Saturday, December 27, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I've got to do some work

I took Chloe to the mall today to buy a puzzle that a friend recommended. I was trying to distract her when I picked it out so she wouldn't see I was buying it. So I pointed her over to a few small tables with PC's set up for kids, equipped with games, etc. A bit later, after I purchased the puzzle, I said, "Okay Chloe. It's time to go." She looked at me and said, "Nah. I'm going to stay here. I've got some work to do."

Going on a trip (of sorts.)

My friend Janet has two adorable children, Mya (6) and Gavin (2). She told me a hilarious story yesterday (one of many – she is a great storyteller). She told me she was getting dressed in front of Gavin, preparing to put on her bra, when he said, "Mommy. Why are you putting your boobies in that suitcase?"

BWAHHHH!!!!

Bombs Away

I just walked by the door to our master commode and heard sounds resembling missles and bombs exploding from within. I said, "WTF is going on in there?" Low and behold, Kevin was in there, playing video games on his iPhone. The sounds were at least appropriate, given the scenario.

He is going to kill me for posting this.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Let there be sleep

Chloe woke up at FIVE THIRTY this morning. And it was not a Quiet-Peaceful-Zen wake up. It was a Screaming-At-The-Top-of -Her-Lungs wake up. I am praying, which I rarely do (unless I think myself or someone else I love could be dying) that she sleeps until at least 7am tomorrow.

Let's have a moment of slience.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Everybody poops

Tonight's bath time conversation:

"Everyone poops Mommy. Mommy poops. Daddy poops. And sharks and turtles and Dora. And my watering can. And Gavin and Mya."

Monday, December 1, 2008

I'm totally spooked

I just had the following conversation with Chloe:

Mommy, I want to go home.
We are home, honey.
No I want to go to another home.
Aw, Chloe. What's the matter with this home?
I don't like it.
Well why is that honey?
There's ghosts in this home.

{Insert totally spooked out Mom-face here}

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Oh Susanna!

She'll make a great Milli Vanilli or Ashley Simpson one day.

video

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Friday, November 14, 2008

New phrases

"WHAZZZZAT Mommy?"
"That's okay Mommy. We'll get you out of here."
"I WANT MORE T-VEEEEEE!"
"Red means Stop. Green means Go. Yellow means Slow Down."
"Don't worry Mommy."
"Nah, it's just Pee Pee."

Are you freakin' kidding me?

Chloe is currently napping, after an eventful morning of LOCKING ME OUT OF MY BEDROOM. This is now the second time she has done this. The first time I was actually dead-bolted outside. This time we were at least inside, thankfully. But you'd think I would have learned something after the first incident. NO. I systematically went into FREAK OUT mode. Running around trying to find any tool to cram in that little hole that would pop the lock open. Frantically calling Kevin at work with no avail (as if I thought he could will it open, 18 miles away.) I ended up having to get a screwdriver and unscrew the entire knob mechanism, leaving a neat round hole where our door knob used to be. All the while Chloe throwing herself onto the floor screaming bloody murder.

I need a long island iced tea and a joint.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wedding

We have great news to report: Chloe successfully walked down the aisle as the flower girl at her cousin Kristin's wedding this past Saturday. She may not have PliƩ'd or tossed the rose petals, but she made it! Everything was beautiful (especially the bride) and we all had a great time.

Chloe was hilarious at their wedding reception. She danced like there was no tomorrow, dragging complete strangers by their coat tails and skirts out to the dance floor. When the music stopped for toasts, she yelled, "Another song! I want one more song! I want to dance!" And her grandma Sue said it was the funniest thing she has even seen in her entire life. And being married to my dad, that says a lot.

Here are a few pics (she was bribed down the aisle with m&m's and a lollipop, which you can see in the fist pic.)






**And Lil' Cuz: We are so, so sorry for the "I want my mommy" commentary (followed by screaming) during your vow exchange. I hope it wasn't as loud to you two as it was to me.

Correction

Is it okay to make a correction to your own blog? My aunt reminded me that my cousin's eyes are GREEN. Not BROWN. Sorry Lil Cuz. If it makes you feel any better (it does me) my eyes are also hazel and everyone says they are brown.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Headed to Atlanta

My dear 'Lil Cuz, Kristin, is getting married this weekend in the Atl. It seems like yesterday that she was just a little kid, smiling at me with those big brown eyes. Where does the time go?

We're headed up to Atlanta on Thursday for the big event. Chloe is going to be the flower girl, and we're all a little curious as to her level of cooperation and her behavior in this role. One thing you can count on: there will be lots of pictures.

Here she is, showing off her new hat and gloves. It's going to be a little on the chilly side up there, so we are going to be prepared this time (Last time we went up there, she had to wear socks as mittens.)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Happy Halloween

Chloe and Tucker were hilarious last night. Chloe said, "I go next house. Get more candy?" about 50 times. And, "That's our neighbor," another 50 times. Then Tucker topped off the evening, following Kevin into the house saying, "I go get some beer." (Tucker's mom was real happy about that one.)




Friday, October 31, 2008

A few good ones

I was messing around with my phone this morning, really frustrated with it, and I said, "This phone is a piece of junk." And for the next hour, Chloe was running around, laughing hysterically saying, "Mommy your phone is a PIECE OF JUNK!" She said, "Daddy gets home I tell him YOUR PHONE is a PIECE OF JUNK!" Followed by the repeating of, "I said PIECE OF JUNK!"

And one more good one. We went trick-or-treating at Daddy's office yesterday. Chloe had a blast, running around, gathering WAY too much candy for a 2-yr-old. She was wound up like a top. She went to bed an hour late last night, so I naively expected her to sleep an hour longer this morning. NOPE. She woke up at 6:45. When I went in her room to get her, she was sitting up, wide-eyed. She leaned in real close to my face and said, "We go Daddy's office and get candy one more time?! Can we, can we?!I get my costume on, OKAY?!"

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

"Smile, Chloe."

This is the face I was rewarded with when I asked Chloe to smile for a pic today.

My Halloween costume

I put on a pair of old red cords tonight, which are incredibly out of style. Chloe took one look at me and said, "That's your Halloween costume, Mommy?"

Monday, October 27, 2008

Warning. Sleep-deprived mom with raging PMS on the Loose.

Just a warning to everyone reading this: I am currently experiencing high levels of PMS. Consider yourself WARNED if you choose to engage me in a political conversation regarding Gay Rights or Roe v. Wade. It could get ugly.

And may God Have Mercy on the next person who tells me I resemble Sarah Palin.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Sick, teary, and tired

More new phrases

"Ummm. Let me just think about it."
"Nah. No tanks"
"STOP. Stay riiiight there."
"Mommy has baby boobies."
"I need to go to the store and get syrup."

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Mommy's going out of town

It's hard to believe that Chloe is two and handful of months and I have NEVER gone out of town overnight without her. That said, I don't know how will I do tomorrow, as I leave her and Kevin and get on a plane to Atlanta for two days. I'm very anxious about it, but I know she is in good hands with Daddy. Not to mention, he is quite excited about having her all to himself for the weekend.

If I call any of you teary of the weekend, you will know why. Or...if I call any of you at 2am from a nightclub in Buckhead.

Friday, October 3, 2008

A few new phrases

"Mommy. I have a question. Where's my rock?"
"Mommy. Don't sing."
"Go to Old MacDonald's again? Can we? Can we?" (referring to her first trip to McDonald's)
"Have to go get it. Be riiiighhhht back."
"Yucky." when presented with her dinner.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Letter B Design Studio



I'm pleased to announce letterbdesign.com – a custom notes and design studio.

I've always loved creating stationery and invitation designs for friends and family. So now, in addition to my freelance design business, I'm offering personalized stationery and note card designs.

A few things Letter B has to offer:

• Custom Holiday Cards
• Custom Note Cards
• Birthday Invitations & Coordinating Thank You's
• Mommy Cards
• Birth Announcements
• Stickers and Gift Tags

Soon, Letter B will also offer resources for professional photographers such as layered Photoshop files and personalized stationery templates.

Check back frequently for new designs. Or if you have something else in mind, contact me for a more custom look. (Please note: if you allow Letter B to have exclusive rights to your original design, I will waive my custom design fee.)

Thanks for your support –
Erika

**A special thank you to all my friends and family who have been so supportive and helpful in my new adventure:

Kevin
Mom
Dad & Sue
Leslie
Jayne & Mark
Mindy
Jen
Janet
Melanie
and last but not least,
Rhonda

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

How do I look?



So my sister-in-law recently asked, "What is this, some kind of porn site?" But really, I just can't help myself. I don't ever want to forget this cute little tushie.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Good conversation

This past Sunday morning, Chloe woke up at an ungodly hour. By ungodly I mean 5:45ish. I put her in my bed to see if she would go back to sleep (never, ever works, by the way). This is how it went down:

5:45 am:
Put her in my bed and told her it was way to early and she needed to go back to sleep and be quiet.

5:50am:
"Mommy. I need milk. Time to get up?"
"No Chloe. It's dark. Everyone is asleep. Close your eyes and be quiet."

5:55am:
"Mommy. I go get my milk, okay?"
"No Chloe. Be quiet and go to sleep."

6:00 am:
I feel a very hard pinch on my upper arm.
"OW!!!!"
"Mommy. You ok?"

6:05am:
"Mommy. Time to get up?"
"NO CHLOE. BE QUIET. GO TO SLEEP."

6:15am:
"Mommy. This is horrible."

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Safety Harbor Street Festival

We took her to an outdoor festival last Friday. She had a ball. And OMG is she ever cute in these pics (of course, I am fairly partial).



Sleepy Days

I've been so exhausted lately. Lots of late-night hours have led to groggy days. We haven't been doing a lot. Chloe has been watching WAY too much TV as I prepare to launch my new website and business (Stay tuned!)

We did have a good day today. Chloe played in the baby pool at her Grammy and Pop-Pop's house. The least I can do is post a few new pics. Enjoy.


Friday, September 5, 2008

Good one

Tonight, Chloe bumped her head on the edge of her crib and said, "Oooh. My head fell off."

ABC's

She loves practicing her ABC's now. And yes, I do comb her hair on occasion.


video

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Walk it Out

An oldie but goodie. Chloe was about 13-months old here. video

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It was only a matter of time

Chloe locked me out of the house today. We were outside playing ball when she went back in to get a toy. Apparently, she locked the door when trying to come back outside.

I have bloody knees from trying to climb through hedges so I could talk to her through the window. I desperately tried to explain how to unlock a deadbolt while screaming through glass, but it didn't do any good. She kept saying, "Mommy help me!" I finally convinced her to go find her bunny. Then she came back to the window and sucked her thumb until my father-in-law got arrived with a key.

Morals of the story:

• Don't ever underestimate the intelligence of a 2-yr old.
• Always leave a spare key outside.
• Leave your TV on at all times. That way, if this happens to you, your child can entertain himself until you figure out how to get back inside.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Chloe Turns Two

Chloe turned two years old today. It's hard to believe, frankly. It seems like yesterday that a pool of water was forming beneath me in the hospital lobby. How quickly time goes by.

We had a little party for her yesterday to celebrate. She and her boyfriend Tucker had a great time playing. They shared cupcakes and a few hugs. That was about all Chloe was willing to share with Tucker. But hey – she is Two, after all.

Here a few pics:






And on another funny note. Chloe's Nana gave her a great book for her birthday titled, "That Rabbit Belongs to Emily Brown." If you have a little one who has a lovey of any kind, this is a great book for you. It's especially fitting for Chloe, since her lovey happens to be a bunny (way to go, Nana).

So anyway, the story goes something like this: A little girl named Emily Brown has a special bunny named Stanley who she takes on all sorts of adventures. And then there is a snotty little queen that wants to have Stanley so badly that she will go to any length to convince Emily to hand him over. But Emily doesn't fall for any of the trickery. And what annoys Emily the most about the queen is that she keeps referring to Stanley as "Bunny Wunny." Throughout the book, Emily becomes more and more angry, repeatedly stating, "IT'S NOT BUNNY WUNNY. IT'S STANLEY!!!" Well, Chloe thinks this is quite hilarious. Here is a video of Chloe to explain what I mean.

PS: Chloe is quite fond of this new demon voice and uses it on many occasions.



video

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Storm's-a-comin'




Tropical storm Fay helped me get a nice breezy-hair shot of Chloe's new do. This was the first haircut she's had where they really whacked off a lot. She really needed it.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Nana's House




Chloe and I took a trip to Stuart, FL, this weekend to visit her Nana (my mom). Chloe had a ball playing in her sprinkler and chasing her cat, Cooper, around the yard. Chloe was petrified of my mom's boyfriend, however, crying at the mere mention of his name. I guess he is a little scary looking, with his full white mustache and beard, long hair and pipe. Fine with me if she continues to be creeped out by men.

Some funny stuff she's been saying:

"This guy is funny" (while watching the Wiggles...gag me).

"Mommy go poo-poo. Get treat?"

"Daddy work at office. So sad."

"Tiger eats rocks." (referring to her fish and his food).

"Chloe jump on furniture? Okay?"

"I said Dammitt."

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I'll have what she's having

Tiny Poop

Chloe's been really into the potty the last few days. When I say really into it, I mean taking off her diaper, peeing in the little potty, pulling out the bowl, dumping it in the toilet, and flushing it.

So today I decided we'd stay indoors and she could run around naked all day, peeing and pooping as she pleased. By the end of the day she had done really well – getting 8 smiley faces and 8 chocolate chips for pee-pee on the potty. And one smiley face and one chocolate chip for poo-poo on the potty. In her mind, she deserved two chips for a second pooping attempt, but mommy said it didn't count as a 'real' poop. Basically, she grunted and left behind the smallest, teeny-tiniest poop you have ever seen. In fact, it could have been half of a melted chocolate chip, that's how small it was. So call me a meanie, but I didn't think it was a chip worthy poop.

Tomorrow is a new day. I will try to be less graphic in my next report.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Eda-mommy

Tonight Chloe referred to her edamame as 'eda-mommy," which gave me a good chuckle. She's also been saying some other funny stuff like "bless you" when I sneeze. And "Dora's so cute." One of my new favorites is, "Tucker called me Toey," referring to her friend's ever-so-cute mispronunciation of her name. Finally, something hilarious that she began saying is, "I said..." if you ignore her. For instance, we laugh out loud when she says, "Oh geez." But if you fail to laugh, she will say, "I SAID OH GEEZ."

We are anxiously awaiting Wednesday, the day she will (hopefully) have her cast removed. I can't wait to go the pool and store without someone staring and saying, "Awwww! What happened?," coupled with a crooked eyebrow. I want to yell back and declare my innocence, but I try to chalk it up to sympathy and sheer nosiness.

My sister-in-law and her kids were here visiting over the last two weeks. We had an awesome time with them – swimming, goofing around and over-eating. I've always wished we lived closer to them, but now I am really feeling it. This was the first time Chloe became really attached to someone who then disappeared from her world (tangibly). Of course, we will keep them in our daily conversation and look at their pictures...but it's not the same as if they lived nearby. I'm so glad we had some quality time with them, but it was definitely hard to say goodbye. Chloe has asked about them daily, which shows she loves them as much as we do. Hopefully we will be able to visit them soon.

Did I mention I bought Chloe a fish? She named him "Tiger." Not sure why since he's a deep shade of red and extremely low-key.

Here she is with her new BFF, her cousin Abby:

Monday, July 21, 2008

Heart Breaker

Since I'm finally over feeling like a horrible mother, I'm ready to post these pictures of our 'lil sweetie in her hot-pink cast. She had already forgotten about the cast after about a day. And thank goodness it's waterproof. We can still take a bath and hang at the pool.

You're probably wondering how this happened, so here it is. We were visiting her grandparents in Orlando last weekend when she decided to hop out of her pack-and-play during nap time. Being the great mom that I am, I kept putting her back in. She climbed out a good 3 or 4 times before I called it quits and let her nap on the sofa. She slept on a dog bed the rest of the trip since I realized there was no keeping her in the crib.

She complained on and off all week, saying "Arm hurts. Fell out a bed." But she continued on playing and going about her business like normal. It was only certain movements that seemed to bother her. So, after a week (gulp), I took her in to her pediatrician who then sent her for x-rays. Low and behold the two bones in her forearm were affected. One was fractured and the other "buckled."

After crying for the majority of the day (both of us), I took her to an orthopedic to get the cast. She has to wear it for three weeks. I was relieved to learn she didn't have to wear it any longer than that. But no jumping or "playing" for three weeks sounds like torture (for both of us).

Wish us luck and please spare the "I'm calling CPS" jokes.


Tuesday, July 1, 2008

My Shorty

Our poor daughter is being subjected to my secret love of hip-hop music. Fortunately, she gets some variation with a little Buena Vista Social Club, Jack Johnson, and The White Stripes, amongst others.

video

Eyes Like Yours

It didn't happen

As many of you know, we've had to make some significant home repairs in the last few weeks (costing us the equivalent of about 6,000 Jr. Whoppers...gulp). For one, we ripped out our master bath shower, installled all new tile, new fixtures and a new glass door. Then we patched drywall downstairs where the plumber had cut out a big section. Then we installed new recessed lighting in our kitchen. (The latter wasn't necessary, but logical since we were already patching up the ceiling near our old 1985-style fluorescent box.) Of course, WE didn't actually DO any of it. We couldn't even if we tried. So the Jr. Whoppers were all spread out over many workers over the last several weeks.

Being the pessimist and insomniac that I am, I've stayed up many nights assuming the first day we'd use the new shower, the kitchen ceiling would leak again or just plain fall in. I envisioned lawsuits and threats and many bottles of Advil. I imagined the conversations I would have with the tile guy. "Yeah. Hey Paul. It's Erika. Um, we really need you to get out here. When Kevin got in the shower this morning it started to rain in our kitchen."

I couldn't be happier to report that we both took event-free showers this morning. And I am thrilled to step onto new, fresh tile instead of stepping on 15 squirty water toys, a whale-shaped watering can, a platic Dora doll and 4 plastic turtles.

I know what you're thinking. "Welcome to home ownership." Pmhmfff.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Allow Chloe to translate

Humpty Dumpty = "Dumpy Dumpy"
Binoculars = "Knock-lars"
Mouth = "Mouff"
Hokey Pokey = "Pokey Pokey"
Pancakes = "Kay Cakes"
Sausage = "Shaw Shaw"

Uno! Dos! Tres!

video

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Gettin' Cheeky



We're into taking off our pants and diaper and sitting on the potty. For the most part, nothing happens. Occasionally we will get a "2" and sometimes even a "1," but mostly an empty pot with lots of clapping.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Nipples

So Chloe discovered her nipples last week. I was changing her diaper and noticed she was pointing and looking at her left one. She looked at me and said, "This?", as to say, "What is this?" So I told her that was her nipple. She then said, "Pull nipple?" and started tugging on it. Then she noticed the other nipple and started in with, "Nip-pulls. Nip-pulls. Nip-pulls." Which then turned into "Two Nip-pulls?" Then it was "Mommy, two nip-pulls?" And when we were all clear that we each had two nipples, that was the end of it. I really hope so anyway.

St. George Island

We just returned from a mini-vacation to St. George Island, Florida, where we shacked up in a house on the beach with a coworker of Kevin's, his wife and their three kids. We had a fabulous time doing a whole lot of nothing. Chloe loved digging in the sand and running around with the other three kids. She had a bit of a crush on Ryan, the middle child. And she chased after the youngest girl, yelling "Soapy! Soapy!" (Her name is Sophie). It was so amazing to watch her interact so well with the other kids. They played hide-and-seek, ran around clapping and screaming, and built sandcastles (I should say they built them and she crushed them).








Friday, June 6, 2008

Design Blog

I have added a link to my Design blog (see right, then up). I've posted both older and newer work here. It's a little easier to view than my creative hotlist link. Everything is larger, for one, and all you have to do to see everything is scroll down.

I hope you tell all your friends and family (and everyone at the post office and grocery stores) to call me up for some work. The well is dry!

Many thanks.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Son of a Bleep

So we found a long, narrow, brown stain in our kitchen and dining room ceiling yesterday. Ceiling stains are never good. Especially since the stains are directly beneath our 2nd floor master bath shower. 

A nice plumber man came out today and gave us the bad news (after cutting a large hole in our ceiling). We have a "bad pan", he said. He used other words like "pee trap" and "sub floor." 

After visiting the tile store and getting some estimates, we've come to the realization we're going to be down five or six thousand dollars by next week. You know, it's the old one-thing-leads-to-another syndrome. The leak leads to new this, new that, and before you know it, you're broke.

We could have used that money for a lot of other things. Chloe's college. A family vacation to Europe. Longhorn's season tickets. 5,000 thimbles or ashtrays from the dollar store. 

I've been reminding myself all day that it could always be a lot worse. We have our health and each other. We have food in our fridge. We have electricity and running water. And thank god, we have another bathroom while we ride this out.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Cat Litter

Cat litter is one of the grossest substances on the planet. Okay, maybe not when it's fresh out of the bag. But when it's been soaked with pee and poop and tracked all around your house, it's truly gross. And no matter how OCD you are with a vacuum, you will find it everywhere. 

I find it in my shoes. I find under the sofa cushions. I find it on the coffee table. I find it in the bath tub.

Chloe, on the other hand, thinks cat litter is FASCINATING. She loves to pick at it on the carpet (especially the brightly-colored, mint green pieces.) She picks the specks up and hands them to me, one at a time, as if they were the most coveted dirt particles on Earth. When she finds a piece of litter in between her toes, she will pick it out and study it very carefully, then neatly place it back in between her toes. 

How long do cats live?


Monday, June 2, 2008

Reflecting

Freak Farm

I'm a pretty good eaves-dropper. I don't think this is something to proud of – but it is what it is. 

I overheard a mom at our pool telling another mom about a nearby horse farm that she often takes her children to. I heard her raving about all the horses and animals at the farm, as well as their fully-stocked petting zoo. I also heard her give exact directions to the farm.

I decided I would go check it out this morning since Chloe and I had some time to kill. The road leading to the farm was littered with trailers, drifters, and broken down El Camino's. I started second guessing my eaves-dropping skills and began to wonder if the woman at the pool was actually giving directions to the set of Hostel. 

As we drove slowly down the winding, tree-shaded dirt road, I saw a woman in a pick-up truck driving towards us. She slowed and rolled down her window with a "who the hell are you" look on her face. I asked her if she knew about the farm and she told us she was the ranch manager. She seemed pretty normal, despite the missing teeth, and introduced herself as Anne. Once she knew we were all about the animals, she told us to proceed forward and then handed us about 30 dog biscuits. She said we could go have a look around and give the biscuits to any creatures who would willingly eat them.

The ranch apparently runs summer camps and children programs – but there is no sum of money that would convince me to leave Chloe there, even for a few minutes. And I should tell you, I am used to places like this having grown up in the sticks of Florida. 

The farm was complete with:

• A very large fire pit, filled with grungy old furniture. 

• A very old, very grumpy older gentleman (that's putting it very nicely) who said a total of two words to me – "Get 'em" – as he pointed to a small chicken running around their "office."

• A feral-looking girl, maybe 12 (I imagined a victim of kidnapping) who said word none.

• 20-30 horses, 4-5 sheep, a few goats, bunnies, roosters, chickens, geese, pheasants, ponies, chickens and parakeets.

The last part made the whole trip worthwhile. Chloe was enamored with all the animals. Somehow I managed to put my paranoia aside and enjoy some quality time with Chloe and a bit of true Florida.

Bad Parenting at its Finest

video

Chloe having fun with her infamous shark jammies on her head.