Saturday, June 28, 2008

I need some help

Ok, all of you camera savvy people out there- this is directed at you!

I would really like to buy a DSLR camera...but I don't know all that much about them. I am interested in taking up photography as a hobby, but I don't have a ton of money to spend at the moment. I think if I can do some research and figure out exactly what I'm looking for, I can probably convince my husband to spend the $.

What I am looking for is some advice/recommendations regarding DSLR cameras for novices that will produce a nice quality photograph but won't break the bank. I am also wondering if anyone has advice on where I might find an inexpensive photography class that would work for someone wanting to learn on a DSLR camera.

Thanks in advance!

I get it!

Ok, so this post is so not going to be original, but I'm going to write it anyway.
I have read several other posts almost exactly the same as this one will be, but I don't think that I ever fully understood them before.
Now though, I can definitely say I GET IT!

I'm just going to come out and say it...
My name is Shannon, and I am addicted to comments.
And I have to say that I am currently experiencing some serious symptoms of withdrawal!

Help me out here people! I've had nearly 200 visits to my blog in the last week, but only a precious few people deemed me comment worthy. Is it me? Have I done something to offend?
Am I dull and boring? If I am, please leave me a comment and let me know so that I won't have to sit and wonder any more! I NEED to know!

If I am in fact interesting and/or amusing, please leave a comment about that too. I am just dying to be accepted in the fabulous world that is Bloggywood.

Give a girl a break people...all I'm asking for is a simple "Hey, I came to visit your blog and you're pretty cool/ you're a complete tool." That's not too much to ask, right?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Let's get real baby!




















You sure you want to see this??? Alright, here you go then. Welcome to my humble abode.

This is my home. I love the garden, mainly because I had absolutely nothing to do with it. Well, that's not entirely true...I put in the solar lights all by myself. The actual gardening though- not so much. That was the work of my former neighbor. I love it because each year I just sit back and watch the flowers appear, as if by magic. Although I must say that they seem to be getting a bit out of control this year. I know that people split the big leafy green plants (can't for the life of me remember what they're called) because they get so big- but I have not one clue how to go about doing such a thing.

So this is what I have going on.
Any suggestions?

This is my fabulous kitchen junk drawer. Need batteries? Check. Candles? Yep, got those too. How about a screwdriver? Scissors? Maybe you'd like to groom your dog and treat your asthma when you're done? Whatever you need, I'm sure I can find it in here if you just give me a sec.
And this my dear friends, is where I spend WAY too much time. Fortunately for all of you, today is garbage day...otherwise the desk would be a disaster. Yes, yes, I know it's looking a bit cluttered, but you should have seen it a few hours ago. Most days I'm not sure how I even find the keyboard to type on!

These are my absolute favorite pieces of jewelry. Unfortunately, my fingers have now gotten so fat that it has been about a year since I've actually been able to wear them. I know that I could have them resized, but I absolutely refuse to admit the possibility that I won't be able to lose the weight and fit into them again later. So for now they sit in this little pouch with a pair of earrings that I can't wear because the holes in my ears seem to have closed up. Pretty sad, huh?

Last but not least- my best feature...















my eyes.
I had pictures of both of them, but I can't get them to post the way that I wanted to, so I'm afraid that you'll have to settle for one. The other one is pretty similar though, so you should get the idea.

*UPDATE*
You can see my eyes a bit better in this one...and you have the added bonus of seeing that they are indeed similar to each other. Oh- and I'm not wearing any makeup...this is Real life after all!



I hope that you have enjoyed your little peak into my world. Come back again soon!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

She makes me giggle

This evening Ciara was driving me bonkers!
She was hyper and into everything, not listening, climbing all over me, etc. At one point I flat out yelled at her...after which she made me feel terrible because she looked so sad and came to cuddle with me in her sad, pitiful way, saying "I'm sorry I was naughty Mama. Are you angry?"
Stinker. Didn't stop her for long though, she just went right back into acting like a fool.
So then, right as Dancing with the Stars is ending and I'm getting ready to take her up to bed...she spontaneously busts out with this...

video

How do you compete with that?
Looks like I have a little Jason Castro fan on my hands. At least I'm assuming that's where she got it from. I know she watched that performance with me and I know she paid particular attention to him because she thought he looked like Zach Braff (Her father has had her hooked on Scrubs since infancy). Every time she saw him she said "Look Mama, it's JD!"...silly girl!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

New discovery

I'm so excited. I discovered something new the other day.

I don't own a copy of Photoshop and it has been making me sad seeing all of the cool things that other people can do with their photos knowing that I can't do any of it. But guess what...

I CAN do some of them! Yay!

I discovered that I have a photo editing program on my computer that lets me do a few cool things. I can't get as fancy as all of you awesome Photoshop people can, but hey, it's a start!

So here's my first example...



Cool huh? Anyone as excited as I am? Probably not. Oh well...I'm still excited!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Open letter to Barbie...

Dear Barbie,
I know it has been a long time, and I'm sorry that I haven't kept in touch. It is unforgivable.

After everything that you have done for me and taught me over the years, it is appalling to think that I was capable of shoving you into a giant black garbage bag and tossing you into my parent's attic to wait out the years until I was ready to pull you back out again to hang out with my daughter. I am truly sorry. I don't know what I was thinking.

I'm sure that you weren't surprised when it happened. There had been some obvious signs that it was coming for quite some time. Visits had become sporadic and short, and when we did see each other I was fairly cruel.

I am sorry for all of the pain that I inflicted upon you over the years. I can't imagine how you found the strength to go on after everything that I put you through.

You really taught me so much over the years. You taught me how to be a feminist and still stay feminine. You taught me about fashion, cars, and interior decorating. You showed me the vast world of career opportunities available to me as you tried each one out for yourself in your never-ending quest for perfection. You taught me to be a nurturing caregiver as you helped Skipper navigate her awkward tween years, and later when you and Ken had children. I learned about fiscal responsibility as I saved all of my money to buy you the perfect outfits and accessories. I learned that life is not always fair and you won't always be able to have your perfect dream house...but it is still fun to go and hang out at your friend's! I really did learn a lot from you Barbie. I'm sorry that I was too blind to see it at the time.

I am so sorry that I mistreated you the way that I did. It must have been horrifying to spend most of your time stark naked and shoved into a tiny, dark box. Oh, and those terrible haircuts! I swear, I really didn't know that your hair would do that when I cut it. I just thought that you would look so adorable with a bob!

You really must have hated me as I grew older and started watching Santa Barbara, and Another World. You are a true survivor. How many other women out there could claim to have survived all that you have been put through? The list is just unbelievable...car wrecks, kidnapping, comas, torture, mutilation, rape. I really don't know how you managed to come out of it all with a smile on your face. You are a truly remarkable woman.

Thank you Barbie, I wouldn't be the woman that I am without you. This is why I must ask you to endure it all again.

You see, I have this beautiful little girl and she needs you. I know that you will be good to her, and teach her all of the same lessons that you taught me, and my mother before me. Her name is Ciara, and even though she hasn't quite figured out who you are yet she already loves you. Please forgive her when she calls you "Darbie"...I just can't bring myself to correct her. I promise that I will do my best to see that she treats you with a little more kindness than I did.

Thank you my old friend!
With Love,

Shannon

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Oh My!

Wow- nearly 50 visits to my blog today!
Thank you Jessica!

It's just slightly disconcerting that a large percentage of the people who have visited my blog this month were treated to photos of my messy home. Fortunately you were all spared the REALLY mortifying bits. I hope that at least a few of the visitors choose to visit again soon.

Nighty night peeps!

"Real Life" Festival


Okey dokey people, here it is...the cold hard truth about my "real life". Please try not to gasp in horror.

This is my fridge...or at least as much of the outside of it as I could capture. I could never show you the inside as it would scar you for life.

This would be our coat closet. The rest of our closets are far more cluttered. Again- sorry that you can't get the full picture, but the space around it is confined a bit and this was the best that I could do.
My fabulous kitchen sink- which for once does not contain a single dirty dish. Woo Hoo!

(I promise- I didn't do it on purpose for the photo...my husband has friends coming over tomorrow)

My not often used toilet in our downstairs half bath. Gotta love the plunger!
My favorite shoes. My husband hates them enough that he actually went and bought me a new pair of flipflops. Sorry sweetie, they just don't cut it.
My favorite room- our living room. As you can see, it is well used.



What my daughter is doing right now...why aren't I in bed again? Oh yeah, the blog addiction strikes again!


The disgustingly large pile of ironing that I need to do- don't you just love vacations?!



Moi. I'm not really sad- the flash just made my eyes water a lot and I had to look away to avoid accidently blinding myself permanently.



Hope you enjoyed your brief glimpse of how I live. You'd better not chicken out now or I'll hunt you all down one by one!


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sad state of affairs

37

As a 1930s wife, I am
Poor

Take the test!

Wearing the ol' "Drama Queen" crown today!

Don't you just love it when you make a huge deal about something and then it turns out to be absolutely nothing at all?

My boss was completely lovely today and had nothing but constructive and pleasant things to say to me. There was one particular set of parents who had a conference with the old teacher and H while I was away and she really just wanted to make sure that I was informed about what was said and that I continue on with the things that they really liked.

Now I get to go in tomorrow and apologize to C for acting like a big Ninny.


At our Staff meeting tonight we had a silly made up awards ceremony. Before I left for vacation the ballots were passed out. I think that there were 15 awards for 13 people or something like that- so everyone got something. I am fairly certain that I got a full 100% of the votes for the award that I won...I am now Officially the "Most Flexible" teacher at our center. Now before you go and get the wrong idea like my friend Jessica apparently did- this Does NOT mean that I will be quitting my job to run off and join Cirque Du Soliel. It simply means that I am a huge push over. Yay Me!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Ugh...why do I work again?

Today was my first day back from vacation.

A day that I was very much dreading. A day in which I get to return to work, but not the classroom that I have been teaching in since January. Today is the day that I get to take over teaching Preschool...with my daughter in the class...and absolutely no transition period or time to prepare. (Can't you just sense my overwhelming joy at the prospect?)

I woke up this morning prepared to face the day. Ok, so I had no clue what to expect other than the fact that a Tuesday is the day from hell on a good week. That's ok, I'll be fine.
I got out of bed slightly earlier than I normally would in order to give myself time to get my things together. I managed to accomplish my mission...right up until it was time to get Ciara ready. Still, we were in the car on schedule.

I walked into the door of the center where I was greeted by our Assistant Director (We'll call her "C" to keep things simple). The Director ("H") had today off. Things started off nice "How was your vacation" and such...but quickly turned sour as C told me that H had asked her to talk to me before I went to get my classroom going. Long story short- I ended up in over-emotional tears for about 20 minutes in the office while Ciara made Lamby and herself comfy on the floor.
The gist of the conversation was that my boss would like for me to continue the routines of the teacher who just left- who is the definition of "Type A personality". I however, am not remotely type A.

This felt like a bit of a slap in the face as I was the teacher in that classroom up until Ms. Type A was hired. The only reason I was moved from the class was because Ciara was turning 3 and it is against company policy (as well as my own personal policy) for us to be in the same classroom (unless of course it suits the center for my boss to ignore said rule). So now what I did before was crap? Whatever...not the best way to begin the first day back from vacation.

All in all, the day went ok. I made it through and C was unbelievably kind and helpful. The difficulty is that tomorrow I get to go and face H without C being around at all for the day. Not that H is a bad boss. She's very good at what she does and actually very nice and we get along quite well...I'm just not in the best frame of mind at the moment. Plus we have a staff meeting after work so I'll be working a 12 hour day. Oh joy!

Wish me luck!

J, Jump, Joyful

Alrighty folks, here it is...footage of my child trying very hard to figure out how to jump rope. We were in hysterics by the time we were finished.

video

This just heard...

"Mommy, I like this Beer!"

*It's Rootbeer...and please excuse my child who refuses to stay dressed while at home...and the huge disaster area that is my bedroom.

Vacation photos

Here are the promised pictures from our exciting vacation in Maine...notice all of the lovely scenic photos!

Ciara, Nana, and Cousin Niesa shortly after arriving in Maine. Nana is in 7th heaven!
Ciara wearing my 1st dance recital costume. It was my sister's semi-permanent uniform growing up- hence the very obvious wear & tear. Ciara is watching tv in the picture, which is why she looks so lively.
Still watching TV
Ciara with the children my Grandmother watches. My Grandmother will be 82 in a month. She's quite a lady!
Not entirely sure what this was about. I think Kevin took this picture because she had a dirty face, but I'm not positive. I just thought it was a funny shot.
I also have a video of Ciara trying to figure out how to jump rope, but there was an error when I tried to load it. I'll have to try again later.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Back to the real world

Vacation is over.


Waaaaaaaaah!


It was really lovely to have a whole week to just sit around and do nothing! Now I have to face the real world and responsibilities again. Blech! At least I gave myself one extra day before I have to go back to work. Let's just hope that I can manage to stay motivated to do all the things I need to do today and not be a complete slug.

As soon as I find the USB cable for my camera I will post a picture or two from our trip- there aren't many because I truly did sit around and do nothing for a week.

I did get to go to my sister's 4D Ultrasound and find out firsthand that I am going to have another niece! She was a little stinker though and kept her hands in front of her face the whole time making it difficult to get good pictures. From what we could see she looks very much like her big sister. I can't wait until September when we can find out for sure!

I also went to my 15 year reunion. It was nice to see people that I haven't spoken to at all in the last 15 years. I grew up in a small town and I knew many of them the entire 13 years of school. The photo albums people brought were hilarious!

Everyone said they wanted to stay in touch- but I doubt that anything will really change. We'll keep each other as friends on MySpace and Facebook, but that will be just about the extent of it until 2013 when we have our 20 year reunion.

Oops- little princess is up! Time to go.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

What?!

Last night there was nothing on TV that was deemed worthy by my family, so we decided to go throught the semi-painful ordeal of picking a movie out from my parents collection.
We wanted something that wouldn't freak Ciara out and in the end settled on watching "Splash". It wasn't really anyone's first choice, but we thought that Ciara would enjoy seeing the mermaid.

So anyway, we were watching the movie and Ciara was sort of paying attention to parts of it. It got to the part when Madison is exposed as a mermaid and thrown into the research tank. Ciara was sitting on my Mom's lap and asking 3 million questions about every little thing that happened (to the point that my Mom asked her if she knew any words besides "Why?"). I was half paying attention to the movie, but mostly paying attention to my father's pocket sudoku game when I heard my daughter pipe up with the question of the decade...
"Nana, why does she have a fluke?"

Me: "Mom, did she just ask why she has a fluke?"
My Mom: "Yep, that's what she said."

Crazy kid.

Monday, June 9, 2008

You thought my life was exciting before...

I just spent 3 hours of my precious vacation time sitting in an ER.

Why, you ask?

Because my husband has a sore throat.

The local doctors were too busy to see someone visiting from out of town ("you have to schedule at least a half an hour for a new patient"), and our doctor back home is in the middle of leaving the practice and wasn't around today so the only doctor available was a complete stranger unable to write a prescription for an antibiotic for a patient they'd never even met.

So it was off to the ER...
3 hours later, $50 poorer, and armed with more personal information about a fellow ER patient than anyone would EVER care to know, we were sent away with the instructions to suck on a sucrets every 2 hours and pop some ibuprofin. Yep, you guessed it...the rapid strep was negative.

Now back to the fellow patient- because this is something that I can't not share!

After sitting in the waiting room for about 2 hours a woman and her mother walked in. The woman was called into triage and her mother got up and walked away for a moment. They both returned and I had the unfortunate experience of overhearing their conversation...in which the mother confessed to her daughter that she'd just had an accident ("just a small one") and needed to go home. EEEEEWWWW!

The next thing I know the lady plops herself down across from us and starts babbling away...apparently to us because there was no one else around. I tried to ignore her, but she didn't seem to get the hint. Kevin was far better at it than I was. It started off innocently with her asking about the score of the baseball game on the tv (why she couldn't just look for herself I will never know). I gave the briefest of answers possible and tried to look as dissintrested in her as I could. The next thing I know she's going on about how "I'm going to get the run around again. I know they're going to diagnose me with something that won't be right and then I'll get more symptoms and they'll change the diagnosis..."etc. The sad fact is that I just don't have it in me to be rude to people and so I made an unforgivable mistake.

I asked her what was wrong. WHAT WAS I THINKING?! This woman was clearly deranged.
I swear to you, her answer was the only lesson I will ever need. I will NEVER, EVER again ask another patient in an ER what they are being seen for, because this is the answer that I got...

"I have this brown, gooey discharge down there."

OH. MY. GOD! Would you EVER in a million years make that confession to a complete stranger? Wouldn't you at least say something like "I'm having some female troubles" or something along those lines? Not this lady. OH NO! I was treated to the entire history of her reproductive organs.

No more nice for me. From here on out I'm as cold as it gets.

Me and my exciting life

We made it to Maine with no real issues.
Our flight was delayed a bit, but it wasn't so bad. We were able to keep Ciara entertained at the airport by letting her ride up and down the escalator repeatedly...Thanks Kev!
She did fairly well on the plane. I don't think that she turned into one of those children that every one else on the plane wants to murder.

So far I don't have all that much to report about our vacation.
We arrived Saturday afternoon and came back to my parents house. We spent the afternoon hanging out in the living room with my sister and my niece. My niece is absolutely adorable! I am so happy to finally have a chance to spend some time with her. I hate that I missed out on so much of her first year.

Yesterday we didn't do a whole lot. Ciara had a rough night on Saturday and slept in until almost 10am. Then we just lounged around lazily for the rest of the morning. Eventually we got moving and went to Walmart and CVS with my Mom. (I know- how exciting, right?!)
Ciara and I spent the remainder of the afternoon at a birthday party. My best friend from childhood invited us to help celebrate her son's 4th birthday and her niece's 12th.
Of course Ciara was shy and hiding behind me for most of the afternoon...right up until I said it was time to go, and then she wanted to play.

It was difficult to try to do any real catching up with my friend at the party, though it was nice to see her. Hopefully we'll have some more time to hang out later this week.

I know that having read all this you are now completely jealous of my exotic and exciting lifestyle. I'll leave you with a quote from my daughter to help dull the pain of not being as cool as I am.

As Ciara and I were lying in bed this morning looking at "Horton Hatches and Egg" she suddenly stopped mid-sentence, looked at me, and said..."Mommy, your job is to clean up toys...in the preschool room."

Yup, that about sums it up. Thanks Ciara.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Vacation Time!!!!

I am now officially on vacation!!!
This is a much needed, and if I do say so myself, well deserved vacation.
I could go into details about why I am so deserving of a vacation, but I won't. You'll just have to trust me and use your imagination while remembering that I am a preschool teacher by trade.

Tomorrow morning I will be headed home to Maine to visit with my family and catch up with my former classmates at our 15 year reunion. (Man, I'm getting OLD!) I have no real plans for our trip other than the reunion. I am just looking forward to spending some time with the people that I love most in the world and lounging around NOT thinking about work. I am sure that we will go on some fun outings while we are there. Ciara is finally getting old enough to truly appreciate the beauty of my home state.

I am going to do my best to keep up with my blog while I am away, but I'm not sure how easily I will be able to access the internet at my parents house. It shouldn't be a problem, but I don't want to make promises that I can't keep.

In the meantime, I will leave you with a list of some of the amusing things that Ciara has said to me today...

"There's Spageetos outside!" (that would be Mosquitoes btw) "Spageetos like rain, right Mommy? Not snow, not wind, not cold, just rain. Right?"

"I hate these coughings. They're too yucky. Right Mommy?"

"You go get your Mama and I'll go find Grampy, cuz he's my favorite boy." (this one was actually a few days ago. It was in the car and she was just randomly talking about our trip to Maine)

"Mommy, I like Daddy now."

"That's Cinderella's Castle! Right Mom?"
"Yep, that's Cinderella's Castle all right."
"I can't wait to go there, cuz she's my friend."
(While watching the beginning of Lion King 1 1/2 for the millionth time this week)

I have to give a little history for the last one.
When I was a little girl one of my favorite things to do was to listen to Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf" with my Grandmom. I recently came across a version that Bono had done while shopping at Half Price books with my family and had to buy it. I have such fond memories of spending that time with my Grandmother and I thought that it would be really cool to pass it on to Ciara.
A few days later Ciara and I settled in to our favorite comfy chair and turned on the CD. One of the cool things about Bono's version is that it has a book that goes along with it. So Ciara and I sat and listened to the music and looked at the illustrations in the book. We talked about the different characters and listened carefully to the music to hear what each of the characters was up to. At the time she seemed sort of detached about it and I wasn't sure that she really liked it very much. This morning I found out how wrong I was. We had been hanging out downstairs watching tv while Kev tried to recover from his night of gaming when Ciara disappeared for a few minutes. I called to her to find out what she was doing and she told me that she was just getting clothes. When she returned she had Peter and the Wolf in hand and asked to listen to it.
Just after I put the CD in my cellphone rang. As I was talking to my friend Ciara piped up with this gem...
"That's the duck! The duck goes into the Wolf's mouth, right Mommy?"
"What? Oh, right...yes, the duck does go in the Wolf's mouth."
"That's yucky."

And I thought that she wasn't paying attention. Silly me.
I am continually amazed by the brilliance of my child.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Going Geek

My husband is a gamer.
As in, my husband spends large quantities of time pretending to kill imaginary fantastical creatures. This is not simply a hobby, it is an obsession.
Nearly every Wednesday night my husband disappears for hours on end. When he returns he is desperate to share his "adventures" with me. I try very hard to be an attentive listener when he regals me with his tales of bravery and misfortunes...most of the time I fail miserably.

Today is a very big day for my husband and his buddies. I'm not positive that I have this precisely right, but I think that this is the scoop...today for the first time in a significant number of years a new version of D&D is being released. The apparently long-awaited 4th Edition (cue the dramatic music). I wish that I could explain the significance of this major event, but the truth is that I actually have absolutely no idea what the big deal is all about.

What I do know is that my husband is very excited and wants very badly for me to be excited as well. At some point in the last couple of weeks he and one of his buddies decided that it would be a good idea to teach their wives to play. There is a "quick setup" version of the new edition (at least I think that's what it is) that was seemingly a perfect fit for newcomers. In the spirit of being a good wife to my husband, I agreed to give it a shot.

Long story short, I just spent the last several hours immersed in total geekdom. My husband and his friend tried really hard to explain the rules and nuances of the game while his wife and I giggled, rolled our eyes at each other, and bandied about sarcastic comments. We did get into the spirit of things a bit as our little adventure rolled on...but for the most part we played with the pretty dice and tried to keep our daughters from going out of their minds with boredom while the boys ran the game.

It was an enjoyable evening for the most part and I'm not totally opposed to playing again at some point in time...but I can't say that the experience has helped me to understand his obsession. After 3 or so hours of play we had accomplished almost nothing. We had two encounters with packs of hostile creatures. In the end we managed to kill all foes, but took some pretty serious hits ourselves. What did the fighting earn us? Not a whole heck of a lot as far as I could tell. I believe that the final result of our evening was that we retrieved some sort of amulet which let us know that we were headed in the right direction to find the army of evil demons that we were looking for. It could take several more rounds of play before we even see one of these evil creatures, and who knows what we're supposed to do once we have disposed of them (assuming that we don't all die trying). I just can't see committing that much of my time to the game.

My husband however packed up his materials, gave our daughter a kiss, and went off to spend the rest of the night exploring The 4th Edition (dramatic music again). He doesn't expect to be home until well after sunrise tomorrow.

Whatever floats your boat I suppose.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Sweeties

When Ciara was about 17 months old she had to have surgery to fix a blocked tear duct. I decided that going through such a traumatic experience so soon after spending several days in the PICU being poked and prodded definitely called for some sort of special treat. At the time Ciara was completely obsessed with "La La Street" (That's Sesame Street to the rest of the world, but remains La La Street in our home to this day), particularly Elmo. I thought that it would be really cool for her to have a special Elmo to take into surgery with her- so I went and bought "Elmo Knows Your Name". Unfortunately, Elmo was extremely defiant and flat out refused to say much of anything. A few weeks after the surgery a replacement Elmo arrived in the mail and a beautiful friendship was born.

Where there was Ciara, there was Elmo. Poor, poor Elmo. 18 Month old children aren't particularly gentle with their toys, and they aren't terribly cleanly at that stage of the game either. After a while little Elmo really started to look a little worse for the wear. Unfortunately, he had computer parts sewn into his belly and I was never able to give the poor fellow a bath (Not that Ciara would have let him out of her sight long enough for that to happen anyway). However, the more worn out Elmo became, the more love Ciara seemed to have for him.

After a time our little friend Elmo became known for the most part as "Sweetie". I have no real idea how it happened. I remember driving home from school one day listening to Ciara chattering away in her car seat and hearing her call him Sweetie. I thought that it was the cutest thing ever. Sweetie was not a term of endearment that I used overly often with her at the time and I wasn't all that sure where she had heard it so it seemed especially poignant. This is one of those stories that I will remember forever and embarrass her with when she turns into a sulky teenager. It just melted my heart.

Anyway, from pretty much that moment on Elmo ceased to be Elmo and was now to be called Sweetie. If you tried to call him Elmo you were swiftly and emphatically corrected. As Ciara approached her second birthday Sweetie really wasn't looking so hot and I began to have some concerns that we had a terminal case of Toddler love on our hands. Uh oh.

Now, I'm not completely dense. I have had my own Sweeties in my lifetime, and I know that they are not easily replaced. Still, I figured that I had to try something. So I went back to Walmart and purchased a second Elmo. The idea being that I would just do a switcheroo as soon as an opportunity presented itself. Sadly, I made the grave error of shopping in the company of my Toddler. Now we had Sweetie, who continued to be the constant companion...and another Elmo, who mostly sat around in Ciara's crib looking lonely. Eventually spots began to wear through on Sweetie's abdomen where the computer box was and I knew that something had to be done. One night I waited for my precious little girl to fall asleep, and then I did the unimaginable...I went into her room and kidnapped her best friend.

The next morning Ciara woke up and wanted to know where Sweetie was. I tried to play it cool and pass the replacement Elmo off as Sweetie like nothing was wrong (Of COURSE I knew that it would never work- I'm not brain damaged!). It took a few days, but when it became obvious that Sweetie was gone for good, Elmo became an acceptable alternative. There was just this one thing...the replacement was NOT Sweetie. Over time he became almost as careworn, but not once was he ever referred to as Sweetie. It nearly broke my heart. I have kept Sweetie saved away to give back to her when she is older because I simply could not bear to get rid of it. My little girl's first Love.

There is however a new Sweetie on the block. Well, not Sweetie exactly, but rather Lamby. Lamby was actually the first gift I received upon confirming that I was pregnant. I don't have any idea how it happened, but one day Ciara simply decided that Lamby was to be her new best friend. I couldn't even begin to speculate as to what it was about Lamby that won her over. She has a rather large collection of stuffed animals and most of them had taken up residence in her crib with her at the time, but apparently Lamby had something special.

Lamby wasn't always known as Lamby. The first time I asked Ciara if her lamb had a name I was told very matter of factly that the lamb was "Mary Lamb". Pretty soon our old pal Elmo had fallen to the wayside and Mary Lamb had taken up the post of constant companion. As Ciara has gotten older she has branched out a bit and experimented with having other fluffy companions, but Lamby, as Mary Lamb eventually became known, is still the favorite.

By now you're probably thinking that all of this is very sweet and all, but you're also probably wondering what exactly my point in telling you about it is. Well, the reason that I started writing about all of this is because Ciara was so cute tonight and I wanted to blog about it- but I felt that a little history was needed before I could do so. Now that I've done that...

Tonight when I went to give Ciara her bath she was in her room watching Bambi on her "puter". She really wasn't terribly inclined to join me in the bathroom and so we had a bit of an argument. I won, and as she was tearfully making her way to the bathroom she said in her sad, pitiful little voice "I want my Lamby". I gave a cursory glance at the bed and did not immediately spot Lamby and as I was pretty low on patience at the time I hustled her off to the bathroom sans Lamby. Once we made it into the bathroom she told me she needed to "go peeps". By now I was feeling a little guilty about being so impatient with her, so while she was doing her thing I went back into her room to retrieve her buddy for her.

Ciara would happily take Lamby into the bath with her and has tried to on a few occasions- enough times that Lamby now has her own special seat in the bathroom (otherwise known as the back of the toilet) where she can quietly observe bath time.

So Lamby sat in her spot and Ciara and I made up and acted silly with each other while she had her bath. When the bath was over Ciara sat in the tub for several minutes using her rubber ducky fingernail scrubber to "clean" the bathtub ("because it's very messy Mommy. You got too much water. I have to wipe the water. See?"). I eventually managed to get her out and get her teeth brushed and we headed off to her room to find jammies. Except that once we got into her bedroom she realized that it was time to go to bed, and she wasn't at all pleased.

"Ciara, if you come to bed now you'll get to have a story, but if you take too long then we won't have time to read one."
This must have sounded like a reasonable argument because she put on her pull-up and picked out some jammies and climbed into bed for her story...or should I say stories?
"I want 2 stories Mama. I want this one (pointing to a picture of a dalmatian on the cover of her Disney book) and this one (pointing to a picture of Captain Hook on the same book).
So we get comfortable together and find the page that 101 Dalmatians starts on, and I start to read. I get through the first sentence and then...
"Mommy, wait a second. I have to go get my Lamby. You forgot my Lamby. We can't read without Lamby." (she's walking into the bathroom while she's saying all this) (now coming back) "Mommy, you forgot Lamby. We need to have Lamby to read the stories." There was more to it, but I'll be damned if I can remember exactly what she said. All I really remember is the accusatory tone in her voice and the absolute conviction that we certainly could not even begin to think about getting ready for bed without Lamby! It was really very amusing. I tried so hard to commit it all to memory because she was really cracking me up. I knew I was going to fail.
Ah well, now you know all about Ciara's Sweeties.





So much for keeping the posts short.

Trying it out

I take a lot of videos of Ciara and always wondered how to add them to my blog. One of my friends had the same question and another friend answered it, so I thought that I'd give it a shot.
This is one of my favorite videos of all time...

video

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Highlight of my day

I'll start by flat out admitting that I am a dork.
Now...on to the story.

I was just driving home from work having a very pleasant conversation with Ciara. We were discussing how she had been such a great listener all afternoon and how nice it was that we could talk without "fighting" (her words). Then, seemingly out of nowhere she says...
"Mommy, I want to listen to your music." (the radio was turned off completely at the time)
"My music? Which music is that?"
"I want to listen to Don't Go Girl Mommy. It's my favorite."
"You want to listen to Please Don't Go Girl?"
"Yes, it's my favorite"

And I thought that I couldn't love her any more than I already did.

* I swear on Joey McIntyre's topless hat that I have not been brainwashing my child! I have played the CD for her maybe twice. I did tell her that it was one of My favorites, but I never once suggested that it should be hers.

Now please excuse me, I have to go buy my daughter a pony.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Blogging goals

I have spent the better part of this weekend ignoring the long list of chores I need to tend to and browsing through blogs instead. I must say that reading blogs is far more entertaining than tackling a mountain of ironing! However, I can gleefully boast of accomplishing both tasks- my ironing basket is EMPTY for the first time in months! Woo Hoo! (I'm just going to skim over the fact that there are still several loads of laundry waiting to be done)

I really am very new to the blogging world. When I started mine back in January I hadn't ever actually read any besides the one Jason Mraz does on MySpace. (He's very amusing if you've never checked it out) Now that I have actually ventured out into the vastness of the Blogging world I am feeling woefully inadequate. So here are my goals...

1. Stop being so darned wordy! Stick to quick anecdotes or people will run away before even reading a word.

2. Learn more about how to make my Blog look cool.

3. Write a blog every day, because practice makes perfect.

4. Make friends with others so that I can steal their cool ideas!

So there you have it. Please check back often and let me know if I'm reaching any of them.