Welcome 2nd Grade!!

No more sleeping late for us! It's back to school time!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wishing You a Magical New Year

With much love and joy,

Carol and Taylor

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Fitting End to the Year

I was just thinking of this holiday that has just passed. We bent over backwards trying to make it fun and festive for Taylor. I shopped for hours if not days either in the stores or online to come up with the perfect gifts for my sweet little girl. We stayed up late into the wee hours of the morning slaving away and wrapping and assembling. I woke up at 4:15 a.m. for her to open presents. I give her everything!

What has my little girl most recently given me???


Yes, Typhoid Taylor has struck again. I'm the current new owner of a runny nose, a sore throat, and a general feeling of shittiness, compliments of my mischievious little daughter. I'm just hoping my idiotic asthma doesn't flare up as it's brought on by colds. I'm suffering through work for the next few days, until the holiday. I'm also hoping I don't reinfect T.

So, there you have it. A mother's lot in life. We give them the world, they give us a cold...and yet I couldn't be happier. Go figure.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Tent

Aunt Dot is a genious for buying this tent for T. It may take up half the room, but T has been napping and sleeping in it since Christmas. Its filled with a sleeping bag, all her blankets, many stuffed animals, dolls, her electric piano, and her flashlight.

She LOVES it!

BTW, the fab new dress I snagged a Target today. Like clockwork, they have all their Valentines Day merchandise already on the shelves. $9.99 and size X-SM from the big girl department.

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Little Girls, Start Your Engines!

We loaded up the new bike this morning, and headed over to my parent's house. Much better neighborhood than mine for riding bikes, as they have sidewalks throughout. We had to make a quick pit stop at Target first, as the helmet I ordered for xmas is way too big. Here's T sporting her new one.

Have I mentioned that I've decided to try and diet in the new year?? I'm thinking that this bike may be just the thing to help me along. T can go much faster on it than she could on her little trike. I actually have to power walk to keep up. It was quite humiliating to discover that twice around the block had me huffing and puffing. I'm thinking we'll keep the bike in the car, and go for a ride after work a few night during the week and then on the weekend.

Meanwhile, the Jr. Orange Bowl parade is this tuesday night in Coral Gables. 7 p.m. start time. I'm hoping we'll be able to make it. Should be a fun time.

Lastly, T has been sleeping in her tent every night. Who would have thought? I've been getting quite the good night sleep, without you know who in bed giving me a swift kick every few hours. I'm so rested you'd think I had taken a long and relaxing vacation!

That's it for now.

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Nothing Better to Do

With nothing but time on my hands and to distract me from the Christmas-is-over blues, I decided a pop quiz would be in order. Found this one, hoping to gain some personal insight. Not sure what it means, but fun anyway to find out which Jane Austen heroine I'm most like:

I am Elinor Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Saturday at Boomers

BTW, according to the doc, T is 31 pounds and 38 inches. Despite qualifying with her height to ride some of the rides, T had no interest in them. Instead, we played bowling, video games, air hockey and gooney golf. Boy, did we have fun. Bonus was that our friend Ruth came with us. No pics of her, though, b/c she was manning the camera. I think she planned it that way!

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All Rev'ed Up, and No Place To Go

Its 4:00 a.m., and I can't sleep. So, figured I'd post about my holiday blues. This is what I hate about Xmas. Its just over too quickly for me! This is why I put my trees up the day after Halloween. I spend all that time getting ready, trolling the internet for deals on gifts, singing along with the songs on the radio, and then poof! Like a puff of smoke its gone.

I still even have some eggnog left. But who wants to drink all those gloriously delicious calories, when the damn holiday is over and you've already eaten more than you should have? Not even me, who is the Queen of Justification, can justify that. Plus, one glass and the bourbon has me wanting to nap, with T still running around the house at warp speed going from toy to toy. I know she just bides her time, waiting for me to nod off so that she can cause some horrible mischief in this house. I must remain viligent and alert!

Is anybody else out there like me? I find myself still trolling the internet for deals...I can't seem to stop myself....making sure that what I bought hasn't been slashed in price again, which would give me huge buyers remorse. So far, so good. Just where are all these post-holiday super sales that the TV keeps droning on and on about anyway? I can't seem to find them. In fact, I have a couple baskets already full on a few sites, waiting to see if they'll institute a site-wide sale of 40, 50, even 60% off. So far, not much luck. All I've found for that is Coldwater Creek with 50% off. Problem is, I don't need any new clothes and nothing's really catching my eye there, anyway. Sigh.

After T's doctor appt today...where they say she's OK except for her headcold... we went off to JC Penney to make an exchange for my mom. I was annoyed to find no evidence of their supposed "doorbuster" sales. Everything was the same price as before christmas.

We came home, where T continued to play with her marble race, continued to pet her pet plastic dinosaur Spike but refused to play with it as intended due to the scare factor, and continued to act petrified everytime she even glimpses the Beware of Dog box. She's also been trying to ride her bike in the house. Poor thing can't do it like she did with her trike, as the new one is just a little too big. Maybe we'll find a park this weekend, since I don't have sidewalks in my neighborhood. I can't believe my little baby is now learning to ride a big girl bike.

Where the hell did the time go, anyway?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas night

In terms of holding T's attention, this is the winner of the day. It took me a while to set the thing up, but the Marble Race is a huge hit. I built 2 different ones, and she's been racing the marbles all night.
It's actually quite fun setting the thing up. Its like a big puzzle. So, is there anyone else like me who is re-living their childhood through their daughter? I always wanted this game, or perhaps mousetrap, and never got them. Let me say, that its just as fun at 43, as it is at 7!
Here's a glimpse of T's coveted pup-tent. She was napping here, but is currently insisting on sleeping in it. Hey, its Christmas! I say OK. Plus, we have a dr appt in the morning to check out t's cold. Luckily, the fever is gone and has not returned. However, she is left with a runny nose and wet cough.

That's it for the day. Hope everybody got everything that they hoped and dreamed of, on this wonderful day.

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Christmas Lunch

So after playing games all morning, we promptly went back to bed around 8:00 a.m. or so. I then got up and drove north to collect Aunt ConCon and my parents. It was the year of Alfred Dunnar for the girls. I got them a couple matching outfits from JC Penney, and they loved them. This one is the snazziest. Jazzed them both up with the color.
Dot once again made a wonderful meal of prime rib, broccoli casserole, waldorf salad, a Paula Dean Corn Casserole, and roasted potatoes. Delicious!
We played some games, posed for pics, and they were out the door by 2:30.
Boy does Christmas go fast!

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Oh yeah, bet you didn't see this one coming...T got more presents!

That's it for now, I'm off to play games!

Game Review

So, the year of the game has been a huge success. We're thrilled. Pictured here is Alfredo's Food Fight. The thing twirls around, and you use the fork to shoot spaghetti and meatballs at the waiter...the front side of the waiter which has velcro affixed to him. Gotta time it right, else your meatball will hit his back, which has no velcro, and you'll have to try again.
The use of the actual fork-shooter, which you see pictured at the bottom corner, was a little above T's skill set. That doesn't stop my T, no sir! She just started lobbing her meatballs at the thing and had a blast.

  • Beware of the Dog: This is a sleeping dog, with a bowl of bones in front. Drawing a card tells you what color and how many bones you must fish out of the bowl in front of the sleeping dog using tongs. If you jostle them too much, the dog awakens, snapping at your hand and barking up a storm. T is scared senseless by it. Nothing like traumatizing your child with a xmas gift!
  • Hyper Dash: OK, this is a great game and I highly recommend it, especially for those days when you're stuck in the house b/c of weather. It comes with five colored cups, that you can put around the house, even in different rooms. It can also be played outdoors. It comes with this joystick thing, that gives you voice commands, and which are more complicated given the chosen game or chosen level. The easiest game and level calls out the colors of the cups. One then runs to the cup and places the joystick (which has a bigger cup on one end), over the correct colored cup. You end up running all around the house. It can be played by 1 to 8 people competeing against each other, or in teams. Buy it for yourself or as a gift. Its less than 20 bucks, Great exercise and a great game!
  • Don't break the Ice and Don't spill the beans: Perennial favorites. T loves them and is quite adept at playing.
  • Spike the Dinosuar: While T fell in love with the thing in the store...when it was strategically placed in a plastic cage...in real life it scares the bejeezes out of her. At a REALLY hefty price, I suggest only getting it for someone 5 or 6 or older. As it stands, T calls it her pet and only interacts with it when its off.
  • What's in Ned's head: although I liked the idea of this game the best of all, so far its not thrilling T too much.
  • Cat in the Hat-I Can Do That: haven't played it yet. She's in stimulation overload at the moment UPDATE: THIS IS A HIT! I describe this game as Simon Says with props. It comes with a trick-a-ma-stick...which is like a limbo stick but doesn't adjust in height. One draws a card to see what they must do...crawl under, skip around, step over, etc. You must draw two more cards from different stacks. The cards command you to perform that act, with a certain time, doing a certain thing with it. E.g.: 1. Skip around the stick, 2. with the fishbowl, 3. under your right arm. T enjoys it very much, but she's also a HUGE Simon Says fan.
  • Cookie Game: forgot to give it to her. I suspect she'll get it for chinese new year.

Christmas Morning

...the finished product! Here's what the living room looked like as dot and I went to bed a little before 1:00 a.m. The vanity was easier to put together than we had anticipated. However, we made a HUGE mistake. In our fervor to get presents wrapped and assembled, we were surprisingly successful in getting T to bed somewhat early. She was in bed by 9:15 and asleep by 9:45 p.m.

It really was sweet. After we went to bed, after about 1/2 hour, we heard Dot moving around in the other room. T exclaimed, sat up in bed, peeked out the window, and attentively listened. It was clear that she thought that it was Santa and the reindeer. I was very afraid that she would tear out of bed to try and investigate. I said, "Quick, pretend you're asleep or he'll leave!". T shut her eyes are hard as she could, and pretended to be asleep. She pretended so well, that she actually did fall asleep!

Why do I say we made a mistake? Take one guess as to what time T woke up this morning. Go on, guess!

Um, was your guess the absolutely HIDEOUS time of 4:30 in the morning? If not, you were wrong. My little girl was up at 4:15, and I stayed in bed pretending to be asleep. Figured she was going to the bathroom. Um, no. I figured wrong. She spotted the presents in the living room, and was busy investigating and talking to herself. She then came to get me, who was sleeping in her bedroom. Well, upon entering, she noticed the princess pup-tent that Aunt Dot got for her. We set it up in her room, and filled it with her stuffed animals. I had the short-lived hope that she'd go inside and fall asleep, but that was nothing but a pipe dream. So up we got, and we woke Dot up at 4:30 a.m.

Of course, the first thing she made a beeline to was the bike. Loves it! The helmet, though, not so much. In her defense, the thing is too big for her, and falls down over her eyes blinding her. Stand by for video of that. I'll be out scouting for an infant sized helmet in the near future.

The biggest hit of the day, besides her tent, is the Sleeping Beauty Talking Vanity. She's thrilled with it, and spent the morning in her new Ariel costume primping and preening in front of the mirror and fixing Sleeping Beauty's hair. She's noted that sleeping beauty has "Dotty Hair".

Another big hit of the day is her camera. Everytime I go to take a picture, she'd make a dive for her camera, and would take a shot, too

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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve...So Where's Rudolph?

One of the fun things about living in sunny Miami, is that its hardly ever cold for Christmas. Of course, that's the bummer of it, too. So, we were able to go outside and search the night's sky for reindeer at our leisure...and in our nightgowns.

Since we didn't see any approaching in the night sky, we figured we needed some extra enducements to make them stop at our house. God knows we're not the best behaved household in the world, so we figured it would be a good idea to hedge our bets. We decided to sprinkle reindeer food, aka uncooked oatmeal, all around the front yard, to ensure that they make a stop at our house!

Then since we still weren't comfortable with either our behavior throughout the year or our enticements of oats, be broke out the big guns for the fat man...COOKIES FOR SANTA!

Now he'll stop here, for sure!

Hope everybody has a very Merry Christmas!

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Our Favorite Gifts!

...Aunt Ceci called today, and insisted we open MORE gifts she sent us. Well, no need to twist our arms, lickity-split we had the two things torn open. Sweet Ceci and family got T a bunch of beautiful children's books about China, and a gorgeous picture frame for her room. But that's not all....two of the books are our FAVORITES! Wonderful stories about the life story of both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Both books are written for children and are quite inspiring.

Also, leave it to ceci, only she could possibly find an Obama Christmas Angel. Do you see the new ornament our tree is sporting? Fabulous! Clearly, I'm dubbing him the Angel of Christmas Future and am praying that he can work some magic on this abysmal economy that he's inheriting .

May the spirit of Christmas come upon him and guide him in the challenging months and years to come!

What a Difference a Day Makes

...that's right, a mere 24 hours later T has woken up in her usual state...full of beans and mischief. T seemed to be feeling better last night, so to get her out of the house we went for a drive, stalking christmas lights. Headed over to the big houses in Coral Gables. Figured we'd see lots of over-the-top decorated houses. Um, not so much. What a bunch of grinches! The few we saw that were decorated, had about the same amount of lights that we have up (3 strings), and their houses are 5 times the size of ours! Bummer.

We then stopped off at Merrick park (the actual park and not the shopping center), where they have a Christmas display set up. Its also a tot lot with a santa in a house for pics. Line was too long, though. I reminds me of something from the 1950's or 60's (and probably is) that you'd see in my fav xmas movie, The Christmas Story...you know, the one about Ralphie and his coveted BB gun/rifle. T had fun running around playing for a while, then consented to leave without a tantrum. Sigh of relief there.

So, speaking of beans, I bet you could see this coming...I gave T another xmas present early. Yeah, yeah, I've already heard it from Aunt Dot. In my defense, we were stuck in the house and T was feeling bad. As I suspected, she LOVES Dont Spill the Beans (or peanuts as T calls them). She's a vicious player and doesn't mind being a big fat cheat. Funny how at certain times, she'll place her bean on the pot, and subtlely tip the thing the other way with her hand, spilling the beans on your side! No fair! T can't wait to play with the grandparents and Con Con. T may have met her match, though. That Aunt ConCon is one savvy, game-playing woman!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Its Beginning to Look Alot like a Hospital...

...all around the house....

Yes, that's right, my hopes of a nice and relaxing day, sans T, have been dashed. She's foiled me again! Poor T woke up with one of those 'wet coughs' and may even have a temperature. She even looks grumpy, doesn't she?
I have a call into the doctor, and we're off to be checked out at 11:00 a.m. T will not be going to school. Now, my plans to wrap presents just got complicated exponentially.

Not that I would ever wish my daughter to be sick, but if she's more than just under the weather, hopefully she'll nap quite a bit today and I can assemble the vanity at that time. Otherwise? I'm royally screwed.

Leave it to T to do this to her poor mother.
UPDATE: Yep, T has a fever of almost 102, and a cough. However, no ear infection, no sore throat, no runny nose. She complains that her tummy hurts. Doc checked her out, and is sending us for a stomach ultrasound, along with the renal ultrasound. The renal is just to make sure she doesn't have any kidney stones due to the chinese infecting their diary supply with melamine...a plastic. Its recommended that all children who were in chinese orphanages and adopted after January of 2005 have one as a precautionary measure.
The doc examined her, and thought that something was enlarged on the left side, either a gland or lymphnode. not sure. He says with skinny kids, you can feel almost every organ in their body. Say sometimes these things become enlarged for no reason, and give kids fevers. Says there's no rush to do this. However, he insists on seeing her again in 2 days. That means, T has a doctor's appt on Christmas Day at 3:00 p.m. Now, doesn't that just bite the big one? I think its criminal to make a kid go to the doctor on xmas!
So, we'll be doing christmas a little earlier than scheduled this year. Connie, i'll probably come get you around 10:30 or so.

Monday, December 22, 2008

It's Beginning to Look Alot Like Christmas...

...all around the house!

God, I just love those target giftboxes, that look like wrapped presents! They are the easiest things around. Add a bow and abracadabra...Instant Present!

Now, now, no comments from the peanut gallery. The bulk of these presents are for the adults. T gets real wrapping paper that she gets to rip into. I'd never do her out of the joy of that!

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Are you a Grinch?

Well kiddies, its Monday morning, and I'm off of work. I'm about to go out for a little xmas shopping, but thought I'd leave you with this quiz, as we haven't had a quiz in a very long time. As least related to me, this quiz is spot-on!

UPDATE: As of about 8:30 this morning, I was strolling through Toys-R-Us. I told my parents I'd get their gift to T for them. I was thinking a Big Wheel, to be kept at their house. I LOVED that thing as a child! Then my dad goes and said he almost bought one, but was afraid b/c she could ride out into the street and get hit. Crap. Talk about raining on my parade. Now paranoid me has decided that maybe I should wait a year for that gift...until T better understands the rules of the road, so to speak. Or in T's case, the rules of the sidewalk.

Instead, I spent a good 2 hours hunting in the toy store for the perfect gift. What a relaxing thing to do without you-know-who along distracting me. Anyway, SOMEBODY will be receiving a Princess Vanity. Wait til you see pics of this elaborate creation!! She'll be thrilled. In the meantime, I'll be spending all of tomorrow trying to figure out how to assemble the thing.

So, what happens after this 2-hour extravaganza and as the store keeps getting crowded and more crowded??? I go to pay and discover I have neither my bank card with me, nor my charge card. Holy mother of God, how in the world could I have forgotten those vital items and better question: where the hell are they? Luckily, the store took a check with just my d/l for identification and I found the cards in the brest pocket of a jacket...where I put them when I last tried to fill up with gas. Anyway, not even this snafu could dull my Christmas cheer. I'm in go-with-the-flow mode...boy, is it easy to achieve this state of nirvana when T is in school!

...Anyway, tick tock... just 3 days left!

Click the link below the white results-box, to find out where you fall on the old Grinch-O-meter.

You Are the Furthest Thing From A Grinch

You love and live for the holidays. You even love the Grinch!

You're in the holiday spirit year round... because you're all about celebrating and giving.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Too Much Time On my Hands...

100 Things Bucket List

Copy/Paste and highlight/italicize the things on this list you have done. I'm not sure who compiled this list, and I've seen similar ones with slightly different lists of "achievements". As this is the one that I've most recently run across, Here's mine:

1. Started your own blog

2. Slept under the stars

3. Played in a band

4. Visited Hawaii

5. Watched a meteor shower

6. Given more than you can afford to charity

7. Been to Disneyland...I'm counting DisneyWorld, here!

8. Climbed a mountain...does rode up a mountain on a tram count if we hiked around a little while up there?

9. Held a praying mantis...and never will! Yuck.

10. Sang a solo

11. Bungee jumped

12. Visited Paris

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch

15. Adopted a child

16. Had food poisoning

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty

18. Grown your own vegetables (thanks to a science experiment in elementary school)

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France

20. Slept on an overnight train

21. Had a pillow fight

22. Hitch hiked

23. Taken a sick day when you're not ill...i either had dr appt's or T was sick!

24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb

26. Gone skinny dipping

27. Run a marathon (a half marathon)

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice...does it count that it was in Vegas at the Venetian??

29. Seen a total eclipse

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset

31. Hit a home run

32. Been on a cruise...just a gambling cruise for the evening, does that count?

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors

35. Seen an Amish community

36. Taught yourself a new language

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

39. Gone rock climbing

40. Seen Michelangelo's David

41. Sung karaoke (unfortunately)

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant

44. Visited Africa

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight

46. Been transported in an ambulance

47. Had your portrait painted

48. Gone deep sea fishing

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling

52. Kissed in the rain

53. Played in the mud

54. Gone to a drive-in theater

55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia

60. Served at a soup kitchen

61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies

62. Gone whale watching

63. Got flowers for no reason...does it count if my dad bought them?

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma

65. Gone sky diving

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp

67. Bounced a check

68. Flown in a helicopter

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten Caviar

72. Pieced a quilt

73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job...class treasurer in the 3rd grade!

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London

77. Broken a bone

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican

82. Bought a brand new car

83. Walked in Jerusalem

84. Had your picture in the newspaper

85. Read the entire Bible

86. Visited the White House

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating...and I never will!

88. Had chickenpox

89. Saved someone's life

90. Sat on a jury

91. Met someone famous

92. Joined a book club

93. Lost a loved one

94. Had a baby

95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a lawsuit

98. Owned a cell phone

99. Been stung by a bee

100. Read an entire book in one day

I tag anyone who is bored enough to do this.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Let the Christmas Celebrations Begin!

Yep, its Friday night and I'm done with work. I also submitted a leave slip for Monday and Tuesday, so for all intents and purposes...it's Christmas! Dot is in the air flying, and should be landing anytime now. So, what do we have to do in the next few days?

  • Go xmas shopping on monday and tuesday while T is in school, and get presents for everybody OTHER than T

  • Visit Santa's Enchanted Forrest one evening...that's an amusement park that's all lit up and decorated for the holidays.

  • Visit the little xmas display park in coral gables

  • Wrap up all the presents and store them in the closet

  • Try not to let T drive me insane in the process

I feel I have a better than average chance of completing four out of five of the above bullets. Its that last one that I feel may give me trouble. We'll see.

We're settling back now, to watch Horton Hears of Who. I always give thanks for a new movie to add to T's reportiore...no matter how good or bad. Variety is the spice of life!

A marvelous plan was made in the stars,
to create a miracle across the ocean so far....
Then entwine and weave all the hopes and labor,
it would take to bring us this joy called "Taylor"....
Now three lives are blessed and somewhere in the stars,
the planners are smiling, as we all are.

Taylor's Gal Pals

How Long We've Been a Family: