Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Santa brought us EVERY THING we wanted (and then some that we didn't!)

Let me start by saying that Santa is one awesome guy! Only thing I really wanted this year was a win over the Cowboys on Christmas day, and did he ever deliver! I was a very happy Eagles fan! (that's not to say that I am not grateful for all the great stuff I DID get!)

We had an awesome weekend over all! We headed north to NY on Friday night in the driving rain, but all-in-all the trip wasn't too bad. Arrived around 11 or 11:30 and Leda was back in bed by midnight. Up early the next day asking for "Pop Pa" and "Na Na" and wasn't disappointed when they woke up not too long after we did! Saturday was a pretty laid back day catching up with Grandpa and Nana and Nana Rose and seeing Aunt Stacy and Uncle Todd. And, checking out that HUGE Christmas Tree in the front hall. With all the MANY presents underneath - and Santa hadn't even arrived yet! (Gluttony at its best!)

Christmas tree

Sunday was another relaxing day - Leda played with Nana and Grandpa and Aunt Stacy and Grandma Rose and the doggies! She was having so much fun. We only had one time out that I can remember, but probably should have had more. It seems that Santa brought us an early Christmas gift this year and that would be the Terrible Twos! Yes, our wonderful, mostly obedient daughter has been replaced by a child who tells us to "stop it" and "you bad" when she's being punished for something she did that was bad. And, that "you bad" don't mean we cool, you catch my drift?

Nana and Leda

It all started on Thursday when Brock took Leda with him to drop Duff off at the groomers. Duff has never been dropped anywhere when Leda has been in the car, so this apparently was a bit distressing for her. She cried and yelled at Brock all the way home, pointing at him and yelling "stop it." On Friday, Brock was watching Leda and he went into the kitchen for one moment (not a few steps from Leda) and she took off - this is a regular occurrence, but we are pretty good about keeping an eye on her. This time, she didn't run into the bedroom as she is known to do, no this time, she ran down the stairs and OUT THE BACK DOOR into the back yard (which is, luckily, enclosed by a fence that has the latches on the outside so she can't get out). Well, she had scared the bejesus out of me, so I sat her down and told her she was bad, that she shouldn't go outside without Mommy or Daddy and that she scared Mommy. I was immediately admonished for being "bad" and had that little finger wagged in my face and a litany of "stop it"'s and "you bad" hailed at me. Well, it was so cute I had to laugh! Yeah, lot of good I am at this discipline thing.

Well, the cute factor kinda lost it's luster by the second or third time she talked back (adding either a hit or a bite, depending on your vicinity to her). But with all the excitement and all the "audience" that Leda had this weekend, time-outs were a bit difficult to enforce, but we did try.

Leda helps Grandma Rose with her wrapping!

This weekend also saw the first remove-diaper-while-supposed-to-be-napping incident. This was not so much fun, as it included not only wet sheets, but nasty smell ones at that! No, our daughter couldn't be content to remove just a wet diaper, but a dirty one as well! Oh joy!

Christmas Eve

Sunday night we had a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner and Leda was sent to bed with visions of sugarplums dancing in her head. Well, maybe not, since she probably hasn't a clue what a sugarplum is yet, but she went to bed without issue. Santa arrived without delay (a little rain is all we had this year, no snow!) and on Christmas morning, we all woke up ready to see what he brought us.

First, we had to wait for everyone to awake and come downstairs. Luckily, we didn't have to wait much past 9am (Leda couldn't take it much longer!) Into the center hall we went and Leda went right to the doll baby Santa brought her and gave her a hug. She was so entranced by the baby doll that she barely noticed the rocking horse that had been left for her as well!

Very excited about the Baby Doll from Santa

Baby rides the horsey

After Leda got her baby doll acquainted with the horsey, off the the races we went! Everyone opening presents and Leda enjoying her baby. She ended up with many more babies, and she was just happy as can be with them all! She spent time feeding her baby dolls while Mommy cajoled her into opening more presents, alas, ending up opening many of them by herself!

It was a wonderful Christmas day. We had a great time, got lots of great stuff and Leda seemed to enjoy the whole thing. Especially the baby dolls! ;-)

Babies ready for a Christmas Feast

Christmas dinner was nice and relaxed - Missy came to join us and we had lots of fun with the Christmas Crackers after dinner. Off to bed, exhausted everyone and a good nights sleep before we had to pack the car stuffed with our new stuff (and, believe it, we got it ALL in the car for the ride home with room to spare!) We did get a snow shower or two before we left, so that was nice! Our trip home included some rain as well, but for the most part was pretty uneventful and we were home by dinner!

Great-Grandma Rose and Leda

Christmas 2006 was lots of fun. Leda loved being with Grandpa and Nana and Great-Grandma Rose and Aunt Stacy and Uncle Todd! She woke up this morning asking "where Pop Pa? Where Nana?" We had a great time!

To see all the pictures from Christmas 2006, click here!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

As this will be the last night I have before next week to post, here's the annual Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays post...

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Holiday weekend starts right after work tomorrow and I plan not to be anywhere near a computer for the following four days! I am SO looking forward to the time away!

Here's hoping Santa remembers to bring me that extra special present on Christmas night...you know what I am talking about, that one that starts around 5PM on Christmas night and if my in-laws are so inclined to let me watch (I have promised to behave myself - as long as no one there is rooting for the cowgirls) will have me celebratin' real good by 8PM? Yep, that one. Else the next post here might not be so cheery! ;-)

Happy and Safe Holidays to you all.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Weekend Recap (or Leda decorates a Christmas Tree)

Wow, two weeks in a row only two posts. Gotta get better than that!

This past weekend was a busy one! Friday night we headed over to the Shiers for the weekly get-together-for-dinner-so-the-kids-can-play-with-one-another-and-the-adults-can-have-adult-conversations or whatever we have been calling them - really, just a way for us parents to gather our children in one house and ignore them for a few hours! ;-)

Leda discovered a rocking horse which she just thought was awesome!

Leda and the Rockin' Horse

Saturday found us cleaning the house, readying it for putting Christmas decorations up and laying down our new carpet in the living room.

New Carpet!

We purchased the new carpet in the beginning of November, picked it up two weeks ago and finally found time to lay it down on Saturday. This is a big deal as we got a good carpet - plush and soft - AND padding for it! Leda has already tested it out several times and the "thud" is much less noticeable now!

Also, Aunt Claire was coming for a visit!! Claire was in NYC this weekend with her friend Angela and the two of them drove down to see us Saturday night. We headed over to the Fitzwater Station for a great dinner and the girls headed home. It was a quick visit, but we were happy to see Claire for what little time we got!

Leda and Auntie Claire

On Sunday, I made my annual get-up-early-on-a-Sunday-in-December-and-go-Christmas-shopping-while-everyone-is-at-church trip. Leda helped by waking up at 6:30, so I was out the door and at the mall by 8am. Got my coffee and off I went. 4 hours later, I was done my Christmas shopping for 2006. Woo Hoo! (well, not exactly, but the rest is easily done online!)

Sunday afternoon found us finally decorating the tree we purchased a week ago! Granddad and Fay came over to watch and help and Leda enjoyed pulling things out of boxes. She loved the balls - she would point and say "ball" then pick it up and throw it! Yes, I am REALLY glad we put down that new carpet with padding! Saved that Waterford glass ball for another year!

Christmas tree 2006
Christmas Tree in Natural State

Christmas Tree 2006
Christmas Tree Decorated!

Nothing broke and we had the tree decorated in time for dinner. We all had a great dinner while watching the Eagles beat the Giants (not gonna get my hopes up - been here before, not even going to mention the "P" word!).

Leda and Granddad

All in all, it was a great weekend. We are really looking forward to heading to NY to spend Christmas with Brock's Dad and visit with some friends in the area. I think Leda's gonna have a blast!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Weekend Recap

What a busy weekend we all had. Friday night we headed over to the Durhams to help Paige celebrate her 3rd birthday! Leda had fun playing with the kids and watching Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman with Sydney and her Daddy, John.

John Leda and Sydney, watching Rudolph

On Saturday, we went hunting for a Christmas Tree. This year there was no snow, but the wind was cold and we had to go to a far away field on a hill to find a tree. Luckily it turned out okay, but got me thinking about getting an artifical tree here soon. Don't know if I will breakdown and do it or not. Gotta say, the smell of pine really makes me re-think the idea and I think we will head out again next year to cut one down!

Huntin' a tree

Saturday afternoon we all packed up and Leda headed over to our neighbors for the night and Brock and I headed down to Atlantic City for my company holiday party at the Borgata. Very nice place and we had a blast! Dinner was at Wolfgang Pucks and the food was great - the drink just kept a pouring, so I was pretty hungover the next day, but I am pretty sure I behaved myself! Best part of the night, when, during dinner, as the rockin roll played in the backgound, the Eagle's "Take it Easy" came on and our whole group (about 20) broke out in song. Easily the most fun I've had at a company party in a very long time! We didn't gamble, but had a great night just the same.

Yesterday was for recovering - Brock and I from a late night and Leda from having way too much fun with the McCartheys!

And, let me say, I am SO lovin' my camera! Takes awesome pictures!

Leda

Leda being Leda

Friday, December 8, 2006

Gotta love Christmas time....

So, here's one of the last pictures taken with my old camera...

Leda's not so sure of the big guy!

Leda wasn't real sure about this Santa person. Out of about 100 people milling around at this toys for tots event, Santa was the ONLY one Leda had issues with - what is up with that, anyway? The old guy with the corvette is okay, but the big jolly guy in the red suit is off limits??

Anyway, we did get some pictures with Santa - albeit, Mommy had to be in the picture AND between Santa and Leda.

These are some of the last pictures taken with my old camera. Brock was able to get the camera to give up the pictures, but in order for it to ever take pictures again, it will probably cost us a bit of money! Don't know what happened to it, but it just doesn't want to cooperate with us.

I was pretty bummed about the camera. I mean, how can a camera give up just before Christmas? Does it not understand that yes, it is needed other times of the year, but Christmas is really when it is worth all the money someone spent on it??

It just so happens that I was really hinting around about a nice camera this summer and Brock wasn't giving in enough for me to go purchase one. Well, when the camera really gave up the ghost this week, and this being not such a great week (kid wasn't sleeping so well this week, Mommy not getting any sleep, work pretty much sucking), my wonderful husband and daughter went out and bought Mommy a great gift for Christmas.

When Mommy got really depressed about not being able to use her camera, and had the worse day of work of the week, Daddy and Leda gave her a Christmas gift early...

I got me a great camera! A Nikon D50 - just what I wanted! Santa was good to me this year! Guess what - that means GREAT pictures of Leda opening presents on Christmas day!

And, pictures of Leda at 6AM in the morning...

Leda with Mommy's New Camera

Yes, Christmas came a little early this year! It's a gift that will keep on giving! Can't wait to take pictures! (gotta little to learn about this one!)

Check back in the next few days for pictures of Leda hunting a Christmas tree, decorating the house, decorating the tree, etc! Tomorrow we head out to the woods of PA to cut down our tree and then leave Leda to entertain our neighbors while Mommy and Daddy head off to Atlantic City for my Company Holiday party (woo hoo!) On Sunday we will return to decorate the tree and house and try to finish up all the christmas shopping we've been putting off! Can't wait!

Monday, December 4, 2006

Can't get the picture...

My camera is broke.

Just decided to quit working.

And with Santa pictures on it, no less.

And three weeks before Christmas.

Wanna talk mad??

Need to resort to the 35mm for Christmas, which means no one is getting any Christmas pictures anytime soon!

Today, is not a good day.

Don't even get me started on the approximately 3 hours of sleep I got last night due to one child who decided that 2:30am was a good time to wake up and NOT go back to sleep. Until 5:30am.

Hopefully the week will get better. It can only go up from here (one can only hope!)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Mad as you know what...

And, no, this is not a rant about the Eagles - although pretty darn mad about them too, but pretty much resigned to rooting for da Bears this year!

No, this is about the freaking heron that has been hanging out around our pond for the past several days.

Yes, we have a heron that has come by to hang out around our pond on occasion. Yesterday I actually saw him (no, I didn't take any pictures, sorry). He's huge - stands probably as tall as about 3 or 4 feet. Know why he's huge?

Remember my fish? (If you click there you will learn all about my fish)

Yeah, well, good thing I took a picture of my fish to remember them by because that darn heron ATE EVERY LAST ONE OF THEM!

Yesterday, when Brock came in to tell me the heron was back, we went out and he was standing at the middle pond (end of the creek just before it goes into the big pond) where we had had some fish hanging out - the heron flew away (low enough that he stopped traffic on the road) and I found NO FISH. I checked on my 30 or so in the big pond and they were fine.

Today, the heron was back - Brock and our neighbors had scared him away several times, but he managed to eat every last one of the fish in the big pond by 10:30am.

All my fish, gone.

There's a heron flying around these parts who's days are numbered if I see him again.

Monday, November 27, 2006

20 years older

You can't wait for the 5th year reunion because you want to see how everyone is out of college. The 10th year you wonder who got married and who has kids. The 20th, you are just hoping you look as good or better than everyone else. And, you hope that people remember you! And, that you can remember a few, too!

Turns out, we all look pretty darn good and we all pretty much remembered each other, if not right away, after a few minutes or so! The name tags came in handy a few times!

My 20th high school class reunion was this past Saturday. I was wondering to myself earlier that day how I was going to be able to spend 5 hours on a Saturday night hanging out with people I hadn't seen in 20 years since, well, I hadn't seen them in 20 years and, well, my bed time is a lot earlier on Saturday nights than it used to be! The idea that I might be up later than 10pm was daunting enough, but the reunion was scheduled to go until midnight, so I was wondering how I was gonna stay up 2 extra hours!!

Turns out, I really like the people I graduated high school with. Not a bad bunch of people at all. And hanging out with all of those who came out on Saturday night (about 85-90 graduates altogether) was so much fun that I actually didn't notice it was 12:15am when we left! (My feet, on the other hand, did notice the time! And, they noticed how I put them in high heels they haven't worn in years and THEN danced (how dare I!) And, well, the feet, they revolted! My blisters have blisters!)

There was dancing, there was drinking, there was catching up, there was showing of pictures of children, there was lots of fun. I caught up with people I hadn't seen since graduation. Remembered things I probably haven't remembered since graduation. Saw some people I didn't expect to see and hopefully will keep better touch with in the future.

When some people look back on high school experiences, sometimes they don't remember the time so fondly as others might. I tend to look back at high school with mixed feelings - sometimes it was the worst 4 years of my life, teenage angst and all, and sometimes I remember that it really wasn't that bad, that even though I wasn't "popular" or a "jock", didn't mean that I didn't have some pretty great friends who helped make 4 years of high school bearable.

High school reunions are scary because high school was scary. High school was all about fitting in (well, and getting good grades was important, too, Mom) and when it comes right down to it, I guess we all have a fear that we didn't quite fit in. And, well, you think about getting together with all the people you didn't think you fit in with 20 years ago, you kinda get scared. Maybe the reason why some people just don't go to their 20th reunions. Who wants to get rejected by the same people 20 years later?

Saturday night I realized that high school really wasn't as bad as I remember. Or, better yet, I realized that life is a great equalizer. As we got out into the world and experienced life, we all began to "fit in" better. There are no "popular" kids or "jocks" or "band geeks" in the real world. Just people trying to make the best of their lives. Sure the people that hung together in high school spent a good deal of time on Saturday night hanging together again, but there was a lot of mixing and mingling going on and catching up and getting to know one another again, in a different light, without the pressure of trying to "fit in."

I am sure that not all people who attend a high school reunion (even our reunion) experience the same thing, and it wasn't as though a great light shone down on me in the middle of the night and angels sang and I felt all that high school angst go away. I enjoyed myself, and I enjoyed my friends and I had a nice time catching up with the people who I spent 4 years with, whether we "hung out" or just share a class together. And, within minutes of arriving, I didn't feel like I didn't fit in anymore. Better yet, I didn't feel like I HAD to fit in any more. That was nice.

I promised pictures - I took a bunch, but only a few are good enough to share with the rest of the world (something about taking pictures and drinking just doesn't work well!) I am posting a few of my favs here, but you can see the rest (what there are of the rest) here!

Jim Lewis and Joe Nunley
Two of my favorite guys from High School! Jim Lewis and Joe Nunley

Eric Carlson
Another favorite guy from high school! Eric Carlson

And, for even more pictures, check out Karen Reiss's pictures!

All in all, it was a great night. Looking forward to our 30th!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Thanksgiving 2006

We had a wonderful thanksgiving this year. We had planned to be at home, just the three of us. Brock planned to make a 17 pound turkey that would keep us in leftover heaven for weeks. Our wonderful next door neighbor invited us to spend the day with her family and bring our turkey, so we did.

Showing off her shoes
Leda in her Thanksgiving outfit - her Grandma bought it for her!

It was really nice. We had a wonderful time. And my pies, they went over really well. They actually tasted really good! If I do say so myself!

Leda had fun playing with Connor and Katlyn (her sometime babysitters!) and eating lots of crackers and apple sauce, not so much room left for turkey. But she had some of Mommy's Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie and she LOVED it! Oh, and the chocolate covered almonds weren't bad either...

Chocolate!

Today we hung out, cleaned the living room, took a nap and Mommy went shopping - yes, I ventured near to a store on the one day of the year that I shun going shopping. But I went late in the afternoon (around 2 - when shopping malls open around 2:30 in the freaking morning around here, 2 is late in the afternoon!) and I was only going to Target and only getting Christmas cards, so that if the mood is right on Sunday, I will get my Christmas cards ready to go! Then, I got really adventurous and went out to purchase new curtains for the living room. Not too bad there either. No way will you get me near a mall on Black Friday though, no matter how much the discounts are!

Tonight we hung out with friends at the Shiers and had some good Japanese food (sushi, shasmi, tempura, etc...) Leda was having fun with all the kids and when we got our food (the kids all got to eat hot dogs) our child was the only one that joined us for Japanese food. She had to have her eda mame! It appears that we don't have to shell them anymore, the kid, she shelled her own eda mame! And she had a little noodle...WITH CHOP STICKS. Yes, my child used chop sticks tonight - not perfectly, but she used them the way you would use chop sticks. It was amazing!

So, halfway into the holiday weekend and so far, so good. Tomorrow night is my 20th high school reunion, which could prove interesting, so check back at the end of the weekend!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Bad Bad Aunt...

I didn't mention it this year because, well, you all know how bad I am at birthdays and I just didn't want to rub it in.

But, I forgot my niece's birthday. Again!

Yes, Sami's 2nd birthday was last Friday. When did I remember it? That's right, Saturday morning!

I was just reviewing the November2005 archive because I wanted to see what I wrote about Leda a year ago and I saw this post. It was such a sense of deja vu because, well, I DID THE SAME THING LAST YEAR!

I guess that means we have to fly to Florida next year for Sami's birthday! ;-)

I love pie!

Apple Butter Pumpkin pie with pecan streusel topping:

Apple Butter Pumpkin Pie with pecan streusel topping

Grandma's Apple Pie:

Grandma's Apple Pie

Hopefully the taste as good as they look.

The best part - I didn't have to share the left over pie crust dough! ;-) But, I did, share it, with my husband (it was either that or eat it all myself!)

Diagnosis

What a busy day today will be - not only do I have work to do (I mean, I am actually working today) but we will be going over to friends for dinner, then I have to figure out how to make two pies for tomorrow when we get home!

And, I have a slight case of walking pneumonia thrown in for good measure!

Yes, the hacking cough that has been persistant the past two weeks of my life turns out to be walking pneumonia - not serious enough to kill me, just keep me from getting any sleep and being a real pain in the you know what!

But the great thing about the diagnosis is the DRUGS! Yes, that's right, I said DRUGS. I have never been so happy to get a prescription for drugs before. I think I almost hugged the doctor! I have had very little good sleep the past two weeks and my doctor, the wonderful woman that she is, perscribe me some cough medicine with Codeine so that I could sleep! Ah, how nice it was to wake up at 7 this morning knowing that the last time I was awake was about 12:30 when I took the second dose! Of course, I felt like a truck hit me this morning, but I slept! ;-)

Hopefully the antibiotics that she also prescribed will kick this little organism's butt to kingdom come and I will be back to normal soon!

Brock took this picture of the child of the house last night...Juice boxes are special in this house, she really only gets one a day (if that) because our doctor wants us to water down her juice to cut back on the sugar. So the juice box is special. And, it lives in the refrigerator that Mommy and Daddy's beer lives in, and Mommy and Daddy get a beer in the evening, and Leda gets a juice box around the same time. We call it family beer time - yes, probably NOT the best thing to do, calling her juice box "Leda's beer," but it is a special time we all share, so there!

Drinkin' the juice

Sunday, November 19, 2006

So looking forward to a four day weekend!

Yes, we have recovered (mostly - I am the lucky one to have continued with a cough that won't go away, but other than that...)

Work is busy and I have promised two pies (yes - don't laugh!) for Thanksgiving dinner at our neighbor's house on Thursday. And, I have a slide show I have to complete for our reunion on Saturday night (yes, 20th high school reunion - how scary is that?). So, can you understand why I am SO looking forward to four complete days at home doing no work?

Besides, I get to spend it with her:

Leda

I mean, wouldn't that be SO worth it?

Pictures will be forth coming - I mean, really, do you think I'd go to my 20th reunion without my camera??

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Recovering

Well, all of us are on the road to recovery - I hope!

Let's see, recap of the sickness - Brock had a nasty cough that kept him (and I) awake most nights for the past two weeks. I caught the cold not to long after Brock did, which meant Brock AND I were up most nights coughing away. I subsequently lost my voice on Wed. It did come back (barely) on Thur and I was sounding like Brenda Vaccaro on Friday! Leda seemed to only get the runny nose, but then we noticed that she had gunk coming out of her eyes. So, for a few days, we were keeping an eye out for pink eye, which, luckily, never appeared and she seems much better now (except for the look like she went ten rounds with Muhammad Ali). We figure it was a sinus infection that just worked its way out.

Anyway, we all seem to be better today.

Brock and I did venture out last night for a concert - our first in MONTHS! We went to see Arlo Guthrie and Friends at a small local theater. We had great seats (about 6th row center - awesome!) Arlo had his daughter Sarah Lee and her husband playing with him as well as his son Abe and other band member Gordon and his grandson on drums. Later in the concert, two of his granddaughters joined the band (one was about 7 or 8 playing clarinet and the other was about 3 and very cute!)

It was a great concert, as usual (being only our second time seeing Arlo, it was just as good if not better than the first time). Stories were told, great songs were sung and, the icing on the cake, he did Alice's Restaurant! That was worth the cost of the tickets, the rest was just awesome! It's amazing he can do Alice's Restaurant pretty much word for word 40 years later! Believe me, as awful as I felt yesterday morning and was considering not going to the concert, I am VERY glad I went!

So, we are doing okay here again. The next week is pretty busy for me work wise, as I have my first installation going live by the end of the week (baring any issues). So, don't expect too much in the next week. Hopefully after that, I will be able to do some more updating. With pictures too!

Monday, November 6, 2006

Sick House

We are all sick here...well, some more than others, some less than others.

Leda had a cold, I got it, Brock got it, Brock never really got over it, got bad again, gave it back to me and subsequently Leda seems to be getting it now, too!

Can't wait until Spring. Seems that might be when the cold season is over. Yuck!

Got pictures from my Mother of all the girls together when we were in Florida...sucks my arm is in the picture, but it's pretty good non-the-less.

Sami, Abby and Leda

Leda kept trying to take Abby's hand off her shoulder, thus the reason for my hand!

Then there are the set of Leda and Sami eating birthday cake...two of my favs:

Leda and Sami eat cake!

The best one...love the look on Sami's face!

Hey, is she eating my cake?

Hopefully we will all be back to normal here soon.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Trick or Treat!

Technically, Leda's second Halloween, but her first shot at Trick or Treatin' and let me tell ya, by the third house, the kid, she was a pro.

We headed over to Steve and Kate's neighborhood to go trick or treatin' since we really don't have a neighborhood to do so in. The Durhams and the Gabbs and the Shier kids all dressed in their finest Halloween outfits...
The Motley Crew!
(Thea, Brennan, Jane, Susy's friend (I didn't catch the name), Leda and Susy)

We headed out and up to the first door. Leda went with Daddy and didn't seem to have much of a problem. I really thought she might not be very comfortable doing this, but by the third house, the one I went with her to, she walked right up, the lady gave her something for her bag and Leda watched her put it in, reached in, looked at it, threw it back in, the lady asked her if it was okay and she said, "No!" So the lady gave her another one, and off she went! It was hysterical!

Lion

Each house we went to after that, Leda would walk right up, stick her hand in the basket, pull out one treat and put it in her bag and off we went. She never attempted to get more. She LOVED the houses with the doggies! She would go right by the candy basket then to see the doggie! Luckily all the doggies were tied up or behind a door - only when they were a nice doggie did Leda get to pet them!

She had a great time. She didn't so much like sharing her wagon with Paige, but oh well! I think we will find next year she won't need Mommy or Daddy to go with her to the door!

Leda

Oh, and next year, if her hair doesn't grow in by then, she's wearing a girl outfit...Paige had a "really cute little brother!" ;-)

Sunday, October 29, 2006

They had a Halloween Party

We went to the annual Halloween party last night - this year, it was at the Durhams. (Sorry Kim, I was too busy chasing Leda and drinking good wine to take any pictures except for these two:

Halloween 2006Halloween 2006

(click to see bigger sizes)

We did have one person in the family dress up for Halloween - Leda went as a Lion (a very reluctant lion!)

Mostly, she just wore the body...she really didn't want to have anything on her head. We did get some pictures of her with it on before we headed off for the party:

Reluctant LionLion

(click to see bigger sizes)

We did have a great time at the party! Leda was up LATE! We figured we would get a little extra shut-eye today due to the lateness of her night, but she decided that 3:30 was a good time to wake up. Mommy slept (sorta) with her in the recliner until about 5 when she finally decided to go back to sleep. No more late night parties for our little lion! ;-)

And, Brock made a pumpkin!

Halloween Pumpkin 2006

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

18 Months

18 months ago tonight, I had just given birth to one incredible little girl. Little did we know that 18 months ago!

Leda is getting so big. She had her 18 month check up yesterday and the doctor pronounced her fit as a fiddle! She's about 25lbs and 33 inches (give or take a sneaker sole or two!) She's about 50th percentile (for all of you keeping score, that would make her average!)

Nope, not gonna do it!

She's got her 2yr molars coming in! We thought we saw a second set of molars coming in and the doc confirmed it. That would mean she's pretty much got all the teeth she should have by 2 years old!

When we were flying home from Florida last weekend, we had one person on the plane ask us if she is always so happy. And, yes, she is. She is a very happy little girl. She rarely cries - mostly when she has hurt herself or we leave her with the babysitters. She whines-cries when she doesn't get her own way, but we are (hopefully) breaking her of that. She's more like her Daddy in that she gets over it pretty quickly. Mostly she smiles and laughs and she's inquisitive; most definitely happy. We got pretty darn lucky!

The Doc says she's in her 'ape' period. Meaning, she will mimic us a lot. That explains the napkin incident at the airport, when she mimicked putting a napkin on her lap while eating, just like Mommy. She feeds her baby-dolls, she wipes their noses, and she will even blow her own nose! Believe me, I love that one! ;-)

Playing

We will be buying Leda her first pillow - her first "big girl" pillow - this weekend. She has a small decorative pillow that came with her bed set that she has been using to sleep with in the past several weeks, so we decided it is time to get her a pillow. She's been sleeping with stuffed animals and blankets and the small pillow for months (if not since last summer - I know, call social services, I let my infant sleep with things in her crib!! Oh, the horror!) so a big girl pillow won't hurt! Besides, might help her sleep better when she gets her next cold!

She says Daddy and Doggy pretty much constantly now. And no - that's her favorite answer to any question! She has started watching some TV - we LOVE Jack's Big Music Show on Noggin - and the Upside Down Show (which Daddy has watched with her, but Mommy hasn't had a chance to catch yet!). We love Moose and Zee! Noggin ROCKS! We purchased a DVD player a few weeks back when we knew we were going to take our trip to FL - yes, we broke down and got one! We did break it out for about 15 minutes on the plane ride down, but that was pretty much it. Tonight, Leda found the DVDs so I thought we would try something before dinner. I sat her at the dinner table with the DVD player and the Baby Einstein DVD, and she sat there and watched it for about 15 minutes or so. It is amazing how she went from could care less about tv to full-blown intrigue! After dinner she whined a bit to watch some more, but we held firm, no more, only small bits at a time!

Watching Baby Einstein
(Yes, it was a little close - I did move it back after I took the picture! She kept pulling it toward her so she could press the buttons!)

She's an amazing little girl. We are the luckiest people in the whole wide world! Hopefully we can still say that when she's 16 years old!

Monday, October 23, 2006

It was hot in Florida...

Must have been why the Eagles did so bad yesterday - but enough about THAT!

We were in Florida this weekend visiting the family - Abby had a fourth birthday party and we were invited, so we had to go!

We had a great time. We flew out on Friday morning - scratch that, we flew out on Friday afternoon. We were SUPPOSED to fly out on Friday morning at 11:35AM - turns out the weather was pretty nasty here and our flight was coming from Charlotte, and a long story short, with my propensity for needing to be at the airport ten hours before the flight and Philadelphia's low ceiling, we didn't take off until close to 1PM! So, we spent some quality time in the airport! Luckily, we were flying out of B terminal which meant we had a mall to walk around (the mall is between B and C at Philly International) and a good selection of lunch to pick from. Of course, we had hot dogs!

Side note; so we sit down to have our lunch, and I have cut up Leda's hot dog and she is sitting in her own seat, and I put my napkin on my lap and start to eat. Leda reaches for a napkin of her own, so I give her one, figuring she'll just wipe the table, her nose, the hot dog, whatever, she's being good, and the kid goes and freaks us out by placing the napkin on her lap and starts eating, wiping her fingers from time to time...how freaking weird is that?? How many 18 month olds do you know who put their napkin in their lap? Weird.

Anyway, so off for Florida we do go and we get there somewhere around 5 (well, we got to the airport before that, but then had to get the car, the luggage, and drive through the woods and over the river to Grandma's house (well, we actually get off the exit before the river, but THAT's a whole 'nother story!) and Aimee and Kurt and the girls show up not too long after that and we just had a nice evening eating fried chicken and having some fun watching the girls play with one another.

On Saturday, we spent the day hanging out, we did a little shopping for the birthday gifts and Aunt Judy and Elizabeth came up from Lakeland and off to the Marson's we did go to have a little birthday party for one Abigail Marson. It was a grand affair, with lawn chairs and bar-b-q's and grave markers - WHAT?

My sister lives on a cul-de-sac of about 6 houses and they did luck out when they got this house. Everyone on the block is young and has kids and they all play together and they basically purchased these houses with great backyards that never get used because they have great parties out front where the kids play in the street and everyone camouflages their lawn mowers! It was actually quite nice! So we sat out front and watched Abby open her presents and she got this great gift of a motorized Barbie Jeep (yes, beat out my Barbie horse and stable with Dream Stable Barbie, but whatever!) and the next thing we know, all the kids on the block have run to their garages and have pulled out their motorized vehicles and it's a parade, race, bumper car event in the cul-de-sac! You had to be there, it was awesome! Guess what Leda is getting for Christmas! She LOVED it - wanted to drive the Jeep SO BAD!

On Sunday, the family headed to Green Cove Springs for a little walk by the St. John River. We played on the playground, walked out on the dock, saw the sulfur spring and had a little lunch at Ronnie's. Then Brock, Leda and I had to head off for the airport to head home. We had a great time. Wish we could have stayed longer.

I do know that we have the BESTEST little girl EVER - what a trooper! Not one drop of Benedryl and the kid she took to flying like she was born to it! Not one little wimper - a few happy screams on the ground in Philly, but everyone thought she was just the best little girl, they didn't mind it at all! She really was wonderful - although it was a handful having her as a lap child - not a lot of room to move around on the small 757 or whatever we were on for the flight down, but the Airbus home was a little more roomier - but still, should have forked over the 200 bucks for her own seat! Of course, 6 more months and we will have to anyway!

We had a great time and we are happy that Grandma and Granddaddy put up with us! And, Leda was very happy that Grandma made her brownies (without nuts because Leda doesn't like nuts in her brownies).

Grandma and Leda

Hopefully my mother will send me lots of the pictures she took because apparently I suck at taking good pictures these days (I am just constantly running after the kid!) When she does send those pictures, I will post some! ;-)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I suck!

Yes, I promised posts and then didn't follow through. I suck. Sue me!

Guess what? I don't plan to promise any posts for the rest of this week, that's what! If you are lucky, I might post something. If not, then tough. Wait until next week - there will be posting and pictures since we will be heading to the sunny and warm state of Florida to celebrate Leda's cousin Abby's FOURTH birthday. Wow!

Until then, sorry. Will try not to suck next week. Will try to be good blogger and post once or twice (maybe even three times! Can you stand it??)

Bu-Bye!

Monday, October 9, 2006

Promised posts...

I know I promised some posts that didn't exactly get posted over the weekend...you try watching a 17 month old, working, not really sleeping and missing a spouse over the weekend and try to post anything to a blog. Besides, I had Talladega and Eagles/Dallas yesterday. Seriously, where did you expect me to find the time?

I promise, posting will be more than generous this week. Just chill, okay?

;-)

I know what I want for Christmas...

A great big phat win like yesterday! Please, please, with a cherry on top? That was just so sweet! I'd love to do that again!

In the immortal words of Forest Gump, "and that's all I have to say about that!"

;-)

How do you slow down the growing up?

I swear I turned around the other day and my child had gone from being a baby who needed to be carried everywhere to a toddler who didn't want you to pick her up, she can do it herself. How do you stop that from happening?

Obviously you don't. But it amazes me how quickly she has grown. I see pictures of her from a year ago and it baffles me how I went from having a 5-6 month old last year this time to having a 17-18 month old now. And the difference a year makes.

Leda

Leda will run when given the chance. And if we are outside, she will run with her head looking over her shoulder at us as if she's saying, "catch me if you can," with a giggle that indicates that she fully expects us to catch her and tickle her until she laughs a great big belly laugh. She's so smart. She knows exactly what we are saying, exactly what we are asking of her, exactly what we have told her NOT to do, and she does it anyway, with a smirk worthy of the most disobedient 16 year old!

She can't have anyone get yelled at or cry in her presence - if this happens, the cutest pout face is produced, but within seconds, the not so cutest crying may commence. For example, we were out to dinner with our friends, the Flogaus's, the other night. They have a 2 year old boy, Danny. Danny wasn't behaving himself so well (we think he was just showing off for Leda) and got told, sternly, to cut it out. When he didn't, he was unceremoniously removed from the restaurant. Leda, during this episode, produced the cutest pout - her little lower lip stuck out and she looked like she could start crying at any moment. Over the weekend, we went over to see the Durhams and play with Paige. Paige was not very happy that Jennifer had left the room at one point and started to cry. Leda produced the same cute little pout and very concerned eyes and almost began to cry. Nope, no crying alone in her presence!

She is talking. Not hundreds of words, but she does have ways of communicating with us. "Dat" and "Dis" (that and this) are favorites! Of hers, not ours! They are used CONSTANTLY and in multiples! She will tell us she's "done" at dinner (usually accompanied by taking off her bib) and will indicate when she wants "more." She will call "Duff" and she will call the "Cat", but she hasn't started calling me "Mom" or "Mommy" or "Mama" yet. She will say "Yes" and she definitely says "No."

Thoughtful

Leda has been watching TV! Not much, but she does watch music videos and Noggin! LOVE Noggin! Favorite show...Jack's Big Music Show. Usually she won't spend a whole lot of time paying attention to the TV when something is on that she might like. She will stop for a few minutes and watch, then on to the next big thing. But Jack's Big Music Show she LOVES! I have tried to find DVDs for this show, but to no avail...aren't available on DVD yet! But you can be sure, as soon as they are, we'll own one (or two or three!)

She loves to climb all over the furniture (much to our chagrin) and loves taking a ride in her wagon. She's begun to want to pull her wagon and push her stroller, more so than ride in either one. She likes playing with her dolls, trying to get them to drink from her sippy cup, but she LOVES playing with her Mega Blocks the most. And, we must read the same books to her OVER AND OVER AND OVER again!

She's all about the "daddy" these days, not so much about the mommy...in fact, just this evening, I went up to her as she was sitting on the step outside the house and as I got close, she got up and pushed me away and said something that sounded like "is not the daddy." It breaks my heart that she pushes me away, but I guess I just have to wait until next week when she shuns the daddy and wants the mommy.

Playing with Mommy's shoes

She thinks Mommy watching football is funny...she yells when I yell - her daddy thinks it is because she wants me to stop, I don't think so, considering the kid is doing it with a smile on her face...she's definitely got Cunningham genes when it comes to football! We just hope her first yells at the screen don't involve words that wouldn't get broadcast! ;-) Of course, I do take solace in the fact that she is learning her first curse words in the same fashion I did, watching football with her family! I just hope that some day I can teach her all I learned from my Grandfather about football - offsides, holding, and D((&#$, does that F@#*U*#@ referee have bad eye sight or what??? She's my little Swoop in training! ;-)

She's smart, she's inquisitive, she tries to understand everything we are saying (within reason...I mean, there ain't no way any self-respecting kid is going to "try to understand" what the 'rents are telling her she can't do, I mean, come one, really!) And, you think that's just a joke to make you laugh! HA! She actually gives us that look when we are telling her "No"! Really. I ain't kidding...17 months going on 16 years old. I am SO not looking forward to the teen years...can you say, go spend the summer with your Grandma or working for your Uncle Dan? I've already started practicing...I have the tone down and everything!

Walking in Mommy's shoes

She's amazing, frustrating, loving, aggravating, beautiful and irreplaceable all at the same time. It's amazing how much one little human being who occupies all of about 25 pounds of space can be all at once. She tires us out, yet gives us reason to wake up each morning to greet her. She frustrates us, then turns around and flashes that smile at us and we are amazed at how smart she is. She makes our lives 100% better than before she existed. That's worth everything!

Thursday, October 5, 2006

Change of Season, Change in Look

New look, officially not summer any more so Caribbean vibes had to go away (making me crave it too much, I spend half the day checking rates for trips to all-inclusives in the Caribbean!).

Of course, leaves have just barely started to change here, so had to go abstract! Hope you don't hate it too much.

I plan a couple of posts here soon - mostly background/history type posts, because I apparently can't find anything inspiring to discuss that is present or future! Oh, and a way over due Leda update. Check back by end of weekend! Should be lots of reading for ya then!

Happy Fall!

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Shrimp

She loves it!

Loves Shrimp

So Hungry

Monday, September 25, 2006

Yes, that is the first discernible word our child has said.

No.

Okay, to be honest, this isn't the FIRST word. We are pretty sure she says "cat", "dog", "Duff", "that" and "Dada". "Mama" is iffy...she's only said it three times, and the first two times she was chasing after my mother.

In the past two weeks, she has begun to say "no" and "more." "More" is a good word. It helps us know she want's more! "No" is a little bit of a pain! "Leda, do you want to go take a bath?" "Noooo," as she runs for the bathroom (she LOVES taking baths!) In fact, she spends a lot of time saying "No." Not necessarily as "no," but as a word to say to just about any thing we ask her!

Also, she says "done." While taking her bib off. Indicating she is done her meal, thank you very much.

That's pretty much it at this point. She babbles up a storm and really does sound like she is saying a whole bunch of stuff...in Japanese!

I am still scared that my worst fear will come to pass...that I will not be able to understand my child when she starts to speak. I'm not AS scared as I used to be, but the fear is still there. I am hoping that the more that she talks, the less I will fear not being able to understand her.

She's changing a lot these days. I know I really should do a Leda update, since there really hasn't been one in months! I will try to get to that this week.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

8 years

Eight years ago...

9/19/1998

I love you more today.
Happy Anniversary.

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