Sunday, December 31, 2006

Rub-A-Dub-Dub, I'm Too Big For My Tub

I sadly report that Charlie has grown out of his super-handy kitchen sink tub. I think he’s probably been ready for the big tub for several weeks, now. I just haven’t been able to part with the portable tub’s convenience and ease. While I know Charlie will love splashing around in the big tub, I’m not looking forward to the backache from kneeling down and hunching over the big tub every evening. But, alas, it is time. His feet are hanging off the edges, and every time we put him in the tub, the sudsy waters rise and come gushing over the sides. So, to the big tub we go!

Look how tiny I was for my first bath!

And look at me now!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Christmas Festivities

Christmas this year proved to be the most exciting one yet. We spent most of the holiday watching Charlie's reactions to everything. I honestly did not feel like he would get much out of the holiday this year, but he really surprised me. He opened gifts with gusto, slobbered on wrapping paper with fervor, and played with his many new toys happily. He is definitely one loved child.

He was enamoured with Gammy's special Christmas paper.

Wrapping paper tastes soooo good.

New books are fun!

Look at all my loot! Santa hooked me up!

The rest of Christmas morning and afternoon was spent lazing around the house, watching favorite Christmas movies. We later went to visit more family where the festivities continuted. Charlie, of course, was the center of attention when the time came to open gifts.

(Neal, Morgan, Gammy, Charlie, and Taylor)

Mesmerized by shiny wrapping paper and shimmery bows.

I love my rocking snail from Nana and PaPa!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Bless the beasts we call Maggie and Roxy

Charlie LOVES his beasts, Maggie (11 ½) and Roxy (2 ½). They are his favorite form of entertainment and he simply cannot get enough of them. If they bark, he laughs. If they run, he laughs. If they roll on their backs and wiggle back and forth for a self-inflicted back scratch, he laughs (I must admit that one does look pretty funny). If they play with each other, he giggles. If Roxy chews on Maggie’s ears, he squeals. Even if he leans in to pet or pull the fur of one of the dogs, resulting in a dog bolting to the other side of the room, he chuckles. I love the deep, full force belly laughs that the dogs draw out of him.

I love that Charlie will grow up with dogs. While messy and often smelly, they provide so much love and calm in our house. There are few things better than curling up with a lazy dog and snuggling. Some of my favorite times with them are spent sitting on the couch with them on the porch and cuddling. I remember growing up with my dog, Keeka. She was a great friend. When I was mad or upset, I could have a conversation with her and get everything off my chest. I remember spilling my guts to her about boys at school, fights with my sister, and worries about life. Having her there truly helped me through much of my teen angst. I am grateful that Charlie will have the same opportunity. While Maggie won’t be around for his teen years, I’m happy that he is able to enjoy her love now. She is finally getting less wary of him. Unlike Roxy, I think she sees him simply as another pair of hands to scratch her belly!

Saturday, December 23, 2006


I wanted to post our Christmas card for those of you who did not make it on our mailing list. Let me just say that I have had much feedback about this photograph. Many have asked if the dogs were PhotoShop-ed in. I can say with confidence that they indeed sat patiently while I clicked the camera. What you may not know (and this is what makes this photograph a true triumph) is that the dogs are both big chickens when it comes to Charlie, especially Roxy, our 2 ½ old golden retriever. Whenever we try to get him close to so they can inspect each other, she freaks out and backs away. When he makes a loud squeal, she cowers off to the other side of the room. Seriously. I can be sitting in the room with Charlie in my lap, petting Roxy gently on her enormous head, and one small move by Charlie, whether it be an attempt to pet or just a happy jig with his feet, and Roxy is outta there!
What you don’t see in this photograph is Neal just off to the side next to Roxy, holding her in place. I promised him that I would only attempt to get the perfect shot with the dogs for 15 minutes. I agreed to give it up after the allotted time and settle for a solo shot with Charlie. Surprisingly, it only took about 5 minutes!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Good morning sunshine

I wake up to the best and the almost worst sounds on the planet. I’ll start with the worst, which is usually the one that comes first in our house. Almost every morning, Maggie and Roxy’s internal alarm clocks go off about 20 minutes before the real alarms start ringing in our ears. They wake and immediately go to Neal’s side of the bed, hoping that he will instantly jump up and let them outside. Of course, our goal is to ignore them in hopes that they will give in and go back to sleep, allowing us those last precious moments of sleep that we dearly need. As much as we try, that NEVER happens. What does happen is that upon realizing Neal does not plan to let them outside right at that very moment, they start whining. It is subtle at first and progresses into a loud, moaning whine that is impossible to ignore. They want us to think that if we don’t instantly let them outside, they will burst.

The next stage follows their realization that the whining is ineffective. During this stage of the morning wake-up routine, tails start a-wagging. They not only wag but whack creating a noisy tempo on the wall and on the bed boards. Back and forth their tails go between the wall and the bed, “WHACK! WHACK! WHACK! WHACK!” We inevitably spend this time desperately trying to ignore them, but it rarely works. Thus, Neal eventually rises from the bed groggy and annoyed with the beasts and lets them outside. Seconds after he gets out the door with them, my alarm goes off. It is enough to make me want to cry most mornings. We would probably be better off just getting up by their alarms, which would allow us a few extra minutes to get out the door for work. But that’s just way too logical.
The best way to wake up in the mornings is to hear Charlie cooing/singing from his crib. These are the mornings when the dogs sleep in. It’s early and I am gently awakened by a glorious “coooooooh, ahhhhhhh, gooooooo, gahhhhh” from the other room. I just lie there, listening to him sing; he usually goes on for several minutes. Finally, once I start to hear the slightest bit of frustration in his voice, I get up and go to him. I peak over his crib to see a happy, rested, smiling baby. He looks up at me as if to say, “Hey, mom! I’m so happy to see you this morning!” It’s so cute, I could just cry.

Thursday, December 21, 2006


The other night, I had the wild idea of introducing Charlie to the world of percussion. We dragged out pots and pans, Tupperware, wooden and metal spoons, and a spatula. I attempted to show my drumming skills to Charlie, hoping that he would catch on and have a blast pounding on his “instruments”. He was eager to take the drumsticks from me but had very little interest in banging them on the drums. So, needless to say, they all went in to his mouth!

Monday, December 4, 2006


Boy, it was COLD this weekend! What better way to celebrate than to spend time outside buying a Christmas tree! We bundled up the boy and headed to Lowe’s.

Yes, I have grand ideas of going to a tree farm to cut one down ala Christmas Vactaion , or to make the event more of, well, an event as in A Christmas Story , but not this year. We made the affair a quickie because: a) it was freezing cold, and b) it was freezing cold. Charlie wasn’t really all that into twirling 30 trees around to determine which one was the fullest with the fewest bare spots, either.
Fortunately, all of the trees at Lowe’s looked the same, so there was little twirling required. We were in and out in 10 minutes, making the hip twenty-something couple who could not decide on “the perfect tree” a little envious. Who knows how long they were there trying to select one? 20 minutes? 40 minutes? Trust me, we’ve been there, and it’s a total waste of time. Because when you finally get the tree home and in its stand, it is inevitably perfect!
Charlie loves his perfect first Christmas tree. Here he is in awe of its scent and prickly needles. Yea! Christmas!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Sit, Doggies, Sit

Yesterday, Charlie learned the art dog obedience. Give them treats and they will do almost anything! Here, we documented Charlie's fist attempts to feed the girls treats. Notice that not one, but both hands are resting delicately in each of the dogs' mouths. I don't think he quite comprehends that he has to actually let go of the treat; Roxy was almost ready to take his finger with it! I guess Charlie is accustomed to the sensation of his fingers feeling around a slobbery mouth. Needless to say, we had a babywipe and hand sanitizer standing by at the ready. Ick!


We had a wonderful Thanksgiving in Lafayette, Indiana. Charlie, Neal, Barbara (Gammy), and I headed north on Wednesday to visit Robyn and Seb.

We made a large feast for the five of us - turkey, stuffing, spinich casserole, potatoes, pumpkin pie, tiramisu torte and lots of wine. Everything tasted great and our turkey was suprisingly perfect! Charlie even got a little sampling of a Thanksgiving feast (baby style out of a jar of course!).

Charlie, of course, was the highlight of our trip. He was the happiest baby ever with all of the attention from his Gammy, Aunt Robyn and Uncle Seb (he especially loved Seb's goatee!). We ate too much, drank too much and had a superb time. And now, on to Christmas! Is it really only four weeks away?

No Pain, No Gain

I heard a startling and somewhat disheartening factoid on the news this weekend. Did you know that it takes one approximately 1 hour of running to burn off just one Thanksgiving meal? That's 6 10 minutes miles. Geesh! And that doesn't include the leftovers. I wish I would have thought twice about that second piece of pumpkin pie! But it sure was good!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

New Fall Pics

We took Charlie for a photo session in Memorial Park in hopes of catching the last of the colorful leaves. I think we had some success, but is sure was cold!