Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Poor, plague-infested Craig!

Strep throat for all! Well, hopefully not. But Craig went to the doctor this am and was put on the strongest legal dose of antibiotics (practically, anyway). His pills would choke an elephant! I tried to get him to go to a hotel and avoid infecting us (happy new year), but he is going to stay away from us while remaining in the house. Basement bound!

Holiday card 2008

Card created by Paperzest.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

NHL All-Star voting

The time is now! Three Washington Capitals players - Alexander Ovechkin (league MVP), Alexander Semin (yes, that is his name), and Mike Green - are on the 2009 All-Star ballot.

Please vote today - and vote often!

Here is a link to a perplexing article about how the NHL's marketing people virtually ignore Ovechkin - despite his reigning MVP status, and despite the records he continues to shatter - in favor of Sidney Crosby... which is starting to make the league look really stupid, not to mention short-sighted. *sigh*

And a classic quote from my hockey husband, Mark: "It reminds me of the way the Original Six are Gods and the rest of us can suck hind teat on a south bound mule."

SO VOTE NOW! Please! And feel free to vote more than once. =>

Monday, December 29, 2008

New bed update

While putting her to bed last night, Craig said Rory repeated - over and over again - "this is the most fantastic bed ever."

Hah! She loved it, AND didn't fall out. Always a bonus!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Big weekend for Rory!

Her first haircut (finally!), AND a she moved up to a twin bed - such changes!

I finally decided that her shaggy locks had to be trimmed. Her first haircut, at nearly 3.5 years of age. So off to Cartoon Cuts we went, which is a bit of a scam in that kids sit glazed in front of Nickelodeon like zombies, and a kind man named My cut her yellow hair. The scam works, and I had worried that Rory would be nervous about getting her hair done, and I knew the TV would "refocus" her, so to speak. She handled the entire process like a champ, and even seemed to enjoy it. So next time, I will find another locale. One that doesn't cost nineteen bucks.

Not much was cut off, but My straightened it out a bit and sheared off the raggy stuff at the bottom. It isn't worth posting before and after shots, because it doesn't look all that different, but here is are a few pictures of her in the chair. He even gave me some of her yellow curls as a keepsake.

And the bed! Craig is putting together her fun, new Ikea bed as we type! More on that later.

And one day, I will post some Christmas shots. Maybe in time for New Year's. =>

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

I hate UPS

Maybe "hate" is too strong a word, but I cannot remember the last time I sent something via UPS that actually arrived within their stated shipping timeframe. Every single thing I have ever ordered or shipped using them has been late - irrespective of whether it is holiday time or not.

The latest victim is my mother's birthday present - ordered on 12/15 for her 12/20 birthday - still hasn't arrived in Sedona. The tracking number provides me this tidbit of info: "rescheduled for delivery." The Website goes on to say that due to holiday shipments, the package will be late. Glad I paid the extra cost for earlier delivery (which I specifically did because I don't TRUST THEM).

Grrr. And today my mother leaves for Christmas in Vegas, which means the package will certainly be delivered today and will then sit on her porch (hopefully unstolen) for three days until she returns.

Long live FedEx! I have never doubted a FedEx delivery, nor has one ever let me down. Yes, they can be more expensive, but obviously there is a reason for that. Reliability.

Happy birthday to Grandma!

Courtesy of Fiona, who first refuses to sing, then starts singing happily, and who then gets interrupted by Rory - a common occurance these days. => My mom, the Grandma in question, turned 66 on December 20. She can get her kicks!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Tonight's the night!! Break out the tape (scotch) and the drinks (not scotch), because tonight is post-kid-bedtime-wrap-fest-2008! Wheee!

Ho cubed!

Monday, December 22, 2008

A shift in the hockey universe

I just bought a Boston Bruins jersey. A black one, on which I will have "Orr/4" stitched by my pal George over at Concrete Pond.

As a lifelong Hartford Whalers fan, this feels quite blasphemous, I admit. But the Whalers left Hartford in April of 1997 - nearly 12 long year ago. And one day I will *live* in Boston, and will become a Bruins season ticket holder. I already have my hockey husband picked out (not that anyone could replace Mark!). But this still feels highly weird.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Parenting quote from NYT blog

The other day, I was reading a blog on the New York Times Website, and the post - about investing too much of yourself in how you parent your children - generated a ton of interesting comments. Following is one of the comments I enjoyed the most:

"My kids are 30, 26, 23, 20, and 16. When they were pre-
teens, I felt anxious about all sorts of things about our relationships. Then they got to be teens, and I became the Anti-Christ, especially to the oldest one, a girl. Then things got really bad. What will happen is that they will throw you out of their inner lives, and all this enmeshment will be a vanished dream. They will become utterly alien and you will have no understanding of how they think (because they won’t be thinking, in part). And then they will grow up, and they will be pretty nice, and fun to be with, and, to your horror, they will start talking about having children and will be TOO IMMATURE to have children, and then they will have children and grow up right away and do a pretty good job. You are who you are. That’s a given in their lives, that’s the diving board and the platform and there’s no use worrying about it. Your gifts to them are bad and good, and they will never appreciate you in the way you want them to, but will appreciate you in some ways that you will never expect. So relax."

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Fiona is 22 months old

And taking over the world, I say! She talks up a storm, laughs at everything, and her favorite toys are her lion (Nani), her variety of polar bears, and Lego. She and Rory play well together, and she is close to the point at which we no longer have to worry about her killing herself (or others) at any random moment. I pre-embrace that moment! =>

Friday, December 12, 2008

Those gorgeous Dreesen ladies!

My good friend, Markus, who lives in Berlin, just sent me this picture of his three lovely daughters. Paulina is on the left (she is 14), Marie is on the right (she is 16), and Lilly is in front (she is 8).

They are just lovely!

Holiday card angst!

I love this time of year, and sometimes I hate it. We have decided to reduce the number of holiday cards we send out this year, and I hate feeling like I am leaving people off. I beg your forgiveness now, and promise to post pictures of our card both here and on Facebook.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Here comes Digit!

I got a new toy (the Flip Mino), and with it will now come a steady stream of new videos! And not just of the kids, lucky readers - kitty cats and hockey and anything else that catches my fancy, too!

But first, Digit. Aka, the favorite, squidgee, digie, fuzz bucket, and more. She is a 7-toed polydactyl dreamboat. She was born feral and we tamed her, and she quickly became one of the most affectionate cats I have ever had. Digie!

Listen for the purring!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

My boss just resigned

My boss, Maysoon, resigned this afternoon. She has accepted a job with a Portugal-based software company, and will be moving to Austin, TX (where she used to live) to work out of her living room. She is already dreaming of wearing her sweatpants and uggs while working. Good for her!!

Cool kid "I spy" toys on

About a year ago I discovered Etsy, and I love it! Our good friend, Christina, has a PaperZest site on Etsy where she sells her custom, "anything but ordinary stationary," for starters.

Etsy is a
community of artisans who hand-make everything they sell: jewelry, toys, clothing, purses, ceramics, soap, music, housewares - and the list goes on.

Recently I found these totally cool baby/toddler toys.

They are fuzzy blankets filled with clear beads AND things you need to move around and find (aka, move them inot view in the clear section of the blanket. You can customize what the artist puts into each blanket, which is great. She can add your kid's name in individual letters, sports stuff, bugs, shapes - whatever your child is interested in. I just ordered two, and can't wait to give them to the girls.

So I thought I'd share. Enjoy Etsy! Just in time for the holidays. =>

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

On using mobile phones in the loo

Can someone please tell me WHY people talk on their mobile phones while using the bathroom?

I used to consider the bathroom to be the last bastion of the mobile-free world... the one place in which people wouldn't use their phones. But just now, at work, someone was in there chatting away.

Weird stuff. And annoying. It's bad enough that we have to hear people's one-sided conversations every other place we go. Talking while peeing = not cool.

2008 Mayhew Fall Family Photo

This shot was taken, as always, at Meadowlark Gardens. Also as always, it was taken by Hope Reynolds, who was our wedding photographer and who does a great job despite the insanity of the event. This year, the insanity included Fiona teething and being extremely moody and uncooperative. Extremely. =>

Hope took over 75 photos, and this was the only one that worked. By "worked" I mean a picture that includes all four of us. Fiona was so resistant (shall we say) that we gave up soon after arriving - and this shot was taken in the first five minutes. Phew!


Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Rory's quotes from the Thanksgiving holiday

We just got back last night - sorry about the lack of posting (to my three regular readers ;->). Hope everyone had a great holiday week!

OK, so Rory's two insane quotes from the trip to CT:

"My pull-up is a poop hammock."

And my personal favorite, and the one which will go down in family lore:

"Mommy, you have a gigantic bum!" (Spoken in a bathroom stall, as she gently and lovingly patted said bum while it was nekkid and using the loo). I howled with laughter, as did the other people in the bathroom. How amusing! (Or maybe not! ;->)

Friday, November 21, 2008

New hockey helmet (not mine)

So HOW cool is this?? One of my coworkers is a hockey goalie, and he just got his new fancy helmet. It cost a small fortune, but is apparently worth every red cent. It is measured to fit every feature of his head exactly, and he is excited to break it in! What fun!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I saw snow flurries!!

Just a few, but I saw them! All twirly and white. HOW exciting! Bring on winter!!!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Madagascar 2!

It is a rainy day here in Northern Virginia, so when Rory wakes up from her nap, we are going to see Madagascar 2 - her first theater movie! She and Fiona adore the first one, so this should be fun. Afterwards, we're going to go out to dinner somewhere entertaining, and then we are going to the mall for a little shopping. Our first real girls weekend!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Who needs pockets?!?

This kid's parents are going to be in big trouble for this one day, but MAN, is it funny!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Obama sign stolen AGAIN

Incredibly, we have now had THREE Obama signs nicked from the front yard. The election is over, the die is cast, and STILL our bitter brethren are stealing our signs.

The good news is that I have another one (courtesy of our friend, Shelia), and I will be taping it to the front window. This is now a protest thing. Craig wants to electrify it, so the next person to try to snag it gets zapped. Hah!

Friday, November 7, 2008

My new (old) eyes!

This morning I had Lasik, and it was totally creepy cool. That's the only way I can describe it - kinda techy, and kinda wild. I am not saying I enjoyed it, per se, but it was quite an experience. And it worked! That's the extra good news. =) I can see... as though I had my contacts in. I have put in what seems like a thousand eye drops today, but that should be over within a week.

I can see. I can't believe it. Ain't life grand!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Rory gets the nod

I just got notice that Rory will join Fiona's daycare (as a preschooler) on January 1. What a day!! First Obama, now this. Bring a tear to the eye!!

The two-month countdown begins!!

The shine is back

That is the only word I can conjure to describe the way I feel since last night, when Barack Obama was elected President. Obviously, many wonderful things have happened in the past eight years (despite the pall those years cast): Craig and I got married, we have attended the weddings of many cherished friends, babies have been born (including our own!), exciting sporting events have been attended, amazing concerts seen, and of course - the Red Sox have won two World Series titles.

in light of last night's election results, the world - and everything in it - has a SHINE again. An overwhelming feeling of hope is everywhere (I thought maybe I had forgotten what it felt like!), and I feel proud of our country again. Immensely proud, and curious to see where we will go next.

It was a long, exhausting, emotionally fraught election, and I am glad it is over and we can try to heal as a nation. We have a lot of shingles to nail back onto the house, so let's get going!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Obama called as 44th President of the U.S.

It is only 11:20 pm EST, and even a Wikipedia page listing U.S presidents has listed Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States of America. I am thrilled, and filled with pride, hope, and joy. Congratulations to all of us!

Also in 2009, the NAACP celebrates its 100th birthday. Nice timing. =>

Monday, November 3, 2008

Halloween photos, 2008

Here are some pictures of our little bats. They had a blast - collecting candy, putting it into their little cat bags, and of course, eating some of it. Note Fiona's grubby face. The irony is that she had one piece during her travels, and Rory snarfed a ton (cleanly!). =>

Happy post Halloween!

Election Day Eve!

I am so excited to vote tomorrow. I have my GameBoy (an old-style one) and Tetris ready to join me, in case the wait is long. The best part is this: I work for a woman (a non-voting Brit who is *really* into this election) who has forbidden us from coming to work until we vote. Hah!

I love elections. I love the process, the waiting, the bantering with people who could be my neighbors, and the excitement I feel as I get checked off by volunteers and guided into the booth. I just haven't liked the outcome recently. ;->

I also love getting the "I voted" sticker. It's like giving blood, but more important! Well, maybe more important. I have B negative blood, which *is* pretty coveted. The company upstairs from mine is having a blood drive tomorrow, come to think of it. Maybe I'll vote and THEN give blood! What a day!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Fixing my eyes... finally

Next Friday, 11/7, I am getting Lasik. I can't imagine what "life beyond lenses" will be like, but I am ready to embrace my future existence! If the kids smash into my glasses one more time... it makes me insane, I tell you. The glasses have become quite a hindrance, and contacts make my eyes dry as all get out.

I decided to get Lasik because I signed up to have pre-tax dollars taken out of my paycheck for health care, and I still have $2700 left in my account. This money goes POOF at the end of the year, so I debated whether to get Lasik or buy $2700 worth of infant Tylenol, and Lasik won!

I started wearing glasses in 5th grade. My dad and I were at a Hartford Whalers game, and I leaned over to him and said, "What is that player's name?" because the name on the back of the jersey was blurry. He looked at me (we had good seats, mind you, maybe 14 rows off the ice), and said, "You can't read that?" And it was off to the eye doctor we went.

Anyway, I am very excited and a bit nervous, too. And on 11/14, I will see my first glasses/contacts-free hockey game since 5th grade.

Can't wait!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Grandma comes to town!

There is lots of excitement in the house because Grandma just flew in from Arizona (and boy are her arms... well, you get the idea). Both girls are thrilled to have yet another fun grandmother spending time in the abode. Lots of new books, toys, and art supplies arrived with Grandma, and I am sure they will be put to good use during her visit.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Fall Family Photo Shoot, 2008

It's that time of year again! Time for us to choose lovely outfits, and to drive to Meadowlark Gardens to spend time with our photographer, Hope Reynolds, to snap some lovely leaf-encrusted photos in the late afternoon sunshine. Last year, it was nearly 90 degrees during the shoot, and I thought I would melt. This time, it was a perfectly Fall-glorious 62! How exciting. I packed a bag filled with little pumpkins, blankets to sit on, and of course, snacks. Nana came along for the ride, and we met Craig and Hope at the Gardens, full of excitement and ready to go.

To say the evening was challenging would be a dramatic understatement. Fiona was teething (canines), and was in a horrible frame of mind. Everything irritated her--the leaves, being in the wagon, being out of the wagon, being held, being put down. It was a lose/lose with her from the get-go. Rory was very cooperative for the first 45 minutes, but as one would expect, lost interest in the shoot and gained interest in running around like a lunatic (it is a big park, after all).

I am not sure if poor Hope was able to capture all four of us in one frame (looking civilized) at all - we shall see!

Maybe the pick of the litter (impending pun intended) will be the shot of Fiona on my shoulders, reaching around to stick her finger up my left nostril. Another classic Mayhew photo!!

I will post a few shots as soon as we get them back. =>

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Kiwi weekend wrap-up

I had a wonderful weekend with Kiwi and Augusto. We laughed a lot, got pedicures (in the hood, aka Asbury Park), told outrageous stories (how unlike us), ate (how unlike us), slept in (I slept until after 8:00 both days!), and relaxed.

I also took a chilly walk on the windy Jersey shore (alone), and collected a few small rocks and shells for the girls. I didn't collect anything noteworthy, sad to say. All visible beach detritus was pulverized; I wondered if they had conducted their seasonal rebuild of the beach via dumping "used" sand all over the place. Bits and bits and bits.

Anyway, Kee F'n Wee (pet name) and I decided to make this visit bi-annual, so look for another riveting Jersey Shore post next March or so!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Off to visit Kiwi!

This afternoon, I am driving to New Jersey to visit my dear friend from college, Kiwi. For those of you who know her, Kiwi makes me look boring and calm. She is an amazingly fun, silly, kind, generous person, and I can't WAIT to visit with her and her darling husband, Augusto.

Craig, the girls, and Nana are holding down the fort in Virginia, and won't it feel weird for me to a) not have to wake up at a certain time for TWO mornings in a row, b) drive a long distance alone, and c) hang with college friends as though we were 20 again. => Should be a blast!!!


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Fiona can open doors

And our lives will never be the same.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Pumpkin picking!

Anyone who knows me at all knows how much I love both Fall and Halloween. I am not a crazy decorator, but as a kid, I came to really love this holiday... mostly for the fact that you had to conceive of a costume, you got to carve pumpkins and roast the seeds, and because you got to essentially steal candy from your neighbors, even the ones you never talked to normally. Candy carte blanche!

Yesterday, we took the girls to buy pumpkins, and had a nice little visit to a local pumpkin joint. Soon we'll carve!!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Caps and Sox and Nana, oh my!

What a amalgamation of events today holds! The Caps start their 2008-2009 season with an away game in Atlanta, the Red Sox play Game 1 of the ALCS against Tampa Bay (in TB), and Nana arrives for a nice, long visit. The girls are in orbit about item 3, but less so for items 1 and 2. I am excited for all three, personally, and Nana herself is jazzed up for 2 and 3. => Craig is probably excited only for Nana, though I have faith that the entire house will be Sox-rooting before too long!

C-A-P-S Caps, Caps, Caps!

Let's Go Sox!

Welcome, Nana!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Rory's 3-year stats

So for weeks, we were SO excited to go see Dr. Powers, who Rory adores. To say Rory was lethargic during her 9/17 appointment would be an understatement, and of course that afternoon her plague hit (followed by my personal version of it). In and amidst all the illness coursing through our house, I neglected to post Rory's official 3-year stats.

Dr. Powers looked at me during the visit and said, "So, I see her head is still ginormous," and we howled. True dat. Both girls (as well as Craig and I) have huge gourds. Melons. Squashes. Whatever word you choose, there you go. Rory is 39.5" tall, which is 95th percentile. She weighs 39 pounds (does that make her a square?), which is also 95th percentile. I don't recall the exact number of cm her head measured out to, but it was 98th percentile.

I sense a hockey goalie future!!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A bazillion topics on which to write

And not enough time to post them in. Since Rory and I were ill, I haven't been much for posting. I have loads of things to share: Rory's 3-year stats, a wonderful wedding I attended, Craig being in NC on a bike trip, and more!

But right now, I need to celebrate (?) the passing of the bailout bill by consuming some dark chocolate M&Ms.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Zamboni drooled on me

The she-cat, not the actual machine. She was super lovey dovey the other night, and I was rubbing her to bits up on top of one of our cat towers. Her sweet little eyes were clamped closed, her raspy little purr was rattling her entire tiny body, and she was leaning into me like a dog leans into your leg.

She is so sweet and loving, our little Z-cat. And then came the drool, right down my left hand. It was awesome! The last cat I had who was a drooler was Sneakers, and he (like Digit) is ranked in the "top cats of all time" list. So for Z to drool was just fantastic. I was so flattered!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Plague update

Craig took R back to the doctor this morning @ 10:00, for a mandatory follow-up, and her ear infection is now raging. Thankfully, the low-dose antibiotics she has been on since Sunday have started clearing up everything else, but the doc put her on a higher dose drug to help kill the ear infection. But she has no fever, less crankiness overall, and is eating a bit better. Phew!

I am sick now, too. Nothing like Rory, but I sound like a 10-pack a day smoker right now. Hopefully, Fiona won't get anything too terrible (knock on monitor), or Craig, either - he leaves on Friday for a cross-state bike ride through NC!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Plagueland USA

Rory has been extremely ill since last Wednesday. At noon that day, we went to her three-year checkup - which we have been very excited about (we love her doctor) - and she was out of sorts. Nothing specific, just malaise-laden. I told the doctor I thought something was off, and she said her throat seemed red, but her ears were clear.

That afternoon, post-nap, her temp was 104.3. So I called the doctor, and gave her some Motrin (which you can use at off times with Tylenol). She had a few hurling incidents that night and the next am (we changed four sets of sheets in 1.5 hours), and then that feature stopped. But the fevers didn't.

This morning, on day FIVE, she woke up on fire yet again. I took her temp (down south), and it was 104.5. I retook it, and it clocked 104.6. Craig was off riding the Potomac Pedalers century, so I called a friend, dropped off Fiona, and took Rory to the urgent care facility in Reston. They also took her temp at 104.6.

They swabbed her throat (which she HATED - she kept sobbing, "that was terrible!" while whimpering in my arms), and said the quick test for strep was negative. They will also send it out for a real culture, but they said her throat looked "puss-ey" and she had a mild ear infection in her right ear, so now she is on amoxicillin.

She can't get well fast enough. She has been miserable, and so have the rest of us. When she is feverish, she doesn't want Fiona anywhere near her (good luck preventing *that*), she doesn't want to be touched, and she is incredibly whiny and weepy. There have been brief flashes of her normal self during each day, but not so much. Luckily, she is drinking like a fish, so at least she is extremely hydrated.

Seriously, this can't pass fast enough - for all of us.

Friday, September 19, 2008

What happens when you don't fully read eBay product descriptions

You wind up with 15 hippos (3 groups of five), when you thought you were buying 3.

Funniest package ever!

My mother (aka, Grandma) sends the girls things all the time: books, art supplies, stickers, you name it. But this package takes the cake. "Hacked by a blind woodsman!" HOW funny is the "stamp art" on this thing?

Monday, September 15, 2008

Girls Dinner Club!

Once a month, I have dinner (usually sushi at Yoko) with a bunch of wonderful women I am lucky enough to call my friends.

Back row (L-R): Dina, Julie-Anne, Carole, Donna
From row (L-R): Marcia, me, Christina

Let's just say we usually shut the place down and make a LOT of noise in the process. => Fun for all!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Rory's first soccer class

This morning, Rory embarked upon organized sports. Well, more like quasi-organized: nothing involving a herd of small children and 15 soccer balls could even begin to approach "organized." The class was chock full of 3-4 year olds, and it was very amusing - Rory seemed to enjoy the heck out of it. They even have uniforms!

Fiona was there, too, running all over the place. The indoor soccer field is divided into four segments, each with a different age group. Fiona basically explored the entire floor (aka, was in and out of all the different classes), but no one seemed to notice or mind. At one point, I found her at one end of the field, deep inside the goal. She does have a goalie's build, come to think of it.

BTW, Rory yelled, "Mommy, it's just like hockey!" when we first got there. Talk about sending me into the stratosphere!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Fridays pics!

A few pictures from this past week. I like the one of Fiona holding court with the cast of The Little Mermaid. And the pig picture? For an idea of how puny those piglets were, look at Fiona's baby hand sneaking in the bottom of the frame... now those are some puny piglets!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

If you can help, please do...

The fiancee (Jen) of one of my coworkers (Joe) was brutally attacked by two homeless people in Chicago on 8/25, while the couple was on their way home from celebrating Jen's 36th birthday. The attackers kicked Jen in the head until she was left unconscious in a pool of her own blood, and was left with only four teeth remaining in her head.

Jen is in between health insurance right now - new job (no coverage yet) and a few months away from marrying Joe. As such, she needs any and all donations you can give. Please check out the following site, and if you can do anything, I know they would appreciate it for the rest of their lives.

Also, please forward this to as many people as you can. The Chicago Tribune story about the attack is here.

Thank you!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Dolly the Golden Retriever

My dad used to have the world's most wonderful Golden, named Dolly (my father claimed an affinity for Ms. Parton). Dolly was a richly red Golden who lived for about 14 years, and in the meantime, she had a wonderful life. She was sweet, silly, used to pick fights with my father (during which she would "needle bite" him, which only dog owners can understand), and we even have a picture of Dolly wearing a black bra (I'd post the pic if I could find it - my father strongly resembles an axe murderer in the shot). Dolly was the third child (predating my brother, Patrick), and we still speak of her very fondly.

Whenever we would board Dolly, such as when we went skiing for a weekend, she would inevitably pee all over the waiting room floor when we came to pick her up. Every time. It was too much excitement to bear, apparently. Leaping and peeing, she couldn't greet us fast enough, couldn't get close enough. And of course we couldn't get farther away from her, what with pee flying everywhere. Oy!

FF to Rory. In her first two days at her new daycare, she has had NO peeing accidents. But both days, within 30 minutes of picking her up, she randomly pees in her pants. On Monday, after we went to Fiona's daycare to fetch her, Rory peed on Fiona's playground (marking her territory?). Today, it was on the grass outside Fiona's daycare. Good thing I had a spare set of undergarments both times. Lordy!

So is Rory my new Dolly? At least she isn't leaping while she pees...

New daycare survival!

Rory had a really good first day at her new daycare. She didn't cry once (even when we left), enjoyed the bikes on the playground, and didn't have a single "accident" (if you know what I mean). Let's just say she was wearing the same shorts and underwear that she had on when we dropped her off in the am. Amazing!! PT bootcamp!

Fiona enjoyed Monday at her new daycare more than she has thus far, too. Let's hope this is an upward trend!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Survived Tropical Storm Hanna!

Not that this is newsworthy, per se, but Hanna certainly impacted the Saturday of everyone living in the mid-Atlantic. That was a ton of rain, but compared to the windstorm we had a few months back - during which tons of trees were downed in Herndon - this was nothing but a big blow. Thankfully. Who doesn't like electricity?? I know I do, and I'd like it to be on as much as possible.

We spent the day mostly indoors, though Rory and I raced to Target in the am (for Ariel underwear!), and then - while the kids napped and Craig stood guard with his faithful steed (Digit) at his side - I drove to pick up Rory's 3-year photos, which turned out really well.

If I haven't said this before, I adore our photographer, Hope Reynolds. She did our wedding, has done our family photos for the past three years, and does the girls' annual portraits. She is great, and does both print and digital. In a day where most people want digital, she uses her medium format camera, and the quality difference is astonishing.

On Monday, Rory starts at her new daycare (potty training bootcamp!), and Fiona returns to her quasi-new daycare. Hope Monday night isn't filled with crank monsters!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Just gave Rory's 2-week notice

After 2.5 years at the same daycare center, Rory is moving on up! She will soon be going to a daycare right around the corner from Fiona's center (Rory's future center), and I - for one - can't wait. The new place is much better suited to guide her through the final throes of potty training.

For PTing purposes, Rory will wear underwear all day, every day, irrespective of how many sets of clothes she blows through. They have the kids sit on the toilet every 30 minutes, and they have two mini toilets (in stalls, no less) to seem less intimidating. Do toilets SEEM intimidating? I suppose perhaps they do! Anyway, I am building up the underwear portion of the program, and Rory and I are going underwear shopping this weekend. I hope Target has lots of Little Mermaid undies, because that's what the girl wants!

We will miss the ladies at the soon-to-be-old center, but the time has come, the moons have aligned, and Leo is rising (Rory is a Leo). Hah!

Hopefully, I will have something positive to report next Monday night, post Day 1. Cross your fingers!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Fiona's first day @ new daycare!

Fiona cried in the morning when Craig and I dropped her off, but the ladies who run her room claim she did fine for most of the remainder of the day. They have a classroom hamster named Lucky, and apparently he was used as a distraction whenever Fiona started to get upset.

Why kids need to stand at the window and cry, I don't know, but it is heartbreaking! Fiona was SO happy when I showed up to fetch her in the late afternoon. We held hands and walked out to the car, chatting about her day. Hopefully tomorrow will be a bit easier for her. The center is closed on Thursday and Friday (and Monday for Labor Day), so just as she is getting used to being there, she'll be gone for five days and will forget who these people are.

And next week it begins anew, poor monkey. She will love it there soon enough, but for now, she can't be having a good time. Luckily, it isn't affecting her evening mood at all.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Martha impending!

BFM (Best Friend Martha) jets into town tonight from the town of beans, and I can't wait! This is my 40th birthday present, and isn't it a lovely one? Just the chicas! She is leaving behind her many boys/men, and likely won't know what to do with herself with no food to cook, toys to pick up, or dirt to wipe off.

How glorious!

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Moving on up!

Today is Fiona's last day at the girls' current daycare center. On Monday, she starts at the new digs, where the girls' friend, Ethan, goes. We will miss the ladies at the current center, but Fiona will still see them every day - at least until Rory gets accepted into the new school. Yes, we will be doing the dreaded "double drop-off" every day for the foreseeable future. It isn't too horrible, as they're not that far apart, but we can't wait to move Rory over, too.

Bon voyage to Fiona! And adios to the ladies at the old place!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Jell-O jigglers ROCK

With twice the sugar, half the water, and highly cut-able, how could they NOT be fun?

Through a fly's eye

Yes, we play with our children's toys. Here is our visual confession! Rory on the top; Fiona on the bottom.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Fiona is 18 months old!

I have no idea how it happened so fast, but my squishy little baby has become a squishy little toddler! Today, Miss Fi turns 1.5 years old (her nicknames include Fia, Ona, Fi, WeeFee/WiFi, juicy morsel, and more). Astonishing! She is quite a pip, and spends 95% of her time having fun and enjoying life. The other 5% of the time, she throws hissy fits when prevented from trying to achieve her goals. => That's about the nicest way to say THAT!

Fiona is talking up a storm, and already loves to sing. She can sing the ABC song, some bits of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," "The Wheels on the Bus," and "Down By the Station," among others. Her word list includes, but is not limited to: Mommy, Daddy, Rory, Henry, Papa, kitty cat, doggie, puppy, hippo (of course!), hockey, sock/Sox, me, I do, apple, tiger ("tigee"), polar bear ("po bo"), panda bear ("pan bo"), car, lion, mine, how are you, wow, hop, bouncy, yes, no, sorry, ball, airplane, tree, train, book, I see you, whoa, and water ("nani" - her only made-up word, as far as we can tell). 

To commemorate her 18-month existence, she woke up and ripped down the darkening blinds in her room. She wakes up at 6:15 am nearly every day, and plays in her crib until 7:00. She periodically enjoys beating on the wall when she wakes up, so we had to move her crib away from the wall so the beating wouldn't wake up Rory. She is a wild thing! Fiona is very focused on her goals, and enjoys yelling loudly (and hurling her body about) if they are not met.

She is a good sleeper, a good eater, and is very friendly and outgoing. We adore her!!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Brief visit with Rory (R1), Rob, and Parker!

On Saturday morning, Rory Shaffer-Walsh (after whom we named our Rory - aka, R2) made the grevious error of calling me and telling me she was local-ish. The Shaffer-Walsh clan lives in Patchogue, NY (on Long Island), and they were driving through Frederickburg, VA en route to Ohio to visit Rob's family.

So of course I insisted/begged/groveled until they relented and agreed to meet up with me and the girls at a local Starbucks on Route 7. I can be very persuasive when need be.

We had such fun, and I hope it didn't add too much to their already painfully long drive!! A few pics of the peeps!!

Friday, August 8, 2008

This just in! A new Lanning baby has joined the ranks!

Brian (aka, B-Luv) just texted me to say that son #4, Luke Edward Lanning, was born today - 08/08/08 - at 1:26 am. Luke clocked in at 8 pounds, 8 ounces, earning him the nickname "El Ocho." I think I may instead call him "Crazy Eights," and WATCH how fast I buy him an Alex Ovechkin item!! Ovechkin's Washington Capitals number is 8, in case you didn't follow that tangent.

Congratulations to the Lannings! You're only one baby boy away from an entire hockey line (not counting the goalie). How awesome!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

A few vacation pictures

Following is a smattering of the loads and loads of photos we took while on vacation. I will eventually post the lot to a Website (once I figure out how to use the new .me application from Apple), so these will have to do for now. Enjoy!  

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Back from the Vineyard!

We just got back from Vineyard Beachy Vacation 2008, and it was a sandy blast! I didn't blog from there because there wasn't a computer on which I could even check my *Webmail*, so to blog seemed pointless. => That said, it was nice to be totally disconnected for once! We spent lovely days with Nana and Grandad (Craig's folks), the wonderful English relatives (Aunt Jean and Cousin Bethany), and even got in some brief visits with Laura's family in CT.

I'll post some pictures after I have the energy to rifle through them!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

More Rory 3rd birthday pictures

Many thanks to Donna and Kurt for the use of the spectacular camera!!