Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Happy Birthday Gampy!

For most of my life my heart belonged to one man, my Daddy.

He is the most awesome person I know. My Dad has taught me so many things and has given up even more than that to give us the best life he possibly could. He answers 1 am phone calls about flat tires, broken air conditioners, the rotovirus and ruptured ear drums. He gives it to you straight and always has the best advice (even if it's not what you want to hear). And even though we're far apart he always ends every call by telling me that he misses me and he loves me.

Happy Birthday Daddy! I am so proud to be your daughter.

Monday, April 27, 2009

So Thankful For

my amazing husband who makes me laugh, loves me even when i'm being unloveable, loves our daughter to pieces, has a secret soft side that made him download the songs from P.S. I Love You just for me, and always has my back

my beautiful little girl who is so carefree, loves to giggle with me and at me, still lets me snuggle her at nightime as I sing made up lullabies to her, is the perfect tomboy and diva, and loves the world around her so passionately

my family that loves me unconditionally, always answers my phone calls, always has help if not the answers, and knows the stories about me that no one else in this world know

my friends old and new, the ones who know my history and the ones who are building it with me day by day, know my drama and are always willing to sympathize, empathize and know when to tell me to deal with it

and for this little boy and the millions of prayers sent heavenward on his behalf, the mercy of God to heal his little heart again and little miracles here on Earth.

Just because...

* I have so many photos to blog about and not enough time
* I intend to inundate Aunt Tata and DD with several posts tomorrow so they might forgive me for the extended breaks between blogging


You're never fully dressed without

Daddy's tie

Your green paci

and a SMILE!

You might be a redneck if...

**update JUST TOO COINCIDENTALLY FUNNY NOT TO SHARE - I got this e-mail today from my high school alumni association...

Dear Mama V,
Homer's Drive Inn, which has been in business here in Leavenworth since 1931, is one of 24 finalists for the "8 WONDERS OF KANSAS CUISINE"!! Please vote and help it win.

You are definitely a redneck if you get an e-mail soliciting your help to make this delapidated grease pit Kansas landmark one of the (ahem, gut busting laugh) "8 WONDERS OF KANSAS CUISINE".

Now on to the real post....

TG and I are Army Brats, but sadly my Army Brat travels pale in comparison to TG's. I was
born in Colorado, spent a few months in Arizona, moved to Germany where Aunt Tata was born, and then jumped around from Pennsylvania to New York before at the age of 9, I ended up in Kansas. It was supposed to be another Army move (i.e. temporary 1-2 years at most), but Gampy's job there was good and ended up becoming permanent so I became a Kansan by prolonged residency.

Now, having lived in Kansas I have certainly seen a few rednecks in my day and even put my redneck experiences and observations to good use in the form of an A+ for a speech I gave in college. Except for a few redneckish moments ahem <lightpoling in a parking lot, learning how to drive in a cemetary and cruising Sonic and the hawaiian ice stand for fun on Friday night> I have always been an East Coast girl at heart.

That is until it gets hot here, Kansas hot, like 95+ degrees and then my inner Kansan bubbles up and I beat the heat anyway I can. Like letting my sweet EC born and raised daughter do this, in our very not redneck neighborhood, in the middle of the day for all the world to gawk at enjoy.

P.S. If you stopped and asked yourself, What the heck is lightpoling?, you are not a redneck.

Mommy And Me

Mamarazzo n. pl. mamarazzi
A Mother photographer who doggedly pursues their baby to snap pictures of every waking moment of their child's life. Usually diminishes with the arrival of additional babies as a direct ratio of number of children to number of free hands, time and sanity.

I'm a mamarazzo, no doubt about it. I want RB's every milestone preserved and I will pursue her relentlessly to get the shot. Plus, she's just so dang cute! It's worked out well, BUT because I'm always behind the camera I'm rarely in the photos. Right after I had her and I wasn't looking so hot and I was crazy sleep deprived this didn't bother me so much, but lately it has. I was flipping through the thousands (yes I said thousands) of photos that we have of RB and I noticed that I'm in maybe 5% of said photos. 5%! I don't want to look back on her life in photos and not see myself in it at all, so I'm taking charge! Blurrily and with cows as the backdrop if I have to...

Hey, it's a start. :)

Saturday, April 25, 2009

What's the Opposite of Houdini?

Houdini was famous for getting himself out of very dangerous and impossible situations. But what do you call a 15 month old that gets herself into very dangerous and impossible situations? Boo-dini perhaps?

Tonight after a delicious dinner of grilled mahi-mahi and mixed veggies I removed RB's highchair seat and tray attachment to clean. She had already been taken out and was happily playing when she started to fuss at me and for some reason just wanted back into the chair. I kissed her head and distracted her before I went to the kitchen to remove the food. She was not alone in the living room TG was there watching the 4th hour of boredom NFL Draft. I was gone literally 1 1/2 minutes.

When I return I see something like this (obviously I didn't have a camera to capture it) ...

RB is standing ON TOP OF THE HIGHCHAIR tray slide(where the actual tray rests and its only about 6-8 inches wide). I have only the time to gasp and shout out my husband's first and middle name (so you know I meant business) and then watch horrified as RB rather gracefully simply scooted into the chair and gave herself a couple of claps and a "babababa BIDIT!" - I did it.

Thank God she was fine. But how did she do it? How did my little baby Jolly Green Baby manage to scale a rolling high chair at it's tallest setting in less than 90 seconds? Who knew a high chair was something that needed to be baby proofed? We have no idea how she did it clearly she's just a Boo-dini (whom we'll be watching even more closely now than we already were).

Monday, April 20, 2009

Green Acres

Green Acres is the place for me.

Farm livin' is the life for me.

Land spreading out so far and wide.

Keep Manhattan, just give me that countryside.

New York is where I'd rather stay.

I get allergic smelling hay.

I just adore a penthouse view.

Dah-ling I love you but give me Park Avenue.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Practice Makes Perfect

I've always loved Easter. My crafty side gets to decorate: glitter, glue, paint! The chocoholic in me indulges: Reese's PB eggs! My inner child emerges: Easter baskets with satisfyingly crinkly cellophane grass and little treats. But for many years now there's been one piece missing, the activity that wraps all the Easter fun into one.

Easter Egg Hunting! I can remember waiting with my sisters at the back door for my Dad to give the go ahead. I can still feel the anticipation and joy as we scrambled to see who could find not only the most eggs, but the favorites with the best stickers and the most glitter. We loved hunting those eggs so much we would even hide them for each other, weeks after Easter had come and gone (smelly though it was) to make the fun last a little longer. Sadly, hunting for eggs becomes socially unacceptable by the time you are a preteen.

But now I am going to relive my days of egg hunting joy again by living vicariously through my sweet baby girl. Yesterday we gave it a test run to see if she could in fact pick up the eggs and deposit them in her adorable personalized Easter basket. I'm so proud to say that my baby is an egg hunting champ! She scrambled after the eggs and after amusing us all by trying to carry three at a time, she went to the very efficient and time honored pick and drop method.



In a pinch she will also employ the less honorable, but often employed by siblings the world over, take and drop method.



We (and by we clearly I mean mostly me) can't wait for the real thing on Easter Day!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Getting Hands On

Also known as day 2 of Spring Break 2009. Tuesday was rainy, blustery and cold all day. In an effort to get out and about ward off 14 month old boredom we visited the Children's Museum of Virginia in Portsmouth. I had done a little research before our trip on what we could see and do in the area and found this interactive children's museum. Admittedly, it was older than I thought and some exhibits were definitely a little advanced for R.B., but we did have a good time getting hands on together.

Our first stop at the museum was the little city complete with a police and fire station, grocery store, bank and doctor's office. Note: She took one look into the doctor's office and ran like the devil in the other direction!

Driving the fire truck with Daddy.

Shopping in the grocery store; she filled her basket with all apples and lemons plus one banana contributed to her basket by a little guy who got tired of putting his items back.

Our next stop was "Reflection and Refraction" i.e. BIG BUBBLES! The whole room smelled like a kitchen sink, but she really enjoyed being inside the big bubble with T.G.

The antique toy section was filled with several different electric trains. I was going to skip this section, but she absolutely loved the trains and shrieked with delight everytime they came around the track closest to her!

We made a quick stop at "Technology for You and Me" just so I could capture my modern day version of the movie BIG, instead of a piano... a laptop keyboard!

The "Play Place" exhibit had stairs to climb and a slide to enjoy, but she got a big kick out of sailing the high seas, aka bouncing in a raft on a waterbed.

We wrapped up our visit with a break from all the interaction in the tot lot.

Her smile says it all - we're loving spring break 2009!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Tornados, Puddles and Pull Ups

Otherwise known as Spring Break 2009: Day 1. We arrived at Gigi and Papa's yesterday evening after an uneventful drive. Today we were ready to get started with our relaxing week away, but the weather had other plans for us. We were under a 'Tornado Warning" for most of the morning. My fellow midwesterners know a warning is get the heck to the basement and quick because a tornado is on the ground and your house is in it's way. However, apparently in the east a warning just means that conditions are favorable for a tornado. No tornados were actually sighted on the ground, but we were homebound and glued to the television for most of the morning.

So, what to do with a 14 month old trapped inside for most of the day? Start off our Spring Break Cancun style...scantily clad in nothing, but some fancy princess pull-ups.

She ran herself silly all over Gigi and Papa's big house and had fun exploring. No surprises here, Gigi's well stocked pantry was her favorite hang out spot.

We also enjoyed a fun game of peek-a-boo over the couch.

In the afternoon the storms cleared out and we had our first experience jumping in puddles. It made me smile to see how much joy she got out of something so simple. Also, thanks to my friend Kelli for the sweet Crocs that I am so thrilled she is big enough to wear this spring and summer!

We are looking forward to the rest of our time here with the family and I'll try and keep you updated on our adventures.

If you're reading this today, please say a prayer for the Smith family as they celebrate 1 year since the day their sweet daughter Audrey lived. Also please continue to pray for baby Stellan, as new plans have been laid for his treatment.