Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Rain, Rain, Go Away...

...come back some other day....and, not next week, I think we can schedule you in around the 10th of July, yep, that will work!

We have been overrun with rain over the past week, so much so that I think we may be stuck here in Phoenixville, as most of the roads out of town are shut down because of flooding! Worst flooding since Agnes, so they say (I was only 4 then!)

Luckily, because of how our house is situated on a hill, we don't have to worry about flooding. We do have a trickle of water in the basement, but that happens, and it didn't damage anything. We are a lot better off than most in the area.

Our creek and pond (which was the lowest it had been in a few years now) are running pretty high, so the fish and frogs and snakes and ducks will be plenty happy.

We are packing up in anticipation of leaving on Fri night for the shore! WOOO HOOO...so, hopefully this rain stuff will stop for a week and a few days so we can enjoy ourselves at the beach! SO LOOKING FORWARD TO SOME R&R! And, nope, no technology, so don't be worried if you don't hear from us until somewhere around the 10th of July!

Maybe an update before we leave, depends on how much time I got! If not, enjoy your fourth of July and see ya after the 10th!

Sunday, June 25, 2006

14 Months and a Happy Anniversary!

14 months ago, we had a little baby girl.

Today, we have a willful, stubborn, little baby girl.

Willful is an understatement. Stubborn is a good description, but there probably is a word out there that describes our child perfectly. These are the only two I could come up with to get close!

My goodness this child is a handful. And yes, I am probably paying for all the terrible things I did to my mother when I was a child. But, don't you think it could be spread out over the course of 18 years, and not 18 months???? geez!

We have spent the past several nights listening to the blood curdling screams of a child who is trying to, apparently, let us know that we just aren't the parents she expected. She obviously went wrong choosing us! We know she's tired, she seems ready to go to bed, but get her in crib, tucked in with her doll baby, and leave the room, the second your completely out of the room, the screaming starts. And, it's not just bed time, it's nap time, too. Right now, I am listening to the screaming child in the other room.

She is fed, she is dry, she has had a bath, she has the binky, she's in a cool room, she's got all the comforts of a child who is more than loved, no, cherished, yet, still, the screaming! Oh, and believe me, I do know how to exaggerate, but I am not exaggerating when I say, they ARE blood curdling, piercing screams of a child who is NOT happy, not at all!

And, this also happens when she doesn't get her own way! We are in full discipline mode these days. We need to make sure this child understands that when we say no, we mean no (and, oh.my.god, but did I just sound like my mother or what? Someone SHOOT me now! ;-) Anyway, we've started with "time outs" on the couch...more like, sit there until I tell you to move (which is all of about 1 to 1 and a half minutes) and the screaming commences! And the tears, too! Real ones. Boy, this kid is good!

And then, tonight, she hit me! In the face! With both hands! And, she COMPLETELY meant to do it, too! And, she hit her father, too (different incident). So, I am pretty sure the kid is getting a little frustrated with the fact that she can't talk, too! She wanted to go upstairs to the kitchen, when she and I were in the living room, and I kept asking her what she wanted. We've got to start making her tell us (or attempting to make her tell us) what she wants instead of "guessing" or just doing it for her. I think that is where our problem lies. The child, she is smart, she knows what we mean when we say it. She knows what we are saying most all of the time. She just needs to start communicating with us with words, rather than screams, grunts, whining and hitting. God, I hope this part is over soon! ;-)

But, besides the obvious pain in the you know where, she's still the cutest 14 month old on the block!

Leda!

Oh, yeah, the little mark on the side of her nose...a playful run in with the dog...they were playing (with Brock) in the living room and Leda was moving toward the dog and the dog was moving toward Leda and they collided with their faces...Duff's mouth to Leda's face. Luckily it was nothing but a superficial wound and poor Duff was pretty upset about it.

Oh, and gotta give a shout out to Aunt Stacy and Uncle Todd...they've been married ONE WHOLE YEAR! HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! It only gets better! Love ya!

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Our Weekend in NY State

It's been a busy week...I am learning a new product at work and I am working on a sleep deficit (you'll understand shortly) plus, last night and all of today, I have been fighting a headache...a really strange one - not one of my normal pain in the butt headaches (yeah, I know, wrong end for the pain! ha!)

Anyway, as you know, we spent the weekend in Wyoming, NY, this weekend. Wyoming is a small town near where Brock grew up, southwest(ish) of Rochester, NY. It's mostly farmland (actually, it is all farmland - well, except for the salt mines). It's very beautiful, but really, there ain't nothing out there! Which is actually quite nice.

Wyoming is where Brock's parents live, with their brood of dogs (a westie, cavalier king charles spaniel, english mastiff and a great dane...a very international mix of dogs!) Brock's Dad was having his "retirement" party - "retirement" because he really isn't retired - it's a long and strange story. Anyway, all the people he worked with came in to celebrate Brock's Dad and his future endeavors. Brock and Leda and I headed up for the celebration since Brock was friends with a bunch of the people who would be there and because we were invited.

However, we stayed in a hotel in Batavia, due to the fact that there were a lot of out-of-towners in for the weekend and "not enough rooms at the inn," AKA, no room at home for us. No problem. Now, this was the first time we took a trip this long with Leda in a car since the end of last summer (yeah, I was surprised by that fact too!) so we really weren't sure how she would handle it. Last year, when we would travel long distances, we would leave at Leda's bed time so she would just go to sleep and all we would have to do is transfer her from car to bed.

So, Friday night, we gave the kiddo a bath, gave her a bottle and loaded her into the car at 8pm (bedtime)...about 10:30, she finally fell asleep! (about halfway there).

She was pretty pleasant for the most part. No real screaming, except every once in awhile. She handed two and a half hours stuck in the car pretty well. We had stopped just before she fell asleep, so she got to stretch her legs a little before she fell asleep.

So, about 1am we get to the hotel. Brock checks us in, the kid's still asleep. Of course, it starts to rain and we have a bit of a walk from the car to the door of the hotel, then down a long hallway to the elevator then four floors up to our room.

The kid woke up!

And, wouldn't go back to sleep!

I put her in the crib the hotel provided, but when I left the room to use the bathroom (so technically, I really didn't leave the room, she started screaming (Brock had gone down to get our bags). Everytime I'd calm her down, lay her down in the crib, one step away, she screamed.

So, I set up one of the beds in the room (thank goodness there were two beds in the room!) with pillows down one side and lay Leda in the middle and me on one side. It was the only way to get her to lay down and attempt to go to sleep. Put her in the crib, expected to be killed by any neighbors we might have on the other side of either wall in our room!

She was pretty good. Didn't attempt to get out of the bed, but didn't attempt to do much sleeping either. I think the last time I looked at the clock before I fell asleep it was 4:30am.

Now, you figure, for a kid who got maybe HALF of her nightly supply of sleep, she might sleep in, right? WRONG. Up at 7am we were!

And, Saturday was a long day! Leda did nap at the Yates' and I even got about an hour worth of naps, but it was a long day. Lots of people, playing with the dogs, running around the house. We didn't go swimming...WAY too cold. But we did play around the pool. The party was a blast, and we had lots of fun seeing everyone and talking with a few of our friends. I put Leda down around 9ish so Mommy could have a little down time and around 11 we packed her into the car and back to the hotel...Saturday night went much better...the kid was exhausted, so she slept no problem in the crib!

But up again at 6am. She did go back to sleep and I guess I got to sleep until about 8 before we got up, got showered and dressed and headed back to the Yates' before we headed home. We spent a little time hanging out in the hotel room (Leda LOVES hotel rooms!) and gave Daddy his daddy's day card (that Leda picked out ALL BY HERSELF...of course, it has Nemo on it and those are her favorite bath toys!).

The trip home was uneventful...we didn't put Leda down for a morning nap, so by the time we headed home around noon, she was pretty tired. But she only slept for about the first 45 minutes, then was really adamant about NOT wanting to be in the chair anymore for a good 2 hours or so, then slept the last 2 hours. We were home by 5:30pm - enough time to tire the kid out for bedtime at 8!

All in all, it was a beautiful weekend. Albeit tiring! But we learned a few things...we don't HAVE to wait until bed time to go on long trips (heck, if she's gonna be up for 2 and a half hours past it anyway, what's the big deal!) and that Daddy get's to sleep with the kid the next time! ;-)

Leda did have lots of fun with Grandpa's toys. As you can see if you click on the picture in the previous post and browse. Brock put her in the cars and she grabbed a hold of the steering wheel and just smiled! Don't think we will have much problem getting her in a go-cart when the time comes!

Monday, June 19, 2006

A Tease...until later

We were up in NY this weekend for Brock's dad's "retirement" party. Leda got to play with Grandpa's toys...

Future Race Car Driver

We are just so disapointed - she doesn't seem to like them at all! hehehehe

Click the picture for more - She really does like the cars. Of course, when Grandpa cranked up the Eliminator, Leda kinda ran out of the garage in a hurry! A bit too loud for her! ;-) She didn't cry though - just kinda gave Grandpa a funny look! Still wanted to pay with the toys though!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

One year and a whole life time ago....

...I posted this.

Technically, it was the third post on this blog, but it was on the same day I started the blog, so it counts! It described the reason I decided to do this. Some day, I hope I will be able to publish this "diary" for Leda. I hope it tells her all about her first year of life (and then some)...all the things she won't remember.

And, wow, how she has changed, as have we all. Her parents are a little more tired than they were a year ago (well, maybe a year and two months ago!) but happier and prouder every day (and, apparently, worser at grammar! ;-)

Leda's taller, more mobile, thinner in the face (wow, was she a round faced chubby kid a year ago or what??), and exerting her personality all over our sorry you know whats! What a little pistol that one is (yes, I just used the word pistol to describe my child...apparently I now channel my grandmother and my mother at will - see, we have all changed a little!). Don't get our own way, well, we just sit our butts down and cry bloody murder! Didn't like it much the other day when Mom just totally ignored our attempts to get our own way either...we got hysterical - we probably would have made ourselves sick if Mom didn't distract us with a cracker.

Leda's really becoming a little person. She has an iron will and, for the most part, a shining disposition. She's usually a very happy child. Aside from the temper tantrums, which really don't happen that often. She's usually onto something else before they really get full-blown nuts. But she does know how to throw one! It's like it was written in her DNA! ;-)

I bought her a swing to add to the play set our neighbors' have. I bought it about a month ago and we set it up and wow, does Leda like to swing? Does a fish like water?? We used to take a right out the front door on our walks and take a long walk around the pond before coming to the play set, but Leda, she's got other things to do, like SWING, so it's a straight shot out the door and over the creek to the play set. MUST-SWING-NOW!

Her laughing is contagious...seriously...she starts laughing and squealing and I just can't help myself, I am hysterical. She's like one of those laugh boxes we used to play with ages ago when I was a kid. She really is a happy child and so outgoing...she loves other people. She is shy at first, but once she gets to know a person, they are okay in her book...especially if they make her laugh! She's always looking for more! This is a good thing, because we really though for awhile there that she really wasn't going to like other people much! ;-) Now, she doesn't readily GO to other people or necessarily like to be held by other people, but she's getting better!

Does the kid like to eat??? Wow, let me tell ya what! It surprises me what she will eat. Black olives! Who ever heard of a kid (a baby) who ate black olives?? Not me! She loves them! The only veggie I can get her to eat any more is french fries, but occasionally she might eat a green bean (but only because she wasn't paying attention!) She loves sausage and hot dogs. Not so much about red meat or chicken, but we are getting there. Brock's tried to get her to eat tomatoes, but no luck...until tonight. Brock makes a tomato salad that really is just cherry tomatoes and onions tossed in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. He gave her a half a cherry tomato and she tasted it and made a face - I thought, nope she's not gonna eat it! The kid sucked all the pulp out of the skin of the tomato and spit the skin out. Then asked for more! See, pistol I tell ya!

She loves rice - white, yellow and roni! Noodles too, but I really think she likes rice more. Oh, and Brock introduced her to Animal Crackers the other day...yep, all about the Animal Crackers! And beans...she likes black but not so much about the baked...what's up with that??

She's just a joy to behold all the time. Yes, we have our moments, but they really don't compare to the happy-go-lucky kid we have most of the time. And she is smart...like I have said before, smarter than us and that should scare the heck out of us. She's bright-eyed and happy in the morning and she is the sweetest thing to watch sleep at night. As I watched her sleep one night, I actually felt my heart swell with what can only be described as unbelievable love and joy at the thought of her, much less watching her sleep without a care in the world. It was the most amazing feeling I think I have ever felt and it amazes me that this little girl made it all happen. Yes, I love my husband, and I love my family and I love my dog, but I don't think I was ever or will ever be in love like this ever!

She's my joy.

IMG_0054

New Video

Leda Laughs

See if you don't, too!

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Pre-Anniversary and other rants...

Tomorrow will be one year since we put Leda on the Internet. Yep, one whole year of exposing our precious little girl to the Big Bad Internet. It's a darn good thing that no one really comes here (other than friends and family...we already know you guys are weird and we are okay with that! ;-)

So, if I am really good and I remember, you guys might be graced with a new picture of Leda. The month of June hasn't seen much use of the camera this year!

Okay, now for the rant...what is with these new ads telling new mothers that breast-feeding is best? Not that there is anything wrong with that, but the ads come off as indicating that if you don't breast-feed you are a horrible mother...I mean, you wouldn't ride a bull in a honkey-tonk if you were pregnant, now, would you? Come on now. Are you telling me that the government is now going to get on the "boy, if you were a good mother, you would have breast-fed your child until she left for college, tsk, tsk" band wagon??

Let's face it, Leda's parents don't give a darn about her...she is well-fed, well-hydrated, well-loved (I take that back, she's not just well-loved, she is loved so much it sometimes makes her Mama's heart wanna burst from her chest), well-clothed (THAT is an understatement!!), she has all the toys she could want, she has a dog who loves so much he wants to sleep under her crib and give her kisses in the morning, she couldn't want for a darned thing...but, darn it, she just wasn't breast-fed! Oh, and the cat really can't stand her all that much.

I have nothing against breast-feeding. I tried, I really did. I think it was a combination of many conflicting directions from the nurses in the hospital (who were all trying to be helpful - well, except for maybe that one that grabbed the baby and grabbed my breast and tried to smash them together!) and the fact that Leda just didn't want anything to do with it. I think that mothers that are able to breast-feed are great. I just happen to be one that couldn't. Might it have been better for my child, yes; does it mean I love her any less, ABSOLUTELY NO.

I just am appalled by the ads. They really do make it seem that if you don't breast feed you aren't doing the best for your baby, therefore, you don't care enough. Well, a big go to you know where to the people who came up with the ads. Here's hoping it comes around to bite ya in the you know what some day!

End Rant...hopefully there will be pictures of the mistreated child tomorrow! ;-)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Busy, Busy, Busy!

We've been busy around here. So busy, I just haven't thought of updating the blog! To be honest, I am on the computer all day long (and most of last week, every evening) and the thought of doing anything personal on the computer kinda makes me shiver! ;-)

Leda's just agrowin'! Hasn't started talking yet, so, of course, I am going nuts! Brock's pretty laid back about it, but I wanna hear her call me "mama." She babbles all the time...like she's speaking a different language (yeah, I know, she IS talking a different language...baby!). But we haven't heard anything that sounds like a real word.

So, should I worry? Or just shut up and wait...when she starts talking, I'll never get her to shut up, right?

Her Auntie Claire got her some bunny ears for easter (I am pretty sure they came from Auntie Claire!)....she wouldn't have anything to do with them around then, but she found them on the floor of my office the other day (don't ask, I haven't a clue why they were on the floor of my office!) and kept asking us to put them on her...

We didn't have the heart to tell her that her ears are backwards!

Yes, they are on backwards...but click the picture and page through to see another picture of her with the ears on correctly!

Anyway, I know, lame update. Well, what do you want from someone who has spent the entire day today having issues with her computer and some project for a client?? I'm tired of 'puters! They suck! ;-)

Soon, I promise, there will be a really good Leda update. I promise!

Sunday, June 4, 2006

Saturday was a red letter day!

Yesterday, Leda, Brock and I headed up to NYC for the day. Brock's friend and roommate from LA was in NYC for work, and, as we hadn't seen her in some years, we decided that we would head up to the city to have dinner with her. Since Jennifer was working most of the day, we figured we'd spend some time at the the Met and do some lunch and tour the museum (I've never been there, so we thought it would be a fun thing to do) until the later afternoon when Jennifer was free.

Before we left for NYC though, I hopped online around 10am to see if I could score us some Dixie Chick tickets...by 10:03, we had two seats in not such a bad section! What a surprise! I have NEVER gotten tickets that quickly before! Woo Hoo!

So off to NYC. Leda slept most of the ride up. Brock got us into the city, we headed straight from the Lincoln Tunnel over to 1st Ave - saw the United Nations building! Headed up 1st to 81st and then over toward 5th, where the Met was. Found the parking garage, parked and headed on over to the Met Cafeteria for a little lunch. Leda was a perfect charmer, charming the pants off most of the older couples around us at the cafeteria.

Then, off to the Greek area. Brock toured the Greek art as Leda and I walked around glancing at things (and trying our best to keep our fingers and hands off the thousands year old irreplaceable pieces of art). We then went to see the ancient Egyptian tomb (how interesting!) and then the Japanese Buddha garden (did you have any doubt??) and then off to the Temple of Dendur. The Met is a HUGE museum; I doubt we saw half of it! We had a great time and then, around 3ish, headed over to the west side to catch up with Jennifer.

We met Jennifer and her co-workers at a little cafe (Arte Cafe) on 73rd and Columbus. What a neat little restaurant, and we had a great time with Jennifer, Phil, Terry and his 8 year old daughter Jordy, Kelly and Rob. Leda was again as charming as she is always and behaved herself wonderfully, considering she hadn't had an afternoon nap! We had a great dinner. Brock had to get up a few times and go put coins in the meter (can't believe we found a parking space a block away from the restaurant!) and at one time, came back in and said, "Dustin Hoffman is outside making a cell call." "WHAT?" I said...DUSTIN FREAKING HOFFMAN was standing right outside the restaurant making a call! No, I didn't jump right up and run out the door to see him, but believe me, it crossed my mind once or twice. Anyway, we sat there for a few minutes interrogating Brock and then on to more food and drink and talk, forgetting that Dustin Hoffman had been not 20 yards away making a phone call.

Leda was starting to get a bit tired of being confined to her chair or my arms/lap and dinner had been done and just about everyone had finished their after dinner coffee and drinks, so we parted ways! As we were saying goodbye to some of our new friends in the bar, who do we see, just 15 feet away from where we were standing, talking with the wait staff, but DUSTIN FREAKING HOFFMAN! Unbelievable! I was standing in the same establishment as Dustin Hoffman! And, I have to say, he looks good! Definitely short, but a very handsome short. And not a pretentious as you might expect...he was even in jeans. Looked very comfortable. And personable.

No, I did not run over and fawn all over him...however, I did consider taking Leda to the restroom! I'd have to pass right by him to get there! hehehe

So, off we went to drop Jennifer off at her hotel and head home. What an awesome red letter day! Dixie Chick tickets score within seconds in the morning and Dustin Hoffman in the evening. How much better can you get?

Oh, and absolutely no pictures to post! I never pulled the camera out of the bag! Duh!

Thursday, June 1, 2006

New Masthead and Color Background

Like it?

I really wish I was sitting RIGHT THERE on that lounge chair!

(Picture taken Spring 2001 at the Marriott (I think) beach on St. Lucia...only beach we wouldn't have to pay to sit on in St. Lucia, if I remember correctly!)

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