Saturday, August 19, 2006
Quality sound system
This Fisher Price wind up record player was mine when I was a toddler. It's been through me, my brother and three other grandkids to get to Emma. I'd say that's pretty good quality.

Emma and her Best Buddy
If Emma wants to go outside and play Popi is the go-to guy. He is held very high in her esteem.

Friday, August 18, 2006
Enter the forbidden zone
Because Mommy sure can't. Nothing sets off my allergies like the small animals exhibit at the County Fair (at Noni and Popi's). If I'm in there for thirty seconds I'll be blowing through tissues the rest of the night. Noni and Popi did the honors and took her to see the rabbits, chicks, roosters, chickens, and other assorted sneeze inducers.

This is not a paid political ad
Cute baby shills for 2008 Republican presidential contender (who is running for reelection to Senate in 2006). He bought Emma's vote with a shiny blue balloon.

Balloon attack
Emma takes on the balloon...

She gets a good swat in...

and the balloon gets her back!

Elephant Encounter
Emma sees her very first live elephant.

She was very impressed! (Actually she just clapped when everyone else clapped)

Leading Popi around for a little while.

Seeing the cows in the barn. Snore.

Dirty little secrets, #1
#1 in what is sure to be a long series.

I bribe my daugther. She's too young to really exploit this so there may be time to save myself. When we go to Target I buy a small popcorn to share with her, thus guaranteeing an enjoyable shopping experience. She doesn't know she's being bribed, she just knows she loves popcorn. To make it worse, I do it because I love the popcorn too. And the Icee I buy with it.
Some in Hollywood do "get it"
"We the undersigned are pained and devastated by the civilian casualties in Israel and Lebanon caused by terrorist actions initiated by terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah and Hamas. If we do not succeed in stopping terrorism around the world, chaos will rule and innocent people will continue to die. We need to support democratic societies and stop terrorism at all costs."

Hollywood Stars Denounce Terrorism in the LA Times. Which means they took out an ad in the LA Times. Signatories I've seen mentioned in the pitiful few news accounts I've seen of this are Nicole Kidman, Bruce Willis, Patricia Heaton, Nicole Kidman, Don Johnson, Dennis Hopper, Danny DeVito, Sylvester Stallone, Gary Sinise and James Woods. Other notables I found on the list were Bryan Cranston (the Dad on Malcolm in the Middle), Bernie Mac, Joshua Malina, Kelly Preston, Viveca Fox, Michael Chiklis, Serena Williams, William Hurt, and Larry Gelbart.

It's obvious that these people are singling themselves out in Hollywood and going against the prevailing Blame America at All Costs ideology. I admire them for it.
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Just so you know...
Having nothing interesting to say doesn't stop me from blogging...

But you already knew that.
Emma's Game, Night II
We put her to bed as usual. We had a clue something was up because she flipped onto her front when I put her down in the crib. She used to always go to sleep on her back. We said our goodnights and before M. was even down the steps we heard the "Mommy, Daddy, Mommy, Daddy, Mommy, Daddy!" So we walked away and ignored it. It lasted thirty seconds and she quit. She must have quickly decided she was tired after all.
Leftovers for you!
Because I left my battery and charger at work. So my camera no worky. Which stinks because I wanted to take a picture of my salmon color gladiola tonight. Bummer.
The big old tree
We pass under this one on our walk down the old road in front of the house. M. took these pictures for perspective on size.

The Return of the Cart
It fell out of favor for a while. She pulled it out and took it for a spin last night. She may still be weirded out by all the sparkles on it.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Featured photo of the day

This was taken by M.
More bubble pictures
Without a single bubble in sight. M. said she actually did produce some, he just never captured them on camera. She has a bad habit of putting the wand to her lips, or practically in her mouth. I got her the little no-spill dispenser at Kohls for 60% off. It actually works as advertised. It's a Backyardigans item. M. said she was combining her car watching squat with the bubble blowing.

Emma's new game
Emma has always been beautiful about going to bed. We have a bedtime routine that seldom varies and it's created great sleep habits. Tonight all that went to hell. We put her to bed as usual, paci and tigger in place, goodnight kisses, and out the door. Three minutes later, "Mommy, Daddy, Mommy, Daddy, Mommy, Daddy!" The paci was on the floor. M. gave it to her and left. Two minutes later I hear the paci hitting the floor again. "Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy, Daddy!" I go up and put it back and tell her to go to sleep (she had actually worked up real tears).

I'm thinking I probably let her nap too late this afternoon. And she took two naps instead of the usual one. I get back to the computer and hear the paci hit the floor again "Mommy, Daddy, Mommy, Daddy, Mommy, Daddy!" Daddy heads up and I follow. This time I've got four pacis to put in her crib, by golly, I'll show her. I come back downstairs, paci one hits the floor. She starts calling "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy..." I let her go on for a couple of minutes. Paci #2 hits the floor. "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy!..." for another couple of minutes. I was prepared to let her wear herself out. It's obviously a game and she needs to learn the first time that it won't continue. Then I hear M. sneaking up the stairs. That was 10 minutes ago and he's still up there. I think he's reading to her. If her bedtime habits go to hell I'm blaming him. Softy.

UPDATE: After he put her back in bed I could hear him coming down the steps. The paci hit the floor before his foot hit the bottom step. And she started yelling again. We discussed it for a minute and M. decided that she was in no way tired so he was going to get her up to watch some baseball with him (That would put ME to sleep!) She was up for a while and then she wandered in and wanted to see "baby" on the computer. M. opined that her nose had been running all evening and she might benefit from Benedryl. Yeah! Benedryl! So we dosed her with that and I put her back to bed at around 9:25. I took no chances on shenanigans and pulled up a chair next to her bed and sat there not looking at her. After about ten minutes of that she was settled. For good measure when I left her room I cut out her night light. We never heard from her again. We'll see how it goes tonight.
A child in need of a nap...
At first she was playing nicely. Then she was trying to push Daddy off the chaise. Of course she wasn't too successful at that. Then when she was already upset she started hollering for her paci and when I didn't produce it instantly she went into full blown meltdown.

Surprise treat
A trip to the playground after work. I wanted to get a pizza for supper but right after work would have been too early. So we went to the playground to kill time. She wasn't too keen on doing the big slides without someone at the top and bottom to help her. She cried both times. But she's the one who wanted to try it so what can you do? She can swing on the big swing now. She'll actually hold on so you can push. And she's trying some climbing too.

Tuesday shorts
1. I swear my child is not a hippy, BUT...the last couple of days I've dropped her off at the babysitter's barefoot and she was barefoot when I picked her up. I put shoes on her in the morning and by the time we're at Mary's they're on the floor. If I put them back on her before we go in she'll climb right up onto the couch and take them off the minute we're in the door. Mary is usually barefoot and if anyone in the room is barefoot then Emma wants to be barefoot.

2. To answer Walt's question, my brother has been in Germany with his family for three and a half years because of the Army. He's in medical services. He actually arrived in Europe January 2003 and was there for maybe three weeks before they sent him to Iraq for a year. So he kind of got gypped on his Europe tour. His wife is also Army; she's a nurse. They did take advantage of their time in Europe and traveled. I know they hit Austria, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Poland and a few others I can't recall. Now my brother will be working on his masters (for the Army) while SIL returns to clinical nursing. They'll be living in Maryland, right outside DC. We hope to take advantage of their proximity to lots of museums and attractions.

3. To answer Wermit's question, I think Emma and J. didn't get along at first because J. came on a little strong. She so much wanted to play with Emma that she'd crowd her. Emma resisted her advances and they kind of squared off. Because J. is almost four it was hard to make her understand that she'd do better letting Emma come to her. After a certain point Emma got downright peevish when J. came around. I had to fuss at Emma for being mean. They did eventually iron it out a bit.

4. As I'm typing all this Emma is trying to play with the laptop. She's grabbing the screen, pulling out the power cord and doing other annoying things. I turned her around and told her to go play with her toys. A minute later she comes back with a car to drive all over the computer. Sigh.
Happy Birthday, Aunt Patty!
Yeah, I'm a day late, AGAIN. Sigh. I try, I really do. I knew all about it on Sunday and then forgot about it Monday. So here we are...just for you...

Monday, August 14, 2006
Making friends
Uncle B. spent some quality time with Emma while I was still sleeping Sunday morning. They seem to get along famously. When the cousins were done with their baths Emma staked her claim in Uncle B's lap. From that position she felt secure enough to warm up to little J. They seem to be reaching an understanding now.

Thrill Riding 101
Observe how both nieces have been properly taught how to enjoy a thrill ride.

Sunday, August 13, 2006
Tons O' HersheyPark pics!
This year we were at the park for Emma. Last year she was still too small to ride much so we spent our day at Paramount's Kings Dominion riding roller coasters while Emma chilled with Noni. This year was playtime for Emma. We concentrated on the rides that she could ride accompanied by an adult. She's still a bit small to cut loose on her own with other kids on rides. Fortunately, with such restrictions there were still a lot of rides she could do. We had a good time with her. Daddy rode most of the rides with her and I was the photographer, as usual.

This first shot is a gift from Aunt K. who purchased the official photo taken on the log flume ride. This was the only ride the paci got to go on.

Emma's first ride of the day was this ladybug ride. She took right to it.

Here are Emma's cousins on the carousel. I thought they looked pretty darned cute in this picture.

Emma and Noni waiting for us to ride the only roller coaster we rode all day. It was a tame one at that. Feh.

Tons O' HersheyPark pics, con't.
This ride was called Convoy. She was mad when it took a while to get started. She loved the rides, she hated the waiting.

When the time came she just checked out. No amount of noise around her seemed to penetrate her deep sleep. She probably slept an hour and a half or two hours.

This is the train ride. She jumped every time the whistle blew.

Here's an extra-jumbo slide for her to go down. She and Daddy beat Uncle B. and cousin J. by a mile.

The wait for the Ferris Wheel was really long. We even played a few rounds of Ring Around the Rosie in line. Everyone took their turn trying to amuse Emma. When we got to the front of the line she threw a major fit. Fortunately we were able to proceed onto the ride.

Proof that I was actually there.

C. is proudly displaying his snake he won playing Whack-a-Mole. He and the whole crew were pretty lucky. We won three small puppies, a medium Hersheypark dog and a large Hersheypark dog playing Skee-ball. C. won a ball tossing a basketball through the hoop. And my dear husband found a wadded up ten dollar bill on the sidewalk. Kind of hard to beat that.

This is how Little M. waits in line...