Thursday, April 30, 2009

"Faux Friday" and a Few Friends

I know.....most of you our thinking today is Thursday, but for our family, today is Friday. A little over a year ago, PPG offered it's salary employees what they call a 9/80 schedule. So, instead of working 8 hours a day (or 80 hours in 10 days) they work 9 hours for 9 days and then on the 10th day (a Friday) they have off. (Sorry, that's not written very well...I'm confused even writing it. I'm lucky to have any brain cells left after the week we've had!) Well, it boils down to the fact that every other weekend is a 3 day weekend...and this weekend is Iain's!
So every other Thursday is his "Faux Friday." :) You'd be surprised what a big difference that day makes for us.

The cherry on top is that my friends Chellie & Clint (Luke's parents) work at Citgo where they also have a 9/80 schedule and - as luck would have it - they have the same Friday off as Iain. So, that means I have off tomorrow too. Hallelujah! I think this little stir-crazy mom is getting out by myself tomorrow.

Here are a few quick pics of a few friends:

Lunging at the computer screen when I pulled up a picture of a friend's baby - Sophia.

It's so nice to have good neighbors.

There were two in the bed and the little one said.....Roll over! Roll over!
Gianna gives Luke a ride in the walker.
Our sweet friend, Christa, came to play with Gianna & catch up on life.
The very rare snuggle. That's high praise, Christa!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

New Favorite Product

Last week my parents came over and my dad came bearing a new gadget for us – which is not such an unusual occurrence. I’m really trying to simplify and downsize in our home, so when I saw the box, I was a little wary of it’s contents and I feared further clutter.

The package was a Germ Guardian Dry Heat Sanitizer – which I thought would be GREAT for a newborn, but a little worried that it might not be so useful at this stage. I WAS SO WRONG!

With everyone a little on the sick side – especially the 2 babies who put everything in their mouths….it has come in SO handy. It’s not super-huge, but you can fit quite a lot in the container – even small stuffed animals, cloth toys, plastic & metal objects, etc. and still use it for bottles, pacifiers and the like. You just put the items in the container, place the lid on and press the button. That’s it. It turns off when it’s done. And it’s dry heat – so not wet messes. I keep it in my laundry room and spend the whole day dumping things in.

I guess there’s no way of knowing how truly effective it is – but at least I’m feeling proactive in trying to ward off the “sickies.” I may be the last one who knows about this little contraption – but I have to say, I’m sold on it.

And here are just a few pics of the pre-sick baby girl:

Monday, April 27, 2009

Mother Goose Monday

A sick little baby
Could it get more fun?
You better believe it can -
Just add another one.
Two sick babies
What could be more wrong?
A Mama Bear with allergies!
This day is VERY LONG!
This is Gianna’s first time being sick in almost 10 months. It’s really just a little minor cold – primarily sneezing and a stuffy nose. She’s not impressed with that – nor our efforts to “unstuff” her. Seems like the bulb syringe is horrible torture tool we use to terrify her.
They are both really good sports when they can actually breathe. A funny tidbit: every time Luke sneezes or coughs, Gianna thinks it's funny to imitate him. She had me in stitches earlier.

We’re blessed this is the worst we’ve had to deal with so far – and praying for those parents with REALLY sick babies – especially those with terminal conditions. May we always have the grace to keep our lives in perspective.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Bloggin' Mommies

Ha! :) May we all be more attentive to our children than to our computers. Happy Weekend.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Hello Dolly

Yeah...this photo definitely warrants an explanation.
First I have to rewind several decades back to my childhood to my cousin’s birthday, when my aunt gave her a really cool doll. The doll was super-cute, but what made it so unique was that when you moved the arm up and down, the doll actually changed expressions and made different faces (you’ll see in a minute.)

Well, my aunt saw how enamored I was with the doll and went to get me one….but there weren’t any left – correction: there weren’t any white ones left…just a black one. Well, she bought it and I loved it. It didn’t matter to me that it was black. It was actually even cuter since the expressions were more noticeable with the dark skin contrasting with the whites of her eyes. (My dad got the biggest kick out the doll, and on many occasions he requested that I find the doll to show company….even into my adulthood!)

Okay, so fast-forward to Gianna as an infant. A lot people happened to comment that she reminded them of a Cabbage Patch Doll and I may have mentioned that I would have to get her one some day. Well, – a few weeks ago, my dad and mom were coming over and wouldn't ya know, my dad announces that there was a sale on Cabbage Patch Dolls and he couldn't resist buying one for Gianna. “Oh,” he says, ”and they only had black ones left.” Déjà vu!

Let me go on record here as saying that I truly have NO problems with my child having two black baby dolls – I just think it is absolutely hysterical that they happen to be her ONLY two baby dolls at the moment. So, I sandwiched her in between the two cuties and I got so tickled thinking that Gianna looked like the filling inside a Double Stuffed Oreo.
As promised, here are a few shots of some the expressions of my childhood doll. And, NO, she doesn't have glaucoma...her eyes are just a little cloudly due to her age....she's almost as old as me! (No smart remarks.) :)

(Above) Ready to give a kiss. (She actually puckers and kisses.)Surprised look to the right..... (remember now, she's opposite from us!)

Surprised look to the left.....

Sleeping baby....Pouting baby....Silly baby...Now doesn't this one just take the cake? (My husband says this one’s a little freaky, but she really is quite adorable.)

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Small Moments

Sometimes, we spend so much time anticipating the grand moments in life (marriage, births, adoptions, homes, milestones, raises, etc.) that we forget that God hides himself in all the small moments which may seem inconsequential to those who might be too blind, too burdened, too
misguided, too preoccupied or maybe just a little too busy.
One of the gifts of beginning the adventure of motherhood at a more "seasoned" age is that I am well aware of how quickly time passes and am absolutely determined to not miss all those glorious mini-moments that make life so special. Here's to some of those small moments that I've been privileged to witness lately.
My prayer is that I have the discipline and the grace to remain attentive
enough to witness and appreciate many more.Gummy Grin and Dimples - Killer Combination

A little game of Bumper Walkers.

Gianna ordaining Luke to some super special ministry.
Touchdown! (or Praise the Lord - not sure.)
Sunning Buddies
Sugar for Sheridan
No comment necessary.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Itsy Bitsy Spider

She's a little sponge these days. We are getting the biggest kick out of all her performances. You can hear her "singing" along if you try. (More like humming.)

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Joy

Our first Easter activity was morning Mass. The church was packed, which we expected. Little Miss Sunshine has become quite the performer during the service these days. She doesn’t miss a THING and even has various people playing peekaboo with her several pews back. She sings along with the choir, claps her hands and even sings after the choir sings their last note. We made it all the way to the homily before she thought she’d rival Fr. Whitney for the attention of the congregation. Yep, that's our cue....Destination: Cry Room.
I volunteered Iain to bring her to the cry room (I always go) and he came back in time for communion with wide eyes whispering, “She’s a NUT!” (Oh dear.) It seems as though she saves all her little tricks and stunts for the captive audience of the cry room. She knows how to wave, but refuses to do it on command UNTIL the cry room. Waved at ever person in there. She thinks all the crying babies are talking to her – so she talks back – or mimics them (louder if they don’t respond.) She performed “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” Patty Cake, and a few other favorites. I taught her how to turn lights on and off and she thought she’d try to lunge over Iain's shoulder and give it a go at church too. Seems like our little Shekky Lewis was really Yuckin' it Up for her new friends.
Before we headed over to my parents house for the day, our little 5 year old neighbor, Sheridan, came over in her Easter dress to take a picture with Gianna. She asked if she could take Gianna to Kindergarten for Show and Tell. How cute is that?
She got a little walker from my Mom & Dad and loves it even though she can only walk backwards. Thanks Grandma & Grandpa!!!
Oh – I almost forgot. Every year growing up my grandmother used to bake our Easter cake: a decorated lamb cake (not made out of lamb, but in the SHAPE of a lamb!) When she passed away some years ago – I was so sad that I was unable to locate the mold. Well, now with Gianna here I was determined to revive that family tradition. I found a mold on the internet, baked a HOMEMADE pound cake and then with my pastry bag and icing, started the laborious task of “woolin’ up the little sheep.” Dear heavens, I think I now have arthritis! It was okay for my first try, but I’m ordering Gianna’s 1st birthday cake tomorrow.
Oh and I also made Gianna’s Easter Basket. Well, I wove it. No joke…. I really did! (I didn't just sit down and do it --- I took a class and we finished it in one night.)
We remembered our sweet little Maddie & Collin in a special way this Easter. It was a year ago, when they were with us for Easter. We can hardly believe it's been a year since we've seen them. Our prayers are with them daily. Most people reading this know our story. Too long to explain here. If you're interested and have insomnia one night, here's the link to the story of that special journey. Please pray for their safety and well-being.

Enjoy a blessed Easter season and an allergy-free spring!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Easter Bunnies

I know, I know.....I'm a pitiful 1st time mom. ;)

Someone remind me to open up an Easter Bunny/Santa Claus Photography booth, so I can pay for my child's higher education. What a racket!

I know, I'm a nut....but it just makes me smile.
"How did I get her to sleep like that?" you ask? I didn't. She actually just blinked and I accidentally got the shot. One of the few times I'll be thankful for closed eyes in a photo.

May the Easter Joy of our risen Savior be yours, now and always.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Nine Month Stats (already?)

(Click on image below to enlarge.)Just got back from our well baby check-up. Empty waiting room. No shots. No charge (we had a credit.) And bonus formula to boot. Not to mention that we LOVE our pediatrician. How much better can you get? Thanks to Grandma Angel who kept Luke while we went to the appointment. Here are a few more photos: (Gotta love the black and white!)
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