Saturday, January 31, 2009

From me to you....

Hey girlfriend - it's time we had a chat...

There are a few things about moms that I want to pass onto you Lynley. Little secrets - from me to you.....

First, if you just smile... it'll get you everywhere you want to go. They go crazy for smiles!

Now, when you are having tummy time.... I know you don't like it, BUT - just pretend to move your hands and they'll think you are learning to crawl. They go crazy over us when we start moving around.
And, proper head posture is very important to them during tummy time. So just keep looking up and smiling! I'm telling you - they eat this stuff up!

One day when you are a little bigger we'll have tea parties and such. Until then, just keep chewing on stuff - before you know it, you'll have teeth.

Now, I'm going to let you borrow my exesaucer. It's actually not mine - it's borrowed, so take good care of it. When you get in here - just take it slow, all these fun little gadgets can be a little overwhelming. I'm a little too big for it now - but it's fun to try it out anyway. Here's me when I was your age... notice how I take my time taking it all in. The ice cream come was my favorite thing to chew on.
And, be sure to enjoy the jumperoo as well. I always liked it - here I am when I was just 4 months old too. Can you believe I was once little like you, Lynley? See - you'll grow up to be a big girl like me too!

And I had to show you a picture of me enjoying my favorite toy. I hope you like playing with it too.

Prayer Request

I just wanted to send out a prayer request for Taylor. You can read about her story on the Caring Bridge link to the right. To summarize really briefly - she was involved in a fire pit accident and is in recovery from major major burns. It's been a long journey for her and yesterday it got a little longer. A major artery in her arm ruptured. She had surgery yesterday and they finished up very early this morning. Now they are monitoring her for blood loss, clots and praying that she'll not lose any further hand or arm function. So as you go about your day today... just lift up a prayer for Taylor - I can't imagine being in high school and dealing with this tragedy. My heart goes out to her and her family and friends.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Best Buddies

I have to say - Will is such a good buddy to Megan!!!! He just loves on her - even when she bites him, and chases him, and steals trains from him at the Barnes and Noble train table, and knocks him down with her powerful hugs. He lets her try to feed him, and stick straws in his mouth (because her innate mothering sense tells her that he's thirsty - even though he doesn't know it yet). Will you rock!
They do have quite a good time together (when Megan's not biting him... of course that is followed by many "I sorry" pleas and kisses (perhaps it's a ploy on her part....).
They LOVE playing chase! And holding hands..... especially over their favorite lunch at Chik-fil-a.

They even like to share more intimate moments..... Like trying out potty chairs at Babies R Us. We'll have to draw the line once they are really getting down to business. But for now, they'll hold hands and support each other as they know one day, the diapers are done.
And who knows - maybe one days these two will truly ride off into the sunset together! (no pushing, just dreaming!)

She's a Tree Hugger

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Unproductive Fun

Ok - so I actually sat down at my computer to do something productive... and somehow ended up wasting a precious hour of a nap time doing something totally unproductive - but fun....

I was sent an email of a fun "project". It was fun and I got a good laugh - so I'm sharing it with you.

Go to your search engine of choice (I'm a google girl - sorry my microsoft hubby) and type in
"your name needs"

So I did it and this is what I got for my top 10 results...
Valerie needs.....
  • to weed out those who want to waste her time (not much to add to that)
  • attention by Jodi (thankfully I don't know a Jodi)
  • new snow tire fund (I would if I lived in Fargo or MN)
  • a vacation (amen to that one)
  • to join the Facebook Craze (already done that one -be sure to add me as a friend)
  • needs to be aware of decieving herself and allowing others to take advantage of her (hhhuuummmm - who is this other Valerie)
  • you
  • to go
  • more training and practice
  • 30 minutes to do the same job

I left off the ramp to my house, the flexibility, and prayer that is going to be effective, just to name a few. Now I have to admit that I did leave a few inappropriate "needs" out. Evidently there are a lot of Valerie's out there with some questionable jobs.

OK - so type yourself in and see what you need... be sure to leave me a post with your favorite so I can share a laugh with you.

The Park

I love the unexpected days when we thaw out and for a brief afternoon can head out to the park! I think Megan loves it even more than I do (if that is possible).

The swings are always her favorite. At our park she tends to spend about 5-10 minutes in each swing. I'm not sure why she feels the need to try each and every one of them out, every visit.
And of course..... the sand box!

PEEK A BOO!!!!!!

It's good to get some sliding in. The last picture has really bad lighting with the sun so low in the sky behind her, but I love her expression on her face and her static-charged hair.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Good Morning

My most favorite time of the day is morning....And that's huge since I'm NOT a morning person. But Megan is - and that just makes my day!

Monday, January 26, 2009

The Cup

One of my most favorite commercials is for Bounty Paper towels (at least I think that's who it is - it's paper towels for sure). It's the commercial where the little boy is carrying a full cup across the room and spills it all over the place. I love it because the mom is just sitting back and smiling, knowing she's got to clean that mess up..... but all that is overshadowed by the joy of watching her baby take one more step towards independence.

Wow do I know that feeling. An old friend of mine was visiting on her way through town and she was here for bathtime. During this particular bath I had given Megan a "new bath toy" which were bath gel crayons. They squeeze and you can write on yourself and it's really soap. Well, Megan thought they were soooo cool. She had the blue one and was trying to write on her knee.... and it wouldn't come out. So she turned it over to look at it and squeezed it as hard as she could.... yeah - you laughing as you picture this and see what's coming...... Only, she slightly turned it and blue bath gel went flying - all over mommy! :^) Woohoo..... I've never seen her laugh like that. To the point that all I could do was laugh as I scraped blue bath gel out of my hair and off my clothes (at least it's just soap). My friend was amazed that we laughed it off - all I could think was- you know, she's learning.

And Megan is in that "I do" stage..... We are working on learning to drink straight from a cup.
Everynight after we brush teeth, she gets to drink a little from her cup. She's actually doing pretty well with it - not enough that I'd just give her a cup at this point. But boy is she proud of her accomplishments. That smile of joy and pride just makes a mommy's heart light up!

The Gift of Reading

I just have to share this fun project. It was fun to make, and fun to give!

I'm always looking for creative gifts to give from Megan. This is something I've wanted to do for awhile, but have just been too busy or couldn't get my act together in time.... but finally for Uncle Dan's birthday I was able to make our first personalized board book!

Uncle Dan loved his birthday book as much as we loved making it and reading it.
I was able to get a picture from every visit we've had with Dan to make a fun little chronological book of Megan's first 22 months.

It was so fun to make (once I got my act together) and now I'm looking forward to making some easy books for us to keep around here - some fun color and shape books, and of course a few staring her dear friends. So - if anyone is looking for a good family gift - Give the gift of reading!

Friday, January 23, 2009

A girl on the Move

We recently added a great new "toy" to our collection. It was a hand-me-down from Megan's cousins. After many many years of fun - we now get to experience the joy of it.

Megan loves it! She is now on the go, all the time.

Thankfully, this addition (to our kitchen) has helped me get dinner cooked. Megan can get on and off and on and off as much as she wants. It does tend to flip. Once it's moved outside this spring, we'll have to enforce the helmet rule. But for now - isn't she a cutie with her little purse full of Sesame Street cards. It's like a puzzle getting that purse on and off the handle bars. Good for working on problem solving skills!

Busy Bee

Inside days make for a busy little girl... And her artistic juices are just flowing. She wants to color, paint, get the playdoh out, you name it. It's actually very cute to see her just go to town trying to manipulate everything.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

A new favorite food!

Who knew that Chili would be such a toddler favorite????
Ok, maybe not with all toddlers - but with mine - it's a major new favorite food. Megan will eat beans like they are going out of style. Which is good because she's been on somewhat of a meat boycott lately so at least she getting protein. But she really loved the chili. Last night she looked at me and said, "meat... bean..... chili!" So I'm thinking we will be eating a lot of chili for the remainder of the winter.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Today we went to a local store to see....

Megan loves Elmo. She was a little nervous about this big fuzzy guy though. I'd figured as much. The funny thing was that she loved seeing him... as long as he didn't get too close. We did finally get up within touching distance, but a photo op or a hug were out of the question - but we did exchange a High Five. Then for the next 3 hours, she would just up and start chattering about Elmo - go figure. You would've thought we'd spent the day with him instead of only about 2 minutes.

Afterwards, we grabbed some friends who joined us for the Elmo excursion, and we headed to the play area at the mall. (Note Megan's Elmo overalls which she did happily point out to Elmo.)

Will joined us at the play area - very amused with the fish...

Macie, looking a little reflective with our scaly friend...Somehow I missed Caroline in the photo op's.... But it was good seeing you guys there too!

Then we headed over to the Merry-go-round...

Megan and Kenny enjoyed their ride - as did I... it was a nice moment of silence watching a little girl mesmerized with all the animals.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Happy Birthday Uncle Dan!

We had some fun in your honor today. Hope you had a good day as well! We wish we could've spent it with you having all this fun together... I'm sure you can just imagine.

PS - she iced her own cupcake just for the occasion. And has been saying her version of "Happy Birthday" all day!

What a day!

It truly has been a day. For some reason my normally mind mannered (somewhat) little girl has become... less mild mannered. Yesterday she had a complete meltdown on an indoor playscape (thank you McDonald's) and I ended up having to scale the thing to go get her as she screamed and cried at the top of the ladder - no, wouldn't come down the slide, and couldn't come down the ladder. Got her down and then she screamed because she wanted to go back up it. Needless to say, we left. After her nap she pretty much cried uncontrollably for several hours - no reason, just cried, and screamed, and pitched an ever lovin fit. Oh dear!!!!

But today's a new day - right???? Evidently not.
We made it until about 10:10 before her meltdown began.
It's been a day.

But miraculously enough, she was happy, peaceful, and content playing in her kitchen from 11:40-12:40... So much so that I actually got to watch part of the Presidential Inauguration.

Now I'll be the first to say - I'm not much on politics. I pretty much believe anyone who's in politics is an ego-maniac. That's got to be the only reason you'd put your family through all that. Not to mention, I have several friends who are or were in politics and if you talk to any of them, they'll flat out tell you it's true - and even the "nicest" seeming people, aren't what they seem to be. So... why would I watch the swearing in of our 44th president????

You know - I lived in Albania for 3 years.... I watched that country (and the surrounding counties) try out democracy. It usually ended in a civil war, major unrest, riots, etc... I was evacuated out of Albania in 1997 when the government collapsed. That's why I watched. 44 times, our government has handed the reigns over to a political adversary - but it's peaceful. Yeah, don't think I wasn't wondering what the other attendees were "thinking" as the camera's scanned the crowd. The motives and thoughts may not have been pure - but even with our disagreements on who should be president - it's peaceful. Today, wasn't the start of a civil war - and in sooooo many other countries, it would've been. That alone is amazing.

Even with that knowledge, I am somewhat appalled by all the hoopla- but then I put it into perspective. You know - today we witnessed a historical marker for our country. Our first President of color. It's really not even a matter of if you voted for him or not, or if you agree with his agenda or not.... it's like knowing where you were when the space shuttle blew up (home on a snow day), or when Mt. Saint Helen's erupted (I remember it was a weekend), or when the Gulf War started (I remember watching the coverage in my college dorm with friends), or when Atlanta was announced as the site for the Olympics (college again), or when the towers fell on 9/11 (I was at work). You know - it was a moment in time, but it was also a moment that will forever be recorded in our history books. It was worth a few minutes to watch it to be able to one day say to Megan - yes, darling - I saw it happen. What was once thought impossible - became a reality.

And then I can remind her that God told us the same thing... nothing is impossible with God. Funny how life mirrors faith.

Monday, January 19, 2009

We are here for all your pet care needs...

For Christmas, Megan got a cool Vet clinic set from Uncle Kevin, Aunt Kelly, Daniel, Justin and Anna. Let's just say ---- we love it!

Megan is making sure that not on the animals are cared for -but all our medical needs are being addressed too.
She knows just what to do with everything in the kit!
First - you take their temperature (under the arm)... Then you shoot the syringe of medicine in their mouth...
It's so sweet... at least it is until she comes at you with her stethascope and wants to pull your clothes off to listen to.... your belly button, your knee, your head, your rear end... whatever might seem to need some extra special attention.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A new favorite

Randomly, we've found a new favorite game.
Someone gave us a tiny pack of Sesame Street cards. I think they were a party favor - thank you if it's you and you are reading this and tell me where you got them! They are cute (although somewhat chewed on at this point) - they have characters on one side and a little question (like what's green in this picture?) on the other side. I happened upon them last week and Megan of course got her hands on them - and that is the start of the story...

She loves them! She found a random "purse" (a many years old cosmetic bag that I was trashing) and decided that was the perfect holder - since she demolished the box they were in.

She puts them in, takes them out, puts them in, takes them out... walks around the house with her little purse doing this over and over and over again. It is wonderful! She loves her little cards. She looks at them, giggles at them, comes to tell me something wonderful (that I can't quite decipher) about them.... It's fabulous!
From the cards I realize... she pretty much knows who all the names of the Sesame Street characters are. I was floored when she handed me a card the other day and said, "snuffy" (Mr. Snufalupagus - remember him - and cut me some slack on the spelling if I butchered his name). You'll see some posts in the future with her and her precious Sesame Street bag.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

A look of Concern

Megan got very concerned this week with all the activity outside our house.We had some needed tree work done and she was amazed that they could climb trees like squirrels (well sort of). A bit of excitement for a cold, stuck-indoor kinda week.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Coming out of the closet

Or at least trying to...Megan and I met up with some friends this week after a storytime at a local library. Afterwards we went to Will's house (Megan's dear friend) for lunch. Megan got their closet door open and climbed right on his tricycle. I think she was trying to figure out how to make a break for it... until she found the bell.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A major first

Ok - this is crazy to post but I'm on cloud 9 (oh how life changes)...

Megan got out of her bath tonight and we were about to get into our PJ's and she looked at me and said, "Potty, potty, potty!" To which I replied, "you want to go to the potty" (she had no diaper on). This happens a lot but she actually won't sit on the potty for more than 5 seconds. Tonight she ran to her little potty, sat on it, and went to the bathroom. OH MY GOSH! Tom and I were basically screaming and praising the daylights out of her... no prompting - she just went. We broke out the stickers and did a potty dance and threw some high 5's.

So it was the 1st time she's ever asked to go potty and actually went!
That's just something you want to record!!!!!!
(yes, I realize it may not happen again for months - unless I get up the courage to potty train her for real.... and honestly, I'm not ready to go there yet).

My oh my, life has changed - not potty time is exciting and worth blogging....

oh dear!

So... we are in full swing toddler temper tantrum mode. She can look so sweet and innocent, but don't let that fool you. Remember an earlier post when I told you how strong she was... well, that can certainly work against me at times.

The other day, we were walking out to the mailbox. Megan wanted to go somewhere.... I don't know where and I don't know why, but she was insistant on getting in the car. I said no.... So she hung there... for a good long while, having a little screaming tantrum. Oh my! Ok, so we aren't 2 yet.... are you sure this isn't the terrible two's?

who, me?

No mommy, I didn't touch the pen.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Double Digits

It is hard to believe my nephew has hit the double digits.
We had a belated birthday party for him with the family. We were out of town on his real birthday, but beter late than never - right.

Megan enjoyed finally getting to move up to the big kids table for dinner!

Then all the kids waited in anticipation for Kevin to slice up the birthday cookie. Megan really enjoyed helping Daniel with his cards and gifts.

And when not caught up in the birthday excitement, she loved seeing Anna in all her dress up clothes!

Happy Belated Birthday Daniel!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Making the unusable, usable

I've been trying to figure out how to give Megan some play space for her big toys, while trying to organize the playroom. It's been cold and with her wheezing during weather changes, I just want to have a play space where she can run around, but be warm.

Enter into the equation... the unfinished basement.
We have been trying to figure out if we could finish off part of it - but there is another part that we were not planning on finishing off right now. It was just a big storage area - full of my old teaching stuff and random junk that I'm trying to sort through. We got it all moved to one area and opened it up.
How on earth we have that many random rugs in our house is a mystery to me. But in the end, I'm glad I didn't throw them out - they are coming in useful. That huge green thing is a board(?) that was left by the previous owner... I've been trying to figure out how to get rid of that thing, but I have decided to turn it into a flannel board/chalk board (that's on my to-do list). We've got to add some light, some decor, some chairs....

Then add a swimming pool of balls.....
And the fun is really just beginning!
Top it off by moving the slide from outside to the basement and you've got your own indoor playground! Needless to say... Megan loves it!

Also add a puzzle area, some big building blocks - and we are ready to PLAY!!!!!

(In the video - when Megan starts counting, I realize how that her "non" is not 9 but it's really 1 - for some reason non=one. And when she starts the "laugh" of "ah, ah, ah" - that's what the count does when he gets to 10 on her Abby video - she loves that part. So anytime we count, when we get to 10 she does his little "count laugh")
And of course, after all the fun..... head upstairs to relax a little, calm down, and read a book.

I have a lot left to do in our new indoor play space - but it's nice that it's "up and running" with her balls and slide. Megan loves it and begs to go down there. Since it's going to be cold this week - I'm sure we'll be down there a lot!