Monday, December 31, 2007

Belated Christmas

As always, there was a package from Jacksonville which arrived late. Though it seems that the culprit is Uncle James this year. Never the less, he wins for awesomest Christmas present of the year. I give you (or actually he gave Kaylee) the home-made Larry the Christmas Lobster. Larry's tag reads:
This is Larry the Christmas Lobster. He didn't save Christmas or really have anything to do with Christmas other than his name. He's cuddly (for a lobster), so love him lots.

It is a huge improvement over last year's (rudimentary, yet still very cute) Christmas dolphin / shark thing. Can't wait to see what he comes up with next year ...

Kaylee today: Lobstered.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Backyard fun

The weather in: Chicago, 33º and snowy; Jacksonville, 36º and cloudy, Vandalia, 39º and clear, Winston-Salem, 46º and rainy – but in Tucson it's 60º and bubbly.
I don't know who's having more fun. Rae blowing bubbles, Pork Chop chasing bubbles or Kaylee watching it all.

Between the bubbles, the dogs and digging up rocks –
Kaylee could have spent all day in the back yard.

Cutest. Photo. Ever.

It's a much funnier photo if you don't know that she is actually falling on her butt. I like to think she's doing her best Incredible Hulk impression.

She really is an outside kind of girl. 100% at home in the dirt.
If only we had grass – *sigh*

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Kaylee's first Christmas (that counts)

Christmas has come and gone – and there's nothing left but the photos,
the cardboard in my recycling bin and the mountain of new toys in my living room (and the kitchen, and the office, and the bedroom, and ...)

Kaylee kicked off the morning with her stocking, this weird monkey-looking thing and a face only a mother could love. And maybe a Dad. Probably a couple of grandparents too. Possibly a friend of the family or two.
And Maggie.

She's not excited to be opening the present – she's excited by the noise her new frog bath toys make on the wrapping paper.
I'm hoping she's this easy to please for the next 17 Christmases.

Kaylee loves anything that can be pushed, pulled or ridden.
So this giant plastic truck-like thing seems to fit the bill. And I made sure that it was blue and covered with non-girly stuff. (Spider-Man!)
None of that Hello Kitty crap for my little girl ...
until she decides that's what she wants to play with anyway.

Things that can be pulled ... she left a tree full of loot for a box on a string.
Go figure.

OK – so this girly stuff balances out the Spider-Man truck.
She loves the necklaces and the fuzzy purse they go in.

Another winner ... the remote-controlled dinosaur from Grandpa Charlie.
There's no real rhyme or reason to what she's going to like I guess.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Twas the night before Christmas ...

... and all through the house, not a creature was stirring,
not even Pork Chop.

Our tree is overflowing with gifts – and Santa hasn't even shown up yet.
(I knew we should have taken a few more branches off the bottom.)

Merry Christmas to all
and I hope you get good presents you don't have to return.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Random things and such

Kaylee went to the doctor today – turns out she has an ear infection. That explains some of the trouble we've been having. She's on some pink antibiotics now – so hopefully she'll be back to her chipper self by Christmas. (And hopefully she'll stop passing her illnesses on to me! *coughackcough*)

Package from GG and Aunt Ruth and Uncle Kieth came the other day. Kaylee's gift from Ruthie didn't come wrapped – so we're having a hard time keeping it out of the kid's grasp. The dog seems awfully familiar ...

We've done a pretty good job keeping her away from the tree – but it's getting more and more tempting. Especially with all those wrapped presents underneath. Yesterday I caught her dragging around a gift bag from GG. She didn't care to open it ... just drag it around.

Kaylee has started to bring home "art" from daycare – including this ornament that Rae thinks is so very cute. I disagree.
I love the fact that Kaylee made it, but the thing is just hideous.

I may be a parent ... but I'm not blind.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Kaylee's new word

Kaylee picked up a new word (finally) over the last couple of days.

We keep encouraging her to say "hi" when she sees the animals or when playing with a phone or when she waves to one of us.

She now says "hyyyeeee" (yes, it's long and drawn out and really cute), usually when chasing a cat or tackling a dog – but never to one of us.

Kaylee today: Grumping.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

But I'm a girl ...

Reason #127 why people think I'm a boy when I go out in public:
My parents insist on dressing me in jerseys from loser sports teams.
At least give me a Pats jersey ...

Kaylee today: Still sick.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Vacation photos, part the final

And after a few days of west and wewaxation we ventured north again. And since we would be in town for Kaylee's actual birthday – we had plans to eat more cake and trim the first ever Kaylee Birthday Tree. (Which also doubles as Maggie's Christmas Tree ... but I'm claiming it for the kid.) It's amazing how wide-spread these birthday trees are already. I can't drive a block without seeing one in a window. It's very touching actually ...
This is one of my favorite pictures from vacation – even though I know Maggie will say that her big head ruins the shot. I disagree. I managed to crop most of her big head out.

Kaylee spent most of the day asserting her dominance over Maggie and the cats. The cats managed to run away – Maggie, not so much.

Mags and Kaylee in a "funky tooth smile" contest.
Not sure who won.


Kaylee's second birthday cake was red velvet with whipped cream icing.

Kaylee shares.
(Note Rae trying to clean as she goes. Silly, silly Rae.)

Once the shoes came off the party really got started.
And Rae stopped trying to keep up with the cleaning.

The brutal aftermath. And for the record –
red velvet cake stains clothes.

The flight back was a long one. Kaylee just wanted to play and fuss ...
but passed out as soon as we got to Tucson.

We had a beautiful rainbow waiting for us in the parking lot.
Some would take this as a sign that it was good to be home.
I took it as a sign that the cold and wet had followed us to Arizona.

And thus concludes our vacation photo slide show. I hope we didn't bore you too much. And we'll get back to posting our daily goings-on once we get around to it.

Or after the holidays. Whichever comes first.

Vacation photos, part the fourth

So I'm home with a sick baby (on her third outfit already today) and she's finally asleep – so this is the perfect time to update the blog with more vacation photos. From our Vandalia leg of the trip:
I hate to break it to everyone – but I think Jasmine wins the "Kaylee's favorite" award for this leg of the trip. I'm not sure how Jaz felt about that though ...

Introductions go something like this: Kaylee, Kiley. Kiley, Kaylee.
Yes, we're confused too.

Look Grandpa Charlie ... Grammy didn't have too much trouble getting her hands on Kaylee ...

Kaylee's newest game – trying on everyone's shoes.
When she found my boots it got really interesting ...

Kaylee teaches Papa Allen her other favorite game ... "gimme your hat."

Bailey didn't think Kaylee was properly unwrapping her birthday present.
So she helped. And lost interest once she realized the bag was filled with clothes.

Grammy tries to teach Kaylee how to play "You're so cute I'm going to eat you. No, not really. It's just for pretend. I'm not really going to bite you."

Apparently, the game was a lot more interesting to Grammy and Rae.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Vacation photos, part the third

After Thanksgiving it was off to Grandma Della's house on Lake Gillespie. We had a couple of days of rest, relaxation ... oh, and a little party.
Della, don't bother telling Kaylee to look at the camera.
GG already tried that yesterday. It didn't work then either.

The hardest part about decorating for the party was keeping the streamers away from Kaylee.

Kaylee's cake. Courtesy of Grandpa Charlie.

And he was kind enough to get one for the rest of us to share.

The crowd sang a rousing chorus of "Happy Birthday" (which even if I had shot video of I wouldn't put online for fear of owing the estate of Patty and Mildred J. Hill an insane amount of money.)

Due to circumstances beyond her control, Maggie was unable to join us. But through the power of AT&T Wireless she got to join in the festivities. Though – for some reason she only sang every other word ...

Kaylee wasn't quite sure what to make of the cake …

… but it didn't take too long to figure out.

Before any journalists pipe up:
A) I didn't take this photo and B) I swear it wasn't staged.

I managed to find one photo of Cindy with her eyes open.

Kaylee wasn't too into opening presents. She would rather just watch Mom do it. She did manage to open this nice edition of all the Curious George books from her "favorite uncle."
We're still trying to figure out exactly who that is.

And by the end of the night, she finally got those streamers …

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Vacation photos, part the second

Our trip to home to see Dad culminated with a trip to the bustling metropolis of Melvin to carve turkey and break bread with some of our extended family. (A big thanks to our hosts Marty and JoAnn, the food was great and the atmosphere was divine. And the pumpkin roll ... can't forget the pumpkin roll.)

The lack of photos of "Kaylee enjoying her first Thanksgiving dinner" can be attributed to the fact that A) she mainly just grazed on whatever was around, and B) I was too busy stuffing my face to pick up the camera.
Kaylee wasn't too sure what to make of Uncle Steve. After all – he's HUGE.

But after an extensive background and dental check she decided he was good enough to take her afternoon nap with.

Uncle "Ladykiller" kept the girls entertained for much of the afternoon.

It takes a small army to pull off the photo for GG's annual Christmas letter.

I'm not sure if GG was saying "Kids, look that way" or
"You – with the camera. You better not mess this up."

Some photo problems are easy to take care of digitally these days.
However, some still require a bit of physical labor.

Four minutes and 50 photos later we were back inside
– and praying we got a good shot.

Shy little Kaylee actually spent much of the day with Dad's lady friend Cindy. She's a nice person – but suffers from the inability to physically keep her eyes open while I am pointing a camera at her.