Tuesday, September 22, 2009

End of Summer, 2009

Yeah, Yeah, I know, I was gonna try and update the blog on a more regular basis. Oh well, best intentions and all. I have to admit, with Facebook and the advent of updating everyone in 140 characters or less (albeit, Facebook allows a few more than 140 characters), it's hard to come up with something more substantial for the blog.

I've not given up on it yet. Maybe as the days get shorter and cooler, I'll have more to say.

In any case, here's an update! A little send off to Summer 09! Brock and Leda and I (and Duff) headed down to Avalon this past weekend to have on last beach hurrah...or as Leda has taken to calling, our goodbye to Beach World until next year. It also happened to be our 11th wedding anniversary, so we made a celebration out of it.

We headed down on Friday after Leda's school let out and got down to the house and out to the beach by about 3:30ish. The day was a bit overcast, with the sun peaking through more often than not, a little on the cool side, but still shorts and maybe a sweat shirt for the beach. But not my girl. No, my child went swimming. In the ocean! No fear and no feeling of cold in that kid! Actually, the water was still a bit warm - actually felt good...not cold enough to keep Leda from wading in as far as I would let her go (and then some - she pushes the boundaries on a regular basis!)

Running with the waves

There weren't a lot of people on the beach. There was a couple with their two little children surf fishing next to the tidal pool. We started to walk in the tidal pool when I noticed some type of fish, until I got a closer look and realized they were sharks! Okay, so they weren't BIG sharks...just little sand sharks, maybe 15 or so inches long and all a sand shark might do to you is, well, nothing! Then we saw two, then three...then come to find that the couple that is fishing, well, they are catching the sand sharks and throwing them in the pool to play with. There were like 10 sharks swimming in this pool! They kept trying to beach themselves toward the incoming tide, so when he could, Brock would grab one and walk him the few feet across the sand to the incoming tide. It was neat playing with them, but sad that they were so intent to get back into the ocean that they would try to beach themselves. Thank goodness the tide was coming in!

Sand Shark!

Sand Shark!

On Saturday morning we lounged around for awhile, then got dressed and headed down to the Wetlands Institute for the Wings and Water weekend. We've never been to the institute, and of course we had to go on their biggest weekend of the year. Well, maybe not the biggest, but they had a big ta-do all over the island this weekend. Great thing was the tickets we paid for got us two days of lots of things we could do. We got to see the Peabody Ducks march (kinda like watching the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, once you seen it, you can say you've seen it and you are done!), we got to see the turtles they were going to be releasing into the wild that day (in fact, we kinda helped!), we got to play with turtles and starfish and horseshoe crabs and snakes and geckos and all kinds of fun stuff at the institute.

Turtle

Starfish

After a little lunch and a marshy walk to watch the release of the turtles, we headed back down to the beach for a little fun - on our way down, we saw a wild turkey! Then back to the house for showers and then off to an awesome anniversary dinner at Blackfish Stone Harbor. Blackfish was awesome. Food was great, service was great, company was awesome! Leda fell asleep about half through dinner, but it was a good night. We headed home, put the baby to bed, watched a few movies and then caught a good nights sleep before our last day at the beach.

Sunday was another gorgeous day. I was moving a little slower on Sunday as I had a bit too much fun the night before! But we did get down to the beach - all of us, Duff included! We met a family on the beach who were trying to help a large horseshoe crab back into the ocean (as it was still alive) and we chatted with them a bit while Leda swam in the ocean. As we walked we found lots of fun shells and Leda and Duff chased the seagulls. Toward the end of our walk, we got to see dolphins playing in the surf! It was an awesome walk.

Mommy and Leda

We headed back to shower and headed off to Avalon Community Center for the Wings and Water art show and had a little lunch before taking in the beautiful paintings, carvings and photography. Then, back to the beach for some more swimming and beach combing. We saw more dolphins and played with hermit crabs we found in the tidal pools. It was a beautiful day. We hated to see it go.

11 years

Leda

We said our goodbyes to the beach, cleaned up the house and headed home from Beach World. It was a beautiful weekend and we soaked up as much Vitamin D as we could to get us through the winter. We are already looking forward to going back to the shore next year!

Click here to see all the photos from our weekend!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Leda Envokes Grandma

So, I'm filling up the bathtub for Leda's bath and she and I are having a discussion about how much water we will be filling said bathtub with - Leda believes it should be filled almost to the top, leaving an inch or two from the edge of the tub. Whereas I, being the conservator of water that I am, have told her that we won't be filling it that high!

Leda looks at me, and in all seriousness says to me, "Remember what Grandma says, always do what you want to do!" I asked Leda when Grandma told her this little gem of advice and she told me it was when we were visiting her in May. Leda seems to think that this statement means she can do whatever she wants to do and if she wants to have the bathtub filled to the top, well, Grandma said so!

So, what did I tell Leda, as I turned off the water at the point at which I wanted it filled? "Guess what? Grandma isn't here...and Mommy trumps Grandma!"

Sorry Mom! ;-)

Friday, August 21, 2009

4 Going on 15

I know that when she actually is 15, I'm going to be wishing for these days when she 'acts' like a teenager. I know. I know.

But when you say something to your 4 year old daughter and she turns to her babysitter (who actually is 15) and rolls her eyes and shakes her head with teenager attitude as if to say, "geez, is my mother ever so uncool? Like duh!" I just shudder with fear of what she really will be at 15! And how uncool I will end up being! And dudes, I can be pretty darn cool...really! Oh, shut up!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Shore was a Beauty!

What an excellent week we had last week as we spent the whole week down the Jersey Shore with our friends the Durham's (Jennifer, John and Paige) and Jennifer's brother, Steve (AKA Uncle Beek), and the family dogs, Duff, Max and Ruby!

Vacation started nice and early on Saturday morning, finalized the packing of the car and all three humans and one dog loaded up and off we went in hopes to make it down to Avalon by about 9 am to do the grocery shopping and get to the house by 10 am. We didn't do too bad, we made it to the house by 10:30 am. We got our unpacking done and putting the groceries away and by the time we were done, the Durham's arrived. We got them unpacked, the tent up in the backyard (where Uncle Beek got to sleep so he could be unmolested by the three dogs in the living room!) and after a quick bite for lunch (and off to Kohler's to put in our donut order for Sunday morning), we were off to the beach! Wow, we NEVER get to the beach on Saturday!

The beach was beautiful. And the water was WARM! I swear it only got warmer throughout the week. It was glorious! And Leda, man, is she her mother's daughter...walked right into that ocean and let the waves knock her around, but got herself right back up and walked right back in. I swear she was body surfing before we headed back to the house on that first day!



And basically, except for a few deviations, that was our week! We had great weather...when it rained, it rained at night and though it was hot, the breeze felt good and the water was so nice! We made it to the beach most every day (except 2, I think!)

On Sunday, after picking up our lot of Kohler's donuts for the week (Yum!) Uncle Beek, John and Paige and Leda and I walked across the street and went to Church. Now, it's been quite some time since I had been in a Catholic Church for a Sunday service but John and Paige were going and Leda wanted to go with Paige. I figured what the heck, right...We got seated and Leda looked all around, checked out all the stain glass windows, the missals, the people coming in and as soon as the processional started, she leaned over to me and said, "Mommy, I don't like Church, it's boring!" Oh, boy, was this going well! Well, we somehow made it through the mass and Leda even said hello and shook the hand of the Priest as we left the building. And I wasn't struck down by the hand of God! It was a good morning all in all!

Later that night, after a bike ride, a trip down to the beach again, a great seafood dinner, we were treated to an awesome thunderstorm...nature's fireworks. The sunset that occured during the storm that seemed to pass just to our south, but showed some awesome lightening strikes was beautiful...like the sky was on fire. And yes, I got pictures!

Thunderstorm

Sunset during Thunderstorm!

On Monday, Paige came down with a stomach bug which kept her and Jennifer in bed and back at the house for the day. Brock and I took Leda down to the beach and John joined us for a few minutes while Uncle Beek took a bike ride to Cape May and back (he's nuts! ;-) By Tuesday, Paige was feeling better, so we headed out for a boat ride out into the ocean. It was a sunny and hot day, but it felt nice on the boat. The ocean was an experience! We'd been out there once before, but only for a brief ride up and back when Leda was but a baby. This time, the guys were going to attempt a little fishing and we were thinking about having a little lunch out there!

As we motored down the coast, just off the beaches of Avalon, we noticed schools of fish jumping out of the water, making it look as if it were boiling. We were wondering what was making them do that when all of a sudden, just off the boat toward the shoreline, we saw them...a pod of dolphins! There must have been 6 or 7 or maybe even 8 of them, swimming around out there! It was just so awesome! And, heck yes, I got pictures!

Click on this one and then click on All Sizes and select Large or Original...you can see the dolphin's faces!
Dolphins

Dolphins

After the dolphins swam off, the boat was turned off and the guys got to fishing. The kids were down in the cabin watching videos and I was about to break open my book when Leda came up and announced she wasn't feeling well. Oh boy, we thought that now she had come down with what Paige had had the day before. And not in a great place either! She said she was hungry, and that was probably why her tummy hurt, so Jennifer got her some applesauce and she seemed better. It was about that time that we see the dolphins again, a little closer, but off the bow of the boat out toward the ocean. And yes, we got more pictures (Jennifer was on the bow of the boat and got these, as she was closer!)

Dolphins

Better yet, I got video! Not the best, but it's still video! (and ignore the yelling a screaming...we were all a little amazed by the whole thing!)

Not a few minutes after that, Leda came back up on deck and announced she really didn't feel well. Lucky for us we had a bucket, and after a few false alarms, she let go...turns out our little sailor gets a little seasick when out on the rolling ocean! Poor thing. She ended up falling asleep in my arms while I tried to fight the seasick feeling myself. The boys, after failing to catch anything, decided to pack it in and motor back into the bay. After we made it back into the bay, there were some munchies pulled out and the kid, who had slept for about a half hour, woke up and had a few chips...yep, thank goodness it wasn't the stomach bug, just seasickness, but she got over it quick!

After we made it back to the house, had a late lunch, we headed back down to the beach for some fun in the sun and sand and surf! It was another beautiful beach day.

Wednesday was a little overcast. There were threats of storms, so we decided, after a late big breakfast to head off to Wildwood and walk the boardwalk and ride the rides for the afternoon before heading home for a late dinner. Boy did we have fun. Leda rode a bunch of rides, the penultimate being the Log Flume (twice!) and the Ferris Wheel (while her mother will ride the log flume without much issue, she was firmly planted on the boardwalk during the ride on the Ferris Wheel!) There was game playing in the arcade and some french fries were eaten and some boardwalk games were played! We visited all three amusement piers (there were a lot of 'barking dogs' that night!) and Uncle Beek was the bravest of us all and rode two Xtreme bungee type rides! (yep, told you he was nuts! ;-)

Paige and Leda on Ferris Wheel in Wildwood

Ferris wheel in Wildwood

It threatened to rain all day, but, despite a few rain drops here and there, it was another good day. Hot, but good. Thursday was another beauty, when the wind was back off the ocean (meaning no biting flies!) and so we made it down the beach again! Leda and I came back a little early because she got sand in the eye (it was a bit windy on the beach!) and later that evening, Clamfest 2009 commenced...the boys bought 75 little neck and larger clams for appetizer and Uncle Beek made linguine in clam sauce for dinner. Leda joined the boys in the devouring of the little clams (she likes those best!) and we have video to prove that you are never too young to love eating clams!

Friday was another beach day, our last in fact. We spent a good portion of the day on the beach and in the surf. Even Jennifer made it out into the warm water! Wow! Uncle Beek went for another bike ride (shorter this time, probably due to getting a nail in the tire and having to have the bike repaired!) and didn't join us on the beach, but we think he tired himself out the day before when he spent like 4 hours in the water boogie boarding! Yes, 4 hours, non-stop!!!! Again, nuts! But we love him! ;-)

Uncle Beek and Paige

The Durhams

Leda and Daddy

Saturday we packed up the cars, cleaned the house and headed home. And somehow took a different way home and missed all the going home traffic! Yes, we will be taking that route home again! We had a blast at the beach again this year, due to the great weather, but mostly due to the wonderful vacation companions we have! Even Ruby the crazy-chew-everything-wake-me-up-every-morning dog! ;-) Can't wait until next year!!

Click here to view pictures from the week!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

This Is Not The End!

It's been over a month since my last post! I've never gone so long! Since facebook came along, I've ignored updating the blog. I'd actually thought about closing it up, but not really sure I want to do that just yet.

I'm working on a post about our week down the Jersey Shore last week. Complete with pictures! I'll post that later today or tomorrow. After that, I think I will start posting a little more, maybe twice a week....see if I can get back that blogging vibe!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Snippets of Life

Life is going good around here. So good, I just can't find the time to post to my blog! So here's some snippets of our life lately.

Weekend before last we headed up to Grandpa and Nana Yates' house for the weekend. We saw Nana Pam, Grandpa, Nana Rose, Aunt Stacy and Uncle Todd! And Miss Stephanie stopped by for a chat and Missy did too! We swam and played and had lots of fun. Leda told me "I love you, even when you're cranky." It was a great weekend.

Drawing with Grandpa:
Grandpa and Leda, June 2009

We went and saw fireworks and a band play music in downtown Phoenixville for First Friday/Independence Day. It was lots of fun and the fireworks were awesome, even if some buildings were in the way. I mean, how can fireworks not be good while the band plays "Free Bird" (very well, I might add) behind you! It was great.

We spent 4th of July with the Aunt Jennifer, Uncle John, Aunt Karen, Uncle Chris and Paige at the Durhams. Lots of swimming and good food and good friends. And a fine home fireworks show by us and the neighbors!

Tonight, Leda got out of bed and asked me what I was doing up, when was I going to bed. I asked her why and she said, "Because it's past your bedtime." How do they grow up so fast?

This weekend Brock will race in the 24 hours of LeMons in CT. Leda and I are going to go, but luckily, we booked a hotel with a pool, in case a little one gets bored being at the race track! For her sake, as there could be more trips to race tracks in her future, I hope she doesn't get too bored!

Hopefully I'll post more in July than I did in June! I may have to start doing Tour de France updates! That's what I'm spending the next several weeks drooling over! Go Lance and Team Astana!

Oh, and my Garden, it's just blooming away...my glads...

Glads, July 2009

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Blame it on the Rain

I know, no posting = bad blogger. But it's been raining here for 40 days and 40 nights most of the month and we've seen the sun so rarely I believe that I am suffering Seasonal Affective Disorder in JUNE!

Besides that, we really haven't done anything fun since I last posted, except for this past Saturday night when we went to the Jimmy Buffett concert! That was a blast and a half! Leda stayed the night with Paige so Brock and I had the evening to ourselves, didn't have to worry about getting home to relieve the babysitter, so we even stopped on the way home for a beer. At a bar. A real beer in a real bar. Exciting stuff!

The weather people keep telling us that the weather pattern will be changing soon. Which means we will go from REALLY WET to REALLY HOT and feeling WET (humid). Well, at least everything is green (of course, most of it is moss and mildew!) so things look pretty!

My garden has exploded, so I apparently planted well for monsoon season. I'm thinking, when I have a good weekend (i.e., not raining!) I might be moving some things around. We'll see about that. I definitely have ideas of how I will plant things next year! I'm quite happy with how things are growing. I will have to start coming up with more recipes that use tarragon though, because I have a TON of it!

We are going to head on up to visit with Brock's parents this weekend so I expect I'll have some fun things to post next week. Until then, I will refrain from giving my review of Real Housewives of NJ (Oh.My.Goodness, what a mess!)

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Parenting FAIL

DISCLAIMER: If you haven't seen Marley and Me and have no idea what the movie is about and plan to see it in the future, please don't read any further. There are spoilers!

So Friday night, after dinner, Leda asked if we could watch a movie. We said, sure, let's see what is available On Demand...Look, Marley and Me is available and we haven't seen it yet, would you like to see that. Leda would LOVE to see the movie of the book she got for Christmas (only her Marley book from Christmas isn't quite the same as the book the movie is actually based on, but what the hay, it's a PG movie, doesn't look to be too bad and isn't a movie that Brock and I have seen a billion times already!

Here's the first failure of the night. I read the book the movie is based on (it's is a good book, I recommend it!) so I am quite aware of what happens at the end of the movie. Not even thinking that this is a bad idea! That was the first failure!

Anyhoo, we get the movie started and we are all quite enjoying it. About, oh, maybe a half hour in or so, there's a montage while the lead character voices over about all the things they did in a year...a quick 5 minute review of a year to get you up to speed for the next scene. During this montage, there is mention of Disney World. This is a place we have not as of yet told Leda about. She is clueless to the existence of Disney World. She's totally aware of Disney, but not that there is a place that you can go visit and spend lots more of our hard earned dollars on Disney paraphernalia. And we are quite happy about that for the moment. Anyway, so Disney World is mentioned. Leda perks up immediately and says, "Disney World? Mommy, what is Disney World?" Oh yeah, we are screwed now!

The movie is moving along, it's got some good parts. It's not as good as the book, but no movie is ever as good as the book for me...some come close, but, I just am picky about movies that are made from books...I happen to believe that no one could make a movie better than my imagination. I'm a snob that way! Anyway, so the movie is okay for the younger family member...no real bad language (I think there was one bad word in the whole movie) and no real 'adult situations' that embarrassed the kid's parents!

But, then, there was the end. See, here's the spoiler, Marley gets old and sick and well, he dies. Thus leaving the three Yates blubbering idiots! Brock was the first to start crying, me following pretty soon after and Leda, well, Leda became hysterical by the closing credits. This was the complete failure! I knew exactly what happens at the end of the movie and didn't THINK that this would throw my child into hysterics when I KNEW it would cause her father and I to cry! So, for 20 minutes I tried to console and calm down my poor child who was just beside herself that Marley had to die at the end.

I finally got her to stop crying, "But, Marley dies!!" over and over again and got her to focus on some good stuff and for a good 5 minutes she and I giggled about all the funny stuff in the movie. Of course, she followed up with, "But, then Marley dies" and lots more crying for the next 10 minutes! I finally got her to calm down enough to fall asleep.

Her father and I braced ourselves for the kid to come in to our bed at some point during the night after nightmares of poor old dogs meeting their maker, but she made it through the night without any nightmares and the next day was just talking about the funny stuff in the movie, never mentioning about how Marley dies at the end. So maybe it wasn't as bad as we thought, but I will definitely think twice before I let the kid watch a movie where a beloved pet dies at the end!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Beauty School Dropout

What a weekend. It was a lovely one here. Not humid, but warm and sunny. Perfect, really for the weekend we had.

I woke up Saturday morning needing to get some work out of the way and after I did, I relaxed by tending to my garden and reading a book. We then got ourselves showered and dressed and off to the barn we went to join the Durhams in helping Ms Virginia with her post and rail fence - the boys dug the holes (well, they had already been dug mostly, they dug what they needed to to get the posts in) and centered and leveled the posts and the girls put the rails in. The little girls hung out around the barn and with Ms Virginia's puppy and were very good!

After we finished up what we could there, we loaded up Ms Virginia's tractor and took it over to the Durhams to dig holes over there! As the boys were playing with the tractor and digging the holes, the little girls were playing on the playground and in the field with the dogs until they apparently got tired and headed up to the house. I followed to check on them and they were playing nicely in the den. I saw nothing amiss and told them I was going to go back down to where the other adults were (bad move!) and that if they were going to leave the den or the house, to come tell us where they were.

So, I left them there, walked on down into the backyard. Jennifer was ready to come back up to the house, so we walked back up. The girls were left alone for 7 minutes tops. We walked in the kitchen, yelled for girls who told us they were in the den. Shortly after that, Leda was crying, she had climbed under the coffee table and had gotten her elbow stuck in the rungs. So we extracted her and as I was consoling her, asked her what she was doing. "Hiding," she said. Didn't occur to me to ask from what, assumed it was some game they were playing. Then I got a look at her. And hair was coming out in clumps. "Leda, what did you do?" "Cut my hair."

Can you say devastated? Oh my I was just beside myself. She isn't as bad as I am going to make it seem, but BANGS? She had to cut her bangs practically down to the roots! And not all the way across, mind you, just half way! Then, she cut some off the sides. And not even either, one side is shorter than the other.

Seems she and Paige found some scissors and decided to give themselves haircuts while the adults weren't around. Oh, Leda and I have had talks about scissors before, but apparently those talks didn't do anything! So we had ourselves another little talk. She is banned from scissors unless she has adult supervision. And if she is found with scissors or having used scissors without prior permission, she can kiss using scissors again until she's able to move out of the house on her own. And that was drilled in over the next 10 minutes or so as I brushed out her hair and tried not to burst out in tears.

Oh, and the girls won't be allowed unsupervised playtime for quite some time.

Of course, I had to take the obligatory picture of Daughter's handy work to embarrass her with the rest of her life!

Being 4, she has no concept of embarrassment, so she'll go to school tomorrow with not a care in the world! Oh well, I just keep telling myself that it could have been worse...if we hadn't come back in 7 minutes, what they might have done to the rest of the hair on their heads!

Well, a few drinks (for me, that is!) and all was better a little while later! And after a good night's sleep, we got up on Sunday morning, got showered up, got our hair fixed up (as well we could) and we headed over to the Durhams to meet Aunt Jennifer, Aunt Karen, Paige and Sydney for a trip to Longwood Gardens! The girls had a great time, as did the adult girls! The tree house features were a blast! Except the second one, I didn't like the second one, too high up and they had a glass floor - didn't do well for my fear of heights! But I did climb up there, so give me a bit of credit!

Sydney, Paige and Leda

See more pictures from Longwood here!

After a whole morning and early afternoon at Longwood, back the Durhams for some pool time and some dinner and home again in the evening. What an exhausting and fun weekend we had! Even if we did make it through with a little less hair than we started it with!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Florida Trip - "Go Faster Daddy!"

When Brock told me that he booked Daytona for the 2009 One Lap, I instantly knew I was gonna wanna go there! It's been 5 years since I had attended any One Lap event and I had been itchin' to get back out to South Bend to see some friends I hadn't seen in quite some time. But a 9 hour car ride by myself with a 4 year old (or an 1 year old, 2 year old or 3 year old) wasn't what I thought would be an "awesome" road trip! Love my kid, but 9 hours in a car all alone with her was probably just the ticket to throw me over the edge of insanity!

So, I contacted my Mom who lives 1 1/2 hours from the track and planned a week long trip with Leda - two-fold, Leda got to spend a week with her Grandma and Granddaddy and we all got to spend a day at Daytona hanging out with the One Lap. Oh, yeah, and maybe there might be a ride around the track thrown in there somewhere!

That was the plan, and it executed perfectly. Leda and I flew down to Florida on Saturday, the start of the One Lap and we had a wonderful couple of days hanging out with the 'rents (or the g-rents!) and going to the beach, and shopping, and playing in the hot tub! I had to work most of the week, one of the 'perks' of working remotely, I can work anywhere there is wifi. So, to save some vacation time, and having lots to do for work, I worked. But Leda got to spend time with her grandparents and that was most important.

On Wednesday morning, we got up, packed up the van and headed to Daytona. We got there just as the first session was winding down, so Brock could spend a little time with us. He mostly scooted off on the motorized bar stool with my child!

Brock and Leda

Believe me, the look in the picture is because she doesn't want her picture taken. She LOVED riding around on that thing with him!

Between sessions, Brock was going to do some hot laps with the MotorTrend guys - they covered the One Lap this year. Anyway, he told Larry to hop in back of the BMW and off they went! Larry got a hot lap of the full 24 hour course - top speed was 152. Larry was totally psyched! He loved it! He got a great picture from the backseat:

Daytona - hot lap

The MotorTrend guys took a great video of it as well!

After all that, Brock loaded us all into the BMW - Larry in the front, Me, Leda and Mom in the backseat (after we loaded Leda's car seat into the car!). And we lined up all the cars participating and took several parade laps around the NASCAR track. It wasn't near as fast as Larry's trip around the track, but we hit 100 a few times. The track was amazing. You don't realize how steep the banking in the turns is until you are on it! The slower we went, the more I had the sensation that we were going to roll down the hill, side to side! It was enough for me to join in Leda's chants of "Go faster Daddy, Go faster Daddy" just so that sensation went away!

We loved it! It was the most fun I've had at a track in quite some time!

We walked around and visited with several of the One Lap competitors, friends we hadn't seen in some time, some who hadn't yet met Leda! And we got to see Granddad and Fay and Uncle Wayne! They had fun on One Lap once again - my father's 20th! What glutton's for punishment! ;-)

We headed home after a while, Leda was complaining and wanted to go play in the hot tub some more! We had a great (HOT) day at Daytona. Hopefully we can do that again - or even better, Brock can some how convince Indianapolis to rent One Lap the track next year! ;-)

We had a great couple more days with Granddaddy and Grandma...Leda spent some more time in the hot tub, the Grandparents took her to the zoo and they had lots of fun feeding birds and the giraffes. And then we took Grandma and Granddaddy out to dinner for Mother's day on Friday before we left. I finally got them to take me to Whitey's Fish Camp. Awesome dinner!

On the Carosel

Before we headed home on Saturday, we stopped by Uncle Tony and Aunt Diane's house and visited with them and Lisa and Randy and Brad and Kate joined us for lunch. Randy and Kate then took Leda and I on a Gator Ride around the farm. It was lots of fun! I think Leda and I are trying to come up with ways to talk Daddy into buying a big ole farm so we can get a Gator and ride around on it! ;-) We were so lucky to get to see some family, even if for a few hours, before we headed home!

Home we came on Saturday night and on Sunday night, Daddy came home and we had a great dinner of Thai takeout. It was good to be home and all together after a busy week!

More pictures from Daytona and our fun in Florida here. Courtesy of Granddaddy (Larry) Sweat and Grandma (Maureen) Sweat!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Festival Weekend

May really snuck up on us and slapped us upside the back of our heads! One Lap and a trip to FL in the same week really messed us up. We weren't prepared for the Dogwood Festival to be here last week!

The past two years we have gone with the Flogaus's but this year, the Flogaus's and the Yates's had different plans...the kids got to stay home and the parents went out to dinner and a show. No festival, but man, was it good.

A few weeks or so ago, on a family outing (meaning we had the kids with us), we got to discussing Spinal Tap, which lead to a discussion of Mighty Wind and then a light bulb went off, hey, weren't those guys touring and weren't they going to be playing at the Keswick (Brock's and my favorite venue!)? And would we all love to go? So tickets were purchased and reservations for dinner were made and a babysitter was procured and off we went to see Shearer, Guest and McKean play in their Unwigged and Unplugged tour and man, it was good!

Side note...we got to Glenside and parked and were walking over to dinner at Brock's and my favorite restaurant Plush when lo and behold, who but Michael McKean goes walking by us. Pretty cool!

Concert was great. These guys, even though they are funny as all get out, really play great music together. So the night was just awesome. And we got the added surprise of two songs sung by Annette O'Toole, Michael McKean's wife. Bonus!

So, no festival for us during the week, but Brock and Leda and I did head down on Saturday afternoon to watch the parade (because, I LOVE a parade). Leda was getting a bit mad about having to wait for a parade when she could have been riding the Ferris wheel, until I reminded her that they throw candy from the floats and such and then she was all, "so when is the throwing of the candy going to start??" We didn't make it all the way through the parade, we ended up going to ride the Ferris Wheel (clarification, I WATCHED while Leda and Brock rode the Ferris Wheel!).

Leda

We headed back later after dinner to let Leda ride a few rides and spend obscene amounts of money to win two 50 cent stuffed animals. And then, there was the fish game.

Oh, how I would like to wring the neck of the person who put the idea into my child's head that festivals were places where you got fish! For some reason, ever since I had mentioned to the kid that we were going to go to the Festival on Saturday she's been talking about winning a fish. I had spent that time ignoring these statements, hoping against hope the kid would forget. But she's descendant from elephants, she NEVER forgets.

So, the entire night I was steering her away from the fish games and on to other games, games that won us 50 cent stuffed animals that I didn't have to clean up after or feed! Until at last, we were getting ready to go and the only way out was to go past the fish game.

I figured, what are the odds Leda or I would actually get one of those ping pong balls into one of those little bowls of water? Not good, in fact, $2 and 10 balls later, whew! No winner! Awesome. And then..AND THEN...the kind lady (read: I want to wring her freakin' neck) handed Leda a small fish..."He's a little one and it's the last night of the festival, no harm, no foul." EXCEPT YOU HANDED THE KID THE FISH!!! Now, what crazy mother is going to tell the kid no and then drag her through the whole darn fair kicking and screaming????? So, we took the darn fish.

Puddles the Fish

So, Puddle the Fish joined our family. Leda wanted to sleep with him by her bed! The kid is enamored with the fish. And so I dug out the small aquarium I had from a few years ago and cleaned it up on Sunday and Leda and I went out and purchased a buddy for Puddle, Toot. And now, Leda wants to feed Toot and Puddle ALL DAY LONG!

I swore after I saw Finding Nemo I would never again have a fish aquarium. I swear the fish are yelling "GET ME OUT OF HERE!" at me. Then again, when we purchased Toot, he was in an aquarium all by himself with really big fish. I asked the pet store lady, "is that a gold fish," and she replyed, "yes, he's the other fishes's meal." So Toot could be a bit more grateful, we did save him from certain death!

So that was our week and weekend. It was awesome!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Catch Up!

Okay, trying to catch up with some stuff, then hopefully I can get back to normalcy around here!

So, I've posted some new pictures to flickr!

Leda and I went on her school trip to a local farm - the Milky Way Farm. We had a blast. It was really interesting. I think the parents got more out of it than the kids did, but it was fun and ended with some fresh made ice cream from the farm creamery while taking a hay ride! Lots of fun!

For Leda's birthday, we took an afternoon off a few days prior to the big day and took her to Adventure Aquarium (formerly the Camden Aquarium). Another fun day! We saw lots of fish, some sharks, got to pet sharks and rays and starfish, saw penguins and seals and HIPPOS! It was a lot of fun and Leda really enjoyed it. Especially the mango water ice at the end!

So, now that I am caught up on April photos, I'll catch up later with a post about our trip to Florida and our lap(s) around Daytona International Speedway with Daddy! Awesome!! Stay tuned!

Click the links to go see the pictures!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hello...(HELLO...Hello...hello...)!

Yes, I do believe that was an echo. Boy have I been a horrible blogger. This month has just smacked me upside the head and rolled over me on the way out of town!

Yes, a child in the house turned four. And I missed blogging it. But my excuses are many...and I think they are quite good. I had the install from hell which had me traveling to NJ three times in the two weeks prior to her birthday. Not to mention a ton of work in the office. Kind of work that makes you want to through the computer out the freakin' window when you are done. No, I didn't, instead, personal computing took a way back seat! I think I twittered a few times and posted a status or two on facebook.

Then there was the birthday party. And the planning, and the cleaning, and the cooking and the baking. Not to mention the cupcakes I had to make for Leda's school birthday party. First time I've ever made cupcakes...and I made two different types of cupcakes AND two different kinds of icing within 3 days! (the second batch was AWESOME, but buttercream tends to do that for cupcakes!)

I was so darn busy, I completely forgot to take pictures at my own child's birthday party! Bad Mama! But then again, I do believe this would make the 4th birthday in a row that I didn't take one picture! So I will rely on the wonderful friends we had spend the day with us to hopefully forward me a picture or two!

We did take some time on Thursday afternoon last week to take Leda to the NJ Aquarium. We LOVED it. It was a blast! We went in the afternoon and we were lucky enough to get there just after the last school trip had left! So it wasn't overrun with kids! Awesome!

So, I have pictures to post - all the way back to Leda's school trip to a local farm and pictures from our trip to the aquarium. Whether that will happen before Leda and I head off to FL for next week to spend some time with Grandma and Granddaddy or not, well, I guess we'll all have to be surprised! I'm going to try, if not by the end of the week, sometime next week!

One Lap is upon us. Brock's already gone and it's just Leda and I. So we'll just have to see what I can do to post something here before mid-May! ;-)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Wouldn't Change it for the World

This week has been tough. Work is crazy (just a lot of work to get done and an on site on Friday!), we had the memorial service yesterday, Brock is working today and tomorrow, which means I am single parent for two days, including a nursery school field trip to a local farm tomorrow morning.

Not to mention the not sleeping well (snoring husband, obnoxiously loud cat who apparently finds pleasure in meowing VERY LOUDLY at 5 o'clock in the morning) and the early morning that the kid thrust onto me this morning (5:30..."I can't sleep. It's time to get up." Who the heck's kid is this anyway????)

But as I sit here trying to figure out how I am going to keep my brain working enough so I can watch LOST tonight (I have my priorities straight!), I am listening to my almost 4 year old (FOUR!! Oh.My.God!) playing in the bathtub and I smile and think, there's nothing I would trade for this. NOTHING. Would.Not.Have.It.Any.Other.Way. Nope.

(Well, I might trade the cat for something. Anything. Especially if Anything is QUIET!!)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Miscellany

What a busy Easter weekend we had.

Saturday we headed over to the Durhams for a mini-Easter Egg hunt with Paige and Sydney and a nice casual dinner.

Hunting Eggs

Bounty!

Saturday night the Easter Bunny visited and dropped off some candy, some presents and decorated our table with the eggs we decorated the previous night!

Easter Bunny has been and gone!

Sunday morning, Leda walked out and practically missed the fun stuff she received from the Easter Bunny. But she finally saw everything and played with the fairies and ate some jelly beans and even had an egg or two along with the bacon Daddy made for breakfast!

Easter Bunny Prizes!

The rest of the weekend was spent planting some seeds for the garden (this year, we are going with flowers, herbs and hot peppers!) and prepping the garden for fertilizer next week and MAYBE some plantings! Oh, and reading. I actually read a book yesterday. A whole book. Little Bee by Chris Cleave. Great story, and, according to the book sleeve, that's all I am really allowed to say. I don't want to spoil the plot!

Tomorrow Brock and I will attend a memorial service for our wonderful neighbor Jean Mansur who passed away last Monday. She had been sick for quite some time and died peacefully in her sleep. She was a wonderful woman and we miss her terribly but are relieved she is no longer in pain. Tomorrow will be a tough day.

I'm working on some posts. Posts with substance. Really. I promise.
Happy Easter!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Friday Night Easter Egg Decorating

Tonight saw a very successful night of decorating Easter eggs. I even let go and let Leda do it her way!

This year I bought her little rollers to paint on the dye.
Leda Paints eggs!

I told her she could use different colors on the same egg, but she stuck with one color per egg!

Daddy didn't...
Daddy helps!

Mommy stuck to the old fashion way of decorating eggs...a dye pill and some water (and a little vinegar for some of the lighter colors)...
Mommy does it the old fashion way

We had fun!
Leda

And we have a beautiful crop of Easter Eggs for the Easter Bunny on Sunday!
This year's crop of Easter Eggs

We are ready for Easter!
Click here for a few more pictures!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Blog Neglect!

It's a good thing your blog can't be seized by 'blog services' and fostered by much better blog parents. Because this here blog, it would be in foster care faster than I could blink.

I am going to try and do better, I promise. I had a good start before strep invaded our home. It's bad enough it attacked my kid, thank goodness it stopped with her! At least, I hope it's not lurking!! She was a totally different kid after 48 hours of pure hell. Brock came home to a kid who looked and acted like she had absolutely nothing wrong with her. So he totally missed out on all the fun and owes me big! ;-)

I got to go see an awesome band on Friday night in town with a friend - Gaelic Storm. I highly recommend! It was a total riot and the music was awesome. Second best Irish band ever (after Rathkeltair, of course! ;-)

Saturday night we watched Villanova lose to UNC. It was heartbreaking, but what an awesome run they had. I really could care less about basketball - except when my niece and nephew are playing and of course, hometown teams are doing well. So I have had my fill of basketball for the next year!

Leda is on Spring Break this week (really? Seriously? Preschoolers need a spring break? Please!) so she's home all day on Tues and Thurs this week. She and I are going to go have a mommy/daughter lunch downtown at the coffee shop on Thursday. Something I promised a week or so ago. That should be some fun. This weekend we'll decorate eggs and hope the Easter Bunny visits with lots of Jelly Belly jelly beans for Mommy Leda!

That's all for now. But I promise, I will be back very soon with better and more posts!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Spelling Bee

Leda and I made it out yesterday to do a little shopping at Costco and Barnes & Noble. Kid was feeling ten times better and Mama was calm. Not necessarily less tired, but definitely calmer.

So on our way to B&N, we are stopped at a light next to one of these gas stations:
logo1line

Leda says to me, "Mommy, I know what that says," and I said, "Oh yeah?" and she says...

"Yeah, it says L U K Drop 1 L"

I almost missed the light turning green, that was so darn cute. And really good! Maybe not exactly correct, but very good!

I explained to her that the drop was representing an O and the 1 was actually an I. She said "Oh." And was onto the next thing. Like how may books she was going to get at the book store!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Best Laid Plans

Well, I should learn never to plan ahead. Because, most likely, those plans are gonna get messed with!

I had the whole weekend figured out - Brock leaves Friday morning, I pick Leda up at daycare in the evening, we have Chinese and watch a movie OnDemand. Then all the plans for Saturday - girls lunch, shopping, etc. And on Sunday, a little planting and cleaning up outside.

Thursday night - no, make that Friday morning at 2:30 AM, those plans began to crumble.

Leda woke up and was really hot. Took her temp and looked to be about 101 degrees. So I gave her a little Motrin and back into bed. Seemed fine in the morning, but didn't really eat any breakfast, but didn't complain about not feeling well and her temp was normal. So off to daycare Brock took her before heading out of town.

Two hours later, daycare calls - kid's spiked the temp again, can you come get her. Also, complaining about a sore throat. Not sure if it's possibly chicken pox (which a kid in her nursery school apparently had last week) or strep (which a kid at daycare had last week). Brought her home with thoughts of calling the doctor if her temp didn't come down with the dose of Tylenol the daycare gave her. On the way home, she threw up. Just a little and was clear because she hadn't eaten, but definitely meant a trip to the doctors.

Into her pajamas and into Mama's bed for a little relaxing before the Dr appt. She said she was hungry and wanted Yogurt. Funny blue colored Yogurt. So I gave it to her, she ate it all and seemed fine, temp down to normal. Off to the doctors we go...

Doc takes a look at her and says it is definitely something going on in the throat area. Strep culture taken, told I'd get a call in the am if it's Strep, otherwise, it is probably a viral infection. Okay. Off to home we go, in the MINI. Not 20 feet from the parking spot at the Dr office, projectile vomiting in the MINI. Remember what she had for lunch? Oh yeah! Pretty!

Home we got, changed we got. Into bed kid got. Off to clean the Mini Mama went.

Temperature stuck around most of the rest of the day. And, the child who never EVER gave us issues with taking medicine is now spitting back up the Motrin/Tylenol every time I give it to her. She isn't hungry, is fighting me taking medicine and ends up with a temp of 103 degrees before bed. Asked neighbor to run to the drug store to get me some children's Tylenol, as I am out! Luckily, I did get some Tylenol in her and temp came down by 11PM.

At 2:30AM, I got a visitor. She seemed fine, just wanted to sleep with me. No problem, but this also meant that the dog, who was perfectly happy sleeping in his own bed prior to the middle of the night visitor, ALSO needed to sleep with me. Kid tossed and turned and then wanted some water. After about 40 minutes or so of that, she announces that she can go back and sleep in her own bed. Okay, fine. 20 minutes later, she needed to go potty. 20 minutes after that, needed more water. 20 minutes after that, she was desperate to brush her teeth "before the fall out." Finally, she quieted down and we were all back to sleep around 4AM.

7AM this morning. Kid's awake and feeling fine. Good. I did what every horrible mother does and let her watch some TV while I tried to sleep a little more! 7:30AM, she announces a headache. More fighting to get the Motrin down. 10 minutes later, doc office calls - it's strep. Calling in prescription to pharmacy.

Take shower (see, did get ONE planned thing done this weekend!) and off Leda and I go to pharmacy for her medicine. Also picked up Pedilyte Popsicles - these will come in handy later today as I will need to use them as a bribe to Leda to keep down the medicine! As I did with the vitamin that she wanted to take instead of the medicine that she spit up at me! Oh, this weekend is getting funner and funner!

20 minutes later, Leda tells me she feels good and that we should be able to proceed with our plans for the weekend. At least the one where we go to Target and buy the Pinocchio movie (of course, this is the only one that is of any importance to her!) So, we'll see. Maybe after lunch, we will venture out to Target. We'll see. The only plan we have now is to fly by the seat of our pants!

And hope my baby feels better soon!!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Right!

Toward the end of dinner, which Leda ate EVERY LAST BITE of, Leda looks over at Daddy's plate, which had the leftover of the second piece of fish he took to eat and told him that she ate good and that he needed to finish everything on his plate. In an attempt to 'correct' her, Daddy explained that he went back for seconds, he had already eaten a full course of dinner and didn't really need to finish what was left on his plate. Leda replied,

"We (meaning her and I) are right, you are wrong, Daddy."

And I thought she wouldn't figure out men so early in life! ;-)

Rainy Day

Well, this might be the format/picture/colors you get to deal with for the next few months - this is looking like it's gonna be the 'Spring' look to this blog! I've still a bit of work to do on it, like add my links back in, but it's pretty much what it's gonna look like for a little while! Hope you like it! (being that my Mom and my sister and my sister-in-law are are 3 of my 4 or 5 regular readers and my Mom has already piped in her vote, I've got about 20-25% approval already!)

It's a bit of a rainy day here. I had some posts in mind, at least one I thought I would get done tonight, but now, with the rain, my brain is again on post strike. Hoping that with a nice sunny day, I might be able to bring this site back to life! In the meantime, this is what you get...a preview of our upcoming weekend...

Leda and I are going to have a girls weekend since Daddy's off to play with cars this weekend. This was Leda's request of me this morning for us to do this weekend: "Mommy, I want to buy the Pinocchio movie and watch it with you." It's a good thing she has a Target Gift Card to use...so we will be purchasing the movie on Saturday.

So far this is our list of things we will be doing this weekend:

1. Lunch date at the Cheesecake Factory (got a gift certificate I've got to use)
2. Use up Mommy's B&N gift certificates (we LOVE book shopping!)
3. Use Leda's Target gift certificate (on previously mentioned Pinocchio movie. And, hello? Target!)
4. Watch previously mentioned movie with Leda and a large bowl of popcorn! With butter!
5. Buy herb and pepper seeds and plant for garden.

We've got a busy weekend so far. Wondering when the sleeping will occur! ;-)

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Uh Oh...

It might be time for a little sprucing up of the site. Hey, even if I am not here as often as I would like, I still want my space on the internets to look good!

So, don't be surprised if the site looks a bit different from day to day! Or hour to hour. I'm gonna experiment! Maybe. Or maybe not. We'll see!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Sweet...

I was in the kitchen this afternoon when Brock walked in and pulled Leda's lip gloss out of his pocket. Aunt Jennifer had purchased the lip gloss for her when we were up in the Poconos yesterday. He proceeded to tell me the story about how he had ended up with the lip gloss.

Leda had been playing with the next-door neighbors and they invited her in for some cake for a birthday they were throwing for their friend Lorraine*. Brock went over to get her and witnessed her telling Lorraine that she hadn't a present for her, she didn't know she would be coming to a birthday party. But she had her lip gloss in her pocket so she pulled it out and gave it to Lorraine as her present.

Brock said that he spoke with Lorraine after and told her that the lip gloss was Leda's favorite. Lorraine gave Brock back the lip gloss to give back to Leda later.

I hope she always is so giving and thoughtful of others. I really have no clue how she learned that. I'm in awe of my little, sweet girl.

(*Lorraine is a grown-up, lest anyone things that Brock 'stole' back the lip gloss from a little girl!) ;-)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Last Snow

Hopefully this was the last snow storm of this winter...of course, this was over two weeks ago!



Find the white dog!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Secrets

Leda announced after dinner, "I learned a new song at school today."

I was intrigued, "Can you sing me the song?"

"No, it's a secret."

"Why is it a secret?"

"Because. And I can't tell you or else it won't be a secret anymore."

Hate those loopholes.

Oh, and happy 600th post to me! ;-)

Monday, March 9, 2009

What I Would Tell My 25 Year-Old Self

If I could go back in time and have a visit with my 25 year-old self, there are LOTS of things I would tell her. First, I'd have her go back to our 19 year-old self and tell HER that there are some guys you dont't date more than once. But that's a WHOLE other post.

One of the things I would tell her is you won't have to live paycheck to paycheck forever. I used to freak out about not having enough money. Not that I wasn't able to make it by week to week and still have a couple bucks to spend out with friends. But I worried constantly about the unknown...you know, medical, dental and eyes, not to mention anything that might go wrong with my car!

My 25 year-old self used to put off going to the doctor, dentist and eye doctor. I know, horrible, right. But when you don't have money in the bank, unless you are in pain or dying, why spend what you don't have, right? That girl, back then, she stressed about that, praying that her teeth didn't fall out or her eye sight didn't fail, but since nothing was hurting or falling out or failing, she didn't make the appointment.

My 41 year-old self is thankful to that 25 year-old because she stressed enough that she took good care of her teeth. Not one cavity since we were 13 or 14. I'm also thankful she wore the glasses she has had since college as much as she did because it turns out, my 41 year-old self's eye sight is actually BETTER now than it was in my 20s. Still needs corrective lenses, but they are still better!

But most of all, I want to let that 25 year-old know how good - GOOD - it feels to be able to pay for a new pair of corrective lenses and an eye exam. Really. I mean, it sucks to have to pay so FREAKIN' much in less than 30 minutes, but the glasses are gonna look HOT! And YOU CAN AFFORD THEM!

I think she'd be able to stress a little less about money if she knew that some day, she wouldn't have to stress so much.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Guess My Mood...

Cowboys Let T.O. Go!

Okay, don't want to have a TOTALLY lame post, one that is purely spiteful and mean.

We need one of these in the States. Preferably close to home!

The kid could have as many Barbies as she wanted, as long as Mama can have a few glasses of wine! Awesome idea by Mattel!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sing With Me

Last night, on our way home from shopping (after ice skating lessons and dinner with Daddy), I had the radio on to the local classic rock station and Pure Prairie League's "Amie" came on. This is one of Brock's favorite songs, one which I have on the iPod and is part of a playlist entitled "Leda's Songs" because it also has the "UgaUga" song on it (also known as "Hooked On A Feeling"). So it's a familiar song!

So, driving home, I'm singing along with the radio, as I am apt to do and at some point, I realize, I'm not the only one singing. Leda's singing along with the chorus. And not just humming, actually singing the words!

In fact, when we got home, I had her go sing the chorus to Brock and she sang it just perfect!

Awesome. I'm breaking out the U2 and Rolling Stones!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Missing My Baby

I've been missing my baby and her daddy for the past couple of days. They headed up to spend some time with Grandpa and Nana and I had to stay home and work. It's been quiet around here!

Thank goodness they come home tomorrow!

The kid is growing up fast. The past month she has started signing her name to everything. If she finds a pen and paper lying around, she signs her name. In fact, when we had to make 14 valentines cards for her preschool friends, she signed every single one! Wow. Blows me away! She was just a baby not too long ago!

Each day they have called me. Leda has been talking to me on the phone - not just hello and thank you very much but I have things to do, but really talking to me. Telling me what they have been doing. Telling on Daddy!

Yeah, so she calls me this afternoon - they spent the afternoon with Nana Rose and went to a kid's museum in the Rochester area. She gets me on the phone and she says, "Mommy, I have something to tell you," and I say sure, go ahead, and she says, "Daddy smoked a cigarette in the car!" And boy was she mad. She knows Daddy isn't allowed to smoke in the car. And I told her we would give him a time-out when they got home! Brock goes on to elaborate that he didn't smoke it for long, had the window down but she yelled at him and gave him so much grief, he threw it out. Good for my kid! Daddy ain't getting away with anything anymore! ;-)

Anyway, I'm missing my baby. Missing my family. Duff and I will be very happy to see them when they get home!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Where the "White Man Can't Dance" Came From

A blogger I read on a regular basis (Blurbomat) had a post this week entitled Why YouTube Was Invented. The ensuing comments brought out more stuff that could be evidence of why YouTube was invented, but I think this sample indicates how the notion that the white man can't dance came to be. Best evidence of this happens at about the 2:50 mark.

I am also deeply scarred from watching this. I am not sure whether to laugh or cry.



This may also be further evidence as to why disco died. Or, better yet, why it had to die.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lessons

Tonight was the start of Leda's ice skating lessons.

There were several kids at her level or lower (meaning they've been on the ice once or never) and then there were several kids at a higher level (meaning that they were 3 feet-tall rockets on the ice...geez!) Leda wasn't going on the ice without me so I asked and the teacher said that was fine, so I went out with her. Basically tonight was learning to 'walk' on the ice and if you fall, how to get up on your feet again.

Leda did well at the 'walking' although she spent the second half of the session hanging on to me more than doing it herself. She was doing great until she had fallen for the umpteenth time...the one time she fell and it hurt! She was fine, no damage, just a little scare, that, oh, maybe if I don't do this right, I might get hurt. There was more hanging on after that. But she did really good for the first 20 minutes. Then, her attention was all over the place, especially with the candy and the toy coin machines! And, when can I get one of those?

We got ourselves off the ice for a few minutes, to re-group. I asked if she was having fun (for like the billionth time) but this time, instead of nodding, she replied "No!" I asked her why. "I don't like to fall." Oh, big lesson here...if you learn how to skate properly, then you won't fall! "Mommy, when can I get some candy." Lesson apparently over.

I did get her back out on the ice for the rest of the 30 minute class. I wanted to make sure she wasn't giving up just because she had fallen. After a few more minutes, we got off the ice and then she got her toy. And then we packed it up and headed on home.

We discussed the class on the way home and I kept telling her we would be heading back next week for the next class. She seemed to understand, but then she might have been too busy thinking about her toy or the dinner we were about to get! I'm thinking that this might end up being her first lesson in economics when I have to 'force' her back out onto the ice next week because, "Mommy paid money for this, Leda. You are GOING to learn how to skate whether you like it or not!"

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Time For an Update

Wow...two weeks without a posting...how could I ever stand to stay away for so long? Um, it's called mid-winter blahs mixed with writer's block. Bad combination.

Seriously, I really should start to think about finding a house in the Caribbean that I can work from starting the beginning of January until the middle of March or so! So really hate these winter months.

Anyway, it's been a crazy bunch of weeks here. Really not a lot happening, but when something is happening, it's a lot! Last weekend we took Leda ice skating for the first time. I've been ice skating a total of like 3 or 4 times in my life (and all in the second half of my life) and Brock hadn't been skating for, like, ever. So what do you think qualified US to take our almost 4 year old skating for the first time? Absolutely nothing!

But we got her laced up, got ourselves laced up, went out onto the ice only to have to turn around and get off because by the time we got to the rink and got skates and got them on, it was time for the Zamboni to come out to clean up the ice! So we watched and then we went out on the ice. Brock promptly lost his balance, his feet went straight up into the air and down on his back he went. Needless to say, he sat out for the rest of the skate. So it was up to me to take Leda around the rink. I got her up against the wall, so she held the wall with one hand and around we went. And down she went many a time. Amazingly enough, I never fell. Not once. Thank goodness for those many Saturdays at Mountain View rollerskating my teens away.

We skated for a bit more, Mommy got a few turns around the rink on her own and then we headed home. Where we all relaxed for a bit, then decided that Daddy need to go to the ER because his back REALLY hurt. Two hours later, it's just a bad bruise, but Daddy got some good drugs to help him feel better! Luckily it wasn't another broken rib (or three!)

Leda really liked the skating so I took her back again this weekend (notice, Brock did not attend this skating session!) and we signed her up for lessons before she and I hit the ice for a little while. She'll start lessons next week! We are both excited...she'll take lessons and afterwards, we get an hour or so of free skate. Good Mommy/Daughter time! Hey, I might actually be able to burn a calorie or two if she knows what she's doing!

Waiting for the Zamboni to finish

Skating

The rest of the two weeks consisted of trying to teach Leda how to clean up her toys. Oh, was that a load of fun. There was a battle of wills and thank goodness, Mommy won. Needless to say, it was not a fun evening, but the point was made and Leda will now clean up her stuff when asked...for the most part. There still is a lot of whining and crying to go along with it.

Today there was a day at the barn with Paige and Miss Jennifer and Mr. John. Miss Virginia let Leda 'borrow' Comet (a pony) for the day as Leda's pony and Leda got to go for a great ride around the riding ring. I don't have pictures yet to post because I was helping, so I have to get pictures from the Durhams! Leda loved it. She got to brush her horse and ride and put her away. And then she got to help feed the horses! The kid wants horse riding lessons now. We are in deep!

Miss Virginia, Leda and Comet



Mud Puddles!

So it's been pretty busy, but still a little relaxing around these parts. Leda will start her skating lessons on the 18th, so we'll have lots to say after her lessons. And we will be going to the mid-winter Irish Festival next week with our cousins Calean and Tristan, so we should have more pictures to post then! We'll try to keep you up to date on our goings ons as much as we have stuff going on! Stay tuned. Spring is just around the corner!! (I sure hope!!!)

Monday, January 26, 2009

America's Next Top Model?

When we went on our trip to the Franklin Institute last weekend, Leda posed for pictures...very model like. Where the heck do they learn that?

She is SO not allowed to sign up for Tyra Banks' show yet. Maybe for Cycle 35!

ANTM Cycle 35?

ANTM Cycle 35?

ANTM Cycle 35?

Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Random Ten

Sometimes, I swear, iTunes knows more than it should. Or is somehow programmed to know exactly what songs would be apropos.

The Weight, The Band
The Chain, Fleetwood Mac
Crazy, Seal
You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin', Righteous Brothers
Terry's Song, Bruce Springsteen
Scream, Seven Nations
Grapefruit - Juicy Fruit, Jimmy Buffett
Rattlesnake, Live
Hot Cha, They Might Be Giants
Pinch Me, Barenaked Ladies

We had a pretty busy week here...Grandma and Granddaddy where here last weekend, Inauguration on Tuesday, Aunt Bet here for dinner last night. We are pretty tired and really looking forward to a relaxing weekend!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Red, White and Blue

Red, White and Blue. January 20, 2009

What a beautiful day on so many levels.

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