Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Birthday Party Update

Had serious Birthday Party hangover for the past couple of days - and not the alcoholic kind either! I swear, Leda was starting to think that once you turn three, you basically celebrate your birthday EVERY DAY! I mean, it started last Wednesday when Grandma visited and lasted until Saturday night when the last guest left after the party!

So, here's the recap...

Friday after we came home from the zoo, we started preparing for the party on Saturday. While Leda napped, I ran out to the store to get the last minute stuff we needed and came home and baked a cake! Oh yes, I baked a cake. Again. This time, I used a different recipe and it turned out not too bad! I also decided not to use store bought icing but make my own buttercream icing! And then flavor it with rasberries as our daughter annouced she wanted a pink cake!

Oh, the icing, turned out unbelieveablly good! Yum!

Saturday was a big big day. I had to put together the cake and add the flavoring to the icing. What we ended up with was a Hot pink classic white cake!

Birthday Cake!

There was also lots of cleaning to be done and other food prep. By the time people started showing up at 4 pm, we were ready! Well, except, I hadn't put my makeup on yet! Yep, somewhere around 2 when I was panicking that we weren't going to get everything done, I said to Brock that if it got to be 4 and I hadn't put my makeup on yet (brushed my hair, changed my clothes, etc.) the guests would be on time! If I got the chance to get ready, no one would appear until 5 PM! I was right. No makeup, all guests had arrived by 4:15! (well, not everyone, but a lot of people!)

We had LOTS of people come and we are pretty sure everyone had a great time. Leda loved having all her friends over for her party including her friends from day care and her cousins Calean and Tristan and Tommy and Michael. GrandDad and Fay also came. And, they all brought presents, which Leda thought was really awesome! Of course, Brock and I were wondering where we were going to put all the new stuff! ;-)

Dinner was great - WAY too much of it. Every single time we decide to have a party, I decide we need to have enough to feed 200 people and Brock indulges this, so we ended up with lots of left overs! Which, in the case of my Mother's macaroni salad, is not a bad thing, unless you joined Weight Watchers....oh, forget it, I'll start it next week!

After dinner, I asked Leda if she wanted to open her presents. What kind of question is that Mom, of course! I tried to impress upon her the importance of opening the card first so we knew who the present was from, and I think it worked. I would try to read the cards to her up until the second or third one when she informed me she could read the cards. I would ask her what they say and she would look at the card and say, "Happy Birthday, Leda. That's me!" Then she would discard the card and rip into the present!

She got lots of fun stuff. Lots of books, some clothes and lots of fun toys. She got a great makeup case from Paige and Aunt Jennifer and Uncle John, which really scared me, until I realized it was fake makeup - meaning pretend NOT THERE make up which was a good thing because all day Sunday (and just about every day since) Leda wanted to make ME up with her new makeup! I would have been VERY scary had the make up been real! Oh, and there was princess stuff and then the long awaited custom made (hand-knitted) Christmas Stocking from Aunt Karen. Leda could have cared less, but Mommy is very excited! ;-) Of course, will need to come up with LOTS more to stuff stocking!

We then had cake which Leda loved and apparently most everyone else did too...it was all gone except for one piece! Saved that part of my Weight Watchers program!

Blowing out the Candles

Great Cake!

It was a great party. Leda loved having everyone over, she announced that she wanted to do it again this coming weekend! I had to let her down easy...we only have birthday parties once a year!

More pictures here!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I Just Rocked it Out...

...to Def Leppard.

Yeah!

For some reason, that doesn't make me cringe! It probably should, but it doesn't!

Okay, so the only reason it really should make me cringe doesn't have anything to do with how much I just love Def Leppard. Or that I actually saw them in concert back in the late eighties. Nor the crush I had on Joe Eliott or Phil Collen - darn it, Joe was absolutely HOT in that Union Jack T-shirt. Oh, heck, who am I kidding, I was a sucker for just about any guy in a Union Jack T-shirt with a leather vest back in the eighties!

No, the only reason I should be cringing that I am admitting that I rocked out to Def Leppard is only because...wait for it...they were on Dancing with the Stars.

Yes, it is an addiction I can't seem to break. I must watch Dancing with the Stars. But, hey, I can admit safely that I have not voted in any other season except when Apolo Ohno danced.

Now, if anyone can explain to me what Def Leppard and Dancing with the Stars have in common, I would gladly listen. Because I can't figure it out. Not one bit!

But it Rocked!

Oh, and I promise, a birthday party update will be coming. I am currently a One Lap widow, so I only have time to admit to rockin' out to my favorite 80s bands. Posting pictures and an update on my daughter's third birthday party takes more energy!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Zoo Trip

What a day we had yesterday. I'm beat! The zoo was a blast, although VERY crowded with school field trips. Well, we'll remember that for next time! ;-)

Leda had a great time. We saw just about all the animals. We started off going to the G Lodge for breakfast. In the 15+ years I've lived in Phoenixville, the first time I've been - it's a cute little place for breakfast! We then spent the rest of the morning at the zoo. By the time we were on our way home, the kid, she passed out in the car...about three minutes in to the ride!

It was a good day. Pictures here - not all of them yet...will add to it later. Got to prepare for the avalanche of adults and kids for Leda's birthday party!



Daddy and Leda at Zoo

Friday, April 25, 2008

THREE!

Happy Birthday, Leda!

Birthday Girl

As she did three years ago, Leda woke me/us up early on April 25th! Some how she knew there was something in the dining room for her! We had presents opened by 7AM!

She REALLY likes her little princesses (the ones that Daddy just can't stand) and her new Little Mermaid bathing suit and beach cover up! The Art Easel, not so sure of...she likes it, but she can't dress it up in gowns and glass slippers!

Birthday Girl

After we go out for a little birthday breakfast, we are off to the Zoo! Check back later for an update!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Duff has Competition

Yesterday morning, Brock was off early to work the polls, so Leda and I were getting ready together - she was having breakfast, and I was running around getting all the things done that Brock usually does in the morning, like feed the cat, let the dog out, etc.

Duff was VERY interested in something outside - I assumed, as usual, there was a squirrel who had breached the backyard fence and Duff needed to chase it off. I let him out and watched to make sure he didn't actually catch the squirrel - with as fat as these guys are getting, sooner or later, Duff might actually win!

I noticed that Duff was looking up, so I looked up as well, into the Holly tree, and sure enough, there was a squirrel, but he wasn't alone. The squirrel, it seems, had really made the blue jays mad and they were attacking him. The poor squirrel was trying to get away, but since I had let the dog out, he couldn't run down the tree! It was quite humorous - yeah, I'm a bit sadistic when it comes to squirrels!

Anyway, Duff watched all this with great interest. The squirrel finally jumped about 5-10 feet to the roof of the house from the tree and ran off with the blue jays right on his tail! I looked at Duff who had this strange look on his face, like, wow, look at what they did to that squirrel. Then, the face changed to the realization that those birds, well, he didn't wanna mess with them anytime soon!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Tenants (or, our new neighbors!)

Yesterday morning we noticed we had tenants moving in.

New Neighbors

New Neighbors

It was pretty amazing...they've been building this nest for the past two days very diligently and with much care. The nest is three times this big now. They don't seem to mind us much now. At first, they seemed a little skittish, but have seemed to realize that if they plan on making house under our eaves and especially right above our patio, our main outdoor space, they had better get used to us!

Hopefully we won't have any issues when the babies arrive. It hopefully will be a nice experience for Leda, and all of us.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Beautiful Saturday

Is this really the middle of April?

We had a gorgeous day today. Warm and sunny. One of those days you don't want to spend anytime inside.

Leda woke me up bright and early today (another 6 am morning...third one in a row this week, but who's counting?) I spent a few minutes in her bed with her trying to get her to see the error of her ways (it's too darn early) but to no avail. This morning was also the first morning (or any time) since we made Binky Kitty that Leda asked for a binky!

Ready for this? I told her no, but she could hug Binky Kitty and I grabbed Binky Kitty from his corner of her bed only to find a big gapping hole in his back! Yes, my child, sometime in the past 12 hours or so, had opened the hole in the back of the cat where the binkys were placed with care before he was sown up. Both the binkys were still inside, but very accessible. I haven't a clue if she attempted to pull one out and suck on it, but she could have if she wanted to!

Binky Kitty is currently spending time in my bedroom (although he has mysteriously ended up back in Leda's room twice today) until I can sow him back up. PERMANENTLY!

The kid is too smart for our own good.

Anyway, after unsuccessfully trying to get the kid back to sleep, up we were. Breakfast was had and it was time to start cleaning the house. We were having the Durhams over for dinner tonight so I needed to start cleaning the house. And, I decided on Mexican for dinner...really, I just wanted an excuse to make my salsa and drink margaritas.

We moved outside to clean off the patio and bring out the patio furniture and we set up the fountain - the new fountain was set up last weekend. Oh yes, there's now two fountains! The old leaves from the fall were blown off the patio and taken down to the leaf pile and the patio furniture arranged just so. And all this was before 10:30 am. It's amazing what you can get done so early in the morning.

Leda and I headed off to shop for ingredients to make tonight's dinner. I decided to try to make my own guacamole, and if I do say so myself, I made the world's best! There was fresh salsa and fresh cut ingredients for some great tacos and Brock made black beans. The Durhams came over and so did Aunt Karen and Leda and Paige had an awesome time playing in her room and out in the back yard while we adults had some margaritas and beers and then we had an awesome dinner!

It was a beautiful Saturday in April.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Beautiful Night

We had a beautiful day here today. Of course, I was stuck inside working.

Tonight, after a bit of a meltdown (no nap...apparently it was just too much fun at daycare today!) and a bath, then dinner, we headed outside to enjoy the evening as the sun set.

I looked up into the trees and saw these doves, so I ran in and grabbed my camera and took some pictures.

Mourning Doves at almost dusk

This one is better at full size...click on it to go to flickr.com, click on all sizes and select large or orignial.
Full Moon
I do believe it might be sideways though!



And Leda took some pictures of Daddy...
Daddy poses for Leda

Daddy poses again for Leda

That's it. Just a really nice night.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Our Princess

Leda is very into dress up right now. Loves her "glass slippers" she got from Auntie Joan for Christmas. Likes to wear them all the time, even in her nightgown...

Our Princess

Oh, and in case you couldn't tell, those are the Disney Princesses on her nightgown...

Our Princess

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Total Geek

I went shopping yesterday, by myself, so that means, the iPod got a good workout!

I went to Target to get Leda some new socks - turns out, her feet have been growing! She no longer fits into the socks I bought her in like August or September. Go figure! I ended up getting a few things for her birthday, too. It was while looking for metal skewers in the kitchen gadget section that "The Girl is Mine" came on during a iPod shuffle. Oh, come on, you know the song, Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney? Yeah, you know it.

Anyway, it got my head a bopping and when it was over, I turned off the shuffle and went right for the whole Thriller album. Yes, I was "gonna be startin' something" right there in Target.

After Target, I was off to Acme for a little food shopping - see, I was gonna make dinner for friends and I needed supplies (thus, the reason for the skewers!). On my way, yes, I jammed to Thriller in the car. Arriving at Acme, I decided I needed to hear the album again from the start (no, it didn't take me that long to finish shopping at Target and get to Acme...I was 5 songs in, but for some reason, I needed to hear those five songs over again. It's a sickness.)

It was about half way through my shopping in Acme that I realized, I am a total geek.

It didn't stop me from listening to "Wanna be Starting Something" two more times yesterday afternoon. Told you, sickness. But hey, I had some fun shopping!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Another Milestone

Today, Leda gave up the binky.

Mind you, we aren't exactly sure how this will play out over the next few days. We are hoping for the best, but not totally sure that Leda understands the implications of what happened today.

I had every intention on a "practice" run with giving up the binky. I have an old one of hers that has been sitting on my desk for a long time now. She knows it is there and has pointed it out on occasion. I've told her it was her "little baby" binky and now that she has a "big baby" binky, she doesn't need the little baby binky any more. She seemed to understand that. So it was my intention to do a practice run with the little baby binky. But I took the big baby binky with us, just in case.

The idea; go to Build-a-Bear and put the binky in a bear, so that she will always have the binky with her, but instead of sucking on it, she would hug the "binky bear." Her friend Paige has one and it worked for her, so I thought maybe it would work for Leda. So for the past week or so I've been trying to talk to her about a binky bear and she sure understood the premise of getting the bear, and that it was called a binky bear, but I don't think she quite got the idea that her binky would be put into the bear, never to be used the same way again!

So, this morning, off to the mall we went. Of course, I entered the wrong level (right wing, wrong level) so we had to walk a little further through the mall than I expected to get to the stairs and go down. In the process we passed the Children's Place, a clothing store, and Leda wanted to go in. So in we went. Which wasn't such a bad idea, because she's going to need flip-flops for the summer and they had them on sale at 2 for 5 bucks! And then, we picked out two dresses that were on sale that match the flip-flops! Cool!

Off to Build-a-Bear we go with our new duds and Leda has lots of fun trying to figure out what she wanted, a bear, a dog, a kitty, so many decisions. She finally settled on the Pink Leopard kitty cat. During this process, I am trying to explain to her that we are going to put the little baby binky in the kitty as she steals the big baby binky from my purse and sucks on it! This is not going well!

With kitty in hand, we go stand in line at the stuffing machine and I am still explaining to Leda that we are going to put the little baby binky in the kitty (I have successfully taken the big baby binky away from her for now) and then it is our turn. Leda picks her heart and does all the neat things the lady asks her to do (hold it up high and hold it down low and jump around with it and warm it up and give it a kiss, and into the kitty it goes.) And Leda helps put the stuffing in the kitty by standing on the pedal and watches as the lady stuffs her kitty. Then, the moment of truth...

I bend down and show Leda that we are putting the little baby binky in her kitty and she seems to understand what is happening. The next thing I know, she's grabbing the other binky out of my hand and she is putting it in the kitty. I stop her for a second and tell her that if she does that, it will be staying in the kitty...no more binky at naps or night time. She says, "I know," (with the attitude of a teenager, my mother would be so proud) and shoves it in the kitty.

Off to give the kitty a shower, pick out a little baby kitty for it and name it. Leda couldn't come up with a name, and really, neither could I, not one that Leda liked, until I said, "Okay, why don't we call her Binky Kitty," to which Leda wholeheartedly agreed. We paid for Binky Kitty and off we went to have a slice of pizza. After that, we headed off to the book store for a little book shopping! We found a great big book of Disney fairy tales and a few beginner readers for Leda and Julie Andrews' memoir for Mommy. And then off for home we go.

When we got home, it was time to try out Binky Kitty for the first time! It was nap time! I got Leda into bed and she turned around and said to me, "I want my Binky." I was totally expecting this. Had no clue what I was going to do or say when it happened, but I totally expected it.

Well, I explained to her that we put her binky in Binky Kitty and if she wants to she can hug Binky Kitty when she feels she needs her binky. As I was explaining this to her, I see on her face that she is not buying this, not one bit. The lower lip started protruding out and the poor child's face just looked pitiful. "I want to get another binky" she says to me. So I tell her that big girls don't need binkies and she's a big girl. To which I am told, "I don't want to be a big girl." This is not going well at all.

Some how I get her to settle down, cover up and try and take a nap. 10 minutes later I am summoned back to her room and told, "I'm not tired, I'm awake. And I want a Peanut Jelly sandwich."

After a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, a little play with her stuffed animals, new and old, and a tea party with her dolls, I finally succeeded in getting her to lie down and take a nap for a little while. At this point, she didn't even bother to mention the binky. So not sure if she just forgot it or if she's saving up for tonight's bedtime!

All-in-all, I think it went well. Brock and I had discussed it that if worst came to worst, we could rip open the stuffed animal and dig the binky out. But I think that would just make things worse in the long run. Leda is a binky-free kid from now on. We may pay for it for a few days, or even weeks, but she's done with the binky. And, I am sure, that if we don't pay for it now, there will be a month, maybe even a year, worth of therapy we will pay for in her teens as she works through "the day they made me give up the binky."

So, was that it? Was that the last milestone my baby goes through that indicates she is now a child, not an infant or a toddler anymore? Because I'm starting to feel like I'm leaving a part of this whole experience behind and moving onto the next phase and that my kid, she's getting older and bigger and it won't be long now that I won't be able to cuddle with her like I used to. Geez, guess I'm gonna be the one who needs therapy over this!

Leda and Binky Kitty

Friday, April 4, 2008

Fears

I have a fear of heights. I have a fear of spiders (well, not so much a fear as I just can't stand them, won't have anything to do with them, and please, don't tell me that they are important to the ecosystem, blah, blah, blah...) I have a fear of being inappropriately exposed to the public at large, either by accident or on purpose (not that I would do that on purpose, but in case I would, I have a fear of it!) I fear that I will never look like the models in the Victoria Secret catalog. Ever.

All these fears pale in comparison to my worst fear imaginable, that something, anything, terrible could happen to my child. And although I don't dwell on it, it is something that I feel on occasion and hope never to have to realize.

There are several blogs I visit on a regular basis. I learned of Emily's blog about two years ago from another blog I visit regularly...I read the most hilarious post and have been back on a regular basis since. This week, Emily posted about good friends of hers who are living a parent's worst fear...their 16-month-old little girl, Emily, has been diagnosed with a rare cancerous tumor.

Every day I have with Leda makes me realize how precious she is to me. And when I hear of things like this, it makes me count my blessings. My thoughts and prayers go out to this family and this little girl and I hope she can beat the awful hand she's been dealt. I ask that anyone reading this also sends out a few good thoughts and prayers for this little girl, and, if you are so inclined, there are a few funds set up to raise donations for little Emily. You can find out more at Emily's blog.

Good Fortune

Leda and I are having a girls weekend since Brock is off doing One Lap stuff this weekend.

So I picked her up after work and we headed over to the local Chinese place (in the local supermarket...it's quite good) and we ordered ourselves a little Chinese dinner. Then off to home to eat what Leda described as "Yum, DELICIOUS!" several times during dinner. She said something about Mommy making the best dinners, too, I do believe! ;-)

After dinner she got to have some ice cream since she was so good for me at the store and she ate a really good dinner and we settled down to watch a little Emeril Live - it was an old one from a year or so ago with Jimmy Buffett. Leda and I danced to the music together and had a genuinely awesome time, just us girls.

Just before bed, I let her have her fortune cookie (yeah, yeah, sugar, smuger!) She opened her cookie and of course started shoving it in her mouth while I read her fortune - "You will be successful in everything." What more could a parent want for their child's fortune? Well, I could think of a few other things, but this one is pretty darn good!

I opened my cookie and got my fortune - "You love peace." We hit the jackpot on good fortune tonight, my girl and I!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Year of the Cold

For anyone keeping count, this would be the third cold I have had this year - yes, the past 3 months have consisted of a sinus infection and three colds - one right after the other.

2008 is quickly becoming known as the Year of the Cold.

It was my lovely parting gift from a weekend of training in Boston.

This is getting old. Fast. It's a beautiful day out today but I don't want to go outside because I'd rather climb into bed and go to sleep! Sucks!

I can't wait until spring really appears and I can clean this house out of all the germs that have made themselves at home this winter. It's time for them to leave my house for good!

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