln home from the hospital. Desperate to find clothing small enough to fit his tiny hiney.

Three months ago, our world was turned upside down. In the best way possible. We got to meet our son. A son! For us! Pure joy! To share with us the rest of our lives.
So quietly content that we had to remind ourselves that he was there. Learning his personality, falling love and pinching ourselves that this is indeed, reality. We are no longer without our missing Linc in our lives. He completes us.

Monday, August 06, 2007

The Spread

Let me just say one more time: yesterday was pure misery.

Ugh. I don't remember feeling that sick in a long time. So guess what? Elaina yacked all over herself 10 minutes before we were ready to leave for the babysitter's house this morning. The sad part is that I'm not totally surprised.

Since Eric had already left for work I cleaned her up, called off work, called the babysitter and called Daddy. Elaina proceeded to get sick a few more times before the noon hour, but after a nice long nap, she was happy as a clam. Actually, she was spinning around and flying like an "aiy-pain" and then the next minute, she was busy bzzz-bzz'ing around like a "bummel-bee." Cute.

The only good thing to come of a sick child are the first signs to indicate that they are feeling much better. She's already there!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Here We Go Visiting!

One might assume that while I was off work for 2 months on maternity leave and Eric joining me on paternity leave for 6 weeks of the same time, we may have been able to steal away a weekend to visit with family and friends.


I'm afraid that wasn't the case.
Nope, we sat home and stared at our wonderful boy, played with our little girl and stayed busy every single day without fail. Unfortunately, we just kind of ran out of time to cross everything off of our to-do-list in such a short period of time. So, do you want to know what we do about that now?
We have super-duper-extra-busy weekends all at once! Grand!
For so long, we had planned on going to visit my brother, sister-in-law and Colin. And just for a bonus in our weekend, I really had the best intentions on joining up with Kate's friend Heather and sweetie-blog-star-son, Wesley. Elaina has been a longtime fan of her cousin Colin and Wesley via their blog pictures and videos. As luck would have it, our best laid plans caught a snag early on and made seeing Wesley impossible. (Heather, I'd like to request a rain check for a trip to COSI to get the three little munchkins together before we have to pay adult admission for them!)
So, let me tell you how much we enjoyed our weekend otherwise. Eric and I got on the road especially early on Saturday to be able to take full advantage of the time we had available. Colin welcomed Elaina with a gentle hug while Aunt Kate was busy squeezing all kinds of love and hugs onto her little nephew, Lincoln. We headed out to one of Colin's favorite parks, known simply as the "Bunny Park." Why do they call it the Bunny Park? Quite simply because it has three 2o foot bunnies dancing in a circle atop a giant hill. Aahhh... the bunny park. Better than bunnies, it has jumping water. Elaina had a ball playing in the water and catching it in her buckets. With the temperature stretching into the 90's, it was a welcome relief to get splashed by the cool spurts of water.
After the kids had their fill of drenching for the day, we decided that it was time to head back to the house for some dry clothes, naps and bottle time for Lincoln. While I was tempted to bring Lincoln a little closer to the fountains for the water to splash on his feet, I decided he was more than comfortable just hanging out in the shade of his stroller with his dad.
After naps and warm goodbyes, we were headed off to our next destination. Another set of abandoned friends that we had been desperately trying to arrange a weekend visit with.
Eric has been great friends with Duane since college and we've been close with him and his wife, Jayna, ever since. They have 3 gorgeous little ladies at home ages 4 to 11. When we first arrived, Elaina made her way right down to the basement play area without any prompting or encouragement other than being told that her "friends" were waiting down there to play with her. Just for the record, Elaina hasn't seen these girls since last year when she was about 15 months old. From the minute they connected, the four of them played together like they had known each other for the past 10 years!

We had a great time visiting and enjoyed watching Elaina interact and play so nicely with girls almost 3 times her age.

I'm not particularly sure which dice I played to have such bad luck this weekend, but on Sunday morning, I woke up with flu symptoms. Sheer misery. The kind of misery that lets you heave a little and then leave a little if you get my drift. And at our friends house. Seriously embarrassing. I have to admit that just the little, tiny part of me that was still rational and conscious was a little bit glad that we woke up to rain on Sunday morning and ruined our plans for hanging out by the pool. Without exaggeration, I could barely walk, speak or sit up. I'm telling you: MI-SER-Y!!

By 2:00, Eric managed to load up all of our loot, gather the kids and his decrepit wife and get us on the road for home. While I felt barely human, I did not get sick and didn't even have to reach for my barf bag once. Sometimes it's the little things that you have to find joy in.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Posting Note...

To my loyal readers, this week has been a blur and my blog may reflect the same. I seem to have posted a few entries out of order so scroll back to see where exactly you left off. I may have slipped one in while you weren't looking. Just for fun.

Presenting:

Elaina's "hos-cosch" rug!

Check out this doll house bookcase! Generic $300 Pottery Barn? NOPE! Custom designed by Mommy and handcrafted with by Pop-Pop H. for Elaina's 2nd birthday! He gave this house a home!

Can you spot the big girl in her big bed?
The Big Girl Bedroom!
By popular demand, here are some pictures of Elaina's new bedroom. I still have some finishing touches to make and hesitated to post an unfinished product. I'm happy with how it's turned out so far and am anxious to see it come all together. Her room is missing the dresser mirror, a picture above another dresser and some block letters that spell out her name over one of her closets.

The one stand out faux pas is that her bed is pulled away from the wall. It seems as though I cracked the bottom of her headboard when I helped to pull it out when my friend came over to paint her walls. Eric still needs to bolt the split together and no one would ever know. Except that I just told everyone.

Gypsy in the Making

Elaina has been getting little self into a little bad habit as of late.
She has become a Hoarder.

Like her mom, she likes to have her "stuff" and likes to have it handy. If this means that she has to stand at the bottom of the steps crying because she can't haul her plastic shopping cart full of crap to the top of the stairs, she will. And then, wiping away the tears, she'll try once again to get that little cart to roll up the steps.

Little did she know, being a 2 year- old hoarder can also get you into trouble. It seems as though none of us have slept through the night yet this week. And Lincoln is not to blame. Of course he is waking up for his usual early morning hungry time around 4-5 a.m. but his big sister has been getting up between 5-6 a.m. For no reason. We're talking about the typical 7 a.m. wake-up girl. Before I went on maternity leave, we could almost turn off our alarm clocks and rely solely on her to wake us when 7 a.m. rolled around. Those were the good old days.

For the past couple early mornings and middle of the nights, Elaina has wanted to hoard all of her toys into bed with her. When she first moved into her big girl bed, Buddy the teddy bear and PinkBear, the beanie baby were all that she needed to make her happy. She has since moved on. Her bedtime posse now includes: 2 baby dolls, See 'N Say, Frog the flashlight, Barbie radio, Tupperware apple which the binkies stay in during the day, no less than 6 books, 2 baskets, plastic toy car keys, plastic sand shovel, Lilly the Leapfrog and at least 3 teddy bears. And don't dare forget the 2 binkies; one for each hand.

This is all of the crap that she loaded onto our bed when she greeted us in our bed at 5 a.m. on Tuesday morning. It took this child THREE trips to haul all of this loot from her bedroom to ours. God forbid she be content with only one bear and a cuddly hug from mom or dad. NOPE. Our king sized bed was loaded and cramped with little girl loot and barely enough room for the little girl.
And then there was Wednesday night. Wednesday night she tried a new spin on her old trick. Mommy and Daddy both tucked Elaina in before bed while Daddy made it very clear to stay in her bed when she woke in the morning and play with her toys in her room. Apparently, Elaina didn't quite differentiate still being awake with sleeping and then waking. This is what I walked in on:

I cleaned off her bed not only once this night, but three times! After I took this picture, she woke up around 3 a.m. and started over. We heard her shut her door and Eric headed in to put her back to bed. Five minutes later, we heard her talking book begin to play. Daddy took care of her once again. This time he turned off her nightlight so that she couldn't see to play with her toys in the dark. So we thought. At 3:30, her book begins to play again and it was Mommy's turn. I cleaned off her bed while she stood aghast, crying pitiful tears. Mommy was there to stay. I joined her, sleeping in her bed, putting an end to her bedtime party. Sorry toys!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Loveable

Did I mention how much Elaina loves her little brother?

Did I mention how much I love my kids?