Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Surgery scheduled

I will know more in a few more days, but Elizabeth's surgery is scheduled for January 20, 2010. Dr. Christopher Tiu will have my baby in his care for the surgery at Wheeling Hospital.

I'm still working on plans for her birthday party...am open to any/all ideas...and I'm initially thinking that the date of the party would be January 31st if that works for folks (if not, let me know!)...as Reid is broadcasting a game at Bluefield on the 30th...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Merry Christmas!

As usual, our Christmas has seemed like a whirl-wind affair. However, we are most lucky to be able to see both Reid's and my families on Christmas!

With Rikki & Doug in from D.C., we started off the holiday by celebrating Rick & Carol's (aka Nana & Papa) 42nd wedding anniversary on the 23rd. Elizabeth did a beautiful job setting the table - and I am a horrible mother for not capturing it in pictures. Reid and Doug went to the College Lunch afterwards so their "bro-mance" could continue to blossom.

My antibiotics finally kicked in for my ear infection and sore throat, so I was able to start enjoying the holiday so Christmas Eve was pretty uneventful - which is never a bad thing. Just enjoyed spending time with the Amoses...and I got the special treat of getting to watch my favorite Christmas movie, "Christmas Vacation" while successfully avoiding my least favorite Christmas movie, "A Christmas Story." :-)

Santa came (as did Santa Mouse -- since the cheese had a few nibbles taken out of it!) on Christmas. Elizabeth made out quite well (no surprise there!). I'm still miffed at the Disney Store for crappy merchandise...as the only thing Elizabeth asked Santa for was a doll with brown hair. Santa procured her doll with brown hair (Belle) from the Disney Store, which in a lot of ways goes against every fiber of my being as I'm not-so-much a fan of anything involving the three-effing-fingered-rat...she was gently playing with the Belle doll (no kidding)...and her freaking arm came off! Grrr! I've contacted the online Disney Store, which says they can't do anything for me since Santa procured the item in a store...so now I'm going to be calling the customer service for Disney Store...and if they can't resolve the issue, it looks like after I get the pleasure of driving to freaking Pittsburgh, someone misfortunate soul in the Disney Store in Pittsburgh will get to deal with me - and as the Mortons like to say (usually in reference to my Mom), "Don't poke the bear!"

Elizabeth really likes the Vtech KidiJamz Studio that Santa brought - complete with its 10 musical instrument sounds, 20 songs, a turntable to make the scratching sound, microphone and voice changing effects, and a detachable music device that records the little songs you make, which can then be played in the car via an audio mp3 tape jack - just like an iPod. The biggest hit of the KidiJamz Studio is the ability to plug in the kid-safe headphones so that Elizabeth can hear all of the musical stylings, and, unless she is singing along, we are saved from it!

I'm still trying to figure out the best settings for my external flash for my camera, but am looking forward to playing. I am looking forward to playing with some other toys, too...and Reid is already playing with a few of his surprises.

A visit to the Mortons involved, as it always does, a trip over the river and through the woods - to CaCa's House we go. Again I was a bad girl and didn't snap that many pictures, mainly just ones of the kiddos opening gifts. As always, we had a yummy dinner - thanks Aunt Cathy (and surprisingly Aunt Sarah for not screwing up the sweet potato casserole, yes, we set the bar that low for her...baby steps!) Mmmm...oyster casserole...

The Mountaineers hung on for a nice win on the road yesterday. We're looking forward to watching the bowl game...and Reid will be doing his gumbo dance for new year's day. If you're in our neck of the woods for new year's day, we'll be watching lots of football and eating gumbo (and a few other things like home-made pepperoni rolls, if you're not a fan of gumbo)...

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Neighborhood Elf

Elizabeth has been visited by our neighborhood Elf (Marie & Jim Ritz, our next door neighbors!) Starting with the first day of December until Christmas, Elizabeth has a stocking (a HUGE stocking that they gave us to use for this purpose) that she hangs on the handle of the back door. At some point during the day, the Elf stops by and drops off a present for her! (Yes, we know that we have the best neighbors in the whole wide world!). Here's what she received from the Elf this year:

  • 10 Santa-themed candy bracelets
  • Farm animal peg puzzle
  • Sesame Street Colors, Shapes, & Opposites Flash Cards
  • "Ratatouille: I Smell a Rat" scratch & sniff book (and no, it doesn't smell like a rodent!)
  • Circus coloring book and washable crayons (oh, how well the Elf knows E!)
  • Silly Putty
  • "If You Give a Pig a Party" book
  • Pig (from the aforementioned book) stuffed animal
  • 4-pack of Play-Doh (E: "What color is this?" Me: "Aqua." E: "No! What color is this?" ...to infinity and beyond!)
  • Spin & Go Colors game
  • Cotton Candy (yummy!)
  • Slinky
  • Snoopy Christmas cup & plate
  • Mickey Mouse Club House lip balm (or as Elizabeth says it, "Mickey Mouse Club House - Come inside it's fun inside lipstick.")
  • "Dick and Jane: A Christmas Story" book
  • Pretty pony tail holders
  • Gloves & a coaster with the monogram A (she's so me with that - as she loves her coaster on the table in the kitchen for HER drink!)
  • Set of 3 Christmas bracelets
  • Expandable snowman washcloth & box of Mac & Cheese crackers
  • December 20th - a bit over-the-top: Elizabeth = snowman ornament; Kennedy = snowman bowl; me = kitchen towel with trees on it; Reid = a golf ornament
  • Holiday marshmallows
  • Jigsaw puzzle
  • Disney Princess slide puzzle*
  • Picture Story Pad (draw a picture & tell a story pad)*
* It should be noted that we left to go to Nana's & Papa's house on the evening of the 22nd. The Elf made sure that we had Elizabeth's presents for the 23rd & 24th. Marie & Jim are too much! We are the luckiest people to have them as our neighbors!

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Have you been good? What will Santa bring you?

On the drive from Wheeling to Fairmont last night, Reid & I were asking Elizabeth if she had been a good girl. She said yes. We asked her what Santa would bring her. She said a doll -- and everything because she wants everything.

Then I asked her if Daddy had been good. She said yes. I asked her what Santa was going to bring Daddy. She said "BEER!" Reid asked her if Mommy had been been. She said yes. Reid asked her what Santa would bring Mommy. She said a doll. I said what about stuff for Mommy's kitchen. She then determined that Santa would bring Mommy food for her kitchen.

Beer & food -- not a bad take!

I just got an email from the Portable North Pole (PNP) Communications. Let's see if Santa agrees that Elizabeth has been good and will get a doll for Christmas (click on the link below):

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

T&A and Ear Tubes :-(

We don't have the date of the surgery yet, but Elizabeth will be having a tonsillectomy and adenoidectomy (T&A) and ear tubes...likely in January. Happy 4th Birthday to you, Elizabeth!

I am confident that everything will be great after the surgery, but it is quite scary to sign off on the consent form that says that the anesthesia can cause death. (Any bets on whether or not Nana is now leaving the Blog site right this very minute to get the statistics on this on WebMD.)

There was fluid present in her ears today...so she has basically had fluid in her ears for at least 2+ months. Poor thing! She also was evaluated by an audiologist today who said that Elizabeth's hearing capability was a little below normal as a result of the fluid in her ears.

For 10 days prior to the surgery, E will only be allowed Tylenol if she is in need of pain medication. According to info from Dr. Chris, we can expect:

  • Sore throat (lasting 7-10 days)
  • Ear pain (this is listed for both the tubes & the T&A -- but for the tubes, it said that the ear pain would likely subside within 12-24 hours)
  • Bad breath
  • Scabs in the throat
  • Fatigue/flu-like feelings (lasting 7-10 days)
  • There can be a small amount of bleeding from her ears from the tubes, but it should dry up within 24 hours
  • Her hearing could improve the day of the surgery
The procedure for the tubes takes about 5 minutes. We don't have a time-frame for how much longer it will take for the T&A. If E were only getting the tubes in her ears, this would be relatively uneventful recovery as the only restriction is dealing with the potential water in the ears. We will be getting her custom-fit ear plugs for bathing/swimming -- as she prides herself on being able to go under water for over 10 seconds at a time!

Due to the T&A, she will need to be on a soft-food diet until she can tolerate otherwise. She is allowed "no strenuous lifting, running, or straining for 2 full weeks (fat chance!). She will have to be at home for at least 7 days following the surgery. Also, because of the risk of post-operative bleeding for up to 2 weeks after the surgery (in 3-5% of the surgeries...that will save Nana a trip to WebMD), she is not permitting to travel beyond 20 minutes from home. She will be on an antibiotic for a week following the surgery, too.

We were able to get her X-ray from Friday. Über-cool! Thanks, Dr. Chris! :-)

If anyone want the image without the text I've inserted, let me know...as I know Elizabeth is blessed to be related to some medical (Jeff) and scientific (Cathy) geeks! ;-)

Friday, December 18, 2009

X-Ray Day

When Elizabeth and I play games online at the Sesame Street, there is a put the clothes on Grover game that she really likes. Not that she likes to put Grover in all sorts of clothes, she just likes to get him dressed in the scrubs because then there is an X-Ray graphic and she can obsess about her bones and Grover's bones...

So this morning I took Elizabeth to get the X-Ray of her adenoids.

On the drive to the hospital, she she was talking about how much bigger she will be when she is four-years-old. So I was asking her what kind of birthday party she wanted. She said, "I can have Sesame Street for my birthday when I'm four and Mr. Hooper and Elmo can come. That's a good idea."

I hope she isn't disappointed that Mr. Hooper hasn't been making appearances anywhere since some time in the 80's. She liked watching him on her new movie, "Christmas Eve on Sesame Street."

Then she added, "And when I'm 18, I can have Thomas the Train!"

I'll see if she will be the most popular girl in high school her senior year when I recommend that she have a Thomas the Train party...

She was great when she got the X-Ray! We were able to do it in one take. The technicians were great. Elizabeth liked that Mommy had to wear the funny looking apron...it was much less attractive than her "apron" that looked more like a tool belt. She sniffed the flower at the right time just like they asked. What an angel!

After the techs shot the image, they were very good to let Elizabeth look at it. They pointed out her tongue, her teeth, and her big teeth. She told them that her teeth were already big. They showed me the adenoids, which, at least to me, made it look even more miraculous that she can swallow her own saliva.

E was disappointed that they didn't take an X-ray of her hand. (I'm crossing my fingers that Dr. Tiu can give us a copy or print-out of what they did shoot today - that would make her Christmas, I think!)

When we were in the car heading to daycare, she told me, "I saw my bones, and when I go to see the pandas at the zoo, I'm going to see my X-ray there. My doctor is going to bring it there - right Mommy?"

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Want to Have a Picnic?

Elizabeth wanted to have a picnic this evening. So, she cooked all of the "food" in her kitchen. We had strawberry lemon aid, chicken, and soup. She put her Christmas blanket down on the living room floor, and then she set everything up. She invited a few guests. When I had Madeline on my lap for a while, I got in trouble for sharing my food with her - because you aren't supposed to share your food off of your plate.

I was lucky to get the pictures of her guests and E as she told me, "Enough with the pictures, Mommy. Now eat your food!"

Wishing you were here to partake in the fun!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Elizabeth-isms...part 3

"It's difficult Daddy!" she says in reference to making her radio/CD player work. Followed up by a, "Damnit! I can't get it to work!"

Please picture me putting my index finger on my nose and declaring "NOT IT!" The "D-word" isn't my swear-word of choice...nor Reid's for that matter...in fact, I've been quite good around Weezie...but kudos to her for continuing to use the word in the correct context (this isn't the first, nor I'm sure the last time she will use it!)

More Elizabeth-isms

So I'll be the first to admit that tonight's dinner (that is currently in the oven) isn't my greatest culinary achievement, it is quite a tasty dish of comfort food.

Elizabeth tells me as I'm fixing dinner that, "I want Daddy to cook dinner."

I asked her why. She said, "Because he's a good cooker."

I asked her if I was a good cooker. She said - and I quote, "Nope."

I may seriously develop a complex! It's not as if I was fixing something that ends in "roni" or "Helper"...or involve Cheese Whiz and hot dogs (that's a recipe from my youth that won't be making the Morton Family Cookbook - or will it???). It's homemade Chicken Pot Pie...and I'm actually looking forward to eating it piping hot out of the oven, even if I'm not a good cooker!


This evening, our little techno-geek said, "I need to text Alex and Caylin..."

I think we're creating a monster!

That, and she wants Santa to bring he an iPhone...in addition to, and I quote, "everything."

Good luck with that, kiddo. You've been pretty good, but let's not get crazy...start going to be within an hour of all of your daycare classmates and Mommy and Daddy might reevaluate!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

From Santa's Elves...

A little early Merry Christmas from three of
Santa's best elves - Elizabeth, Alex, & Caylin!

Send your own ElfYourself eCards

ENT visit

Well, for starters, I liked Elizabeth's ENT doctor, "Dr. Chris" (aka Dr. Christopher Tiu). But when a guy who looks at things like say...tonsils...every day takes a look down your 3-year-old's mouth and says, and I quote, "WOW! Those things are huge!" That may be saying something!

Dr. Chris said they aren't the largest ones he has ever seen, but are definitely in the top 10%. Top 10 isn't bad...if you're going to do something, do it well!

To summarize...Tonsils, HUGE. Adenoids - don't know how big they are as you can't see them because of the tonsils, which are huge. We have to get an x-ray of the adenoids so that he can get a look at how big they actually are, but he's guessing they, too, are huge - behind those huge tonsils. Both will be coming out in the near future...no date set as of yet, because...

Elizabeth still has fluid in both ears, although she isn't complaining of anything. So, she will be on a 5-day dose of a steroid. She will also be seeing an audiologist (in Moundsville...good thing for a GPS as I will be making my first ever trip to Moundsville whenever we get the appointment there!) If, when we go back on the 21st for her follow-up appointment the ear infection has not cleared up or if there is any hearing loss (which, at this age is reversible), then he will put tubes in her ears.

Either/both surgeries are out-patient. She will leave the hospital 20 or so minutes after she is awakened from the general anesthesia. She will have to be out of daycare for a week after the surgery (Grandmaaaaaa!). She will be on restricted activity (no jumping, climbing, etc.) for two weeks following the surgery (that's a good one, doc!). And, because of the slight (3-5% chance of bleeding, which is typically minor bleeding (so don't go too crazy on WebMD, NANA!), we will be "grounded" to Wheeling for two weeks following her surgery.

January looks like it will be an interesting month...I wonder what theme I should set for her birthday party now???

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Is That a Frog in Your Throat?

Elizabeth, is that a frog in your throat?

Nope! Them thar is some HUGE tonsils!

They are not inflamed at the moment, they are just in their natural huge state...

Which is why she snores when she breathes, and is prone to ear infections, near continually has a cough or is clearing her throat, is a mouth breather (because if those are her tonsils and the adenoids are behind those tonsils, they, too, are likely big and partially blocking the nasal passage)...and is going to see the ENT tomorrow.

Anyone want to place bets on whether or not she gets her tonsils removed at some point in the next couple of years? Reid will set the line and take the bets...

(If you're really, really interested in a closer look - and Elizabeth isn't in your presence, you can click on either of the photos to view them at full resolution.)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Stuff for therapy at a later date

Nail polish by Elizabeth:

And this won't require therapy, but is just too cute...kissing cousins!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful to/for/about:

  • My health and the health of my family members. Some times I think I take this for granted...until something happens in the real world that snaps me back into reality.
  • That the green m&m Elizabeth thought seemed like a good idea to stick up her nose on the car ride into Webster Springs last night came out without too much drama. And that, for at least a little bit, it caused her some discomfort - not because I'm sadistic, but so that maybe next time she won't think it is a good idea to stick something up her nose! (For those of you who are curiosity seekers, it was just a plain m&m...)
  • For the good news from my dear friends and conspirators in "Team 911" - Shoog is preggers, Nicole is preggers, RFKM isn't, but his wife is...Katie-Kate, who clarified that she is definitely not preggers...and the rest of the general conversation that went back and forth this week (that doesn't need detailed here)...all of which has brightened my week! Miss all y'all as we are so far over-due for a get-together! Could it really have been that it was in 2003 that nearly all of us were last together??? We must rectify this soon...so we can really do something that will cause our children (and respective spouses) to need much therapy!
  • Offense! Lots and lots of offense! The Toppers won last Saturday over Edinboro (84-63). I'll be very thankful if this winning streak continues on this Saturday over Cal!!! Go Toppers!
  • Things that make me laugh...like the Liberty Mutual Football Coach of the Year voting. Not so funny in DII (vote now for Coach Waialae!)...but when I was checking the Division I leaderboard...who did I see in the Top 10 (#8, actually) -- Rich Rod. Hilarious! Nearly as funny as this little nugget that Ryan Zundell altered that also caused me to laugh (also at Coach Rod's expense)...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Yeah, Toppers!

West Liberty won the second round of the NCAA DII Football Playoffs!

84-63 over Edinboro.

For those of you who aren't followers of WLU football, they were the number 1 seed, so they had a bye last week. Edinboro was WLU's lone defeat in the regular season...the first game of the season...paybacks are nice!

Elizabeth was thrilled to get her picture taken with the Hilltopper Cheerleaders! As long as the cheerleaders are at the game, she will declare, "The Toppers win!" Too bad I didn't have my camera with me - only my Blackberry. They offered her pom-pons, but she was just a little bit freaked out, not that you can't see that on her face!

We're heading up the hill again shortly for the WLU men's basketball game vs. Wheeling Jesuit. Then back up tomorrow early afternoon for the WLU women's basketball game. Can the Toppers sweep this weekend???

Go Toppers!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful to/for/about:

  • Papa's (Reid's dad's) doctors - Sunday marked the 10 year anniversary of his quadruple heart bypass surgery. He had good enough doctors that caught the major blockages to his arteries - in time to prevent him from having a heart attack. I guess some times it takes more than an apple a day...
  • Family - we are so blessed to have such loving, supportive, and fun families.
  • My cousin, Hans, for getting some good (and deserved) press! He was named All-WVIAC 1st Team Men's Soccer!
  • My LLBFF, Kristin...enjoyed the chat yesterday afternoon! I hate that an ocean separates us, making it impractical for a daily chat, but I do ♥ you!
  • Getting to see two of my favorite AACE friends last Friday when they came to Morgantown (from Rochester & Edmonton, respectively) - Todd & Frickin' Lance. Reid was finally able to meet the infamous Frickin' Lance...who then made me thankful for the next entry...
  • That Elizabeth hasn't fully picked up on any bad sayings as of yet. Lance was telling us that he got in trouble with his (4-year-old) son's daycare...and, as a result, his wife, when his son, instead of telling his teacher that he needed to "go poopy" or "go #2"...Jacob said, "I need to go squeeze a loaf!" I'm very, very thankful that Elizabeth hasn't dropped any such words of wisdom on us or the good folks at her daycare!
  • Athletics! It will be a ridiculously busy (for Reid) next few days - men's basketball game tonight; football playoff game tomorrow afternoon; men's basketball game tomorrow night; women's basketball game Sunday afternoon; (Monday "off" - let's not go crazy!); basketball double-header on Tuesday night. It is an insane schedule, but oh how I do love college athletics!
Goooooo Toppers!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful to/for/about:

  • Safe travels this week to & from Atlanta...and especially a score on a better timed one-way flight home (otherwise my plane wouldn't have yet departed).
  • A warm welcome from my puppy...my Sweet Babboo...and my darling daughter (in order that I saw them!)
  • Elizabeth who was quoted as saying at dinner tonight, "Ice cream will make me healthy." She so tickles me!
  • My Sweet Babboo remembering to throw out the jack-o-lantern this week with the trash...it was quite rotten when I left for my trip, but I wasn't gonna touch it!
  • Sesame Street for 40 wonderful years! What great educational fun for both young and old! (And for the free Google Sesame Street t-shirts that will be coming my way for a Christmas purchase or two for Elizabeth & Alex! Love a bonus gift!
  • Elizabeth's teachers - she's doing so well writing some of her letters. (Darn us for giving her such a long name...some day she will have all of those letters licked...and in their proper order!)
  • For all of our Veterans...and those who are currently serving our country. (Please pray for my friend Robbie Godfrey who departs for Afghanistan tomorrow - God speed, Robbie!)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful to/for/about:

  • Nana - and her unbelievably over-the-top-AWESOME-costume-making-skills! Many, many compliments on the costume. One (green-with-envy) mom said that the costume looks every bit as good as the costumes folks at Disney wear.
  • My Daddy (E's Papi) - for being a Fireman. Elizabeth's classroom is studying the letter F this week, primarily firemen. For show-and-tell today, we made a photo book of pictures from when Papi took Elizabeth to the fire station. She loves reading her book. (And, to be fair to everyone else in the family, she has told me that she needs a book about her and Grandma, her and Nana, her and Papa, her and Aunt...EVERYONE she is related to... That's a lot of frickin' books!)
  • Trick-or-Treaters - some 175+ of them (in 1 hour of trick-or-treating). Some really cute kids. Some ridiculous parents that were trick-or-treating with their babies to come score some free candy...but my favorite had to be the 4 high school boys that were dressed as terrorists - with bombs taped to their chests. They were trick-or-treating for Unicef, not candy. They not only made me laugh, but it was a good to see some younger kids doing some good for others!
  • THE BEST next door neighbors, who brought me a cup of "Witch's Brew" (hot apple cider) while I stayed behind to give out candy. It hit the spot!
  • Elizabeth - who was most excited about trick-or-treating! She was my very favorite trick-or-treater...she stopped by three times to get candy. (I think she was afraid that I was going to give out all of that candy from the 5 Sam's Club bags that I bought for the occasion.)
  • Getting to hang out with our friends, the Koeglers - Jason, Sarah, Campbell, & Will. Sarah reported that Elizabeth's costume got tons of compliments from adults and kids alike...so many that she has called dibs on Will getting to borrow the costume for next year.
  • My family coming "home" today. Elizabeth & I will be going to Sutton tomorrow to see Grandma, Papi, Aunt Anne, Uncle Sean, and Alex! Yippie!
Happy Halloween everyone!!! :-)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Elizabeth gets a haircut!

I am so far behind on blogging, I forgot to post about Elizabeth getting her first haircut! She got her first official haircut over a month ago, September 20th.

Shame on me (let the screaming & crying begin since there is shame on me...I love that shame on you still works...)

Connie Abruzzino was kind enough on a very, very busy weekend (her niece got married in the eastern panhandle area...when she & Danny got home their freezer had quit working...they had to go to Clarksburg to replace the freezer...and then she cut Elizabeth's hair...on a Sunday, no less.) She was not only sweet enough to take the time to give E her first REAL* haircut, but she insisted on sending E back with a package of cookies (as opposed to just giving her a cookie)...and refused payment, despite Elizabeth's attempt to slip her some cash.

Also, don't think that we were punishing our kid (especially after looking at how pensive she looks in the first picture - of her getting ready for the haircut.) I can't remember the last time she got as excited about anything like she did to get her haircut.

The cut is super cute, and it makes her curls stand out a bit more. I still don't know what to do with Elizabeth's hair as it is sooooo thin. (My hair is ridiculously thick, so I'm going to have to consult with the women in my family for what to do with a thin head of hair.)

* Explanation of the "real" haircut. Since Connie's handy-work got Reid off of the hot-seat, I can now explain to everyone on the WWW what a sore spot with me the haircut issue has been. When I was in New Orleans for work just a few days shy of Elizabeth's first birthday, Reid took the kitchen shears to Elizabeth's hair. Yes, that would be the same shears that I use to open a package of bacon, or to cut up some raw chicken...so completely sanitary... (Reid has been made painfully aware of how miffed I was over the issue - not only the nastiness of the situation, but that I missed out on this "first.")

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Catching Up (AGAIN!)

Wow, how is it that I get so far behind on the Blogging thing (not nearly as far behind as Anne...or even worse, Reid!)...so here's to catching up (a very hodge-podge post):

  • Elizabeth Funny: A few weeks ago after E's bath, I was attempting to put lotion on her. She was squirming all over the place (as she hates the lotion ritual, but with eczema, it's not a ritual that we will relinquish...). So, she was squirming all over the bed, I had lotion all over my hands...when I was able to grab her by the ankles to drag her into the position on the bed where she was supposed to be. She-who-doesn't-like-to-listen said, "Ouch, Mommy! You broke my heart and hurt my feelings!" I'm picturing her Oscar acceptance speech right now...
  • Sean-e-Boy had back surgery...came out with flying colors. Is rehabbing quite well, too! So well that Anne, Sean, & Alex (and Mom who went to NYC to help care for Alex during Sean's recovery) will be coming to WV next weekend! Amazing!
  • With the kitchen looking much improved these days...the dining room is starting to call my name...must get rid of the hideous flowery 1989 wallpaper in there...but there is soooo much woodwork that I will need to protect, making this a difficult project, I'm sure. And if this wallpaper is anything like the crap-o-la in the kitchen, it will be put up with super-glue...would love to have a dining room face-lift before Christmas, though, so we'll see!
  • Elizabeth is going to be a Panda for Halloween. Nana made the costume (with an assist going to Papa for the head). It is over the top. Seriously. Will get pictures up of her in the costume (she wasn't so much cooperative when I tried last weekend.)
  • Reid & I will be Don & Betty Draper for Halloween. Mad Men is
  • I met Newt Gingrich and didn't hurl on the spot. Amazing, I know! He's shorter than I expected...and very soft-spoken in private (also didn't expect that.) Reid & Jason Koegler did an outstanding job putting the event together, especially on such short notice! Speaker Gingrich's canned speech was quite good (yes, I'm actually saying that), where he mostly talked about history and leadership...until the Q&A session at the end...when he got off his canned speech topic and onto topics in which we disagree...
  • How on earth is WVU ranked 23rd in the nation? I love my Mountaineers & all, but this may be a stretch...
  • WL beats UC at UC in OT... I looooove it! UC folks are so freakin' arrogant, and honestly, I'm not sure why. I took my SAT test there...went into some large auditorium-like classroom, and was handed a slab of plywood for my "desk." This piece of plywood didn't attach to anything, I was just expected (and was forced to) put this crappy piece of plywood on my lap in an auditorium and take the SATs. And I can't count the number of times I've practiced or played hoops in their gym. It was always a disgusting experience. The showers were vile - so much so I wouldn't take off my tape or socks...and would wear flip-flops into the showers hoping not to catch the kooties from some nastiness on the floor. Their arrogance has always baffled me...so I'm super loving that their fans were already making space in their trophy cabinet for their conference championship - some even counting on the national championship...and got beaten by West Lib in OT on their field...and it was their homecoming. To quote SNL's Linda Richmon, "I love it! I love it! I love it! I love it! I love it!" Now come on Toppers...just take care of business these next two weeks! (And in the post-season, of course!)
  • I've been neglecting a few things (like the dining room...and if anyone would believe it, household-chores, but that would be a lie since I'm not that much into them to begin with) to scrapbook a bit...need to get my scrapbook space better organized as Elizabeth has a bunch of her toys (go figure) in the floor of my scrapbook space...thinking that wide plastic drawers might be what is needed...easy for her to put her stuff into...and for me to get the gifts and other stuff that I have down there that I need to store in a more organized fashion.
  • Now I know what Angie meant when she said that the Leap Frog Fridge Phonics would get old..."B says b, B says b - every letter makes a sound B says b." If it weren't such a good educational toy it might be in the trash right now!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Kitchen - nearly done

After 30-ish hours of painting (including all of the freaking primer that had to go up!), not to mention the multiple "vacation" days that I took off from work...we got the kitchen into a pretty good state. We still need to do the countertops - and the pressed tin ceiling - and fix the damaged tiles, but things look much, much better than when we started!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Kitchen project - part deux

So I took Monday as a "vacation" day so that I could spend some quality time in the kitchen. All I have to say (well not exactly all I have to say...since I do have a Blog to keep, after all!) is THANK GOD I HAVE AN EDUCATION!!!

I hurt all over!

There are some cracks in the floor - as a result of settling in a 94-year-old home. At some point, before the Dorthy Draper pink & green laminate flooring went down, a leveling compound was poured in strips over the cracked portion. Yesterday I chipped away at the leveling compound and did an initial scrubbing of the floor (from the entry of Elizabeth's playroom - across to the dishwasher and down to the entryway. It wasn't a Sue-Baby scrubbing, but a scrubbing nonetheless. I still have lots more scrubbing to do to get that section of the kitchen acceptable.

After work this evening, don't ask me why...I must be a glutton for punishment...I went back at it for a bit. When Reid got home from taping Coach Waialae's tv show, he got after it for a bit, too. Elizabeth is a wonder at running the shop vac!

Every muscle in my body hurts. No exaggeration. This is much worse than any preseason that I endured (sans injuries requiring surgery, of course!). I have blisters on my right thumb and the outside left part (near the knuckle) of my right index finger -- bad ones. My fingers are swollen - right hand worse than the left. And for some bizarre reason, the top part of my left foot is swollen (yes, that is the same foot as the ankle reconstruction, but I doubt those two are related.)

We're nearly done at the chipping away of the leveling compound so that the additional scrubbing can commence. Then we'll need to figure out what to do with the areas where there is wood - as there is a different, larger floor plan for the current kitchen from its 1915 layout. We will need to figure out what needs done to repair the problem areas - cracks, bad tiles, etc. Will also need to figure out whether or not this floor is worth keeping or whether or not we need to look for a replacement.

Calling Bob Villa...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Kitchen - minor face lift

Although we love our home, I don't think it has been any secret of how much we hate the kitchen. With its carpeted floors -- how unsanitary, older cabinets, and hideous wallpapered walls (throw back to the "step bitch" - there must have been one heck of a sale in 1989 of this crap!)

Here is a picture of me assessing the situation on the day we toured homes in Wheeling. Wondering whether or not I could live with a kitchen like this. One that didn't have a dishwasher (gasp!) and with a small refrigerator. And the carpet...

Sadly, not much has changed since this photo was taken. We've added a new refrigerator - moving the other one to the basement. We added a dishwasher - as I couldn't live with dishpan hands. And all of the previous owners' nick-nacks are gone. On the cabinet that is in front of me in the picture is where my KitchenAid stand mixer has been - and my TV. Other than that, what you see is what you get.

I've been back and forth in my head as to what colors I should paint in there. I had settled on Benjamin Moore Million Dollar Red for the cabinets (as I would never do something so HGTV crazy as to paint kitchen cabinets, but we're being sensible and waiting until the house in Fairmont sells before really renovating the kitchen!), Benjamin Moore Wheeling Neutral for the walls, and a white trim that as closely as possible matches the trim in Elizabeth's play room.


Yesterday, Reid and Nick, a nice young man who is a freshman on West Liberty's basketball team, started the demo work on the floor!

The carpet was glued onto pink & green linoleum tile (think Dorthy Draper & the Greenbrier pink & green), which had adhesive and leveling compound under that, which has the original 1915 hexagonal gray marble tile with a pattern of green flowers & white centers. (Now I'm totally at a loss for what colors to use when I get to painting - all ideas are welcomed!) But for now, we'll be dealing with the floor to restore as much of them as possible, we hope! If not, we'll at least be down to the lowest level of flooring to put something on top of them...

What were Elizabeth & I doing during much of this demo work, you might ask. Aside from me getting a sunburn, we were planting tulips and crocuses in the front walk way of our house. I planted a few crocuses in two of the planters in back of the house (that are against the garage). I finished clipping the irises (dang perennials that require work in the off-season -- this isn't basketball!). I removed the mint that was in the landscaped area next to the driveway (and trust me this was enough mint for the Kentucky Derby!). I will be planting tulips and crocuses in some of that landscaped area, but Elizabeth wasn't being as mindful at that point, so we had to go in back of the house where she could be gated in.

Later in the evening, Elizabeth was "allowed" to help. She is so excited to help get to use the tools it's not really even describable!

So, this is basically the end of one long day's work. We are still trying to figure out what we can do in certain areas (like in the back wall of the kitchen, the tile stops, but a previous owner added the width of 10 boards when the kitchen was expanded at one time...and there is wood, too, in front of the sink where the tile ended in an odd area...not to mention that the cabinets were put over the Dorthy Draper tiles...)

Still lots to be done so that Elizabeth can realize her dream of wearing socks and skating on the kitchen floor.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Engaging News!!!

We're so excited with the engagement of Rikki & Doug!!! Rick & Carol were up in Wheeling when we got the phone call from Rikki that Doug had popped THE question! We celebrated with a champagne toast -- Elizabeth got a juice. Congratulations to the happy couple!!!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Payoff

The potty-training is slowwwwwly but surely coming along. We've resorted to all sorts of rewards. (For those of you who have has success with stickers or M&M's - I really don't want to hear it! We've tried just about everything...but a combination of stickers, M&M's, juice (which is otherwise forbidden at our house!), and other random rewards, including but not limited to getting to jump on the bed) seem to have us in business - for the most part.

Last night after dinner, Elizabeth told her Daddy that she wanted gum (from the gumball machines left over from her Candyland birthday party...super fresh!). We said no.

Elizabeth, "But I want one."

Daddy, "Well, I want a million dollars, but that's not going to happen."

Elizabeth: "I will give you a million dollars. I want a gum ball."

Elizabeth then promptly left the dining room and went to her play room. After retrieving her mad money, (which looks like a Tony Soprano wad of cash before he is going to spend an entertaining evening at the Bada Bing), she came back into the dining room with cash in hand.

Elizabeth: "Here you go! A million dollars! Now can I have a gum ball?" She said as she handed her Daddy her wad of cash.

(It should be noted that Elizabeth didn't give her Daddy a million dollars, but she did give him all of her monies, mostly in ones...$84 dollars actually - for two gum balls!)

She later pooped in the potty. Her Daddy rewarded her by giving her back her million dollars! Maybe the million dollar reward will be the one that does the trick!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Thankful Thursday!

Today I'm thankful to/for/about:

  • A good imagination! This evening, Elizabeth's right eye has been "gunky" (some kind of goopy build-up in it that had to be cleaned out a few times.) The eye is also pretty red. I asked her if anything had happened during the day to make her eye that way. She told me that 5 aliens punched her in the eye to make it like that.
  • New wheels...good riddance to the Infinity...hello Ford Focus! (Seriously loving the improved gas-mileage!)
  • A nice visit with Anne, Sean, & Alex - despite Sean-e-boy's back issues. (Hope he's able to find a good doctor and quick relief upon their return to NYC!)
  • The start of the college football season! (If summer must end, at least I get some college football!) Let's Goooooooo Mountaineers!
  • That Coach Rod seems to be having a rough week - you reap what you sow, a-hole!
  • A long weekend...it's always nice to have that to look forward to!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Playing Catch-Up!

It's been forever since I last posted. I'm an ass!

So...Reid's high school reunion was a great time. Kudos to Andrea McElroy and others who planned the weekend! From the weekend in Fairmont we took off for DC (with Nana) to visit Rikki & Doug.

The week in DC was filled with activities -- 1 day at the Museum of Natural History (so E could see dinosaur bones and "The Hall of Apes"), 1 ridiculously full day that included 6 hours at the National Zoo + 3 hours at the Air & Space Museum (E insisted on seeing some "arrow planes"), 1 (albeit cranky for the most part) day at the American History Museum (my favorite!), 1 minor league baseball game, Reid & I got away for an evening in Baltimore to hang out with Jake and see his new place, and lots of fun!

If you haven't seen the American History Museum since the American Flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the National Anthem has been restored - it is a must! I visited the museum on several occasions while the flag was being restored, which was really neat to see...but now that it is restored -- it is simply breathtaking! (You can learn more about it here: http://americanhistory.si.edu/exhibitions/exhibition.cfm?key=38&exkey=70)

Stories from the game that tickle my funny bone:

The minor league baseball game we went to was the Bowie Baysox (a Baltimore Orioles affiliate) vs. the Portland Sea Dogs (a Red Sox affiliate). We were happy to have Elisa Gladstone join us all for the game - it's always good to see Elisa! E was especially glad to have her friend, Elisa, join us as Reid & I were quickly ditched so she could hang out with Elisa. The Baysox mascot, Louie, was this big muppet-looking green "thing." Really cute, actually. When Elizabeth first saw him from a distance, she jumped from Elisa's lap onto Doug's.

Then E obsessed a bit (shocker!) and would tell us that after the game, and after the fireworks, and after she ran the bases, she would meet Louie. Reid, having played these reindeer games before, got Louie down to our section to meet Elizabeth. (Louie was quite a sport, too, I must add!) Needless to say, Elizabeth didn't want him at all near her. Doug tried to show E that Louie was a good guy and gave him a high 5. (Meanwhile, Louie is hugging & kissing on Reid's head...while Doug is sniffing his hand that he just high 5'd with Louie!) Doug later told us that Louie's hand was really wet, which made his (Doug's) smell like stinky feet. E never warmed to Louie...but she survived. Rikki & Doug (after a thorough scrubbing of his hand, I'm sure) bought Elizabeth a stuffed Louie. Upon receiving her Louie Baysox stuffed mascot, E observed, "Hey! His hand isn't wet!"

More obsessing -- here's a bit of my conversation with Elizabeth later that evening:
E: Is Louie tired, Mommy?
Me: Yes, Elizabeth. Louie worked hard tonight. I'm sure he is tired.
E: Am I tired, Mommy?

Reid nearly caught a foul tip. (To do so, min you, he would have had to have knocked down a 12-year-old kid...he's so not as competitive as I am!) Afterwards, Elizabeth came down next to Reid and said, "Next time I'm going to catch the ball, Daddy!" That's my girl!

After the fireworks, Reid tried for some time to get Elizabeth to run the bases. (Louie was blocking home plate so he could high 5 all of the base runners with his wet, stinky feet hand!) He even got E so far as getting her feet on the field to no avail. (At least there was no crying - as there is no crying in baseball!) Eventually, Reid & E headed back to join the rest of us. Fewer than 10 minutes later while on the way to the car, Elizabeth tells me, "Hey! I forgot to run the bases!"

We've had a great summer! Elizabeth is swimming a bit -- easily goes under water and can hold her breath for 10 seconds (no holding of the nose, either!). She's super-tanned...like the Coppertone baby. (I'm quite savage, too! Tanned enough that you can tell the difference between my skin and the white on my t-shirt!) We're making some progress on the potty training...although I'm ready to start looking to see if we can easily transition from pull-ups to Depends as it doesn't seem as if this is ever going to end!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Hail Wheeling!

I told Reid last evening that the deer must have had a great feast on the hydrangea bushes in the front of our house. The hydrangeas were chewed to shreds!

Apparently we got out of Wheeling at the right time. On Tuesday, July 21st, a hailstorm lasting for more than 30 minutes hit Wheeling. Our next door neighbors, Jim & Marie (the greatest neighbors in the world) phoned to make sure we knew to look over our property. The pictures they took of the aftermath showed hail stones from very small to nearly the size of golf balls.

Here is a picture that someone in the area snapped of the storm (no idea who or where):

I guess the deer didn't have a feast after all.

So, after talking with Jim & Marie, we set about to inspecting around our home. Fortunately, no major issues with the house. A few vents were dinged. Some paint was chipped off the house (not good, but it could be worse.) All of the stained glass is intact. Even the glass-topped patio tables are free of damage. The landscape lights show indentations, one is cracked on the top.

I started taking pictures of things like the landscape lights, the plants (I know that is hostas pictured and not the hydrangeas!) -- pictures that could help us should we need them for insurance...

The greatest damage was done to Elizabeth's table. (Doesn't she really look pathetic?) To make matters worse -- Elizabe th inspected her "colors" (colored chalk) and noticed that the lid to one of the containers wa s cracked (gasps!) She insisted that I take a picture of this, too!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Things EJ Will Miss About West (by God) Virginia

With our dear friend, Erin, heading South for her internship at Disney's Wide World of Sports (soon to be ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex), I thought it would only be appropriate to give her a send-off Blog post...with some of the things she will most miss about West (by God) Virginia:

  • Showing people where she lives while simultaneously flipping them off.
  • Game days...nothing is finer than a fall in Morgantown on game day!
  • Getter "Bonnie Blue Blazer" inspected by the Great State of West Virginia and declaring on an annual basis that she is not a farm-use vehicle.
  • Pepperoni rolls
  • Being bossed around by a 3-year-old that inquires, while EJ is bathing her, "Ya gittin' in???"
  • A cemetery in her back yard.
  • Country Roads -- and all of the beautiful scenery.
  • The WVIAC Basketball Championship week...always a good time!
  • The social scene at D-Lazy Lizzard, Bent Willies, and the other fine-quality establishments downtown...
  • Coffee, free Wi-Fi hot spot, and excellent bridesmaid dress alterations thanks to the Fairmont Folks!
  • Michael Walker...oh wait, that ship has already sailed!
  • Clapper Burgers
  • Easter celebrations with the Morton Clan in Webster Springs.
  • Having to pay to get that savage tan...
Considering what goes on with the animals around here, she may be happy to be getting out of dodge!

Happy trails, Erin! We'll miss you!!!

Friday, July 3, 2009


Sometimes it's just easier with the Cliff Notes:

  • Last day = Yesterday (as in, "I played with the kids last day.")
  • Yes I ma'am = Yes, I am!
  • West Liderdee = West Liberty
  • Pack Pat = Backpack
  • Patapiller = Caterpillar
  • Paint Nails = You have your fingernails/toenails painted
  • I wanna watch 'The Kids' = Jon & Kate + 8 (one of her favorite shows)
  • I'm going to 'The Kids' = Daycare
  • Miss Frienda = Miss Brenda (her teacher at Daycare)
  • Baseball Papi = Big Papi (David Ortiz) - still not to be confused with Papi (Rogers Cunningham)
  • Lady = Erin Jones - she sometimes call Erin by her actual name, but for the most part, it's "Lady"
  • Pewter = computer (as in, "Close your puter, Daddy.")
  • Moat = remote
  • Can I help you? = Move over, I'm going to do this...forewarned is forearmed.
  • It's Wake-Up Time = daybreak (pre-cock-a-doodling of any roosters!)...yet, strangely, when the sun goes down, it isn't "Shhhh! It's sleepy time down South"
  • Yellow is MY favorite = Yellow is my favorite color. Because it is my favorite color, it cannot be your favorite color. Additionally, I reserve the right to call certain foods that are yellow during certain times of the day (example: bananas at breakfast or corn during dinner) by the color "yellow" (typically stated, "I want to eat Yellow.") and you should know just what in the heck I'm talking about, because "Yellow is my very favorite!"

Monday, June 15, 2009

Take Me Out to the Ballgame...

We took Elizabeth to her first ever baseball game on Sunday -- a MLB game, no less (she only goes first class!) Pittsburgh v. Detroit.

A few things of note: Throw back day to 1909 -- not a good thing! No music, no video board, no additional scoreboards (so you can keep up with other games), no mascot, no 7th inning stretch...a bit of a snooze-fest, IMHO.

Traffic was ridiculous. Not completely because of the game, but the Pittsburgh Arts Festival is going on, too...and the way the signs directed traffic from the Interstate was not well thought out. We sat in traffic for much longer than we typically would have, so we didn't get Elizabeth as much time on the bouncy toys as we would have wanted.

Reid kept score, like he and his Dad would do at games they attended together. Some day he'll be able to teach Elizabeth how to keep score at a game.

It was a beautiful day...very sunny...quite hot for early June. I sprayed both Elizabeth and me down with SPF 50. She managed to darken her tan. I burned my shoulders, not painfully though, a bit on my legs, and a bit on my face. I'm so thankful that Elizabeth has Reid's complexion...it's an awful lot of work to stay as white as I am!

A huge thrill for us was the introduction of the Pittsburgh Penguins -- with Sidney Crosby carrying in Lord Stanley's Cup. Woo Hoo! Let's Go PENS! What a treat for E's first game!

Although Elizabeth didn't watch a lot of the game, she was sooooo good. And she got a couple of "surprises" for Papa in the gift shop during the 2nd inning. (Although she may have let the cat out of the bag yesterday evening on the phone. We'll see if Papa can get an Oscar for his acting surprised in a few days...)

The Pirates won, making it a very bad weekend to be a Detroit fan. Elizabeth is now a fan of the Pirates, too. (No worries, Papi, she still says that the Red Sox are her very favorite.) She was disappointed that she didn't get to see Baseball Papi. I tried to no avail to explain that Baseball Papi plays for a different league...

One of Elizabeth's highlights was getting to run the bases after the game. It is really neat that they let kids down on the infield to run the bases on their Sunday home games. Elizabeth, like many of the kids, was a bit disappointed that she didn't get more than one trip around the bases. However, later in the evening, when we were eating dinner at Cheddars, E saw a picture of PNC Park behind our booth. She told us, "That is where I ran 'round, and 'round, and 'round, and 'round the bases."

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Shame on Daddy

Elizabeth doesn't like to be shamed on. She doesn't really mind being in trouble. She doesn't care if we tell her to stop doing something because she may get hurt. But shaming on her -- that she wants no part of! (See Blog entry from January 12, 2009: http://wvu-mama.blogspot.com/2009/01/nearly-forgotten-elizabeth-funny.html).

We were having an indoor picnic lunch today when Reid started playing with the left-over popcorn kernels. I told him to stop since I didn't want Elizabeth to pick up on this. (He does listen, so he stopped.)

But ever the Daddy's girl, Elizabeth said to me, "Don't tell that to Daddy."

To which I, ever the one to egg on, said, "Shame on you, Daddy. You shouldn't do that."

Then Elizabeth moved from sitting beside us both to sitting as close to her Daddy without being on his lap and told me, "Don't shame on my Daddy! He's a good boy!"

He didn't offer to buy her a pony for taking his side, but I think we're going to "the Oglebay" in a little bit to go swimming. And he just got us tickets to go to the Pirates game tomorrow. It will be Elizabeth's first MLB game (sorry, kiddo that you won't be watching Baseball Papi and the Red Sox!) It looks to be a pretty neat day for her first game -- there are a ton of promotions going on: Players at the Gate - where all players & coaches (excluding the starting pitcher) will be greeting fans at the gates from 12:00 noon - 12:30 p.m.; Turn Back the Clock Day - The Pirates and Tigers Turn-Back-The-Clock at PNC Park to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of the 1909 World Series matchup that saw the Pirates defeat the Tigers for their first World Series Championship. In honor of this anniversary, both teams will wear their 1909 uniforms as the Pirates replicate the turn of the century ballpark in-game experience.; Kids Day - Sunday home Pirates games are Kids Days! From the Giant Eagle Kids Fun Zone on Federal Street before the game to after the final pitch when all kids are invited to Run the Bases right down on the field, Sundays are for the youngest Pirates fans. (Pre and post-game activities are subject to schedule and weather.); and Kids Ice Cream Bowl - Kids 14 and younger get this ice cream bowl.

She is sooooo excited to go to the game tomorrow! I hope she does #2 in the potty so she can eat the ice cream out of that bowl tomorrow... We shall see!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Where Is It?

With just about 4 minutes to go in the nail-biter that was the Game 6 of the Stanley Cup (Go Pens!), Elizabeth begins the quest to find her paci.

"Where is it, Mommy?"
"Where is it, Nana?"
"I don't want that one, Papa."
"Daddy, where's my paci?"

This is basically all we heard for the final 4 minutes of this ridiculously tight game.

There are 26 seconds to go in the game when Papa asks Elizabeth, "Where did you have your paci last?"

E replies, "In my MOUTH!"

She's too darned funny!

Let's Go Pens! It would be too sweet to see Crosby lift that 35 pound cup...

Monday, May 25, 2009

Alex is TWO!

What a great time was had at Alex's 2nd birthday party! Alex is one spoiled two-year-old, and I had nothing to do with that ;-)!

To guide folks into the party, which was held at Alex's second favorite aunt's (Aunt Jane Freshour) home (I'm, of course his favorite aunt!), I made this huge-ass sign -- getting good use out of my Sesame Street font cartridge for my Cricut:

And then there was a smaller Big Bird sign at Alex's Grandma & Grandad Wine's house...with the final sign at Aunt Jane's house. If you couldn't find your way to the party, you were pretty blind!

Alex's Aunt Cheryl said that she was so distracted with the big sign, she nearly wrecked her car...and I believe she can remember how to get to her sister's house!

If you couldn't figure it out from the party invitation and these signs, we had a wee bit of a Sesame Street theme going...

Aunt Jane found her Cookie Monster cake pan from her nephew, Mike Casto's 2nd birthday. (For any of you who are NASCAR fans, Mike is Tony Stewart's jack man.) What may be more impressive is that Mike is my age. Cookie Monster was a hit...as were the cupcakes of Elmo, Kermit (Sean's favorite), Zoe, Oscar, and Cookie Monster (which was my favorite of the cupcakes.) Not to mention the Kermit party hats that Sean has managed to hang onto since Clint's 2nd birthday (he's now 17!)

Oh, no surprise, Alex was spoiled by all of his aunts that were in attendance: Moi, Aunt Jane, Sonnie, Carol, Cheryl, Ca-Ca, & Sarah -- that and both sets of grandparents, and uncles, and cousins,and the aunts, uncles, and cousins that weren't able to come but sent gifts makes for one spoiled but deserving two-year-old.

Elizabeth's festive pillowcase party dress was quite a hit, too!

Happy birthday, Alex!!!


My cousin, Mike, was in an ATV accident yesterday. He's in ICU in Charleston. (One of apparently 15 ATV accidents that happened yesterday that was admitted to the same hospital.) Please keep him and Aunt Cathy, Rich, and his sweet girl Caylin in your prayers!

Friday, May 22, 2009

It's Party Time!

We're getting ready for Alex's 2nd Birthday party. According to Elizabeth, "we have a lot of work to do for Alex's party!" (MY work time will be somewhat determined by how much Elizabeth "helps" Mommy with the decorating of the Oscar the Grouch and Cookie Monster cookies, the Cookie Monster cake, and the Oscar, Cookie, Big Bird, Elmo, Kermit, etc. cupcakes, and other birthday prep.

The invite is pretty darn cute, if I do say so myself! I love getting to play in Photoshop on stuff like this!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

"Daddy's Party" is a smashing success!

Congratulations - West Liberty UNIVERSITY!!!

It was quite exciting to see above the fold in this morning's paper "It's West Liberty U: School Marks New Era." (You can read the article that ran in the Sunday edition of The Wheeling Intelligencer here: http://www.theintelligencer.net/page/content.detail/id/523579.html?nav=515.)

Reid has been saying for weeks now if the school becomes a University again next year, he is going to quit (wink, wink.) Robin has assured us this won't happen.

Elizabeth and I went up to the Hilltop yesterday for part of the festivities.

What could have been a three-ring circus, especially with needing to move the concerts indoors due to threatening weather (it was pretty cold in the evening, so even though the sun was out during the day - and the rain held, it was a good move, for more than just the threat of rain) was so well executed. (Yes, this from the hyper-critical rather objective person when it comes to events!) In the ASRC they had the bands -- all of whom were outstanding (another thing I'm rather hyper-critical of), some of the food vendors, information tables, apparel sales, and some inflatable play houses. On the quad (where the band stage was originally intended), they had several carnival rides, more food vendors, and some carnival games. Thrown into the mix of all of that was a car show (earlier in the day when Elizabeth & I were still at home), an illusionist Craig Karges (who was phenomenal -- although on the ride home Elizabeth was worried about him pulling the tape off of his eyes), and fireworks at midnight.

Elizabeth dubbed it "Daddy's Party." And it truly was a heck of a party -- one should just not to do so much work for their own party. Despite what Elizabeth might think, I believe Ron Witt, Director of Alumni Association, and Tammi Seacrest, Director of Marketing (who brought E the Mickey ears that light up -- with her name on them!), deserve some huge kudos, too! And Webmaster Jesse Gagich, who wasn't enjoying the festivities so that he could ensure that the new website went live last night while the fireworks were going on (http://www.westliberty.edu/intro.html). If you haven't seen it, it's really "pretty" -- and the welcome from West Lib's most famous alum, Brad Paisley, is quite a nice touch.

E was quite hesitant to play in the inflatable houses, although on our drive off the hill she recalled things a little differently. She did eventually manage to go through the "patapiller" a couple of times and jumped in the "tiger's bouncy house" for about 10 or so minutes. She really enjoyed the carnival rides outside -- the cars and airplanes (only riding in yellow "arrowplanes" since "yellow's my very favorite".)

Congratulations West Liberty University!

Reid is now off, as of 9:00 AM, to Glade Springs for the 2009 NCAA Division II Atlantic/East Regional and NCAA Division II Men's Golf Championship until Wednesday as a member of the DII National Golf Committee...and then on the 16th he is off to Blaine, WA, (110 miles north of Seattle, 35 miles south of Vancouver, BC, Canada) for the DII National Golf Tournament.

And then...

No and then...

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thankful Thursday

Today I'm thankful to/for/about:

  • Antibiotics, which are helping all sorts of nasty stuff go away ;-)
  • Family recipes -- in this particular case, Clapper burgers (tonight's entree) and "Buddy's icing." Mmm, mmm, good! I made the mistake, though, in using a boxed spice cake mix (tisk, tisk!) There is a reason that Buddy didn't take a short cut on her raisin spice cake. Her cake is dense enough to hold the icing on the layer cake -- without splitting the top layer into thirds - having some of the icing and the top layer sliding off of the bottom layer. It's not so pretty at the moment, but satisfied my craving for a little trip down memory lane! (I have no idea how my tiny Buddy made this icing! It nearly overheated my Kitchen-Aid mixer whipping the stiff egg whites and the brown sugar syrup for over 25 minutes!) Amazing. Yummy! I could eat this stuff spread on anything -- seriously!
  • Good friends who bring good beer -- thanks for the Yuengling, EJ! Delish! (Oh how I do love some of "America's Oldest Beer!")
  • Elizabeth -- who has a conversation with me that goes like this: Elizabeth - "I love you, Mommy." Me - "I love you, too." Elizabeth - "I love you seven!" (Which, even by my calculation is greater than to...too...or two!)
  • Reid - because he's needing a little lovin' right now. But as of this weekend, West Liberty will no longer be a college, but West Liberty University! Yea!!! We're so proud of all he has done for WLU in such a short period of time - not to mention that his other job, Small College Sports Web is broadcasting the WVIAC baseball and softball tournaments this weekend...and he's soon on his way to Glade Springs for the regional golf tourney as a member of the NCAA DII National Golf Committee. I'm getting worn out just typing about that...

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


A hearty congratulations to Kristin (Hinrichs) & William Perry on the arrival of their baby girl, Greer Auguste Perry!

Greer was goboren am ("born on" for those of you who don't speak German) April 24, 2009. Geburtszeit ("time") 12:04 PM...Kristin is likely still enjoying her national health care stay in the hospital and not yet able to confirm the time of birth...but that is for another day for yours truly to get on a soap box...in Berlin, Germany.

Greer weighed in at 3650 gramms (just over 8 pounds for those of us not on the metric system!) and is 51 cm (roughly 20").

What a cutie! I can't wait to meet her!!! (And isn't the little stuffed Strudel too adorable???)

Congratulations Chicken Noodle, Sweet William, & (Kennedy's LLBFF) Strudel!!! We ♥ & miss you guys!!! Looking forward to spending some quality time together soon!!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Big Papi

So Reid, Elizabeth, and I are watching game 3 of the Red Sox vs. Yankees this evening when Big Papi comes up to the plate in the bottom of the 5th. (Yes, sports fans that would be shortly before Jacoby Ellsbury stole home -- first time a Red Sox player straight stole home since 1994...a beautiful sight! But I digress...) so Big Papi comes up to the plate, and Reid and I are telling Elizabeth to watch because Big Papi is at bat.

Then she starts with the questions, "What is Papi (as in my Daddy) doing at the baseball game? What's he got in his hand? Why's he swinging that bat?"

I don't know about you, but I don't really see a resemblance between Big Papi & my Daddy:

Then they show a close up of Big Papi.

Elizabeth says, "That's not my Papi - that's Baseball Papi!"

And Ortiz smacks a double line drive with an RBI...and Elizabeth cheered - gave me a high five (I need to wash the plague off of my hand.) Then when J.D. Drew hit his ground rule double scoring Big Papi...E wasn't too happy. "Where did Baseball Papi go? I want to see him!"

Let's Go Red Sox!!!!!

Recycling love

Anne, Sean, & Alex got me the maroon & white diamond patterned eye glasses case from Kim White as part of my birthday gift. I love it! It is not only recycled and vintage, but just plain cool! (That pattern is Diamond Lane 1975 AMC. Awe-some!
Kim White makes & sells handbags, too... http://www.kimwhitehandbags.com/index.html.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Poor Baby

So Elizabeth is practically a pink-eye diagnosis away from the plague.

It started Thursday afternoon with a high fever followed by the chills. Thursday evening Elizabeth was quite lethargic -- until around the time that I got home at which time she perked up and started cooking like a miniature Martha Stewart (she's quite in control in her own kitchen!) She was on the rebound, or so we thought, so we sent her back to daycare on Friday. Again with the high fever (103 on both Thursday & Friday afternoons)...and a bit of a red bumpy rash (most noticed on her cheeks and hands, but she has it on her legs, arms, and torso as well.) She complained a little bit on Thursday of her ear hurting, but complaints on Friday. So this morning we got her into the pediatrician.

According to the pediatrician, she has "generous" tonsils, which are inflamed -- as well as her adenoids. (Those suckers are HUGE -- it is amazing that she can swallow on any given day, but today they are really, really big!) Infections in both ears -- the right ear being much worse than the left. (Of course when she complained to me of her ear hurting, it was the left ear that she complained about.) She has strep throat. And the rash is scarlatina -- which according to WebMD, is another name for "scarlet fever" which is strep throat with a rash.

Great! That doesn't sound like a bloodletting with some leeches, I don't want to know what does!

In other words -- stay away from our house for the next 48 hours -- maybe more if, God forbid, Reid or I should contract strep throat...