Friday, December 30, 2005

End of 2005

Wow, has 2005 been a good year or what?

We started off the year anticipating the birth of Leda, and end the year wondering what we are in store for now that she can almost walk, is crawling at break-neck speed and thinks she is talking! We went from a bump in the tummy to a little girl who seems to have learned to smile slyly at us! (Okay, who taught her that??)

What a difference 12 months makes!

I know, I forgot (well, didn't forget so much as I just didn't have time) to do the Eight Month post. This sorta makes up for that. I feel, now that it's 5 days past, it's a little late now! I'll make up for it in the Nine Month post!

Leda has been very interesting this week! Starting with Christmas (when we tried scrambled eggs for the first time and we found the ONE thing that she would finally spit out at us!) and all the furniture surfing she's doing, and all the new things she's tried this week. Besides the eggs, we've tried chocolate chip cookies (without the chocolate - BOY, I see a LOT of chocolate chip cookies in SOMEONE's future!), we tried a VERY little piece of Godiva chocolate (Only the best for my child! Oh, yeah, see a LOT of Godiva chocolate in SOMEONE's future, too!), we tried split seconds that Mommy made (we had to have a taste of something our Great Mom-Mom made - we liked it!), we even had a taste of chocolate shake and Arby's curly fries!! So far, the only thing we didn't like was the eggs...everything else, we could have had MORE!!

She's had fun playing with ALL her new toys! Our living room looks like a ToysRUs exploded in it! Thus, we have begun talking and planning the remodeling of our basement to allow for a more entertaining area and a place for Leda to play! Check back often, I am sure we will be blogging our adventures! I don't know if there's a favorite or not, yet, but she really seems to like the toy that Great-Grandmom Rose got her - it's one of those toys that you press down on the button at the top and the more you do, the faster the little people inside go around and around...yeah, I don't know what it's called (I am sure it was on the outside of the box, but we threw that out!) Anyway, she seems to like it...she's even pressed down on the button like she has seen us do!

Alas, the toys must be cleaned up, and all the christmas presents need to be put away...we need to get ready for the Annual Yates' New Year's Eve party! Yep, we are doing it again this year...this should be pretty darn interesting! Considering we think there might be more kids at this party than adults, and Leda may or may not go to bed until 2006! Not sure what the first day of 2006 might have in store for us. But we will have fun, spending the last night of 2005 as we have every year for the past 7 (WOW!!), with our wonderful friends! We will spend most of the night doing our Indian Polyanna gift giving, ring in the New Year with a little champagne (hehe) and eat a wonderful breakfast prepared painstakingly by Brock! It will be wonderful!

Unless I get real bored over the next day and a half, don't expect another post until probably Monday! (unless I find the time to do it Sunday!) Have a WONDERFUL last couple of hours of 2005 and here's to 2006...can't wait to see what the New Year brings!

All our best to all of you! Happy New Year!

Monday, December 26, 2005

The day after...

Wow! I never knew a more exhausting Christmas day! Wow!
Ain't I just the CUTEST thing you've ever seen?
We all had so much fun. Leda played with ALL her toys, but loved the pinch scoop the best!
Leda's favorite toy from Christmas!
That was until she was standing with it in her mouth and fell forward...it apparently hurt her (gee, I wonder why) and scared the bejesus out of Mommy, so, we don't play with the pinch scoop any more! (at least not while standing!)
Having fun with the Hippo!
We loved our gobbling Hippo - Haven't quite figured it out yet, but it's got these really cool little balls that spin on it and lots of blocks that Leda can chew!

And, we love our chair...
Sitting in my chair!

And the Leap Frog learning table was pretty cool too, but Mommy and Daddy didn't get around to putting batteries in it until today, so Leda didn't really get a picture of her playing with it yet to post! Maybe later today!

Anyway, today we spent a relaxing morning playing and now we are getting a little nap before we head over to Granddad's...Leda thinks there might be more paper and ribbons and bows in it for her! ;-)

Sunday, December 25, 2005

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Merry Christmas to all!

Yesterday for Christmas Eve, Leda got all dressed up and had a picture done with Mommy...
Leda and Mommy!
We spent yesterday afternoon with Leda's Aunt Rachel, Uncle Wayne, Granddad and Fay and her cousin's Caelan and Tristan for some Christmas Eve dinner...it was lots of fun and Leda found LOTS of trucks to play with (they weren't hers, but, whatever! ;-) She also got some neat gifts of her own! Her first Christmas gifts!
Granddad reading Leda a book
We came home and spent a few minutes over at our neighbors, the McCartheys and Leda got some presents from their kids! She got to stay up until 10 o'clock and then she had to go to sleep so Santa could come!!
Cool, Daddy, did you see all the stuff????
At 7 this morning, rise and shine...time to open presents! First we had a little breakfast...because today we turned 8 months old, we got to try scrambled eggs for the first time...and, for the first time, we spit something out! Apparently, scrambled eggs suck! But we liked the Apple Juice!!
Playing with Grandma Sally's Bowl!
On to the presents...in record time (well, actually it took about an hour and a half or so), we opened ALL the presents from ALL the family! We LOVED everything, especially the pretty paper, the pretty ribbons, and the BOXES WERE THE BEST!!! Thank you everyone!
More Paper? Wow!
(Mommy and Daddy enjoyed all the stuff that came in the pretty paper, ribbon and boxes...thank you sooooo much!)

The Carnage AFTER the opening of gifts....
The Christmas Carnage
MERRY CHRISTMAS everyone! We hope your's was as good as ours! Love to all!
(click on any picture...there are more to see!)

Friday, December 23, 2005

The day before the day before

Went shopping...I'm done.

Put lights up outside the house (yeah, two days before christmas...we got a little behind)....done

Baked cookies, made chocolate truffles (they haven't killed anyone, yet)...done.

Wrapped everything that needed wrapping...done!

Okay, it's time for Christmas to be here. Yep, I'm ready.

We visited with our neighbors tonight...our little town has a cheese shop! Yep, a CHEESE shop! And, they have GREAT cheese...guess I am gonna go shopping again tomorrow!

Is it here yet? You know, Christmas?

Brock went to get beer from the beer store and came home with a Santa doll for Leda...the nice lady at the beer store gave it to her! Isn't that nice? I love our little town!

Is it Christmas eve yet? No...geez, when the heck is it gonna get here? I'm ready!

Off to have dinner at my sister Rachael's tomorrow. Looking forward to introducing Leda to her cousins Caelan and Tristan and hopefully Dylan will be there too!

It's Christmas now, right? No? Geez, how much longer do I have to wait????

Well, guess I will go off and eat my dinner, give Leda a bath, and hit the hay...Tomorrow is ONE MORE DAY TIL CHRISTMAS! WOOOOO HOOOOOO! We'll be a bit more busy tomorrow, so maybe Christmas will get here a little quicker! ;-)

Merry day before the day before Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Happy Birthday, Aunt Aimee

We won't post how old you are! ;-)

Hope you had/have fun today!

Love ya!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Oh Christmas Tree

Christmas tree all lit up!
Leda's first Christmas Tree.

Leda's First Christmas Ball!
Leda's first Christmas Tree Ornament!

Oh, and if you think Duff didn't get into the fun too...
Wizard of Oz
Yep, if you click the picture and go look at a larger version, you will notice our dog, watching TV...specifically, Wizard of Oz...it has a dog just like Spike, our carin terrier, Duff's mentor...Duff just can't figure out how Spike got in the TV! ;-)

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Big Christmas Tree!

Well, there are other ways of describing this tree, but there are children who read this site! ;-)

We went a huntin' our christmas tree yesterday! Brock and I found this great Tree farm way out in the wilds of Chester County a few years ago and we love going there. The prices are good and their trees are pretty darn good too. It's a cut your own, but they actually have guys out there who will cut your tree with a chainsaw and carry it back in on a cart! Wooo Hooo! So, yesterday, we had John, John and Biff help us with our tree!

We had specific criteria for the Christmas Tree (as we do every year); Brock wanted skinny, Cyndy wanted TALL! Leda doesn't have a say yet! ;-)

It took us all of about 15 or so minutes to decide on the 2005 Yates Christmas tree! Unfortunately, the first tree had a bit of a problem, it had a leader branch that was all the way at the bottom and cutting above it would mean half the tree wouldn't come home with us! So, we had to go choose another. (That's John getting ready to do the cuttin'!)
Cutting the Second Chosen Tree
Not very far from the first one, we found THE tree. So, we ordered the cuttin' and we headed back to wait for our tree. Leda found all of this a little boring (and a little windy and cold, but she was bundled up nice and tight and warmly, so she didn't feel the cold. She did look bored though! ;-)
Leda, a little bored at the tree huntin'!
So, we paid for our tree, loaded it in the truck and headed home. We didn't put it up right away because we had other things to do, and we went over to the Durham's for dinner, so the tree, well, he sat out on our back porch for the night.

Just a little while ago, Brock and I brought the tree inside. Leda was/is down for a nap, so perfect timing. We put the tree in the holder, and raised him up...OH.MY.GOODNESS!

Becareful what you wish for, you might get it...
Big Christmas Tree, 2005
I wanted a big tree...we got a 10.5 foot tree...Brock's gotta cut off about 8 inches at the top so the angel can sit there! With her head on the ceiling (now, tell me, with me afraid of heights, who do you think is gonna have to help decorate the tree this year???)

We have to do a little tying down of said tree...he's pretty stable, but maybe it's because of the little one, I want it tied down just in case! This IS the biggest tree we've ever had. I am MORE than satisfied with him! (he's gotta be positioned better, we are waiting for him to relax before we start moving him around...he does have a few open spots on him!

So, we'll be a decoratin' today! Leda and Mommy are gonna watch White Christmas while we put ornaments on the tree (well, Leda will watch, Mommy will put ornaments on the tree!) And, maybe later, if we have time, make some cookies and other treats! Yummmmm!

Can't wait...7 more days! WOOO HOOO!

Friday, December 16, 2005

Crazy week...

It's been a crazy week. I wanted to do a follow-up to my last post, but just haven't found the time...work is a bit upside-down nuts right now. One wonders if I will still be working there much longer. It's THAT crazy!

On the homefront, things are good - Leda has stood unassisted for several seconds everyday for the past several. Her first step is just around the corner (she almost did it last night!) It's amazing...I was so looking forward and so dreading this moment - still am! Our last days of things being a little easier are coming to an end and our little girl is becoming more independent a little each day. Thank goodness it doesn't happen all at once! I'd be a basket case!

Anyway, we are hunting a Christmas Tree this weekend and decorating for Christmas. Of course, most of the decorations will be nailed to the wall and out of reach of the on the move little girl! Can't wait to see how we keep her away from the Christmas tree for the next couple of weeks! Now THAT will be a feat!

Will update over the weekend! Have a good one!

Monday, December 12, 2005

On the Move

We spend a lot of time these days watching that Leda doesn't fall down and smack her head on the ground!

She is constantly wanting to be standing up. She has barely started to crawl - she crawls around military style (like she's crawling under barb wire! on her stomach, like it hurts her knees to use them!) What she really likes is to stand...and then try to bend over to pick something up! Lots of fun!

Last weekend, I went in to check on her during a nap...it wasn't quite time for her to be awake, and I hadn't really heard anything on the monitor...just a little rustling around, not a lot and no talking. So I figured, I'll go check on her. What I saw when I opened the door...
Mommy, I'm awake!
Yeah, Boy am I happy I insisted to Brock several weeks ago that we lower the mattress one rung...if we hadn't she would have been able to topple out! I am thinking we need to go one more...yes, she more than likely won't be able to fall out right now, but, she's a resourceful little kid! She'll make a deal with Dela and some how end up on the floor...I am sure! (I'm tellin' ya, the kid and the cat are conspiring against us!)

Anyway, I really think she wants to walk. She loves getting in her Jeep...she can push it all around the kitchen and attack our ankles with it! She LOVES it! I noticed, however, that she uses her tippy toes to push it around. Then, I noticed when we hold her hands and she proceeds to walk forward, she does it on her tippy toes. Might making walking a challenge for her...and lots of entertainment for the adults in the house! ;-)

At any rate, she wants to be up on her feet. She is even furniture surfing a little...she can go between the couch and the chair...even without our assistance...we are just there in case! And, she loves it. I figure we are a good month (more than likely two) away from any true walking (of course, I could be COMPLETELY wrong about that...I mean, we thought two teeth at 4 months were great, but, come on, she's not going to have too many more before she's closer to a year...and, here we are, 5 more teeth later!) Besides, it's like she's trying to get moving so she can get away from these crazy people who won't let me do what I wanna do...I mean, what's so wrong about wanting to eat the phone, remote, dog? Huh?

She's got such a personality now. It's just interesting how different she is from the first month or two to now. She's definitely got a attitude...and, for the most part, it's a pretty agreeable attitude (thank goodness!). She does, however, make her disagreement with us well known...put her down and go get your dinner and DARE to leave her alone for two minutes, you will know, the neighbors will know, and, it's possible, the rest of the town will know. The kid, she does have a set of lungs on her!

(and, let me clarify "alone" so that we don't have social services knocking on our door...she gets put into her exersaucer, away from all implements of destruction, and in full view of the kitchen, when we are plating our food. She's alone for all of about two minutes. Of course, to hear her, you'd think we left the house, went down to the local bar for several drinks and didn't even leave the heat on for her!)

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Snow Angel

Yesterday we did go out into the snow, for a few minutes. Until Leda starts walking, playing in the snow will only last a few minutes. Besides, she really had no interest in it at all!

But, we did get her to make a snow angel.
Snow Angel

And before anyone (other than my mother, who has already channeled her mother) says, "Put some gloves on that child," we were only out for about 5 minutes total, she never touched the snow with her hands, and, YOU try putting gloves on a child that removes everything the second it touches her hand AND is screaming bloody murder because you had the audacity to put her in that pink snow suit. Geez!

Besides...we put shoes on her...isn't that enough? ;-)
Yeah, Snow!

Friday, December 9, 2005

Snow Day!

Budda Garden!
Snowing

Wooo Hooo! It snowed all night and just ended at 9AM and we got all of about 8 inches, but the snow came so hard and so fast in such a short period of time, the office is closed and we get to stay home and play! Wooo Hooo!

Leda went down for her morning nap just a little while ago, Brock is out shoveling snow and I am going to take this time to stuff envelopes...gotta get those Christmas cards out! When Leda wakes up...out in the snow we go!!

BTW, that's my Budda Garden up there...yep, Budda's are Buried! Poor guys!

Holly

Thursday, December 8, 2005

My favorite Beatle

John Lennon...Silenced 25 years ago today. Imagine what could have been.

I remember waking up on the 9th, I had a clock radio in my room at the time. I really had just discovered rock-n-roll a year or two previous (I was 12). I loved the Rolling Stones (one of my best girlfriends at the time was a big Stones fan) and I had just received the Double Fantasy album that year (I think for my birthday, that Stones fan, Suellen, got it for me). It was the first thing I heard that morning. I don't remember how I felt...I do remember hearing it, I can even remember how my room looked that day...one of those distinct memories...but I don't remember how I felt.

I know now. I would like to know what the world would be like if John Lennon was still in it.

Imagine.

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

A sign??

Okay, so what kind of sign is two robins right outside my window, playing in the snow??

Seriously, aren't robins supposed to be somewhere warm by now?

Is this a good sign or a bad sign?

Oh, and it ain't just two...it's like 10, flying around from tree to tree, playing in the snow. I almost wish I had my camera.

Weird.

Bring on the 2006 season...

Not even going to comment (except that, geez, did we have to lose Westbrook, too?? Seriously, all our starters are on the injured bench at this point!)

Bring on the 2006 season. Football is over for this town this year. It's a shame really. But, it probably had to happen at some point.

Let's just let them heal and start anew next year!

Love my Eagles and can't wait to see them strong again...next year!

Sunday, December 4, 2005

It Snowed Out

This morning Brock was getting ready for work, around 5:30 AM, and I got up to use the restroom while he was in the shower. He says to me, "It snowed out." I said, "What?" "It snowed out."

It took me a few seconds to understand what he was saying. It appears that my husband may have picked up a Chester County or Southeastern PA colloquialism. How funny is that...if he starts saying, "Yous wanna go to dinner?" then, I'll worry a little.
Budda Garden under snow
Anyway, he was right...it snowed out! Leda's first snow. It was about an inch. She looked outside and didn't seem to really notice it much. I plan on taking her outside later...we'll see if she notices then! :-) Of course, that is if I can get her into her snow suit without reinacting the scene from A Christmas Story, where her arms can't go down!

Hey Santa, I wanna Corvette!

Leda's First Visit with Santa
Leda met Santa for the very first time yesterday! She asked for LOTS of things, but specifically, the 1968 Corvette Stingray sitting in the showroom...you know, the one that's original base price was about $4500??? Yep, that one!

Yesterday, with the Durhams, Leda and I went to County Corvette in West Chester to visit Santa. See, our friend, Denny, works there, and he worked really hard to set up a toy drive for Ronald McDonald house and he invited Santa to come and visit with all the boys and girls who would come out to donate a toy or some money to help out less fortunate boys and girls. Denny couldn't be there, so Santa played host instead! ;-)

Leda didn't seem too freaked out by Santa...she kinda was a little bored by the whole thing! He was, however, quite warm, and it was REALLY cold and windy yesterday! So, she didn't mind sitting next to him!
Leda's First Visit with Santa
Oh, and she really liked his beard...she almost pulled Santa's hair! In fact, I do remember him yelling "Ouch" as I tried to disengage her hand from his beard!

Paige, on the other hand, wasn't so happy about being near Santa!
Paige wasn't liking Santa so much!

We got a tour of the facilities here, which was REALLY nice...they have their own paint chamber! It was pretty awesome. Brock was really sorry he missed it...not only did he miss Leda's first visit with Santa, he missed seeing the really cool facilities! But, he had to work. Bummer!

Anyway, that was our Saturday. We went shopping later in the evening (and no, I am not going to say for what...it's almost christmas! However, we did buy Leda her first Christmas gift, but she will start using it today...a new car seat, because she's grown out of the infant carrier! Wooo Hooo!)

As always, click on the pictures to see more and larger sizes!

Friday, December 2, 2005

Ha! Funny....

Okay, this will be funny to those of you who know both Brock and I, and how GREAT! we are at housecleaning!

Someone hit this site after doing a search for "pictures of housecleaning!"

yep!

They got this post: Housecleaning/updating

Not exactly what they were looking for! But it made me chuckle to think that a search for "pictures of housecleaning" would point to me! hehehehe

Ch-ch-ch-Changes...

Our little girl, she is a changing!

It's amazing, for the first 7 months, she's changed gradually - I mean, there's been big milestones, such as teeth (oh, did I tell ya, she's up to 7 now - it's peeking through!), and being able to sit up and all, but she's starting to look different. Her face is much more expressive (and it's always been expressive). She's growing a little more hair (I still think it might be 2007 before we need to give the kid a hair cut). She's looking a little more, grown up.

She's discovered her tongue! Yes, we get lalalas now (yeah, I know, dada ain't far away...what is with these kids that they can't say mama first???? huh??? ingrates! ;-) But not only is she using it in speech, she tends to show it to us more than she used to. Not really sticking it out, but shes constantly opening her mouth and sticking the tongue forward...kinda like she's experimenting with it, trying to figure out what to do with it. It's really kinda cute! I don't know if it's this new discovery that makes her seem a little more grown up or not.

Last night, we had issues going to bed! We had a trip to Costco after dinner and Leda was wonderful! When we got home, she got to play for about a half hour before it was bed time at 8. We had our bottle and I lay her in bed and left the room (after saying goodnight of course!) Usually the bottle makes her sleepy, but I knew that we were going to have some issues because she didn't get sleepy!

She kinda russled around in bed for about 20 minutes, then the first crys started. They got louder, there was screaming involved. It was pretty comical, if it weren't so frustrating and horrible! They were angry screams and crys, so I tried not to go in to comfort her (because, then, they get louder and meaner!) She tends to cry and then stop, like she's listening to find out if we are going to come get her or not. If she crys for more than a few minutes, I tend to go in, stick binky back in and cover her up and walk out again - sorta our version of "cry it out."

Last night, when I went in, she was sitting up in bed, crying. I was shocked...this was the first time that we knew of that she had sat up in bed! Still, I didn't do anything but lay her back down, stick binky in, say good night, cover her up and walk out.

Long story short...it wasn't until about 9:30 that she finally gave up (after twice I went in and picked her up to calm her...I'm a sucker!) and fell asleep. She usually is such a great kid to put to sleep, I just don't know what caused this.

Hopefully, the crying thing isn't a change that is sticking with us!

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Arlen, stay out of sports, please

Arlen Specter thinks the Eagles are vindictive toward T.O.

Arlen should stick to single-bullet theories and getting better from his cancer treatments. Stay out of sports.

And, you can't be mad at T.O. for what he did AND mad at the Eagles for the way they treated him for what he did to the team. Pick a side, any side.

Why does our federal government need to spend money to find out if the Eagles were mean to T.O. or not?? Give it a break. It's over. So he doesn't play, he ain't losing any money sitting out these last 5 games. I wish I could make half as much as he will be for the next 5 weeks doin' nothin'.

Everyone wants a piece of this T.O. stuff. I say, good riddance. Let's now concentrate on finishing out the season with a decent record and move on to next year.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Temper, temper, temper....

Yeah, she's gonna be a redhead...

Leda threw her first snit last night...and her second, third and fourth in succession!

Wow, what an impressive display! Haven't a clue what precipitated it, but it was impressive. And funny!

She's standing, babbling away, when all of a sudden, she's wailing and stomping her feet! The wailing almost got me, but then, the stomping of the feet...have you ever seen a 7 month old stomp their feet when they are mad...wow, that's funny! ;-) Then, she threw her head back and her body went limp and the screaming...wow, if I wasn't laughing so hard, I might have heard her! hehehe

Brock came running into the room, "let me see, let me see," and she stopped. Brock wanted me to do whatever I had done to make her throw a snit so he could see it...Have no idea what I had done, she just threw a temper tantrum! At about this moment, she sat herself down and threw her little body onto the floor and kicked and screamed. We laughed!

Dinner was ready (Mommy and Daddy's dinner) and Leda was still in the throws of a snit, so I put her in her exersaucer and left the room (I didn't go too far that I couldn't reach her in seconds, so don't call Social Services.) Boy, did the snit go into full force...the screaming, the kicking and stomping, the throwing back of the head, the crying (and not a SINGLE tear, hummmm!) We sat down with her, after ignoring all this, and gave her her dinner cookie...she sat there and ate that cookie with a look of anger on her face at us. She wouldn't smile for a good 20 minutes...she just glared at us. Yep, that I'm-going-all-Lizzie-Borden-all-over-your-butts-when-I-SO-get-the-chance glare! OOHHH, we scared!

It was cute, and we probably will suffer the consequences for laughing, but we did good at ignoring the last snit...she realized we weren't going to take it and she stopped on her own. But BOY, was that funny!

Yes, I know, it won't be so funny if it keeps happening!

7 months old (three days late!)

Wow, how time does fly!

Our little girl turned 7 months old on Friday! We did recognize it, with all the packing and heading back to the city and touring the Spruce Goose and all. I just didn't blog it on time!

In the past month, Leda has certainly grown. She's saying more now...she's even starting to use her tongue to make sounds. She'll be saying words sooner than we think!

She is more expressive every day. We don't always know what she wants, but she's getting better at letting us know...when she wants up, she reaches to us...when she wants down, she pushes away from us. When she wants her "puffs" (treats after lunch/dinner) she pushes her bottle away and reaches for them.

She's growing up so fast. She's still pulling herself across the floor, not yet crawling, but she does get herself into position. She can sit up by herself (although, she tends to do this when we aren't paying attention!) She can almost pull herself up to a stand! Sooner than we know (and probably want!) she'll be walking!

She's such a joy to be with. She is mostly always smiling, she giggles so much. She's got ticklish points (which make us very happy!!) and she is becoming more inquisitive about things that are happening around her. She's a GREAT eater (always has been!) and she's tried so many new things this past month.

Leda's a wonderful little girl who only grows more wonderful each and every day. We love her more than anything in this world!
Love my Breakfast!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Leaving on a Jet Plane, Reprise

Today, we flew home from Portland, through Chicago, to Philadelphia and the Duffer Dog!

We got our wake-up call from Daniel at 3am, and we got up and got ourselves ready and the cab showed up around 4ish and we got to the airport with PLENTY of time to spare. Security at Portland was great...we got our own line and everything! That was great, so we didn't have to feel rushed to get ourselves put back together!

We got Leda up right as the cab showed up, changed the diaper and strapped her in, but she woke up, sat in her seat quietly until we got to the gate, and then she wanted to stretch her legs a bit. She was very good natured, since we didn't get her to bed until 10 the night before and got her up after only 6 hours of sleep!

We boarded the plane and Leda fell asleep! Didn't even stay awake long enough for breakfast! She slept for the good part of 2 hours and woke up, had a little breakfast, looked around, played, laughed and then strapped back in for the descent into Chicago. Not a fuss in her! She was great!

Got to our gate in Chicago and on the plane, and off we went for home! Leda fussed NOT ONCE!! Not one cry, not one fuss! She even slept for most of the second leg flight!

Home in Philly!!! Wooo Hooo! Got our bags, got back to the car and we were home by 5PM. Duff was SOOOOO HAPPY to see us! Leda got a big dinner (since she really was on a food deficit for the day) and then fussed all the way to 8 for bed...and then, she slept for 12 hours straight! WOOOO HOOOO...I got to sleep until 8 this morning! WHAT A JOY!!!

All in all, our trip was GREAT! Leda was wonderful on both the flights out and the flights home. I think our greatest issue was the amount of STUFF we had to carry! Gotta figure out how to travel lighter - HA!

We had a GREAT time with the Kingsley family! Portland and Neskowin were wonderful. Even the last two days in the rain were wonderful! We really had a great time.

We are happy to be at home. Now comes decorating for Christmas and going out to hunt Leda's first Christmas Tree (and, believe me, it will be BIG!!) Oh, and Mommy's diet! hehehe

Thanks to Aunt Joan and Uncle Wayne for their hospitality and love! We had a wonderful time. And Thanks to Daniel for everything! And Thanks to the Lilly's for turning down Disneyland to spend some time with us! We love you all!

Friday, November 25, 2005

Rainy Days and Leaving the Beach get me down

Today, we left the beach, but not before we spent a morning and early afternoon there!

We awoke to a angry ocean and wind blown rain. It was actually nice! Not the kind of weather you'd go out in, but still, we are at the beach! Watching the waves roll in...wow!

Uncle Wayne made us all omelets for breakfast, and then it was off to do laundry and clean up and pack up and build a few tables for the sanctuary. A stop for some lunch and we were all ready to go by around 2:30 or 3. Of course, we had to have a family photo before we left, and Aunt Joan's friend Mary showed up just in time! She took our family photo and off we went! (Claire will need to send me a copy of the family photo so I can post it!)

We did get a little (very short) walk on the beach between rain squalls....

Mommy and Leda on a Windy Beach!Daddy and Leda

We headed off for Portland and a dinner on the Portland Spirit! On the way home, you will be happy to learn (actually, Granddaddy will be happy to learn...the rest of you probably won't care as much! hehehe), we stopped for a quick tour of the Spruce Goose Museum! The place closes at 5...we got there around 4:15!! Enough time to run around and see all we could see and look at the Spruce Goose...did I take my camera...why, of course I did...did it have a fully charged battery? Why, of course not! So, I only got a few pictures! Click on this photo below to see all the photos in the Spruce Goose set!
Spruce Goose
That plane is HUGE! It was really hard to get some really good pictures of it, but we tried. With a camera that didn't want to participate! I wanted to get something special at the gift shop, but we really didn't have enough time to really look around. So, I bought myself a shot glass for my collection! Sorry Granddaddy! But, look, we had our picture taken with the Spruce Goose (just after we looked inside!)
Cyndy, Leda and the Spruce Goose
Leda slept all the way to the museum, and had a fun time running through the museum (and, run we did!) and then she passed out in the car all the way back to Portland...good thing...we were going to be up late!

We got back to the city, dropped off the dogs at Dan's house and off to the boat we went!

What a great dinner! We (Brock and I) haven't been on the boat in probably 5 or 6 years! The dinner crowd was light, the dinner was EXCELLENT! The company, GREAT! Daniel, the Lilly's and the Yates were all together for a nice last dinner before we all went our separate ways! (Aunt Joan and Uncle Wayne stayed down at the beach.) The dinner was really great. Leda enjoyed herself - she was SO good! She laughed and ate (She had her first garlic in the form of a REALLY good homemade garlic bread and she LOVED it!)

After dinner, we took a walk up to the gift shop (which is new to us, they didn't have the gift shop the last time we were on the boat...I think it's new as of the past year or so) and Brock and I got a new fleece pullover and Leda got a Portland Spirit Cinnamon Bear - this year, the boat will have a few cruises on Sundays leading up to Christmas for kids and Cinnamon Bear is the main attraction. He's pretty cute! Leda sure has a good start for her Bear Collection!

Off to the Kingsley home to say our last goodbyes and get us to bed so we could get a couple hours of sleep before that 3:30 AM wakeup call! We had such a great week with the Kingsleys/Lillys/Daniel! We will miss them all until the next time we get to see them!

We had a thanksgiving dinner that couldn't be beat

Other than missing Arlo Guthrie's "Alice's Restaurant" for the umpteenth time on Thanksgiving Day, we had a Great day!

The weather changed today....we got that famous Oregon rain. But, you know what they say, a rainy day at the beach is better than any good day anywhere else!
Leda in her Thanksgiving Outfit
It was your typical Thanksgiving day. We watched the parade, hung out with the family, ate some food (all day eating!), walked the dogs, played games, watched some football and then "had a Thanksgiving dinner that couldn't be beat!"
Memorial for T.K.
Brock and I joined Joan for a trip up the road to the Jesuit Retreat where there is a memorial to T.K. Brock and I hadn't seen it yet, and this was a good time to head up there, as Joan was dropping off flowers for the group.

It's a beautiful, rustic retreat. It's on a hill above the ocean and they have a lot of unmolested land where you can go and spend some time being quite and reflecting. It's really a beautiful place and we are happy we finally got the opportunity to visit it.
Yummm, Turkey!
Leda enjoyed her first Thanksgiving Feast! No, she didn't eat the wing, but she seemed to like what she tasted when she licked it! Sarah made her a biscuit specially for her, which she loved! And, of course, she flirted with Scott as much as she could.

Tomorrow's the trip back to Portland, with a planned stop at the Spruce Goose museum! Yes, we will hopefully get to go into the Spruce Goose, not just get a picture as we drive by! Will report back tomorrow night on our success or failure! (totally depends on if we get out of here on time tomorrow to stop!)

Happy Thanksgiving! May the Holiday Season begin!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

It's Gonna be a Bright Bright Bright Bright Sun Shiny Day

Who ever tells you this part of the country is wet and ugly, don't EVER listen. We've had the BEST weather this week (as, for some reason, Brock and I always do when we visit here.) Today was NO exception.

We woke early today (well, Leda and I woke around 6am, Daddy got to sleep in a little) and got our breakfast with Uncle Bobby. Little by little, the rest of the
house awoke and joined us.

After a little nap (for Leda) and some showers, we all sat down to a pancake breakfast made by Sarah and Claire and then we all went for a long walk on the beach. The dogs LOVED the freedom to run anywhere and at any speed they chose, because we had the WHOLE beach to ourselves.

Did I take a camera with me...NO! Duh! Oh well, I will have the day in my memory always. It was a nice relaxing walk with the family. We had Uncle Dan and his dog Drake, Aunt Joan and her dog Finnegan (Finny), Aunt Claire and her dog Teegan, Uncle Bobby, Sarah, Scott, Daddy and Mommy and Leda.

After our walk, Leda needed another little nap, and Uncle Dan wanted to take Brock and I off to hunt books at used book stores. Uncle Dan is a bit of a book connoisseur. And Brock and I like to hunt books ourselves, but we go for the cheaper ones! Anyway, Aunt Claire and Aunt Joan swore an oath to let Leda sleep her nap (Brock was ABSOLUTELY SURE they would go get the baby up as soon as we pulled out of the driveway) and after lunch instructions were given, off we went. Dan drove us down to Depot Bay and the north again to Lincoln City. The coast here is absolutely beautiful. Did I take my camera...NO!

We did a little book hunting. I found a first edition Diana Gabladon book that I hadn't purchased yet and a fun book about Beaches (gotta read about Beaches at the Beach!) and a book about Laura Ingalls Wilder. Dan got the BEST book, a signed first edition of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil...he better becareful that I don't steal it while he sleeps!

A stop at barnacle Bills (for smoked salmon and some dungeness crab...YUMMMMY!!!) and then a stop at the Safeway for the groceries we were sent out to get, and three hours later, we were home again. Leda faired VERY well in the care of her Aunts and cousins. She didn't even notice we were gone.

I did get some pictures of the beach...late in the day, but pictures none the less.
Walking the dogs
Sunset
Tonight, we had a wonderful dinner made by Uncle Wayne with Brock's help of marinated pork loin and fried rice. Yum. Then, we all separated into different groups (after Leda's bath, of course) to watch a variety of different shows on TV. And, to rest up for the Main Event...The Thanksgiving Feast!

Beach Girl!

Today, we headed west to the Beach! We LOVE the Beach!

A scant two hour ride, with the first half hour NOT going so well (Leda screamed for a little bit, before she finally fell asleep), we passed the Spruce Goose* and reached our final destination - Neskowin, Oregon.

The beach here is big, it is separated by a stream that flows out of the mountains and into the ocean, at the point the two come together there is a 'rock' in the middle.

There used to be a forest here on the beach, so at low tide, you can see the stumps of the trees that were here long before any people.

After we got here and unpacked the cars, we headed down for a walk on the beach. It was a beautiful and warm day!
Brock and Leda on the Beach

We had deep dish pizza, made by Uncle Wayne and Sarah, for dinner and we are so exhausted, we are going to bed. We have a big day tomorrow, playing on the beach!

*On route 18, on the way to the beach, the Spruce Goose is housed in a BEAUTIFUL hanger...the last time we were here, it was just a hanger, you couldn't see it. Now, the hanger has a completely glass side that you can look directly in at the plane. It's gorgeous. I am going to TRY to get a picture on the way back to Portland. We'll see if I can!

She wants to party all the time

Monday, Day three of our trip to Portland, found us all going separate ways for the day. Brock had lunch with Wayne and Daniel, Sarah, Claire and Joan went off shopping, Bobby was working and Leda, Scott and I stayed at home. Leda and Scotty played for a good part of the morning, until she got pretty cranky, just after lunch, and she went down for a nap.

The afternoon was pretty quiet...played with Leda, had lunch, everyone came home and we all got ready to go to the Holiday party for the Portland Spirit. It was being held at a club downtown. So we all got dressed up (well, a little dressed up) and headed on down.

Leda had a great time! She was so excited and so happy to be there! We had a hard time pulling her away!
Leda - Life of the Party!
Leda and Aunt Claire
We had a great time! Leda looked extremely cute in her Holiday outfit!

Monday, November 21, 2005

They went to the top of the mountain to see what they could see

Our first full day in Portland. The Lilly's were off to Seattle to visit with Bobby's sister and we had no plans! Dan showed up in the late morning and we all of a sudden had a plan...we were going to Vancouver (WA) to pick up Dan's dog, Drake, and then we were going for a ride up the Gorge and around to the Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood! Sounded like a plan!

So off we went. Drake was at Dan's employee's house - this house was beautiful! They are currently remodeling the house and the are doing a wonderful job. From there, we headed up the Columbia River Gorge - what a beautiful ride. The wind blows so hard and fast here that it's the capital of wind surfers. It's also extremely beautiful. We stopped at Multnomah Falls...what a beautiful place, albeit, very cold! The wind was blowing so hard, the wind chill had to be below freezing! We bundled Leda up and took a walk over to the falls.

Leda had started to get a little bored with sitting in her car seat, with Mommy and Aunt Joan sitting in the back seat with her...not something normal for her. She started fussing just before we got there. She just didn't understand why Mommy wouldn't take her out of the car seat...she did when we were on the plane!

Anyway, we took a look around, saw a few salmon on their way to dying after swimming back up stream...it would have been nice to see this phenomena, but we were too late. We saw only a few that were left, swimming into the current. BIG salmon! Yummm!
Multnomah Falls, Oregon
We headed on our way. We took a right at Hood River (ha! I can't remember the name of the town there) and headed toward Government Camp, which is the town just below Mt. Hood. We headed up the mountain to Timberline Lodge, which is at 6000ft elevation! And, just below the tip of the mountain. Wow!
Mount Hood
The lodge was great...beautifully built with HUGE timber beams. From the lodge, you can see forever! We saw Mt. Adams, Mt. Jefferson, the Three Sisters. We were above the clouds! It was amazing. Leda loved it, of course!
Leda and Daddy at Mt.Hood
We headed back down the mountain, and headed for home. The Lillys came home, we all had some Thai food and then to bed. What a day!

Leaving on a Jet Plane

We left home at the ungodly hour of 5 AM for the Philly airport so we could park the car and get vanned to the airport with all our stuff! And, there was a LOT of stuff!

We did get to the airport. We got our bags checked, got our boarding passes and then it was off to the gate to sit and wait...and hope they would change our seats so that we were all sitting together.

When I booked the flight, the best I could do was a window for Leda and a middle for me and a middle for Brock, across the aisle from us. So, some poor soul was gonna have to sit next to me, taking care of a child that we had no idea how she would react to this 4.5 hour flight to Denver!

The gate attendant said he would try and do what he could for us, but couldn't guarantee getting us together...also, we asked for the bulkhead, but apparently they don't put families there anymore because they apparently charge more for those seats now! Bummer!

Well, we loaded onto the plane, got in our seats and this nice man came and sat in his seat next to me. He was quite nice, asked about Leda. At some point he found out that Brock was across the aisle in a middle seat and this very nice man offered to switch his aisle seat for Brock's middle seat so that our family could sit together. It warms my heart to know there are still nice people out there!

So, we headed off to Denver, and Leda was SOOOO good! There were a couple of crying babies on our plane, but Leda wasn't one of them. She fell asleep before we got off the ground! She slept for about 2.5 hours...enough time for Mommy to watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory...well, sorta...she woke up in the last 5 minutes of the movie, so I missed the end! Definitely a movie I need to have in my library!

She was just so happy, laughing and smiling and flirting with the nice lady who was in the seat ahead of Brock. She was really good when we had to strap her back in for decent into Denver. She did great on the take off and landing...no problems with her ears...we gave her Binky to suck on and that worked great.

We were supposed to not change planes in Denver...this was a flight to Portland, with a stop in Denver. Well, that changed when we had to go get a different plane. So, we had to do it all again! It was the same type of plane, so we had the same seats and therefore, had to hope there'd be a nice person who would trade with Brock.

We got on the plane, and the nice lady in front of Brock was there again. She and I were talking while the plane was loading and she thought that someone would definitely give up the seat, or else they were a heartless soul (her words, not mine!). I said we couldn't expect someone to trade an aisle for a middle, but then again, middle vs. baby, what would you do.

About that time, this man walked up to his seat, saw the baby and made a face and a sound that made us know, he wasn't happy about the fact that there was a baby in his aisle! I said, she was really good on the flight out here, so I don't think there's anything to worry about. The nice lady I was talking to said, you could trade with her husband and the guy looked over, saw Brock in the middle seat and didn't give it a second thought...the family was together again! (see, middle seat wins EVERY TIME!)

Leda was a pure joy on the next leg of the flight. She slept for only about 45 minutes, which kinda worried us a little, but I figured she'd take a good long nap when we got to Aunt Joan and Uncle Waynes! Ha! Anyway, she was the best baby on the plane. The others fussed, cried, screamed and just plain were not happy the ENTIRE flight! Our angel, was SO HAPPY!
Leda on Airplane
Leda on Airplane
Look closely, those are mountains down there!!

We arrived in Portland, grabbed our bags, met Uncle Wayne and got all our stuff into the car and off we were to our destination...Aunt Joan and Uncle Wayne's house!

Leda proceeded to be a great little girl. However, she wouldn't go to sleep! Here, we were going to nap her enough that she could stay up until 8 Pacific time (so we could at least sleep until 6!) and she just wouldn't cooperate with the napping! We finally had to put her down around 6ish...about 5 minutes before Aunt Claire got here! Figures.

The kid, she did well...she had a few episodes in the middle of the night when she was talking to herself, but no cry outs and we slept until 6:30!!!! Wooo Hooo!

We figure we pay for the perfect child on the way home!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Memories...

I had a flashback this morning (and no, it didn't have anything to do with drugs).

I was on the way into work and the radio played Piano Man (Billy Joel)...I haven't heard that song in a long time. For some reason, it triggered a REALLY OLD memory.

When I was in 6th grade, I attended a middle school that was attached to a high school (J.R. Fugett in West Chester). In the middle of the two buildings was the Auditorium. This is where the Talent Show was held....

I only attended one year at this school...the following summer, while I was at girl scout camp, my mother moved us from West Chester to Fraser. Why my mother insisted on moving when I went away, I am unsure...at least I knew about it (she also moved, out of state, the week I left for College!)

I participated in the Talent show. I vaguely remember being in a chorus of girls who danced to A Chorus Line's "One." For some reason, I remember a top hat. I don't remember if we sang or anything else, just the hat. Weird, huh?

What I remembered this morning was the Piano Man piece that I think the 7th or 8th graders did. I am pretty sure I wasn't in the piece...I see it vividly from stage right. One of the older girls sang the song and they really tried to bring the song to life.

It's one of those memories you have that feels so real, you almost believe you are experiencing it again....like you are actually transported back in time to participate in your own memory. It's almost a surreal feeling.

I can't remember much of anything that happened in that school, except for this memory of the Talent Show. Oh, and making those ugly stuffed animals in home ec class.

The one where a secret is kept....

Still feel bad about not calling my niece on her first birthday, but not THAT bad any more...her Mom knows why!

(it'll be OUR little secret, right, Aimee? Just a little something-something between sisters, right? hehehehe)

(anyone wants to know, call me! haha...just kidding! ;-)

Just shoot me now....

Sami, forgive me...

In my attempt to be more prompt with presents and cards, I have now, apparently, subconsciously, decided that all Happy Birthday calls MUST BE LATE!!

Sorry, Sami...We DO love you and hope you had a GREAT day yesterday, regardless that your Aunt didn't call.

(thank god she's only one...she'll never remember this...of course, her mother will probably remind her EVERY YEAR for the rest of our lives that I forgot to call her for her first birthday. World's Worst Aunt!)

Okay Family, this is it...the cards, they will be late from now on...I apparently need them to remind me to call! ;-)

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, Sami, one day late! We love you!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Get over it....

Please! Just get over it...

Start Rant:

There's this jerk (who, mind you, isn't alone) who has the nerve to say that McNabb needs to leave Philly because he needs a fan base who will support him better. ARE YOU KIDDING ME???? We have supported him GREAT over the years. Sure, we Philly fans can be a little outspoken, a little ticked off when we lose, but we are not the horrible fans that booed Santa Claus. Give me a break....

By the way...yeah, Eagles fans booed Santa...but Santa wasn't really what they were booing...the Eagles SUCKED BIG TIME back then...the boos were more for the team management! Here's the real story! (I also heard a long time ago, that it was around the time that Santa took the field that there was an announcement that ticket prices were going to be raised the following year...duh...I'd boo too!)

Yeah, Philly fans are big and bad...but remember...there are almost 6 million people in the Greater Philadelphia area. Only 50,000 to 68,000 fans are able to go and show how idiotic they can be on national TV.

The majority of Philly fans are NOT as we are portrayed on TV. Geez, people! No one believes the Media on anything BUT that the Philadelphia Fans are the worst in the country. Get a grip. There are a lot of fans out there in other cities that can be just as bad or worse. We are just unfortunate enough to have our "idiot squad" front and center for every nationally shown game!

It just makes me mad when jerks like this guy uses the old "Philly fans are the worst" argument to make his point. You know, McNabb gets LOTs of support from this region...You can't go anywhere around here without seeing his jersey being worn 24/7/365. We lost that darned playoff game so many times, but the next year, were we not cheering McNabb and the rest of the team right back to that game again? Is our stadium not sold out year in and year out??

Yes, we will be mad at Donovan for playing hurt...he's our $115 million dollar man! We need him to be healthy! If he's not, he needs to go have the surgery and get healthy. Common sense, people! It don't mean we don't support him, geez!

I just think that it's time that us Philly fans got a little respect. We are NOT the worst fans. We support our team. We also hold them accountable. Let's see if the media can keep from mentioning the darned Santa game for a whole year! Can't do it, can they?

End of Rant.

Sorry, guys like that really get my goat!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Da Bears, Da Bengals

Did anyone know that Chicago STILL had a football team???

And how about them Bengals??

(exploring my options for the playoffs...because my Boys more than likely ain't gonna make it!)

Seriously, I totally forgot that Chicago had a football team! I mean, didn't they like totally disappear after the 80s??

At least she's not crying....

Not exactly sure what is with our kid, but she tends to wake up in the middle of the night and talk to herself. Or the binkys. Considering it's just her, a blanket and one or two binkys at any one time in the crib, chances are good that she's not talking to the cat or the dog. Then again, the cat could be sitting there, in the middle of the room, conspiring with the child while we sleep, blissfully unawares!

We've gotten to the point that when Leda makes a sound in the middle of the night, we tend to "wait-it-out." Meaning, Brock continues to sleep (and sometime snore, depending on which way he's laying at the moment) and I lay there and attempt to determine if it REALLY all that important that I get up out of bed and risk going into her room.

Most nights, she doesn't make a sound (or, we just don't hear a darned thing!) Very rarely, she cries out in the middle of the night, but this is usually one quick cry out, and then nothing...these are the ones that might get me out of bed to go check that she's not tied up by the blanket, can't breath, or if the cat some how lost 10 pounds in the middle of the night and was freakishly able to jump up into the kid's crib and suck the air out of her whilst we slept. It must be just a dream or something that causes this little cry out, but she's usually fast asleep very soon after.

Now, the talking...this happens at least once or twice a week...sometimes, every night of the week. Sometimes it's between 12 and 2 am, sometimes it is 5am in the morning. It will last for at least 15-30 minutes (it could last longer, but I usually fall to sleep within 30 minutes!)

She doesn't cry out. She doesn't seem to need us to get her up. She doesn't seem to want us to come in. She just quietly talks to herself.

Last night, she did this, at 12:14AM (At least, that is when I woke up!) But it wasn't just talking...there was squealing involved this time! Happy squealing, that woke me up at 14 minutes past 12 in the morning.

I fell back to sleep within about 15 minutes. She had quieted down. She slept until quarter to 7 this morning. At least she does sleep later in the am when she has these little sessions in the middle of the night!

I would just LOVE to know what is going on in there! Maybe she and the cat ARE conspiring against us. Who knows!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

MNF

Do you know how much I HATE Monday Night Football? I mean, it's completely unfair to those of us on the East Coast to have to watch MNF until the wee hours of the morning and THEN have to get up and go to work on time.

Couple that with a VERY DISAPPOINTING loss...oh, you don't EVEN want to come into my office today! (at least until I've had my second cup of coffee!)

What a complete waste of good sleeping time. Hey, the first 55 minutes...AWESOME. The last 5 minutes...what the HECK was that?? Did aliens land somewhere in the last minutes of that game and take over the Eagles? I mean, it was about Midnight when all heck broke loose, so maybe that had something to do with it?

Well, that was just darned disappointing. I even thought to myself...Self, you can't go to sleep yet...I don't care if we are up 13 points...there's still 8 minutes left in this game and you know if you go to sleep, something bad will happen....

...so, I forfeited about an hour of sleep (actually more than that, since I really didn't calm down and fall asleep until probably around 1AM) to help my team. And, what do they do? Blow it. Geez!

But hey, how about my boy Chad? He did good (when he was in). I am so proud! And this Mike McMahon....I likey! He did pretty good...too bad that darned catch wasn't caught..we'd be celebrating today, darn it.

I guess we won't be seeing McNabb next week (of course, I am sure he will somehow play...he should just sit out and get better, darn it!) Of course, I may not be seeing the game at all...haven't a clue if we'd get the Eagles game in Portland!

Oh well, I still love my Eagles. And...

...Dallas will always, and forever, SUCK!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Weekend update...

We had a good weekend. It was beautiful here, sunny and on the side of more warm than cold (in the 60s).

We didn't do a whole lot. Brock worked on Sat in Philly, so Leda and I went down to have lunch with him. An old friend, Stan Peters, was working with Brock on Saturday, so, thus the reason we went down. We had invited him to dinner, but he was heading home on Sat night (he lives in NC). So, Leda got to meet Stan. I think she liked him! ;-) And, later, when she's older and can sit in the front seat, we'll let Stan take her for a ride in a race car, just like he did for me (of course, I was like 20 when I went for my first ride in a race car - actually, I think, if I remember correctly, Gene R. (I will mutilate his last name if I try to spell it as it sounds, so, we'll just go with Gene R.) took me for my first ride in a race car...Gene went MUCH faster than Stan, AND ignored the rules and took me down the ENTIRE front straight at Summit Point...That's not a knock on Stan...Stan had a slower car, I believe - and he didn't ignore the rules...but BOY did I have fun ignoring the rules...last time I actually looked at the speedometer before I closed my eyes real tight, it said something like 135mph! WOOOOO HOOOO! I got out of the car and ran to get a ride with Stan!)

We had a nice visit - they were down at the sports complex area, so Leda got her first gander at Citizen's Bank Park and the Linc! She even wore her Eagles Jacket down there! (it used to be Paige's!) There were a lot of nice people who were in Brock's class....a lot of them came over asking if they could hold Leda and commenting that she was real cute (of course) and she had pretty eyes (well, sure!)

We headed home for Leda's lunch and she and I played and then she took a nap...when she awoke from her nap, Daddy was already home, so Mommy went shopping! By herself! Wooo Hooo! Of course, I went shopping for baby food and area rugs...so not much fun, but still!

On Sunday, we had our "stay in pjs" morning and when Leda woke up from her morning nap, we all went outside to prep the garden for the winter! Leda supervised from her Jeep and Brock and I did all the hard work! We had a nice time hanging out in the sun and enjoying the nice weather - probably the last bit of good weather we might get until spring, so gotta get out and enjoy it. After lunch, Leda went down for an extra long nap (2 1/2 hours...she really got tired out there supervising us!) and woke up sorta whiny! So, we had to deal with a whiny kid until bedtime (and, yes, bedtime came a little early yesterday!) For the most part she was okay, but she had her moments, usually when she wasn't getting her own way! Yeah, go figure! Wonder where she got that from!

We did get a new sound this weekend, "A-Gee." Usually we have "ba-ba-ba," now we have that and "A-Gee." And, a very loud, high-pitched scream! Of course, now that we have the new sound, we say it ALL.THE.TIME! Can't wait for the next consonant!

It was a pretty low key weekend. That's good, because this week will be spent getting the house in order and packing so we can leave for Portland, Oregon on Saturday! And, a little stressing out for Mommy, thinking about taking a plane ride and taking Leda with her!

Friday, November 11, 2005

I am SOOO excited!

This morning, Leda woke up at 6 am...one half hour before she's really allowed to wake up! ;-)

Actually she wakes up around 6 am most every day, but she usually just talks quietly to herself or plays and may fall back to sleep but we don't usually go into her room until sometime between 6:30 and 7.

This morning, however, she started crying and didn't want to be left alone, so I brought her into my bed with me for a little relaxing time before we actually had to get up!

As we lay there in the dark, Leda talking away and playing with "Mr. Binky" (the pacifier), I was trying to relax until the alarm would go off. It was about 5-10 minutes into this relaxing time that I realized....

I WILL BE WAKING UP AT 6AM (ish) ON CHRISTMAS DAY!!!!!! WHOOOOO HOOOOO! I finally have a cohort in crime to get up and get working on Christmas EARLY IN THE MORNING!!!! And, this will probably go on for MANY YEARS!!!!! WOOOOO HOOOOO

And, warning to all you family members out there who may wish to ruin this little bit of joy in my life....DON'T YOU DARE!!! This is MY kid and if I want MY kid to wake up at some ungodly hour on Christmas day, it will be done! Ha! There will be repercussions for ANY family member who messes with my Christmas Day Joy! I had to go through childbirth to acquire this ability to get the house up and opening gifts by 7AM!!!

;-)

(And, don't worry, Brock is not being abused with this new "Christmas Policy"...the dude wakes up at least a half hour before the rest of us anyway! Now, Duff on the other hand isn't going to be so happy!)

I SERIOUSLY can't wait for Christmas Day now!!!

Oh, and we will NOT start the tradition of opening one gift on Christmas Eve. This caveat is made to make sure that none of you mess with my plans. (and, okay, if we did, I would feel guilty...Come on now, I was raised Catholic, do you really think I could mess with Christmas traditions and not feel guilty?????)

Will she grow out of this?

I am a little worried about some things that Leda does...I am probably overreacting, but, since I haven't spent a TON of time with babies, I am not sure if this is normal! Brock says she will grow out of it, but will she?

She grabs at us and twists! She will grab my lips and twist them in her little hands and smile and laugh when she does it! We don't encourage the activity, believe me. But we do let her explore. I guess she doesn't yet understand that it hurts and that she shouldn't do it, although we tell her all the time. Yes, I know, she's 6 months old. Does she REALLY comprehend that it hurts? All she knows is there's a reaction - she doesn't know that the reaction is bad yet, right?

I tell her that she really isn't allowed to pull hair until she has some of her own so we can pull back. Yes, I probably AM the worst mother in the world! (I wouldn't pull HARD!)

Anyway, do all babies do this? Is it just part of their exploration? Do they all have that sadistic smile when they are doing it? This doesn't mean she'll grow up to be a serial killer or anything, right? Seriously, it worries me a little.

She does do gentle...every once in a while...she did so this morning when she and I were lying in bed...she was talking (squealing...she squeals. LOUDLY!) and brushing my face with her hand. I like that Leda better than the grab and twist kid! ;-)

Drubrovnik, here we come...

Matt Lauer was in Drubrovnik, Croatia today for his last spot for the Where in the World series...

We've decided, we REALLY need to go to Drubrovnik...What an awesome place! Its on the Adriatic Sea and it's beautiful.

So, when Leda's a little older, I think we will do an Italian/Greece/Croatia trip. That would be REALLY cool.

And, maybe, if I am lucky, one of my OTHER obessions will be in town...Goran Visnjic (Luka Kovac on ER)! Yum! ;-)

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Obsessions...

Old Obsession...24
New Obsession...Lost

I didn't even start watching Lost until this summer...I got hooked...now, plan whole week around Wed at 9PM.

Did the same with 24, until the moved it to Mondays(?) last year. Didn't even watch last year. (or, did it move FROM Mondays to another day? Huh, can't seem to care!)

Now, I am praying that ABC doesn't move Lost...it seems that when a show gets moved to another timeslot, I lose the ability to care!

Seriously, I need to know how that hatch got on that island and what happen to Jack's wife. Geez! And, I gotta figure out how not to get creeped out by that creepy kid, Walt!

Wednesday, November 9, 2005

I've always had a thing for Tight-Ends...

Football players, that it...

I dated a tight-end in high school...and that and his first name, Bob, are the only things I can remember about him*...Isn't that sad?

One other thing I can remember about this guy...and it really wasn't about the guy exactly....I had asked my Grandfather Cunningham (who taught me everything I needed to know about football) what a tight-end was, he slapped his butt and smiled! ;-)

Anyway, WOOO HOOO, My boy Chad (Lewis) is coming back to the team!

*Okay, so he was like my first "serious" boyfriend - I was ninth grade and for the life of me, I can't remember if he was a junior or a senior...all I can remember is he was on the football team, he lived down the road from us in the same apartment complex and he had a sister named Debbie...I remember all of this NOW because I have spent the past 20 or so minutes trying to remember his freaking name! which, I think is Keane, but not completely sure!) And this post really was supposed to be about Chad Lewis coming back to the Eagles! Geez!

Monday, November 7, 2005

Well, there you go....

Owens is done...just announced by the Eagles...Andy Reid just announced that Owens is suspended for 4 games without pay (GOOD!!) and will NOT return to the Eagles after the suspension.

Good Riddance. Now, if we could find a running game, maybe we could salvage the season a bit!

Sami's definitely gonna need a new jersey...her Mommy and I am thinking we will go defensive...Kearse or Dawkins...too bad Hugh Douglas doesn't play anymore! (word is, he and T.O. had a "little" altercation last week, one of the reasons T.O. was suspended!)

Leda's Third Words...

...will be...

"T.O. Sucks!"

Ah, thought I was gonna say Redskins, didn't ya? Well, don't worry, there's plenty of time for that! Besides, at the rate the Eagles are going this season, Leda will be able to recite all the NFL teams before she says "dada" or "mama."

Nope, T.O. Sucks...what a big baby. We are so much better off with out him - seriously, if you are gonna suck, you might as well suck without all the mouthing off, ya know? And, THAT, will be the last word from me on T.O. because he ain't worth any more. (And, I've gotta go and find another freaking jersey for Sami, because she deserves better!)

Now, if only McNabb would go and get that darn surgery and let us suck to our best suckatude! ;-)

I'm SO looking forward to the 2006 season! (unless they do something to get me excited about this season, but don't seem much chance of that at this moment)

And, don't get me wrong...love my Eagles. But I don't see us winning a Super Bowl (much less getting to the playoffs) at this rate. I mean, did anyone see Donovan's face and body language last night...he looks freaking defeated in the 2nd quarter!

Anyway, here's hoping we can at least hold our own against the cowboys next Monday (and, what is with two weeks in a row NIGHT games that don't end until WAY past my freaking bedtime? Huh?) I mean, sure, I'd love a win - and only so Jennifer doesn't send another sympathy card my way again - nice, huh? ;-)

Okay, Eagles rant over...How about them Browns, they won yesterday - oh, forget it, just can't muster the strength to root for the Browns! ;-)

(aside)...Brock met the only other Browns fan in the greater Philadelphia area when we were getting Leda's portraits done on Saturday...the little boy (he's 10 days younger than Leda) who was having his picture taken in the studio next door to Leda was wearing a Brown's jersey...apparently his Mom was from Cleveland (not exactly sure, since Brock was talking to them and I was talking with our photographer). Imagine that!(aside over)

Sunday, November 6, 2005

Fun with Hats...

We received a TON of clothes from Jennifer a week ago and throughout the week, we (I) dug through all the boxes to see what there was (and to sort out the clothes that Leda can't fit into anymore!)

We found a bunch of hats, and knowing that Brock has particular preferences to hats (specifically, the ones he'd hate altogether) I decided to have a little fun. We tried on a couple, and showed Daddy...

I only got pictures of two...take a close look, because you will NEVER see these hats again! ;-)
Fun with Hats
Fun with Hats

Kill me now, but I kinda like the red one...Nope, will NOT subject my child to the red hat, no matter how cute it is! NO berets for Leda!

The longest Saturday...EVER!

Well, yesterday was fun!

We were up early (6:30ish), played around, had a nap around 9ish, got up, played outside...wow, it was SOOO nice here yesterday - upper 70s at least!...had a quick nap around 12:30ish, got up, ate lunch, packed up, and went and had our picture taken!
Leda's First Portrait
As you can see, Leda wore something COMPLETELY DIFFERENT than what I was fretting over! We decided to do just a regular old picture, instead of a Christmas picture!

Our sitting was at 2pm - yep, nap time. So we were crossing our fingers (and toes) and hoping that she would last!

I did things in public (well, in front of the photographer - not sure how many people passing by in the store saw/heard me) to make this kid smile that would have had me crawling in a hole and never coming out again about a year ago! I sang, I talked baby talk, I made a complete idiot out of myself. And, you know what Leda did? She sat there with an odd look on her face - kinda like, "Mom, what the HECK are you doing...do you know you are making an idiot of yourself??"

We got 6 or 7 smiles (or semi-smiles) so we got 6 or 7 pictures to choose from! This one that I posted here was the VERY first picture taken. It's not one we picked! Guess some of you will just have to wait until christmas! ;-)

Anyway, she did pretty well, but we were noticing that she was quite tired - and she didn't want Mommy to go away - I would go and reposition her and she would start fussing when I stepped back! So, we figured, she'll pass out on the way home and sleep for an hour or two when we get home.

This is where the day turned bad!

This kid stayed up all the way home and wouldn't go down for a nap (although we tried for over an hour to get her to go down). She just plain REFUSED!

We tried again around 5 - NOPE - SCREAMING BLOODY MURDER! Not going down for a nap.

So we had dinner around 5:30 or so (Leda had dinner at that time, Brock was just making our dinner).

Didn't wanna be put down, didn't want Mommy to leave the room, didn't want to play with that toy, but now didn't want to play with the toy that was in her hand! Didn't want to get into her seat so Mommy and Daddy could eat, didn't want to eat that piece of toast, didn't want to sit on Mommy's lap, but now that she was sitting on Daddy's lap, didn't want to be there either!

We had NO idea who had replaced our wonderful little Leda with the monster we had last night, but if we ever find that person, we will make sure he/she has no chance to EVER do that again!

We finally got her to go down to bed around 7:30....and boy, did she go down!

7am this morning, Leda was back...thank GOD! Wow, don't know when that other baby left, but we sure are glad our little Leda is back!

We are off to introduce Leda to Ikea today. And, if we have time, a walk in Valley Forge - it's another nice day, but gonna turn wet later this afternoon, so we need to get out early, if we are gonna do it at all!

Here's hoping that there are also LOTS of NAPS today - for EVERYONE!!

Friday, November 4, 2005

Boots for Christmas


Add something else to my christmas list...need a good cowboy-like boot...in brown/light brown.

Something like this (maybe NOT so many rhinestones!)

Now, everyone fight nice over this, okay?

UPDATE: Guess size would be helpful, huh? 8!

Portrait Day

Yep, we take Leda to Sears tomorrow to get her first portrait! I was hoping to do this at 6 months, but I just didn't schedule it fast enough. So, instead, we are doing it at 6 months, 2 weeks!

I am having a horrible time trying to decide what to dress her in...should I dress her in the little "santa" like dress I bought, the scottie/westie outfit or just a plain "fall" like outfit I got for Thanksgiving (which might be a little big on her anyway!)

I figured I would do a "christmas" theme, since we are so close to christmas, but would also like something a little more day-to-day. Oh well, I've got until 1:30PM tomorrow to decide (the shoot is at 2!)

Now, let's just hope that Leda doesn't throw the biggest hissy fit of her young life tomorrow at 2...that's nap time! Yep, Mommy isn't too smart some times! ;-)

Wednesday, November 2, 2005

We have Stats...

Leda met with Dr. Myers this morning...He pronounced her very healthy - and big!

She's officially 18lbs 2oz (95th percentile for weight) and 29 inches (!!! - off the charts for length!) and 18cm head circumference - off the charts again! Doc says she's big, but her head and her weight and her length all match, so nothing to worry about!

So, we gained almost 2 pounds and 4 inches in the past two months (along with 5 teeth!) Wow!

Four more shots, and she did MUCH better this time - Daddy held her! She cried for a minute but nothing like the bloody murder she screamed last time!

Next appt - January! And she only gets one shot then! Of course, we have to go back to get our flu shots within the month - Daddy got his, Mommy wimped out! ;-)

(Updated - got percentile wrong for weight and height - it's fixed now!)

Monday, October 31, 2005

Ahead of the curve?

Leda's WAY ahead - we just found ANOTHER tooth coming in! That makes FIVE!! That's right, FIVE teeth! And we are not even 7 months old (in fact, we are only over 6 months by a week.)

And, we are scooting across the floor at break-neck speed. Well, not really, but she wants something, she will pull herself across the floor with her hands, and push herself a little more with her feet. It's quite interesting! We expect any moment, she will start really crawling.

She's really growing fast! I just hope she's not ready to go off to college until she's 18! ;-)

Leda and the Great Pumpkin

As promised...our little pumpkin (or orange elf, take your pick!)
Leda and the Great Pumpkin

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