Okay I know, I missed the mark on the daily photo, but it was not for lack of effort. Here we are at the end of "a post a day everyday" and I am absolutely shocked that we somehow managed to stick with it, even through holidays and weekends away from home.

It is amazing to look back and see just how much has changed since October. "A post a day everyday" documented so much change.

This month... met the Sucktaculars...swim class (she loves it!) started...Caroline found the ham...she started crawling (forwards) at lightening speeds... as a result she nearly ingested kitty food several times before her mother smartened up...she unfortunately had her first ear infection times two and had a terrible rash from the first medication...her parents went out with friends in Boston and left her for the night with Kiki and Steve... she got her new nine month old stats at the doctor and tips the scales at 17 pounds...we were finally able to share the news on Tasha and Tony's little junior... Auntie k got accepted to run, bachelor Marc popped the question...there were incident reports for daycare injuries... our confidence as parents showed vast improvement...babyproofing abound...we learned that Caroline loves holiday decorations... we celebrated our first thanksgiving as a family and there was so much to be thankful for...BC finally beat Miami...and Caroline went to the dark side and became friends with hannah which serves as a reminder to me pretty early in her life that I cannot pick her friends.

It's been a great month. I have enjoyed all the posting. I know it wasn't always earth shattering news or very exciting to read, but it was representative of our simple little family life with Caroline. It isn't always exciting, but it is always changing, and she makes all of it worthwhile.

I went back this week and read some of the posts from her first weeks here and it makes me smile to think of how little we knew then, how unsure of ourselves we were, how much we overthought every stinking thing. Here we are nearly ten months later and we have a routine, there is predictability, we speak her baby language, there is calmness that I have come now to understand is confidence.

You won't stop reading because "a post a day everyday" is over will you?

Up to his elbows = cash prize?

I am not sure how many readers of this blog check out those other links listed there on the left. You should for sure be reading Run, Kerry. Run. and feeling inspired by an amazing talented woman and perhaps even be feeling rather inclined to support her cause and little Jayla. Perhaps. If you're already inspired and want to support her big run get ye self here . So go read and get get inspired, but then also check out mysocalledweddedlife and laugh until your cheeks hurt. The video she posted over there made me cry I laughed so hard. Just one more service I like to provide, inspiration and laughing tears.

Caroline slept in again this morning. Of course she did, her ears are finally getting better. The medicine necessitated two wardrobe changes yesterday at school, one of which occurred at the end of the day and poor Mr. Eric (you remember him, the one who applied ice and gave lots of hugs) had to carefully navigate onesie removal while avoiding a common infant ailment, "poop in hair." He did splendidly. While he did that Sarah and I sifted through Caroline's extra clothes bin and discovered that all the extras they had in stock were way out of date. We uncovered teeny tiny baby Caroline onesies and way to tight to go home in pants. So we cleared that all out and I sent her this morning with a fresh supply of correctly sized winter extras. All this did make me terribly late for my haircut.

This is the first time I think in my life that I have maintained a bimonthly haircare appointment. There ain't no color in these tresses and I finally understand what my mother used to say about appreciating my hair color for what it is. When I find those greys, which isn't too difficult considering how dark my hair is, I rid my scalp of them immediately and I am now dreading the day when I will have to get my hair colored. Maybe I won't? Who knows. For now I will try to just appreciate it for how it is au naturale. WHOA! Tangent much!?

Anyway - so seeing as how I was nearly 15 minutes late thanks to medicine that causes poop emergencies - I was feeling quite frazzled when I got there and when she asked what I wanted to do, my answer was "let's jazz it up." I am happy to report that I feel quite jazzy today. My hair just looks a bit more polished, a bit less mommyish, and a bit spunkier and I am all for spunkier because hey, I can be spitfire can't I?

We have been living in a weird place these last couple days with respect to weekend plans. First Steve had a meeting in MA on Friday, so we made plans to go up on Thursday night as a family and stay over so he could go to his meetings and then we can take off for the Cape to celebrate the Albenny news. YAY! Then the meeting got cancelled, so we were just going to go up on Friday night. Then his boss rescheduled the meeting and we were going up on Thursday. Then we realized we had a prepaid swim class on Friday. So Steve was going up tonight and Caroline and I would follow after swim. Then two of the Moms sent sad "we're all sick messages" to the instructor and we cancelled the class. So yesterday night after I got home from my salon appointment, we packed Caroline up for a weekend away and got ourselves together to drive up to MA tonight right after work. AHH. Luckily we are getting very good at this packing for a weekend thing. I also thankfully located Caroline's one piece "I am so toasty warm in here" get up that we SHOULD have had last weekend, so she will be nice and roasty toasty at the Christmas parade in Falmouth this weekend.

Who is going to freak out when she sees the Christmas Parade? Caroline! She LOVES all the decorations and I was so sad that the tree lighting didn't happen until just before 9pm for the Rockefeller Tree last night because she would have loved to see it. We'll see it in person sometime this season and I am sure there will be delighted little squeals and lots of pointing and man if that doesn't make my Christmas...

Erin sent a note about how sad she is that a post a day everyday is coming to an end. I am both relieved and sad because it has been a good writing exercise to post each day, but I am hoping for infinitely more interesting material once my once a day requirement is over. Did I mention before that there are prizes? Oh yes, there are prizes. I had no idea when I signed up, but if you participate your blog is put into a lottery for one of many fun interesting prizes and who doesn't LOVE prizes???

I need your commenting help with this. We obviously want to do something for Sarah and Michelle for Christmas. We were thinking of a cash gift (how much???) and a spoil yourself something like a Philosophy product or something. Sound good? Recently I have noticed that Caroline and Mr. Eric are best buds and he is often in the classroom with Caroline. Sarah and Michelle both tell me that Caroline loves Mr. Eric and when he is with her he holds her all the time. ahhhh. So what do I do about Mr. Eric? Should I give him a smaller cash gift? Nothing? I asked yesterday whilst he was up to his elbows in poop if he is in the room now and Sarah said that he has been with her a lot lately and mostly because of Caroline. Opinions needed!

Playing with the enemy

This morning was a bit chaotic. Steve had to be in early because the boss of his boss (follow that?) was going to be in his branch office for the day. So he was up and out just after 7 which left me to get both myself and baby girl Caro out the door. She was still sleeping when I went in to get her just before 7 and I hated waking her, but we had to get a move on. So no photo today courtesy of chaos.

We were a bit late, not too bad. She was at school by 8:15 and I even remembered to give her the new antibiotic for her ears. When I put Caroline down on the floor she moseyed on over to the bookcase where she began pulling bins of toys out. I handed off her bag and hung up her coat and when I turned around what did I see but Hannah crawling over to Caroline. A toddler Gianni had made her way to Caroline too and was touching her hair gently in a sweet kind of way. Michelle asked Gianni to "please leave Caroline alone. Let them play together." Them? Did she mean Hannah?? Yes, yes she did. Caroline and Hannah were up to their elbows in blocks. Hannah reached out to touch Caroline and our Caro swatted her hand away. "YES!" I exclaimed, but only in my head. I watched for a moment more and the two of them seemed to be getting along fine, playing with blocks, clapping them together, smiling. No wonder we keep getting sick. Caroline has befriended the enemy.

Pointer finger

When I dropped Caroline off at school this morning it felt like it had been weeks that she had been away and not just 6 days. She remembered Sarah though and went right into her arms. I warned Sarah about all Caroline's new dangerous tricks; pulling to stand, letting go once she is standing only to topple over, and bouncing up and down while seated which has resulted in a few head bumps already. I also shared that she is now waving and pointing. On Sunday night at dinner she pointed to her cup when she wanted it. She pointed to her cup... she communicated with us?!?

I keep using the sign language at meals and playtime. So far no signs from her, but she seems to understand simple things like more. If she is slowing down or starting to resist the spoon, I sign and say more and she will open right up for another bite.

Speaking of eating... Caroline's Nana taught her how to feed other people Cheerios. It is so sweet. If you open your mouth and ask for a cheerio she will put it right up to your mouth. I love it because I get to chew on her delicious little fingers too.

She understands "no", but when you say it she giggles and does whatever we said "no" to again. She loves the cause and effect and the reaction she gets. I try to redirect her whenever possible, but she really enjoys digging her nails into your face and neck, which hurts and I think deserves a "no." If you happen to say "no" with conviction she gets upset and cries. Yesterday she pulled the phone in the office down by pulling the cord. No sooner than I had put it back and was trying to redirect her than she pulled it down again. I said no, moved her away and put the phone back (this time in a more babyproofed way) and she cried, crawled over to me, pulled my pant leg and put her arms up to be picked up. This discipline thing is tough. She is too little to get it, but we keep working on the redirection with an explanation. "That cord is not a toy, here why don't we play with this box instead?"

A note on something special:

Seeing expectant parents Jesse and Amy at the tailgate on Saturday was so strange, knowing that they are exactly where we were last year. It does not seem possible that Caroline has almost been outside as long as she was cooking in my belly. I can recall how fast things started to go after Thanksgiving last year. A warning to you both, it won't be long. I know it feels like forever and a day away now, but February is just around the corner and life as you know it will never be the same again. I mean that in a good way of course. This parenthood thing just cannot be explained. We are so happy for you both as you start this new chapter. This last paragraph you are trying to get through now is full of heartburn, insomnia, and discomfort, but it ends with a bright new beautiful beginning for your FAMILY. What a lucky boy to have you in his life, to watch over him, and help him learn & grow. I find myself thinking of you more and more these days as we countdown to Caroline's First Birthday. Amy, you cannot be "done" yet. You still have a ways to go. Think of it the way I did; guilt free holiday calories. Just try not to schedule an appointment for just after Christmas the way I did. The scale went up to an alarming number.

Here's Caroline this morning. I chose this photo because it is so representative of how non-stop she is these days. Check out the tongue too. It is constantly moving now as she learns new noises and also when she concentrates (just like her Dad, Uncle Brett, and Papa).

Pink Pants - Carter's 9 mos
Pink Onesie - Carter's 9 mos
Pink thermal polo - Carter's 9 mos
Cute matching thermal hoodie - Carter's 9 mos
Socks - Carters

double trouble

Just home from a very hectic morning/afternoon.

Caroline has a double ear infection almost as awful as the one we brought her in for just before Halloween. I suppose it just never cleared up. I had been planning on that being a pretty short visit, but after waiting nearly 30 minutes the news on the ears was just the icing on the cake. After a trip to Fed Ex where we learned that our package was actually out for delivery and not at their location as indicated on the slip, we left to go meet Steve for an impromtu lunch. Our day now included a trip to the pharmacy to pick up a new scipt for her ears and the CVS is right around the corner from his office.

We had lunch with Steve, I raced through the grocery store and things were looking up until I got to CVS and they informed me that this medicine would usually be covered, but we had had not yet met her yearly pharm deductible and we had to pay nearly full price for this new antibiotic. Yay. Those new pjs I wanted to pick up will have to wait, I just wanted to get home where nothing else could go wrong.

I just gave her the first dose, which was clearly not nearly as yummy as the good ol' pink stuff, but she managed to get it all down.

Poor girl. We thought she was teething, but she was really telling us MY EARS HURT!! The doc said that she never would have guessed she even had the infections by her demeanor and anyone who has seen her recently will tell you that she has been her regular smiling happy self.

We'll get her on the mend. The month long cold appears to finally be gone. I can be thankful for that. I am considering making her an "I hate Hannah" button to wear to school. Maybe her mother will think I am a total whackjob and will keep Hannah away for safety sake? That would be just fine by me.

In other unrelated news, Mrs. Sucktacular was spotted today out front putting out her holiday decorations and lights. I suppose she is going for a fall/winter theme as her reindeer appear to be enjoying some crispy fall leaves.

Welcome home!

We made it home and besides one sad little girl a little more than halfway home, there were no issues on the road. (Not even traffic at 84!)

It was tough to arrive home to a yard full of leaves. The big tree out front decided to expel all its leaves while we were away. Nothing says WELCOME HOME like a blanket of yellow leaves.

The good neighbors shared a sucktacular story with us. Apparently the neighbor on the other side of them put a vanity out by the curb and no sooner than he had deposited there then Mr. Sucktacular was right there hauling it away. I asked how long we think it will be before it is by the Sucktaculars curb with a for sale sign on it.

We got some nice shots of Caroline amongst the leaves while we raked and raked and raked, but one ended up in her mouth and that was the end of that.

Quick post today so that I can enjoy the rest of this fall holiday weekend day with my fam.

Hope you all had a safe and happy holiday!!!

Foggy details for Blake Lewis?

It was a chilly late fall day, but BC won and Caroline was a Superfan. She slept the entire first half of the game, despite her inability to put her arms down secondary to her multiple layers of warmth. She sat quietly with Linda during the fourth quarter and even enjoyed some post game tailgate celebrating until she apparently decided enough was enough and called it a day.

She slept the entire way home, snoring away like a buzzsaw, and has been entertaining us and enjoying a fire ever since. A bath is certainly in her future and we are hopeful that with all that fresh air, Missy Miss will be snoozing away soon enough. The rest of us are not far behind her.

Her first BC Football season was a resounding success. She missed only two games (one for rain & one for illness). Her favorite part of the game was the half time show. She wore her Baby Eagle apparel and Superfan onesies with pride.

Uncle Hokie and "looks like Blake Lewis" left the tailgate to head to the Depot for the VT/UVA game. Blake look alike - in case you aren't clear on the details - VT will get a rematch afterall as they face off against BC for the ACC Championship next weekend. We feel for Auntie C, who both wants the rematch, but doesn't want the divided household.

We head home in the morning. What an amazing whirlwind Thanksgiving we have had!

there was turkey

Caroline enjoyed her very first Thanksgiving yesterday with her Nana and Granda. Her Uncle Brett even made a super secret guest appearance for dinner. She handled herself pretty well for most of the day, but sadly when it came time to sit for dinner she was getting a bit tired and wasn't very interested in eating her turkey or potatoes. My parents had a full house and there was so much to see. It must have been very overwhelming for her, but she really was terrific! Her Great Uncle Rob thinks she called him by name - "ra ra."

This morning we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast before we hit the road to come East to spend some time with Steve's family.

We are off to an early start in the morning to cheer on the Eagles! We saw a car with Pennsylvania plates and a Hurricanes hat on our drive East this afternoon. Steve wouldn't pass them so I could boo them =(

Hope everyone had a lovely holiday!

Grateful and Appreciative

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for:

… little fingers that grab fistfuls of my hair with all their might

… frowns that turn into full on smirks at the sound of my voice saying “yay!”

… the clacking together of stacking cups

… ouchy looking red crawler knees

… the warmth of a sweaty nap head on my chest

… family meals at the dining room table (that are a lot less stressful these days)

… the sense of peace I feel knowing that while I chop veggies for dinner listening to JT, my daughter is dozing sweetly in the next room

… lollipop adorned Robeez

… raspberry flavored Children’s Motrin and grape flavored Children’s Tylenol

… consonant sounds like ba, da, ha, la, ma, and ra

… yellow rubber ducks that squeak between teething gums

… white gates that block the dangers of the stairs

… long hot showers

… Yobaby yogurt

… high crib railings

… tights

… the piercing sound of a happy baby’s squeal

… a spouse who calls me from the other room to show me the latest and greatest trick

… Cheerios

… teeny tiny hair clips

… Bright Baby picture books

... Daddy AM diaper duty

… Sara and Michelle

… an understanding employer who insists that family should and always will come first

… seemingly limitless sporting events to keep my husband entertained while the writer strike rages on

… to be fortunate enough to fold tiny itty bitty onesies away in order to make room for bigger ones

… the sweet smell of a just washed baby

… an extended supportive and loving family who adore our daughter as much as we do

… the pincer grasp (except when executed with precision on my skin)

… friends at home who haven’t forgotten us

… kind neighbors who drink beer, like our taste in wine, put up with us not raking, and provide hours of conversation without one mention of the contents or status of a diaper

… a husband who is a superb Daddy and exhibits more care as an understanding friend & supportive partner than I honestly think I deserve

… a little girl named Caroline with a headstrong spirit like her mommy, mischievous little eyebrows like her Daddy, sparkling hazel brown eyes all her own, a sweet little pout when she’s sleeping, and the whole of my heart in her tiny hand

Holiday Forecast: Spirit Renewed

The last few days have been chaotic, filled with finishing up cases at work, mentally ticking things off the "to pack" list, and getting my cellphone issues resolved. More on the phone later.

It is easy as a new parent to feel completely overwhelmed with the preparations to travel with a nine month old for five days at two different locations. Last week when I began thinking about what we would need to bring, my head was spinning. What clothes to pack? (cute outfits for family dinners, warm attire and extra socks for the BC game, extra onesies, what would be clean?) 5 fruit and cereal breakfasts? 5 yogurt lunches? what snacks were portable? how many bibs? which books weigh the least? the favorite toys? So I attacked her packing and by Sunday her clothes were packed and her food was laid out in an orderly fashion awaiting its trip to the car. Last night we put everything together on the living room couch so that before work the car would be packed and all we will need to do is toss in the last minute items and the baby and we're off!!!

Here is what we ended up with:

a baby gate (those stairs will call to her)
an umbrella stroller for the game
the diaper bag for the car with toys and snacks in case the nap just won't happen
a bag of toys and books
her Caroline bag
a Stop and Shop Green bag (we ALL should be using these by now!!! ahem) with all her non- perishable food and dipes/wipes
the sling for the game
two blankets
a small suitcase for Steve
a bag for the alumni football game
a bag for me
the camera bag
a bag of yarn and half completed projects that I want my Gram's assistance with (she's a knitting whiz!)
AND my pump


Now, that must seem like a lot, and I suppose it really is, but I swear I didn't go overboard. This is for 5 days people. FIVE.

Let's have a moment for my cellphone. Dearest cellphone, I am sorry that I likely dropped you in a small puddle of water at swim last Friday. I never meant to hurt you and I am sorry that your software crashed resulting in irreparable damage. I am even sorrier that I lost all my contacts and photos of my baby girl. My wireless provider was unable to get me a new phone at a reduced price. I had no idea full retail price for a simple cellphone is about 200 buckaroos?!?! So they agreed to send me a refurbished version of my own phone for 50.00 and it was supposed to arrive on Monday, Tuesday at the latest. It never did. We spent some time last night getting it all figured out and the long and short is that I have a new phone now, same number, but my contact list is empty. So - if you want to hear from me ever again PLEASE I beg you, send me your number! =)

Despite all the insane prep work and organization for this trip home (which I love by the way, lists are my favorite thing to write!), we are so excited for this holiday. It will be a lot of driving around and it will probably be challenging this afternoon and then again on Sunday with traffic, but we are going home to see our families and share this important first holiday with Caroline. You can get lost in the hustle and bustle, the suckdom that is holiday advertising (can we PLEASE wait until after the Macy's parade???), the gift buying and wrapping, the holiday travel, but this year is definitely not going to be like that for us.

Whenever Caroline sees a wreath, a Christmas ball, or even a tiny twinkling light, she strains to reach for it. She bends herself backward to keep her eye on evergreen and tinseled decorations as we pass. Her face lights up in a way that I have never seen before and the joy in her eyes melts my hardened holiday heart. I am always excited to decorate for the season and I am overjoyed that my little girl will be a happy participant in my annual sit in the dark with the freshly decorated tree tradition. My Christmas spirit is renewed and though I am not nine months old, it sure feels like this is my first holiday too.

Here she is this morning:

Khakis - Old Navy - 12 months?
Onesie - Carter's 9 monts
Blue turtle sweater - The Children's Place 18 mos, Chloe and Teegan!
Magenta shoe socks

Mayday Mayday

Oh what a night (and not in the upbeat full sense of the song)

Last night Caroline went to bed without incident, she had been sucking her lips and biting everything in sight, but did not appear to be in any pain. Fast forward to almost midnight when we were woken by screams, not crying. She fell back asleep in my arms with ease, but when I went to put her down in her crib she startled awake and I was never able to get her back to sleep despite many many attempts. We gave her Baby Motrin, we tried rubbing her belly, she sucked on a frozen washcloth, we sang to her and ultimately the window on going back to sleep officially closed and in Steve's words, we were screwed.

What do you do when it is 2am and your baby is wide awake and looking to play? Well, I guess you let her play. We went downstairs and played in quiet almost darkness on the rug, she chased the perplexed cat around, and then after about 20 minutes of crawling, waving, clapping, shrieking, and smiling it was back to bed for her where she played with her crib aquarium and then began rubbing her eyes. I swept in to make it official and lulled her to sleep with some tush thumping and head rubbing. She slept until 6:30, ate, and went back to sleep with us until about 7:45. She must have been as tired as her poor parents who were up until at least 2:30. I'd love to be more specific, but I don't think my eyes were working at that point.

Speaking of my eyes. Normally I take Caroline on Tuesdays and luckily for everyone Steve doesn't have his usual call day today so he was able to take her. This meant we could all stay in bed a bit longer this morning. I got up at about 7:30 to shower and when I looked at myself in the mirror my left eyelid was swollen to about 3x its usual size. So no contacts for me today. In the midst of our three hour wake up call, I felt a bump forming on my eyebrow, but not my eyelid?? I've been sitting here with an ice pack on my eye in an attempt to get the swelling down. My eye is neither pink nor red, also there is no tell tale stye bump. Could I have been bitten by something? There is no drippy goop or anything gross like that. I did feel that I couldn't open my eye, but not because it was stuck together, just swollen. What the heck is this? I have an appointment coming in a few minutes and I don't think it will look too good if they come upstairs to find their social worker holding an ice pack to her eye. I know it would look mightily suspicious to me.

No photo of Caroline today to make note of this much more uplifting and joyous news...

The Albenny's Are Getting Married!!!!


standing behind bars

Caroline was a sad little miss this morning; she really seems to be teething now. After some love and a snack she fell asleep and took a nice long nap in her crib for TWO HOURS. I got tons done re organizing for the holiday trip home and even showered!

When she woke up a few minutes ago, this is how I found her.

Gated menace

Caroline woke up this morning at 6:15 and was up for only a short while before she snuggled back to sleep with us until about quarter to nine! It was as if she knew that her parents had been up late watching BC's big comeback in the fourth quarter and could use an extra hour or so of sleep. I prepared myself for the worst, knowing that usually these long morning snoozes means a fever or an illness creeping up. There was no fever and we have a happy smiling little crawling all over the place little Caro. We officially installed our safety gate. We opted for one removable gate that we can move between doorways because we are primarily in the family room and I would like to have one for those just in case moments upstairs. There are always eyes on her, so the gate is our failsafe. This gate is intense for a non-permanent one. So far we are very impressed.

No photos today, instead two videos of our little speed demon. Oh yeah, she's waving too. =)

I heart mittens on a string

We think that Caroline might be teething. I say might because we thought she was teething in July and then again in August and just about every month since, but we have yet to see any teeth, so we'll see. She has been sucking her lips and drooling like crazy. Right now Steve is in the other room taking her temp and it appears that we will be giving her some Tylenol before we leave the house to run some errands. 99.6. Might just be a low grade temp from teething or it might be something else. Welcome to parenthood, the world of mights.

We have already accomplished a ton today! We raked, Steve mowed, we went to the grocery store and got lunch and other must haves, made a Home Depot run, and Caroline has already had two naps.

We are off to K&G to get Steve a suit, then some other XMAS shopping, and then Fridays for dinner. Caroline sits in a real high chair when we go out now and she eats dinner with us, though not from the menu. =)
Caroline is wearing:
Cabled Purple Sweater - Chaps size 12 mos
Purple onesie with flower that reads "I'm pretty" - Carters 9 mos
DKNY Jeans - size 12 mos
Purple socks - Carters 3 - 12 mos
Hat - handmade by Great Gram Rose

Father and daughter in the yard this morning...

BONUS weekend photo (to make up for my slacking off this week)

Caroline models the complete knit set of hat, gloves, and scarf that she wore to keep toasty while we raked. She loved the mittens! They stayed on great! *note the lip sucking in*

Caroline the Boxer goes 1 round, loses decision to unidentified toddler

Steve was on pick-up duty yesterday and when he walked in he saw it before they even told him; a red bump under Caroline's eye. Michelle told him that during free play time in the afternoon another child had accidentally hit her in the face with the corner of a toy. It was super close to her eye, so let's all be thankful about that. The incident report stated that she was accidentally struck by a toy while being supervised during free play and that Mr. Eric applied ice and gave lots of hugs. Michelle said that she wanted to be back on the floor not long after the incident. Steve was very concerned that our poor baby girl was going to have a black eye for Thanksgiving. The bump is gone and the red mark vanished (oh miracle ointment Aquafor, how we adore you) this morning.

Michelle said we will likely be signing more of these reports now that Miss Caro is mobile. She also noted that they think she is the happiest baby in the class now that she can move and participate more. She smiles all day now.

We had swim today Caroline the fish did really well. We had a different instructor, John. He spent some one on one time with Caroline and I on the stairs helping me to get her reaching through the water for the toys in an effort to help her get comfortable getting her face wet. She got dunked twice with no negative reactions and she was definitely holding onto the side of the pool today during crab walk time. She monkeyed her arms down the side in an effort to reach the little squirt toy I had placed out there like a hot dog on a string. =) I am not expecting too much from these classes, I mean she is only 9 months old, but she definitely is learning how to do these little things and it amazes me. Today was the first time I noticed that she was kicking her legs behind her while I motored her around, so cute!!!

John was funny. He told us that we were a lot different than many of the mothers in his other group in another not to be named town. He said those Moms sit outside the pool and direct ("yell orders") to their nannies who are actually in the pool with the kids. I have no words.

He also said that you can tell if a parent is first time parent or if they have other kids by how they exit the pool. He said the first timers spend time showering the kids off, getting them dressed, drying them off. The parents of more than one drag their kids out of the pool, strip them, and rush them out the door. HA! We are all definitely in the first category because I think we spend just as much time getting the kids dressed again as we spend at the actual lesson.

Here is Caroline and her Daddy this morning just as he was leaving for work.

She's still in her Winnie the Pooh Fleece PJs, size 9 mos.

Auntie k is our new hero!

She just got word that she has been accepted to run with the Children's Hospital Boston's Miles for Miracles!!

So that means she will be training and running in the 2008 BOSTON MARATHON!!

You can track her training progress and cheer her on (and please do!) over at her shiny new blog; Run Kerry, run (over there to the left in the blog roll)

Run Auntie, Run!!!

We are so proud of you!!!

Miss Independent

I had such a blissful relaxing morning today. Caroline woke up and put herself back to sleep for an hour. She was on her way back to sleep again when Steve went to pick her up at quarter to 7. I didn't have to shower the night before so I was able to relax and enjoy my morning a bit, linger over Today for an extra five minutes. It wasn't until I got my little outlook reminder about this post that I realized I had AGAIN forgotten the photo. yikes. NO wonder it was so restful?!

Today is Thursday and Steve and I are looking forward to a relaxing family weekend at home. We have to rake the leaves again (booo!) and for the record that pile the sucktaculars raked into the street remains, though it is far smaller as many of those leaves have blown across the street, joy. I would like to at least begin the Thanksgiving packing process too, though I have noticed that as Caroline gets older (or her mother becomes less neurotic?) we are packing less and less. I am even mulling around the idea of buying her food up in MA on Wednesday to save packing space, but that would require a trip to the store the day before Thanksgiving and I don't think I am that brave.

We have swimming tomorrow morning and it will be Ellen's last class before she and her family move to Ohio/Pittsburgh. While I wouldn't say that it is like having your best friend move away, Denise has been so incredibly supportive and such a calming influence on me since we moved here. She has such a gentle way about her and she is so good with her daughter. We are going to miss them!

I simply cannot get over Thanksgiving being next week already? I can barely remember what it was like last year to be planning our travels home sans Caroline (Caroline by proxy maybe?). Life is so very different now and we have so many things to be thankful for this year. The most exciting thing to me is that she will be able to eat most of the meal! This week we moved light years ahead in eating. Caroline likes to feed herself everything. We successfully had meals of tiny peas and carrots, sweet potato dices with cinnamon, and tonight we are trying a toasted cheese sandwich with meat and veggies cut up into tiny itty bitty Caro sized pieces of course. Miss Independent, just like her mommy.

A sad little photo free post

Ok, don't throw tomatoes at me or frozen turkeys... there is no photo today.

(how many people stopped reading?)

I had an early breakfast meeting (I had to dress up a bit, do my hair, wear makeup and I had to shower the night before, which is supposed to save time, but somehow never does) and I saw the camera on my way out this morning when there was negative time left to snap and download the photo. Rest assured that she was adorably dressed for school by her father.

If I am able to I will post one later tonight when we get home.

We received the proofs from her preschool photo session last week. Initially we kind of said ehhh, these are good, but we have cuter photos of her and sort of tossed the order form to the side. Then I took a second look and decided that it really is a sweet photo and we should at least order some wallets for family. So that's what we did. The photo it turns out might not be cute enough for an 8x10, but definitely worthy of our wallets. So family, stay tuned and make some room...

Caroline bumped her head at school yesterday on a bookcase. When I picked her up she was sporting a bump over her right eye. They told her before I even saw her, which while I was upset about the bump, put me at ease. They were aware. They were not hiding it. They wanted me to know. It was gone by morning. Exploring babies are going to hit their heads and I know that there is just as good a chance of her hitting her head at home as there is at school. In fact, earlier this week she nailed her head on her piano while I was inches away from her.

Caroline slept until almost 7 am today, later than the alarm clock!!! I heard her get up at 5:30. She played with her little giraffe blanket animal and then rolled the pieces of the aquarium around for a bit before she must have laid back down and returned to baby dream land. I have never felt so rested. She also put herself to sleep last night with minimal fussing. Caroline is growing up.

My breakfast meeting went well. I was able to network and gorge myself on french toast. On my way out I met up with a lawyer I have done some work with down here and he was asking how we like living in our town (he used to be the town lawyer) and where in town we live. As soon as I named the area a woman waiting for the elevator with us asked me how I liked the neighborhood because she was looking at a house around there. The house turned out to be on the street behind us. I went on and on about how much we like the neighborhood, the convenience of it, and how nice the neighbors are (with the exception of the sucktaculars of course, but she won't likely meet them). I jumped off the elevator and as I walked to the car I realized that I hadn't just been nice, I had been genuine. We really like our hood. We like the neighbors (again, generally speaking!). Our family is happy here. Sometimes you catch yourself unaware of just how comfortable you have become and just how content you really are.

Caroline's Mommy shouldn't nap

Caroline took a nap on Monday afternoon at about 3:30 and I made the fatal error of closing my eyes and attempting to nap with her. She was all snuggly and warm under her little fleece blanket and I just couldn't help it. I half slept, half listened to Oprah and when Steve came home she was awake and I was mis. I teased my sick body into thinking that sleep was imminent, when in fact it was hours away. Lucky for us I had tossed together some Crock Pot Chili after grocery shopping so there was no dinner prep.

Caroline was very Mommy-focused last night. She wanted me in her sight and more than anything to be on my lap. So we snuggled up on the couch with a blanket and looked at a big Richard Scary book together (fascinated by the grocery store scene, touching all the pictures of fruits and vegetables) and hung out until the crock pot's warm light came on and dinner was ready.

Caroline fell fast asleep while we were watching How I Met Your Mother and while I should have gone right to bed at that very moment, I suddenly snapped out of the evil napping grump and was full of energy. I ironed some fabulous labels into Caroline's new size 9 mos secondary outfit for daycare. Kiki discovered these amazing labels and I no longer send her to school with a hope and a prayer that I will someday see her clothes or cups or food containers again. Even her tiny little shoes have a special little Caroline sticker in them now so Hannah will most assuredly keep her germy little mitts off Caroline's shoes. =) The iron on labels were SO easy and they are definitely not going anywhere. All you Moms and Moms-to-be take note - these labels are a baby must have.

Here is Caroline this morning en route to school.

"Selective Listener" Onesie - BabyGap size 6-12 mos aka TOO BIG
Jeans - DKNY - size 12 mos - a bit long, but getting there
Socks - Carters size 3-12 mos
Shoes were later added as it is FREEZING down here today

Today she's wearing...

We're a bit under the weather down here still. Off to the grocery store, but still looking sweet.
Mom is hoping for some cuddle time later...

Onesie, Baby Gap - size 6-12 mos
Pants - The Children's Place - size 6-9 mos and still too small

In the Parent Groove

I had aspirations for a lovely weekend recap today, but unfortunately we ended up getting home much later than we had anticipated and Caroline has just fallen asleep.

We had a great weekend up in the Boston area, enjoyed ourselves at Comics Come Home with The McShinos and Ablennys, and even fit in a holiday themed "photo shoot" for Caroline. Still no bear photos for Month 10 - yikes - I will get on that tomorrow. I am just realizing that a holiday themed "photo shoot" with the bear would be cute, but we are quite pleased with the results thanks to Kiki and her amazing camera (& 5 adults waving their arms and clapping like mad).

We should have been home at 5:30, but we hit some traffic on the Merritt, which we later discovered to be a tunnel closure. I am quite afraid of this tunnel already, so this did nothing to make me feel any better about it. The thought of sitting in traffic through the tunnel had me practically breaking out in hives, but all traffic was ordered to cross the median and TURN AROUND just before the tunnel entrance, so we had to find out way home on back roads without even a map. When we arrived home, things were calm, strangely calm. Caroline was awake and and the ride home was far from over, but we just snapped into action; Mom into the backseat, some bread pieces, a bottle, some cheese, peek a boo action. We had her on the floor playing and crawling since we got home and I guess we did a good job tuckering her out because she fell asleep with little effort.

While I would love to give you a sneak peak of the holiday photo shoot, I think we're going to keep the results under wraps for now, so sorry, no photo today.

Introducing Caroline's newest friend, Junior

It brings me great pleasure and joy to (FINALLY!) share that Tasha & Tony are expecting their first baby, whom they are calling Junior, on or about May 5th, 2008.

Sharing motherhood with the girl you literally grew up with, the one you consider the most special on the planet, the one who can always make you laugh/cry, the one who knows you inside out despite the miles that seperate, well, that must be the most special part of friendship. When she called to tell me the news so very long ago my eyes pooled over and a single tear of happiness slid down my cheek. This tear was not salty, but perfectly sweet. You see, we all know how special a baby is, how much more beautiful life is, but experiencing it first hand and knowing that soon enough your most favorite person will understand your joys, the love so great it almost hurts your heart; that is a special moment.

Junior is so incredibly fortunate to be entering this world with two of the most wonderful people on the planet to guide him/her. I cannot wait to meet this little person, to explain to them how much I adore his/her parents. Mostly though, I cannot wait for Caroline and Junior to play and for Tasha and I to enjoy the ups and downs of motherhood together. For our children to know that friends can be friends even when they don't talk everyday or see each other more than a handful of times a year, but to understand that real friendship is within the heart, well that's pretty much darn priceless...

I just got word that they heard the "sweetest noise," Junior's precious heartbeat.


Nine Month stats

It's already been a busy Friday. Caroline had her nine month check-up this morning. Her ears are almost cleared up, so we just have to go back in two weeks to be certain. I shared all the great things that she has been doing and all the new foods she is eating. The pediatrician warned me not to be too surprised when she starts cruising furniture soon.

...weighs 17 pounds 1.5 oz (up from 14 pounds 1.5 oz in August)
... is 27 3/4 inches (up from 26 1/2 in August)
... has a head circumference of 17 3/4 (up from 17 in August)

She's growing, though thankfully not out of her car seat anytime soon. PHEW!
We did have the pleasure of a Hep B vaccine and a flu shot, but I gave her tylenol after and she seems to be doing just fine. A quick nap when we got home (I had to gently wake her) and then we were off to swim class number 2! I took some photos, but forgot I had the camera until they were all out of the pool.

Oh well...

Here is Caroline ready to hit the water. (see her red knee? that's from crawling!)
BabyGap Bathing Suit - size 6-12 mos

And her swim friends, L-R Aaron, Ellen, Caro, Michael

Terriers - not ALL bad it turns out

Caroline's rash was still pretty fierce last night and made me want to kiss every square inch of her poor red skin. I got a taste of single momdom too. Steve had the opportunity to have dinner with some higher ups and I of course encouraged him to go, but that meant Caroline and I were on our own until almost bedtime. She played on the kitchen floor for a bit while I made dinner, but it wasn't long before she had crawled over to my feet and was pulling on my leg to be picked up. Though I was busy making my own chop suey dinner (with turkey and whole grain pasta), how could I not stop and pick her up. It was the first time she has done that and it was simply adorable. There is something so sweet about your baby wanting you.

I finally smartened up and brought several dinner options to the table for her. I used a dinner plate to arrange the warmed up greens beans and rice, sweet potato/chicken, applesauce, cheerios, cheese, and kiwi. (Don't worry she didn't eat all of it, just a little of everything) I don't know what was different last night, but as my own dinner cooled in front of me, she chowed down on some of this and then some of that and then back to this and round and round. Caroline likes variety apparently, so my dinner plate plan worked perfectly. I scarfed my own meal, rolled her into the kitchen, did a quick clean up and then gave her a partial milk feeding. There were tears during the clean up process of course, but overall I was so impressed with us. When I spoke to my Mom later that night I asked her how she had done it?! My Dad worked nights so she was on her own to do dinner and bedtime. HOW?

The rash appears to be on its way out. This morning when I got her dressd her skin was less red and the red spots are not nearly as raised as they used to be. Thank goodness!!

The McFamily is headed up to Boston this weekend for Comics Come Home. We are excited for a night out, but there was a small part of me freaking out about pumping. There is absolutely no way I could go from 4- whenever without at least one pumping session. So I called up Agganis and asked the question that all nursing moms fear asking, "Hi, I am a nursing mom, do you have any arrangements set up for pumping?" I got transferred to Brandon McCormick (on my good list FOREVER). He told me that there was no problem taking the pump in, regardless of size, but that they requested I do not use it in the general assembly. He didn't skip a beat in informing me that they have a private room behind Guest Services (section 102 in case you wanted to know) that has AN OUTLET! If I could have hugged him through the phone I would have. Can you believe it!?!?! So we all know how we collectively feel about BU, but I have to give them some serious credit for this. What a relief!

Your Caro photo of the day taken this morning, mid clap~

Brown cords - The Children's Place - size too small (6-9 mos)
Striped onesie - Carters - size 9 mos
Green top - The Children's Place - size 9 mos (I love her in green!)

Don't worry she also wore socks, her shoes (that have been marked as hers with the most adorable stickers in the world!), and a coat to school today. It was mighty chilly round these parts this morning.

Rashy little mug and the "nasty rash"

Yesterday's outfit photo has been posted within the entry from yesterday. Caroline was crawling around the living room chasing Reese and playing with the Descenza bag - perhaps another sign that she will adore pretty things?

A rough day was reported by Michelle. Nothing they tried, even holding her, would calm her or make her happy. She slept for all of 25 minutes the entire day. She did eat some of her food, but only had two bottles. She conked out almost as soon as she got in the car with Steve to head home and she slept almost all the way through our crock pot roast dinner. Thank God I slow cooked yesterday.

It was a brief snooze. I fed her and noticed some red spots on her face. A quick once over revealed that they were all over her face, on her hands, and arms. She needed a diaper change anyway, so I was able to get a look at her legs and I gasped. Her legs were covered in red raised bumps. It looked painful! My new mom brain was whirring. Was this a reaction to the ear medication? 7 days after she started? a virus? something worse? I called the pediatrician and they quickly informed me that they would be seeing us at 8pm.

Some mealtime trickery got her to indulge in some sweet potatoes and butternut squash by alternating with cheese. She took a quick tub, got her into her warmest pjs and we headed out the door at 7:30 hoping they might see us earlier than 8. She was all smiles and sugar at the doctor's office and weighed 16 pounds 13 oz. We had to get her down to her diaper anyway and Steve wasted no time getting her on the scale while we waited for the doc. The cutest moment was when we wrapped her up in a blanket and she caught sight of an Anne Geddes print of several babies in flower pots. She loved it! Clapping and squealing.

"Nasty." The Doc took one look at her rash and declared it to be "nasty ." Ultimately he decided that it was related to the medication and that as her ear infection is almost gone, we should discontinue the meds and the ear and rash should both clear up in a few days. We have our 9-month appointment on Friday, so it will get a second look if it is still hanging around. The good news is that he does not think she is allergic to the medication, so there is no real danger. Some of the information I read this morning says to continue taking the meds, but I will stick to his plan until advised otherwise.

So, it was an exciting evening for the McFamily. Luckily she got right to sleep so her parents could eat
these delights.

Pop, Pop, Pop. Steve claims that a series of firecrackers went off on our street last night at around midnight and that our neighbor, the one with the confederate flag on his truck, took off down the street in hot pursuit moments later. I believe he used the word "screeched" out of his driveway? My first question was - how? How was he woken from sleep and in his truck that quickly? Who knows? Maybe he wasn't asleep - I wouldn't doubt it. He spends a great deal of time at night (late into the night) out in his garage. Steve also reports that it sounded like the police were called as he heard additional cars pull up and there was some sort of discussion. How I slept through this I cannot explain, except that I think I am finally catching this never ending cold Caroline has been carrying and I am exhausted.

Change of plans. I don't usually bring Caroline to school on Wednesdays, but I did today in light of early meetings with the big cheeses at Steve's office. Of course I choose today to be chic in black. I learned too late that a crawling child is like a dust mop after she deposited a rather large collection of my hair and several sad dust bunnies on my shirt and pants. booo.

Today Mommy is wearing:

Black Laundry pants - my favs
Black "Empire" Bitten T
Grey/Black bracelet length blazer with funky interior print

Caroline is dressed "sick comfy cozy" today.

Carters pink swiss dot onesie - size 9 months
Carters roly poly pink pants - size 9 months
Children's Place blue, pink, white hoodie - size 6-9 months
Carter's polka dot socks - 6-12 months
Robeez (not pictured)

I call this expression, "please Mom, no more photos of my rashy little mug."

Mere moments from kitty kibble

Now that I am not at home clearing a safe path for our very own little miniature Godzilla, I can tell you all about swimming and how very close Caroline longs to be to our poor kitty Reese.

Swimming was so much fun. It required a bit more prep than I was prepared for ie bathing suits for both of us, towels, warm clothes to drive home in, but once we got there she went right into the pool with me and she smiled the entire class. She went under a few times, there was limited coughing, and she did really well. We sang songs, did the hokey pokey, chased toys around, floated on our backs, rode on a foam duck with all our friends, and started to learn how to do the crab walk along the side of the pool. We really love Gwynne, the instructor, who was so patient and kind. She explained not only how to do the exercises, but also how they related to water safety.

Now getting out of the pool and home proved to be just as interesting as getting out of the house, if not more so. Rinsing both of us off, changing her out of her suit into dry warm clothes, getting out of my own wet suit, but we did it! I felt so bad for Michael's Mom who had to wear her wet suit under her jeans for the ride home.

We also learned at class that Ellen and her family are moving to Ohio at the end of the month. Ellen's Dad just got a job out there and much like we did in spring of 2006, the family is picking up and relocating for brighter horizons. We are sad because Denise and Ellen are two of our absolute favorites. We'll see her each week until the move though at swim class.

Crawling forwards may have taken some time to figure out, but Caroline may have just been waiting to execute it perfectly because she certainly does not waste time once her knees touch the floor. She is off at amazing speeds to reach anything across the room that looks shiny or dangerous. Yesterday alone she opened nightstand drawers (probably a skill that she transferred over from pulling the computer keyboard tray out?), discovered the phone cord by the computer (which is fun to pull, gotta relocate that asap), and attempted to open the door to the entertainment stand (studying the glass was just as fun, "wait, I can see the DVDs, but when I try to touch them something stops me"). It also appears that her father's love of shoes has been passed to the next generation because she carefully picked up any and all shoes she could find for closer examination & she wanted to look at the pair, not just one.

Grocery shopping ends with grocery putting away. So I sat her on the floor on her playmat with some toys while I emptied the bags. I looked at her. She was happily playing with a new box of Gladware. I turned my back and changed the trash. This must have taken all of one minute. I look back. Caroline is at Reese's food bowl with kitty kibble in her fingers and headed toward her gaping mouth. I yelled "Caroline, No!" I scared her. I didn't mean to, but for the love of GOD! She dropped the food, I checked her mouth, and there were tears. Poor Reese. I suppose we will have to relocate her dish down to the basement. The last thing I want is my baby choking on a piece of tuna flavored IAMS. Why had I not considered the pet food in my babyproofing???

Speaking of Reese, she has become more tolerant of Caroline. She will come and sit by us if I call her over and allow Caroline to be close to her. She does not like it when Caroline makes her I am soooo happy noises. I help Caroline pet her a bit, showing her how to stroke her back gently. Caroline has been spotted grabbing fistfuls of the cat's fur, but the cat doesn't react, she just waits for us to rescue her. We try very hard to keep their little meet and greet sessions closely monitored, but now that she is mobile Caroline is ALL about getting the cat. On Sunday when we got home and put Caroline on the floor to play, Reese came to sit by me for some attention and Caroline was hot on my heals. If cat's could talk her eyes said to me, "Are you kidding me, this thing can move now?" If she even catches sight of the cat, POOF, she is off and poor Reese is left looking at us like "WHY ME!?!" She lets Caroline get close (especially if she is happily situated in a sunny spot), but only so close and then she takes off. Don't ever say cats aren't smart.

It's only the second week and I already forgot to snap a "what's Caroline wearing?" pic this morning as she was leaving the house. Rest assured that she looked adorable. I will try to take one when she gets home this afternoon, which I am quite certain will happen as it is crock pot day down here and we currently have a roast slow cooking itself to juicy tenderness. YUM! So during the time that I might otherwise be preparing dinner, I will take some photos, perhaps with the bear too because WOW it's also time to start that Tenth Month photo album. EEK! I think I am in denial.

Here is a beautiful photo taken this weekend by Kiki.

Pajamas - The Children's Place, Pink Sea/Beach Print, size 6-9 months

And for the record - her outfit for school today, courtesy of Auntie k - don't worry - we'll post it!!

Pink Carter's onesie- 9 months
Pink Carter's pants - 9 months
Coordinating short sleeve thermal polo - 9 months
Adorable pink floral print thermal hoodie - 9 months
Ubiquitous Robeez - 6-12 months

She was looking cute, but Dad reports that there were tears this morning at drop off and he had trouble leaving her. She didn't want to go to Sarah, she just wanted her Daddy.

Teeth? They may finally be making an appearance. There has been more drool, more hand chewing, and more lip sucking in than ever.


This morning Caroline is off and running, much more sure of her motions, and moving at alarming speeds. I have managed to catch some of it on video, which we will try to post later this week. She also has spontaneously become interested in opening drawers and cabinets and just about everything else. The world is her exploratory oyster!

May God have mercy on poor Reese, who already today has been chased no less than 3 times. To her credit, she knows to get out of the way, not for fear of Caroline, but for fear of what I would do to her if she even so much as meows in Caroline's direction. Reese's world is forever altered.

I have my bereavement group again this week, due to the Veteran's Day holiday next Monday. So we have a full plate of grocery shopping, group facilitating, and dinner prep ahead of us.

Here she is at play, moving so quickly that the camera can't keep up with her.

Adorable velour suit and matching onesie - Baby Gap - 6-12 mos

Find the ham and locomotion

Halloween night, while reading Caroline her final bedtime story, Green Eggs and Ham, she began her usual routine of getting "futzy" and sucking her thumb right on cue when the Boat enters the scene and the written words reach their mightiest peak. I always breeze through that page at lightening speed and get that paged turned as quickly as possible, because "oh mummy it pains me to have to listen to you drone on and on while I am forced to look at the SAME picture." I flipped it to the next page. Perhaps you are familiar, it's the one with Sam and the Green Eggs and Ham under water? She extended her RIGHT hand and just sort of touched the ham, then pointed to it and traced around it. I looked at Steve and said "Steve, she's pointing at the ham." We flipped the page and there it was again, the ever present green ham and PRESTO, there she was pointing it out again, all the while listening to her mother chirp in her ear infected left ear, "Yes, that is the ham, good job, you found the ham." She found the ham on all the remaining pages, as Steve said creating her own little "where's waldo." We were so impressed!

So is she drawn to the ham because she likes the ham? or is it the ham's omnipresence in her story that is undeniable? or is it that she is disgusted with what obviously is a rancid piece of meat and is trying to point out that it really should be discarded and no wonder he does not like greens eggs and ham?

And oh yeah - SHE'S CRAWLING - FORWARDS! This morning at exactly nine months to the day she delighted us all with some fancy coordination and crawled across the floor for a slipper. To her mother's delight, she later crawled from under the kitchen table to her across the floor and reached her hands up to be snuggled. Does it get any better??? She is downstairs with Steve now and from what I am hearing she is all over the place in the family room. We have been both looking forward to this milestone and worrying over it. Now that it is here, the fear is gone, it is awesome and amazing and completely and utterly unbelievable. What a ride! I would buy enough tickets to go on this ride forever and ever! Even it meant I might get motion sickness, or hurl my guts out, or give me a terrible headache...we are incredibly lucky and we love her so, our good-natured, smiling, clapping, crawling wonder girl.

Meet the Sucktaculars

Across the way is a little farmhouse. The Sucktacular family that lives there have three children (only one of whom I can say for sure is actually sucktacular herself) and perhaps an older gentleman (we aren't sure) living with them. They moved in the same exact weekend we did. Their middle child, a preteen girl (the sucktacular one)is often heard swearing at a. her younger sister b. her mother c. everyone and often is a participant in both screaming matches and hunts for their kitten outside in pajamas, a fun family activity? The older gentleman is always coming and going and sitting outside and lurking and it's just plain strange. The Sucktaculars even put furniture on their lawn and on their porch with for sale signs. When no one comes knocking for it they cover it with a tarp. We along with our neighbors conspired to purchase the sofa just to get it off the porch. (To my delight it is finally gone now, after weeks!)

Our good neighbors from last week and Operation Squirrel Rescue discussed what we should do with the sad little squirrel. Mr. Neighbor suggested that we provide said rodent to the Sucktaculars because they might enjoy it for dinner. It's actually not so far fetched people.

I hate that feeling that you are being watched. I have that feeling anytime I walk outside and it is because the sucktaculars are ALWAYS watching. You either see them looking back or you see the curtains swinging closed when you look up from whatever outdoors activity you are engaged in. The Good Neighbors said they were worked up into a frenzy watching people pull up to the house for the christening. When fire trucks came screaming up the street and pulled into a side road it was negative 2 seconds before the wife was outside hands on hip surverying the situation - BAREFOOT. (I know this because I was bringing out the trash at the time - ahem) Examples of other outdoor activity might include trimming the hedges, getting the mail, or even raking the leaves.

Speaking of leaves, please convince me that these leaves will not be as they are in Spring? Most of them are blowing onto our side of the street, and by our side of the street, you know I must mean our lawn. There is at least one member of our family who hates raking leaves and makes their feelings well known.

Yesterday there were preteens all over the neighborhood raking up their front lawns. The sucktaculars arrived home and the littlest one asked her mother if they should rake. HOLD THE PRESSES! A preteen asking about physical labor to assist her family??? I kid you not. Sucktacular Mom's sucktacular reply, "Nah."

(**Since I first wrote this post the leaves were raked into a sort-of kind-of pile in the street, not sure what they think will happen to them from there. I wonder if my obvious phototaking had something to do with this?**)

To top it all off they did the MOST SUCKTACULAR thing to date Halloween night. Trick or treat was in full blast and we looked across the way to see that their lights were out and they were I suppose "not open for business." Refer back to that photo above - their porch light HAD been on earlier, which means they absolutely turned it OFF. Yet did Sucktacular teen and her little sister participate in the age old trick or treat. OH, but of course. How freaking Sucktacular are these people???

I am seriously considering reporting them here.

Splish Splash

What's that you say? Bathing suits are not appropriate attire for babies in October? in the Northeast?

They are if you are headed to your first ever swim class with Mommy!

Caroline and I (dear lord - bathing suit for me in October sounds just plain wrong on so many levels too!) will be splish splashing together this morning with her friends Ellen, Michael, and Aaron.

Here's Caroline in her swimsuit with her winter hat that she will need for the ride home.

Bathing Suit- Gymboree- size 6-12 mos
Hat - Hand knit by Great Gram Rose - part of a set which also includes mittens/scarf

It's November and you know what that means...

It's the kick off for National Blog Posting Month - NABLOPOMO!

We've been thinking about a theme of some sort to tie together these daily entries.

Perhaps you are aware of a Flickr Pool called The Working Closet where women submit photos of what they are wearing to work each day.

Our committment for the month of November is a variation on that. Each day check here for a unique can't see it anywhere else (ie the Picasa album) photo of what our Sweet Caroline is wearing each weekday and on weekends when we're at home. Kind of tough to complete this challenge on the road, but never fear! On those days you will still be seeing unique photos of other aspects of Caroline and her McFamily's life.

Today Caroline is off to school and as she appears to be on the mend from her ear infection, she wanted to make a splash in class with this little pink warm up suit and onesie. She calls it fashionable comfort.

Suit - Carters - size 9 mos
Onesie with chocolate brown heart detailing - Carters - size 9 mos
Shoes - No outfit is complete without her trademark Roobeez - size 6-12 mos

Additional bonus blurb: A trick or treat family recognized us last night when they knocked on our door, or should I clarify and say they recognized Caroline. The Mom told us that she knew we went to their school because she always sees Caroline at drop off and thinks "HOW CUTE IS SHE?!" Thanks Mom from School. We think she's pretty cute too.