Saturday, December 30, 2006

Up up and away....

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Wonder Woman
Green Lantern
The Flash
Iron Man
Lean, muscular and feminine.
Honest and a defender of the innocent.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test


Ahhhh is Christmas over already?

We had a very merry Christmas this year. Chase enjoyed visiting with Grandma, Grandpa and Uncle Rob. It can be said that the child hit the mother load with presents this year. Some of his favorites include his singing dinosaur and giraffe, his new books, his cow and his stacking pails. He also got a very nice wooden chess/checkers set that he was eyeing longingly. Unfortunately, he's too young to play checkers just yet, but it will be waiting for him when he's a bit older. Looking around, it occurs to me that Santa may have gone a bit overboard--thankfully he didn't run out of tape even with the wrapping of so many presents. As a special thank you for being so kind to our family, the jolly old elf got to eat some of our tasty gingerbread cookies. Mrs. Kringle raised her boy right because he left Chase a note thanking him for the yummy treat and for Rudolph's carrot.
Scatterbrained Laura completely forgot to take pictures of the morning festivities which she is hereby blaming on Chase who was just too darn cute to watch through a lens. Therefore, we must thank Uncle Rob for our only Christmas pictures this year. Behold, the photographic skills of my little (ha!) brother.

Story time with Grandma and Grandpa

The tree

Playing with our new music table

Gingerbread cookies decorated by mom and me

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Today's rant brought to you by the letter K--as in Mart

The holidays are here, and in an effort to not be a Grinch, I decided to finally put out the cute winter towels that I bought way back in November. They are blue with snowflakes on them--perfect for both our holidays and can even move into January should I get lazy and not change them out for the normal powder room towels. The set contained one big towel and two fingertip towels. So, there I am Falalaing along feeling all proud of myself for my togetherness when I encounter a snafu. A plastic clothing tag is binding my towels together. No worries, I'll have that thing out of there in no time...but wait there's another one. And another. And another. My falalaing has by now turned into #*&^!#ing. There were seven (7!) plastic clothing tags in three towels. Why oh why does Kmart insist on playing such practical jokes on the holiday challenged? Was this Martha's doing?? I need answers!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Different year, same MO

I have recently drug myself out from the hole in which I've been living and gotten into the MySpace craze. It's really the coolest thing ever for Nosy Nellies like myself. I've been spending countless hours searching for people I might know, and guess who I found. Ms. Keli of the Mouse. She of course was not a hole dweller like myself and already had her page pimped out with tons of friends and cool things for me to snoop through. She also had this picture on there. Me, Keli and Christy playing in the dirt. The other two look relatively clean, but you can see that I am dirty from head to toe. Kind of like today--except instead of dirt, I'm covered with flour, sugar and a little egg for good measure. I try to be neat, I really do. It's just not meant to be.
Keli says I look skeptical in this picture. Me? A skeptic? Now that's just crazy talk!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Did somebody say presents?

Chase has already gotten quite a bit of loot this holiday season. We had Hanukkah at Nana and PopPop's yesterday, and Chase came away with 2 bags full of presents! Here are some pictures from the first night of Hanukkah at our house and the family celebration yesterday. Some of the highlights: TMX Elmo from Nana and PopPop--he stares at this; a stacking toy from Gran; a really cool radio from MomMom and PopPop; a hand knitted sweater from Jenn; a soft blanket from Uncle Adam; a wiggling elephant from Nathan; and The First Bank of Piggy from Aunt Danielle and Uncle David. That's quite a haul for someone so young.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Lazy Santa

I came across an interesting variation on the Santa tradition the other day. Now, in my family, Santa always wrapped the gifts he brought. Well, unless the gift was too oddly shaped or too large to wrap. Or there was that one time when he worked extra late trying to procure for me a Cabbage Patch Doll, and thus, he ran out of time and was unable to wrap such a prized gift. Overall though, Santa's gifts were wrapped. Well, now it seems that maybe after he wrapped our gifts, Santa got a little lazy (or he ran out of tape) and didn't wrap ANY of the gifts at other children's homes. None. Jeanne's house is one of them. That seems so very odd to me, and got me thinking about Christmas through the years.
I don't think I would have enjoyed having all of my presents unwrapped under the tree...where's the anticipation in that? The rule in our house was that mom was not to disturbed before 7:30 and there had better be coffee brewing when she came to the living room. My brother and I used to be up by 6 on Christmas morning. We'd pass the time by trying to guess what could be hidden beneath all of that brightly colored paper and trim. We'd line up our presents as we tried to decide which one we wanted to open first. This is how most of my childhood Christmas mornings passed. Most, but not all.
Which brings me to one of my favorite memories of Christmas. I must have been in third grade which would make my brother 1 or 2. We had gone delivering presents to relatives on Christmas Eve as always. Grandma Gladys had allowed us to open our presents from her while we were at her house that year. It was quite a treat for us to get to open a present on Christmas Eve. Though I can't remember what my present was, I will never forget what Robbie's was. A Little People red race car and yellow towing truck Set. The towing truck had the truck and a trailer where the ramp moved up and down to load the race car on. Now, why do I remember such details you ask? Well, because that was the ONLY Christmas where my parents had to wake me up to start Christmas. You see, my little brother arose early Christmas morning per his usual habit. He went downstairs, passed the Christmas tree with all of Santa's presents wrapped so enticingly below it's branches, and into the kitchen where he happily played with his race car and tow truck. My mom was afraid that he would grow tired of the toy, find the Christmas tree and tear into the bounty before I woke up. So, for the first and only time ever- I was aroused from my sugarplum dreams by my mom. As I went down the stairs, I could hear Robbie still playing with his treasure in the kitchen. Now, had Santa been lazy and left his presents unwrapped, who knows if I would have this silly memory to share with all of you. So, in our house, it is my hope that Santa continues to wrap all of his presents. I'll even send him some tape if he runs out. :-) Because, for me, the magic of Christmas truly lies in the family traditions. So whatever your Christmas rituals may be, I hope that you find joy and happiness this holiday season.

Double the pleasure, double the work

Poor Chase. Yes, he gets to celebrate two holidays. Yes, he'll get Hanukkah presents AND Christmas presents. But, I don't think any of you realize that he has to do double duty to reap the rewards of these two holidays. Poor kid had to sit twice as long for holiday pictures. He even had to endure prop switches. He was a trooper though. :-)

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Sweet tooth

It would seem that Chase may have inherited his mama's sweet tooth. So far, we've tried rice, oatmeal, green beans, bananas and sweet potatoes. He strongly disliked the oatmeal and barely tolerated the rice and green beans. The bananas and sweet potatoes were money though...sugar anyone? His affinity for sugary goodness certainly has nothing to do with all of the desserts I ate when pregnant, and I will have words with anyone who says otherwise. I hope that he handles his sugar well and doesn't start rolling amok in his crib. Which reminds me...the rolling over skill that he has acquired is presenting a problem. At night, little noodle will flip himself over onto his belly, but Houdini can't seem to figure out how to flip back. So then he screams. Bloody murder screams. Once you get over the initial terror of hearing your child shriek like an injured bearcat, it's kind of funny to see him laying there face first into the bed. Oh and about the shrieking, Chase has a new sound that he makes. While not as eardrum shattering as the "I've rolled over and can't get up" shriek, his new vocal ability is still pretty impressive in the noise realm. He seems to make this sound when he's's almost like a squeel of glee, with a little more of a bird squawk to it. Like a baby dinosaur. Hence his new name of Baby Pterodactyl.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Breaking News

This just in...

It appears that at around 7:00PM EST in the state of Virginia one Chase Isaac rolled over of his own accord. This much celebrated event was repeated once to the right and once to the left for a grand total of three rollovers. Following each occurence, his parents cheered with glee from their perch above him. Ever the humble one, Chase did not seem to register the magnitude of this physical act as he seemed a bit confused as to why his mom and dad were standing over him yelling "Yeeaaa" and "Good job". He was, however, very thankful that the camera was nowhere close because he is getting a little tired of the constant flash of the paparrazi's cameras.

It seems that just this very evening Chase's dad had mentioned that more tummy time would be needed in order to reach this holy grail of baby milestones. Upon hearing this decree by the father, the mother suggested that they engage in a little belly action that evening before bed. Neither expected the blessed event to occur on this very first, mandated tummy time since young Master Chase has been under the weather since Thanksgiving. When asked what they attributed their son's masterful feat to, Chase's mother replied, "A mixture of baby Motrin, green beans, and baby slobber--the fuel of champions."

We'll continue covering this story as it unfolds, so stay tuned for further updates. Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

I don't need no stinkin nap

My son is not a nap taker. No matter how tired he may be, he will fight the nap till the bitter end. Usually after 20 minutes of fit taking, the nap gives in and Chase proclaims victory. On those rare occasions when the nap wins, the victory is short lived. 20 minutes of battle followed by a brief 20 minutes of sleep, and my son is up to face the enemy again. I am not to complain though because usually Chase sleeps well through the night. Of course, his dad is on duty during these peaceful nights whereas I get the luck of being clocked in during our child's crusade for a nap-free existence. As they say...what doesn't kill me, only makes me crankier. I'm not so cranky yet that I can't see the humor in the situation though. Behold my child's nap diversion techniques.

Mobile studying.

Blanket wrestling.

Mommy Staring.
This one usually breaks me. You'd give too if he you were faced with those pouty lips and sad eyes. Trust me, their power is beyond anything known to man.

I survived Thanksgiving 2006

As many of you know, we hosted Thanksgiving at our house this year. 18 adults and 2 kids. At my house. Yes, Laura--who only recently took on the whole cooking thing--hosted Thanksgiving dinner for 20 people. Talk about pressure. I enjoy spending the holiday with family and friends, and I personally had a great evening. Judging from the lack of reported food poisonings, I am going to assume that the dinner was a success. As a bonus, my family refused to listen when I told them not to worry about cleaning up the kitchen, so I had very little to do the next day to return my home to its normal state of mild chaos. Unfortunately, I was too busy to remember to take pictures, so the only ones that I have are the ones that Drew took. He tries, but he just doesn't have the patience to get the best shots. Or the desire to annoy people by making them smile and look at the camera. That's ok, I usually annoy people enough for the both of us.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Food Glorious Food!

Chase got his first taste of rice cereal today. At first, he wasn't too keen on the idea as communicated by his constant screaming. Soon though, he began to suck the goo off of his spoon. Once he realized that a new flavor had been found, he began to attack the spoon by enveloping the entire thing within his mouth. Messes were made. Good times were had.

Lakehouse pictures

We went to the lake this past weekend. It is the first time that we have been there since it has undergone it's cosmetic makeover. When we arrived, the power was out, and it was pitch black. Luckily, the designer had put some decorative candles in the living room so we had some light. No water though because it is well water and without electricity the pump can't pump. Despite Andy's very best effort and the sacrifice of 10 matches, we couldn't light a fire because all the wood was wet from the rain they had that week. These inconveniences might have broken normal folks, but not my husband. He was determined to get pictures of the house, so he took pictures in candlelight. He was very excited, standing on stools to get a better angle and everything. The power came on an hour or so later, and he got to see all of the changes and take pictures in the rooms that had no candles. There are still things that need to be done--like get smaller stools because when we bought these, I must have forgotten that people have legs-- but overall we are quite pleased with the transformation. Extreme makeover has nothing on us!

Cool dude

Looks like someone thinks he's too cool for school now that he's 4 months old. What kind of attitude will we see when he hits a year??

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Thanks for the memories

My Pop passed away today. He wasn't my Pop by blood, but he was my Pop in love. My own grandfathers died when I was very young, so I never had the chance to get to know them. I did have two grandmothers, but I never had the kind of relationship with them where I was their pride and joy. I am sure they loved me, but visits with them were not centered around me and there wasn't any spoiling of any kind involved. I've always been kind of sad that I didn't get to have that storybook relationship. Lucky for me, I married into a family that had the dream--four living, loving, involved grandparents. Even luckier, they were willing to share it with me.

From the beginning, Gran and Pop welcomed me into their home and hearts. They had a framed family tree with my name on it. Hanging proudly in their front room was a large bridal portrait of me. I was family and that was that. It was a good feeling having these adopted grandparents who treated you as one of their own.

Pop was a character. I don't have a specific favorite memory of Pop--more like a montage of the way I felt around him: at ease, happy, appreciated. Nothing seemed to bother him--he was happy to be who he was, where he was. He was a kid at heart as demonstrated by his love of the Pink Panther and his train set in the basement. It is every kid's dream to have a Pop that plays as enthusiastically as you play.

Ever the entertainer, he regaled the family with stories at dinner that would have us rolling. His sense of humor wasn't sarcastic and not exactly what you would call dry humor, but he could find comedy in the most mundane things. He looked at life like I imagine the stand up comedians of his time did. Often, after he would insert his wit into a conversation, I felt like there should be that "badumbum" sound they play after comics say the punchline of their jokes. I think he would have fit right in on Johnny Carson's show. His humor was something that stuck with him to the very end. It was what made Pop, Pop.

Pop was a creative soul. He worked hard on his bushes, shaping them into a zoo full of animals. He built bird houses and shadow boxes. Always keeping busy, creating and sharing. So in honor of Pop, I thought I'd share a few of my favorite tidbits about his life.

My mom's favorite memory of Pop involves a hot dog. Apparently, when Pop came to WV for Andy's graduation, he was on a restricted diet and wasn't allowed to eat hot dogs under normal circumstances. This day was special though, and he got to have a hot dog. Mom remembers his eyes lighting up as she handed him the plate. He made her feel like the best hostess, and all he got was a simple hot dog. That's the thing about Pop...he made everyone feel good about themselves. That's why everyone loved him so much.

Andy's favorite memories involve going off in the canoe together and going to Phillies games. He also remembers how Pop would make up silly stories and sing them at dinner. He would have the family laughing so hard that they couldn't breathe. I think Andy is a lot like Pop. He has his easy going nature and more than a bit of his humor.

I remember the fish tank with the diver half in the tank and half out. It was so playful, so Pop. I'm sorry that Chase won't get the chance to get to know him. I know he would have loved him just as we do.

Though I never personally heard him say it--I will always think "cheap skin" when I am peeling after a sun burn.

It was a standard joke at holiday dinners for Pop to ask Danielle to pass everything from the salt to the main course. It's become a ritual in our family that Danielle is the official passer at dinners. It is in these memories and traditions that Pop will continue to live on.

Though I only knew Pop for 6 short years, he touched my life in many ways. I am truly thankful for having had the chance to know such a wonderful human being. So, thanks for the memories, Pop. May you forever rest in peace.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Sooo Sad

The dream is national championship for the Mountainers this year. Chase is very
upset as you can see. To ease your pain over this recent devastation, I am including some cute pictures of the noodle. Just my way of reaching out to the long suffering Mountaineer contingent.

Reason #123 why Chase is definitely my son

When I go to training, Jeanne makes me do these back exercises called supermen. Basically, you lay on your belly with your arms straight out over your head and lift up from your waist and your thighs. Looks kinda like you're flying. Get it? Supermen? Flying? Hee hee. You hold this flying position for however long Jeanne feels like torturing you that particular day. Usually for a count of 20 or so. It may not sound like it hurts, but go ahead and try it. Right now, I'll wait.

Kinda hurt huh? Anyway...back to how this relates to Chase. The little bugger is growing and growing and growing. I've tried bricks on his head, but they don't seem to be working. Our tummy time now is spent with him trying to sit up, roll over, or crawl away instead of just laying there like a slug. Now, he looks just like mommy when she is trying to do her supermen. He gets frustrated like mommy too, and then he cries uncle and collapses from the exertion. Just like mommy.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Cute, I am

Trick-or-Treating, I went.
Yoda, I was.
Fun, I had.
Tired, I am.
Sleep now, I will.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Any case anyone out there wants to know...

I fixed the comments section so that anyone can post. So if the reason you weren't leaving me love notes was because you weren't a member--your problem is fixed and I expect to begin receiving mass adoration. Now, if the reason you weren't leaving me love notes was because you just didn't want to...well you'll have to find a new excuse to use when I ask you why you didn't leave a comment. :-P

A window to the future?

Does my baby have a wandering eye?? Notice that he has a firm grasp on the parrot. The parrot belongs to him and is happy in the pairing. He yanks on the parrot, attempts to eat the parrot and whispers sweet nothings to the parrot. When, suddenly, out of nowhere comes The Monkey. Who is this monkey? Why is the monkey suddenly taking all of Chase's attention? What can the parrot do to once again be the apple of Chase's eye? I have no answer. But it seems that my child is destined to be a ladies man. Watch out girls.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Halloweeny pictures

We're preparing for the festivities that are set to occur on Tuesday. Here is Chase in his Halloween shirt.

Can't you just see how much he loves getting kisses from mommy? ;-)

Watching cartoons with Daddy.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

I cooked!

For those of you who know me, I have a very special treat for you. I cooked. Dinner. From scratch. Well, I cheated a little--I bought the roasted chicken from Harris Teeter instead of roasting my own, but who wouldn't for $3.99? Yea, a whole roasted chicken for the price of trimmed chicken breasts...Without the work of actually roasting them. Other than that, I did the whole thing. I chopped the peppers, onions and spinach. I sauteed. I mixed. I baked. I am a living goddess. Autographs available upon request. Just don't mention the three bowls that I broke in the process. :-)

Snuggly Puppy Robe

To further my efforts to conform Chase to my personal habits, I have introduced him to The Robe. I live in my robe. I put it on right after my shower and keep it on for extended lengths of time. I have even been known to sleep in my robe. I love how warm and safe it feels. So, now, I am indoctrinating Chase into the robe mind set. He will be a mini-me. He will, I say.