Sunday, December 17, 2006

November Sylvie Photos

I know, I know...I'm a little late putting up the November photos. As you can imagine though, we've been pretty busy this month with getting ready for the holidays and all. Speaking of which...

Holiday Plans
Manda, Travis and Jack are all flying in later this week and then Theron will man the helm of our rented minivan for the drive up to Canada to spend a few days with the Johnson g'parents. Much hijinks and photo taking will surely ensue. We're also hoping to get together with as many (hopefully all!) of our friends in the vicinity which means that our social calendar for the last two weeks of December will be quite jampacked. Yippee! and also, yikes!

A Toddler's Progress
At long last, Sylvie has reached full toddlerhood. By this I mean she's a walkin', talkin', jibber-jabberin' cuddles machine. Except without the machine part I guess. She was recently evaluated by EI and they said she's age appropriate in everything but gross motor (which is not surprising considering she really just started walking a couple of months ago.) Meanwhile, she was off the charts in other areas since kids her age (21 months) aren't expected to really know their letters like she does; upper and lower case in some instance...and not just the easy ones either. She also recognizes most of the numbers 1-10, (7 and 1 seem to confuse her a bit). She loves bubbles, coloring with her crayons, dancing to music, singing "The Wheels on the Bus", kicking/throwing balls, Signing Time and of course, Elmo.

Drive-By Moms SUCK
We recently signed up for another playgroup so she (and I) won't go stir crazy this winter. I'm trying to set up more regularly scheduled outings which has been hard because for some reason when it comes to meeting with other moms and kids I inexplicably become overly concerned about my parenting skills being judged. I'm hoping that this new playgroup will provide friendship possibilities for both Sylvie and I, and not just more opportunity for me to feel squashed like bug. Generally I think I'm doing reasonably well as a mom, but all it takes is one drive-by mommy comment and I'm reduced to a quivering mass of neuroses. Just this past week, Theron and I took Sylvie to a playground in the Commons and he was taking Sylvie to the top of a slide while I stood at the bottom to catch her. She'd gone down twice and was gleefully signing/asking for more. I gave a big smile to another mom I passed as I was taking Sylvie back to Theron to go down the slide again. She smiled back at me and said, "You really should go down the slide with her." I was crushed! Here we'd been having such a good time and then this "concerned mother" had to go and yank the rug out from under me. I managed to stammer back something along the lines of, "I think she's doing just fine," but I still got Theron to go to the other side of the play ground so I didn't have to feel this bee-otche's critical eyes burning a hole in my back.

It's funny how I have a hard time taking credit for any compliments we've received about how good or smart Sylvie is because I feel like it's mostly just how she is and not anything Theron or I have especially done. But if someone has something critical to say I take it all too much to heart. Ack.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Welcome to the world baby Bryce!

Mucho congrats!!! and felicitations!!! to our dear friends Amanda and Sean whose son, Bryce Maynard, was born this morning, (4:36 am!) weighing in at 7lbs 6 ozs.

Monday, November 06, 2006

October Sylvie photos

Ha, betcha thought I was gonna post last months photos super late again didn't ya? Well I certainly proved you wrong because heeeeeere they are!

(I'll post more here later but I thought I'd go ahead and get the pics up now)

I like to watch...

I found this on myspace.
SUPPOSEDLY if you've seen over 80 movies, you have no life. Mark the ones you've seen. There are 169 movies on this list.


( ) Nacho Libre
(x) Grease
(x) Pirates of the Caribbean
( ) Pirates of the caribbean 2
(x) Orange County
(x) The Green Mile
(xx) Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (both versions)
(x) Neverending Story
(x) Blazing Saddles
(x) Airplane!
(x) Red Eye
( ) Stick It
( ) Shes the Man
( ) 8 Mile

Total so far: 9

(x)The Princess Bride
(x) SNL's The Best of Will Ferrell (Does this really count as a movie?)
( ) Napoleon Dynamite
( ) Fun With Dick and Jane
(x) Saw
( ) Saw II (Thanks Geoff)
( ) White Noise
(x) White Oleander
( ) Anger Management
(x) 50 First Dates
( ) The Princess Diaries
( ) The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement

Total so far: 14

(x) Scream
(x) Scream 2
(x) Scream 3
(x) Scary Movie
(x) Scary Movie 2
( ) Scary Movie 3
( ) Scary Movie 4
(x) American Pie
(x) American Pie 2
( ) American Wedding
( ) American Pie Band Camp

Total so far: 21

(x) Harry Potter
(x) Harry Potter 2
(x) Harry Potter 3
(x) Harry Potter 4
(x) Resident Evil 1
( ) Resident Evil 2
(x) The Wedding Singer
( ) Cinderella Man
(x) The Village
( ) Lilo & Stitch

Total so far: 28

(x) Finding Nemo
( ) Finding Neverland
(x) Signs
(x) The Grinch
(x) Texas Chainsaw Massacre
( ) White Chicks
(x) Butterfly Effect
( ) 13 Going on 30
(x) I, Robot
( ) Robots

Total so far: 34

(x) Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story
( ) Universal Soldier
(x) Lemony Snicket: A Series Of Unfortunate Events
( ) Along Came Polly
( ) Deep Impact
( ) KingPin
(x) Meet The Parents
(x) Meet the Fockers
( ) Eight Crazy Nights
(x) Joe Dirt
( ) King Kong (2005)

Total so far: 39

( ) A Cinderella Story
( ) The Terminal
( ) The Lizzie McGuire Movie
( ) Passport to Paris
(x) Dumb & Dumber
( ) Dumber & Dumberer
(x) Final Destination
(x) Final Destination 2
( ) Final Destination 3
(x) Halloween
(x) The Ring
( ) The Ring 2
( ) Surviving X-MAS
( ) Flubber
(x) Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle
(x) Practical Magic
(x) Chicago
(x) Ghost Ship
(x) From Hell
(x) Hellboy
( ) Secret Window
( ) I Am Sam
( ) The Whole Nine Yards

Total so far: 50

(x) The Day After Tomorrow
(x) Child's Play
( ) Seed of Chucky
( ) Bride of Chucky
(x) 10 Things I Hate About You
( ) Just Married
(x) Gothika
(x) Nightmare on Elm Street
(x) Sixteen Candles
( ) Remember the Titans
( ) Coach Carter
(x) The Grudge
(x) The Mask
( ) Son Of The Mask

Total so far: 58

( ) Bad Boys 2
(x) Joy Ride
( ) Lucky Number Slevin
(x) Ocean's Eleven
(x) Ocean's Twelve
(x) Identity
( ) Lone Star
(x) Bedazzled
(x) Predator I
(x) Predator II
(x) Superstar
( ) Ice Age
( ) Ice age 2 The Meltdown

Total so far: 66

(x) Independence Day
( ) Cujo
( ) A Bronx Tale
(x) Darkness Falls
( ) Christine
(x) ET
(x) Children of the Corn
( ) My Boss' Daughter
( ) Maid in Manhattan
(x) Monsters Inc.
(x) War of the Worlds
(x) Rush Hour
( ) Rush Hour 2

Total so far: 73

( ) Best Bet
(x) How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days
( ) She's All That
( ) Calendar Girls
(x) Sideways
(x) Mars Attacks
(x) Event Horizon
(x) Ever After
(x) Forrest Gump
(x) Big Trouble in Little China
(x) The Terminator
(x) The Terminator 2
(x) The Terminator 3

Total so far: 83

(x) X-Men
(x) X-Men 2
(x) X-Men 3
(x) Spider-Man
(x) Spider-Man 2
( ) Sky High
(x) Jeepers Creepers
( ) Jeepers Creepers 2
(x) Catch Me If You Can
(x) The Others
(x) Freaky Friday (the saw the original)
( ) Reign of fire
(x) Cruel Intentions
( ) Cruel Intentions 2
( ) The Hot Chick
(x) Shrek
(x) Shrek 2

Total so far: 95

( ) Swimfan
( ) Miracle
( ) Old School
( ) K-Pax
(x) Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
(x) Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
(x) Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
( ) A Walk to Remember
( ) Boogeyman
(x) The 40-year-old-virgin
( ) The Hills Have Eyes

Total: 99

Sadly, this list just barely scratches the surface of alllll the movies I've seen. If I tried to list all the books I've read, it would appear as if I never did anything but read and watch movies!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Woot Contest #97

Take a screenshot from a movie or TV show and change the entire cast into children and/or animals.
entries
results

Travis racked up another 3rd place and Theron garnered another HM. I thought I had some solid entries this week, but apparently not. Oh why do I even bother? {begin self pity party...sniff, sniff...sigh.../end of self pity party}

Friday, October 27, 2006

Woot Contest #96

Design an outfit that coordinates well with the hideously ugly Casio Pathfinder Tough Solar Triple Sensor Watch.
Entries
Results

Friday, October 20, 2006

Woot Contest #95

Show us a brand name, logo, and package design for a caffeinated breakfast food.
Entries
Results

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Woot Contest #94

Illustrate a ridiculous image or idea from one of the product writeups from this week's Woot-Off.
Entries
I think I actually have a shot at placing this week...keep your fingers/toes/eyes (except when driving of course) crossed for me!
Results
I finally placed! AND I got the CCC too! Yahoo! All three of us wound up on the board again; Travis was in a tie for 3rd and Theron got an HM.

Look out Woot...one of these days this power trio is gonna sweep the top spots!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Woot Contest #93

Show us how Apple would re-brand an existing company.
Entries
Results
Another nod for both Travis and yours truly...plus Theron's #1! Woohoo!

*UPDATE*

The Unofficial Apple Weblog posted a blurb about this contest and the results...with Theron's winning entry as the accompanying image! Does this make him...webfamous? Plus, I got a nod in the comments section for my HM winning entry from an avowed designer. Nifty, huh?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Looong overdue (and from what I hear, much anticipated)...Sylvie photos! Plus bonus material!











August
September/Seattle Trip

(Username: quackattack. Same password.)





19 months old today!
Today Sylvie is 19 months old and to celebrate, we took her to have a renal ultrasound...ok, the truth is she was due for a follow-up with her urologist and we just happened to get an appointment for today. She held quite still and didn't fuss once throughout the procedure. Even better, the ultrasound showed everything to be a-ok so we don't have to follow-up again for 2-3 years. Yay!

She was weighed and measured as per usual and her stats were:
weight
18lbs 10oz
(she was clothed and wearing a possibly wet diaper, so she's probably more like 18lbs 5oz)
length 28.5"
(which is 1.5" less than we were told at her 18 month appointment so let's just say she's 29"+/- 1")

Walkin' anduh talkin'
She took her sweet time but at long last our wee one is walking! She's still pretty unsteady on her feet but she's taking more and more independent steps everyday. Sometimes she insists on wearing her little black mary janes before she'll walk...pointing at them insistently and saying "sooz! sooz!" She then very helpfully sticks a foot in the air to indicate where the shoe is to be placed. She is very particular to her black shoes which might be a problem soon because I don't think she'll fit into them much longer. Just another bridge to cross...

Chompers
Sylvie's teeth are also finally starting to fill out (fill in?) and we are now up to SIX with a couple more clearly on the way. we're doing our best to include more and more 'grown-up' food in her diet now that she can actually chew and she's eaten almost one whole chicken nugget cut up into small pieces! Other foods she likes include: spinach with cream cheese, corn, green beans, apple, pear, peach, banana, grapes, assorted cheeses, goldfish crackers, cheesy poofs (the organic 'healthy' kind...hey she needs the fat!), bits o' veggie burger, refried beans, ramen noodles and she just loooves guacamole. Oddly though she is only mildly interested in icecream and pudding! Go figure.

Rainbow bright
Since Sylvie sometimes eats better when she's distracted, we've done various things in the past to keep her entertained enough to keep on eating; blow bubbles or read stories, etc. We recently made some color flash cards (ie. squares of colored paper "laminated" with packing tape) to show her at mealtimes, along with signing and saying the colors. We'll ask her to identify the colors one by one and she gets 'em right about 80% of the time. (She seems to have the most trouble with orange and green.) Do we have another artist on our hands? Man, I hope not...hey kid, PLEASE don't follow in our footsteps! Be a lawyer or a doctor or...President!

Uh...no pressure, Sylvie.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Woot Contest #92

Create an ad to sell the Vector Jump Start System to people who don't own cars.
Entries
Results
Let's hear it for the boys...yet again!

Monday, September 25, 2006

Independence Day

For several months now, Sylvie and I had been attending a local infant/parent playgroup coordinated with her Early Intervention therapy. Once a week, we'd ride the bus to meet with other parents and their babies and a "teacher" for an hour and a half. We'd sing songs and play little games during "circle time" and then the children would have lots of free time with toys, instruments, books and play equipment. A child attended this group up until 18months and the progressed to the toddler group which they attend sans parent. So today we put our darling girl on the bus to her toddler playgroup...ALONE. We were both excited and quite scared the whole time she was gone; afraid she'd act up/get hurt/get kidnapped...you know, the usual concerns of parents learning to let go.

All went well apparently as we never received a call demanding we remove her from the premises with strong urges to seek an exorcist immediately and when the bus driver dropped her off, she claimed that Sylvie had chatted happily both there and back. Parents? She don't need no steenkin' parents to go with her to playgroup!

I did attend her very first toddler group last week so as to be familiar with what Sylvie would be doing while there. It was very similar to the infant group but with more structure and more 'mature' (in a toddler sense of course) activities, like coloring. There is even a computer in the room with toddler appropriate games...which probably means that soon we'll have THREE people jockeying to use the computer at home. They do free play, then circle time, followed by gross motor skills play (in the same room where we had our infant group) and finally a snack of juice and kix/goldfish/ritz crackers. There are three teacher/therapists in the group of 8 children and at the end of the day a list of the days activities is sent home with each child so us parents can get an idea of what they did that day. And once she's done some, we'll also be getting Sylvie's art pieces! Pretty neat, huh?

Friday, September 22, 2006

Woot Contest #91

Take a famous painting, drawing, or photograph and make it "wide-screen" by adding more imagery to the left and right of the original work.
Entries
Results
All three of us received nods again this time..though clearly we deserved more. Anybody wanna share my grapes? They're only a bit sour...

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Coast to coast boast

Is it overly boastful to say that my sister and I have the cutest kids of the west and east coast respectively? Yes it is...but to us at least it's true! Sylvie and I had a fabulous time visiting with the Gentrys and we're very much looking forward to seeing them again at Xmas in Toronto. I think mom and dad will go into coniptions of glee at having both grandkids together at the same time. (Meanwhile us daughters and son-in-laws might as well be chopped liver. Imagined future conversation: "Who are you again? Oh that's right..uh,Paige is it?...can you move to the left a bit? You're blocking my view of my darling grandchildren.")

Just Ducky
While in Seattle, Sylvie learned a few new skills:
quacking like a duck
This happened when we went to pick up Travis from his now ex-job (more on that later). There was a duck pond in the office park so we'd bring some old bread and the ducks, who were quite tame, would eat right out of your hand. Sylvie loved this and giggled whenever a duck came up close. The birds were making soft quacking noises almost non-stop and we adults were quacking back at them. Up 'til this moment, Sylvie hadn't really made any animals sounds other than 'baa' and an occasional 'moo' but once she made the connection that, 'hey! ducks QUACK!', she started doing it too and for a little while there we were concerned that she'd forgotten how to make any other sound.

kissing

Theron and I have been encouraging Sylvie to give us kisses for months now without success. However, upon being urged to give her baby cousin a kiss, she readily complied, puckering up, making a 'mmm' noise and planting her lips on his head! She did it repeatedly while we were visiting, sometimes without any prompting at all. Sadly, once we returned home there's been nary a kiss from her. Guess for now she's just a kissin' cousin.

Something Fishy

We spent the majority of one day of our trip hanging out at the Seattle Aquarium. Sylvie got a huge kick out of the otters and would have dearly loved to jump into the tank with them. Travis took some excellent photos of her rapt expression reflected in the glass which I'll hopefully have up soon. We also saw seals, human divers, lots o fish of course, some jellies, octopus, cuttlefish etc etc. Pretty neat place and I suggest a visit if ever you are in that neck of the woods.


Bad luck, worse timing
As most of you know already, Travis got the news that the company he'd worked for for only a few short months was shutting down and leaving all the employees high and dry...and the day he got the news happened to be on Manda's birthday! (Poor Manda is beginning to think there may be a jinx on her birthday now considering other events that have a occured on Sept. 11th.) We still managed to have a pretty good time out at Manda's bday dinner that evening, where we consumed mass quantities of food and got some fun pictures of Manda in a celebratory sombrero.

In the end the layoff has turned out for the best. Travis managed to get an all around better job just down the street from his old one, plus he got a nice little 2 week vacation to spend time with his wife and son. Not to mention he won the Woot contest 2 weeks in a row. If this is Travis with bad luck...then I'm gonna make sure I buy some lottery tickets for him to scratch off next time I see him!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Woot Contest #90

Alter an existing television show to reflect one or more qualities of the RCA Lyra 20GB MP3 Video Jukebox (smaller, lower-budget, more mobile, refurbished, etc.)
Entries
Results
Looks like Travis pulled a Theron; scoring a money prize and the CCC. Not to mention that he won 1st prize two weeks in a row! (Too bad only a handful of people know he was also 75% of sackattack.) I think Theron's versions of a Lyra-ized BBC's The Office and Les Headroom were vastly superior to the entry that garnered him an HM nod, but there's just no telling how the judges think sometimes.

Nothing for me though...sob! Enh, none of my entries were worth more than an HM anyway.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Friday, September 08, 2006

18 months and counting

Has it REALLY been 18 months already?
Sylvie had her 18 month appointment earlier ths week and her currents stats are as follows:

weight 18lbs
length 30"
teeth 4

She's still a wee thing, (no surprise there), but she's following the growth curve and developmentally she's ahead of her age group in everything but gross motor skills. She has finally started to take a step or two every now and then though, so hopefully she'll catch up in the regard soon.

5 and a half hours with a toddler on one's lap is no easy thing

So Sylvie and I are currently hanging out with Auntie Manda, Uncle Travis and cousin Jack in sunny Seattle, WA. Yes, I said sunny. (Contrary to popular opinion, it doesn't actually rain every day here, ya know.) We flew in late Wednesday night/early Thursday morning and boy, were my arms tired. It is not a picnic trying to contain a bouncing ball of toddlerness in one's lap for several hours and then when she finally zonked out, it was almost impossible for me to get into a comfortable position wihtout disturbing her. I spent almost the entire flight assuming various pretzel-like contortions at sloth-like speed, hoping in vain to find a position that wasn't going to give me back spasms. At loooooooong last, we finally made it back to terra firma without any whiny child induced air rage or permanent damage to me.

The Chubaliciousness of baby Jack

Let me just say right now that baby Jack is the cutest boy in the whole wide world. All big eyes and chubalicious thighs. It's funny how while he isn't really a chubby baby per se, he has Michelin Man-like thighs. His thighs are pure squishtastic, chewy, nummy goodness!

Sylvie just loves her cousin Jack and we've already gotten some adorable photos of the two of them together. Look for tehm when I post September's photos!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Woot contest #89

Design a series of currency for the Republic of Woot, with each bill or coin honoring a different Woot product, past or present.

Entries

I'll be siting this one out as I can't make heads or tales out of Photoshop on a PC...but keep an eye out for entries by twallis and tgentry!

UPDATE: I didn't exactly sit this one out after all...Travis and I formed the 'superduo' known as sackattack (no perverted meaning there btw, it's a combo of our kids names) and our entry took first place! Theron also did quite well, receiving a doublenod with 3rd place and the CCC award. Check it all out here:
Results

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Woot contest #88

Take a boring woot, past or present, and design a representative mascot saying a snappy catchphrase.
Entries
Results

Monday, August 28, 2006

Woot is happening to me?!

The day finally arrived where I took a puff on the big crack pipe that is the woot.com weekly photoshop contest and I am not only hooked...I'm HELLA hooked. Crikey, it sure is fun! And evil, evil Theron has not only been my pusher but he's also peddled some of the rock to Travis and now he's getting in on the action too! It doesn't help that this week's woot contest is the sort deviously calculated to makes one's brain overflow with fantastically funny image ideas:

Create a new album cover combining aspects of two or more otherwise widely different album covers.

So far I've entered 6 and I'm working on one more.
Then I'm done.
No really, I swear.
I can quit any time, honest!

Results

Thursday, August 24, 2006

MEL-MO x 2

We found a giant, stuffed MEL-MO today for Sylvie at a Savers thrift store for only $2.99...and it didn't smell funky or have any strange stains or sticky spots on it! She was quite thrilled and shrieked happily every time she caught a glimpse of it riding behind her in the shopping cart. Considering she'll be getting a TMX Elmo (Tickle Me Elmo...to the XTREME!) for Xmas, I think we will have reached our full quota for Elmo dolls. Two is plenty, doncha think?

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Update plus July Sylvie photos!

I would have published the July photos sooner but the method I was using to do so has been 'upgraded out of existence' so I had to go back to the more laborious way of doing it. Anyway, the July pictures are finally up for your viewing pleasure.






Signs, signs, everywhere signs

Sylvie has added several more signs to her repetoire including:

grapes
potato
grass
laugh
pear
peach
car
strawberry
walk
carrot


One morning recently she woke up around 6am, which is quite early for her (and us!) so I brought her to our bed and tried to coax her to go back to sleep for a little longer. I signed, sleep more please to which she responded, also in sign, milk please thirsty. How could I say no to that?

In sickness and in health

A little over 2 weeks ago, our girl woke up in the morning crying for no apparent reason and it took quite a while to console her. She felt hot but when I tried to get her temp, she was too fussy and wiggly for me to get an accurate reading and since she seemed to rally later that day, we put it off to teething. But that night she had a great deal of trouble sleeping, only nodding off for short periods of time before waking to cry fitfully for longer periods. I brought her to bed with us in hopes that she would be soothed to sleep more readily but it didn't help. Theron tried to help out with soothing her but she preferred to be glommed onto mommy 99% of time...which continued for the next few days. As did the whining, crying and fever. I managed to get a temp on Thursday morning and since it came up as 102.2F we called up her pediatrician who had us come in immediately.

We'd given Sylvie baby Tylenol so by the time we got to the doctor it had kicked in and while she was still quite miserable, her temp was much lower. The doc checked her ears and throat which (at the time) looked fine and asked us to try and get a urine sample...no easy feat with a 17 month old girl. There we were in the examination room; me holding our miserable, crying naked child on my lap, atop a puppy pad to soak up any urine which might miss the specimen cup that Theron held to try and catch the flow...which didn't come and didn't come...
About 40 minutes into this excruciating activity, the doctor told us that she wanted to get a blood sample (joy) from Sylvie and that we could try to get the urine sample again back at home.

During our second attempt at pee-catching, we received a call from the doctor around 5:30pm saying that the test results were enough of a concern that (double-extra-super-happy-joy) we should take her to the ER for further tests. It wasn't an emergency per se, but we needed to get there sooner rather than later.

To sum up our most recent oh-so-enjoyable- visit to the ER: It was almost a carbon copy of the first time we were there. Once again, they used a catheter to get a urine sample (during this lovely procedure, Sylvie's eyes got very big and she frantically signed ALL DONE , which was somehow, both horrifying and funny at the same time) and more blood drawn had to be drawn and she received, that's right folks, ANOTHER IV FOR DEHYDRATION. I'd been doing my best to get her to drink and I thought we were doing pretty well but I guess because of her fever she'd been sweating it out almost as soon as she took it in. She was only slightly dehydrated but since she's so small, it was judged best to get her fluids back up asap. The worst of it is that she'd been rallying up to the point when they came to do the needle pokes, and was acting quite like her usual self...but we were soon both bawling our eyes out as the needles were put in her tiny arm. HOW I HATE THAT!

None of us had been getting much sleep for the past several days and Sylvie was doubly depleted of energy having just shrieked her lungs out so all three of us pretty much zonked out in the little room they'd put us in for her treatment; Sylvie and I on the bed and poor Theron in a less-than-comfy chair. The nurses came in to check on us periodically and finally after a few hours the doctor came in to say that all of the test results looked normal so far but that they would need to 'cook' for several more hours to be sure they were all clear. Since Sylvie was now rehydrated to the max and her fever was responding well to the Tylenol, we were finally sent home around 12:30 am with instructions to keep Sylvie hydrated and her fever down (well, duh), and to follow up with our pediatrician the next day.

Upon examining Sylvie for the second time, the doc saw inflamation in her left ear and deduced that all of this grief and agony had been the result of a developing ear infection. I know it sounds as if she was a bit extreme in checking Sylvie for more serious problems but she told us that because of Sylvie's heart defects, she wanted to rule out an infection in her heart. I never thought I'd type this but, Hooray it was only an EAR infection! We were given a prescription for amoxicyllin and told to come back in a week to follow-up.

But WAIT...there's MORE!

Sylvie started acting more like herself after having been on the meds for a day and a half but we noticed that her skin seemed to be turning a blotchy, red color. It wasn't raised and didn't make her itch but we called the nurse help line and were told it was a fairly common non-allergic reaction to the medication and nothing to worry about. However, the next day I noticed Sylvie scratching at her thigh where a lovely, welty, hive had reared it's ugly head...and like magic several more popped up on her body. Once again I called the nurse help line and this time I was advised to stop the meds, give her some children's Benadryl and check in with her pediatrician when she was back in the office on Monday. Long story short (ha), the doc called in a new 'scrip to our local pharmacy, we dosed the kid up as per directions and today she appears to be fully recovered. Hurray! All's well that ends well, indeed.

M is for MEL-MO

During this time of illness, Sylvie was sorely lacking a 'wooby' or comfort object to cling to in her misery (well, other than me). This is not because we have no dolls or toys (ha!) but none that she has any particualar attachment to. BUT...she did request the presence of a certain red-furred, high-pitched-voiced monster who goes by the name of "MEL-MO" who you probably know as Elmo, a popular Sesame Street character, and yes they are one and the same. In fact, Sylvie met Elmo early in her life while visiting Sesame Street and stumbling into a fantastical place called, "Elmo's World," a place so amazing that it has it's very own theme song! That gets caught in your head and buzzes around and around inside ones noggin like a psychotic bee! Yes, Sylvie had fallen hard for MEL-MO and it was his sweet furry countenance gazing at her through the TV that helped to sooth her in her time of need. And when MEL-MO was not to be found on the TV, why, he was easily discovered on the internet! Sylvie would lean into the comfort of the chest of her father or I while happily murmuring, "Mel-mo...Mel-mo..." over and over again.

Now that she is all better, her MEL-MO fixation continues. She has noticed that MEL-MO appears on her diapers and tells us so each time we change her. She asks for her MEL-MO bath toy when bathing and upon wakening each morning, points out her bedroom door towards the livingroom and the TV and says...what else?..."MEL-MO".

I have it on pretty good authority that Santa is bringing her a MEL-MO doll for Xmas this year.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Happy 28th Birthday Uncle Travis!

And congrats again on your new job!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

mmm...bacon

Monday, July 24, 2006

Things you may not have known about me

One of those e-mail thingies (from my pal Jay) that I've decided to do on the blog instead of forwarding.

A) Four jobs I have had in my life:

1- Waitress, Papa's BBQ, (now closed), Semolinas (also closed), Six Pence Pub (still there I think) and Olympia Cafe (also still there so I'm not a jinx if that's what you were thinking), all in Savannah, GA

2- Bookseller, B. Dalton/Barnes Noble. Savannah, GA

3- Production Coordinator of Campus Printing at Savannah College of Art and Design, which I also attended. As you already figured out, it was also in Savannah, GA. (Well I did live in there for 8 years, ya know)

4- Graphic Production Specialist, State Street Research/BlackRock in Boston, MA.


B) Four movies I would watch over and over:

1 - Shirley Valentine, one of my all time faves. Contains such classic one-liners as, "Boat is boat. Fuck is Fuck," and "Well tickle me tits til Friday!" My high school buddies and I used to quote these and other awesome lines to each other on a regular basis. And it's FINALLY available on DVD, woohoo!!!

2 - Ocean's 11 It's just fun!

3- Silverado. Great cast, great movie. Runner up in the western genre: Two Mules for Sister Sara

4- Pride & Prejudice, the BBC miniseries which is not technically a movie but I could still watch it over and over despite its being 6 hours long.

C) Four places I have lived:

1) Huntsville, AL
2) Toronto, ON
3) Savannah, GA
4) Boston, MA

D) Four TV shows I love to watch (part 1-currently airing shows):

1 - Gilmore Girls What can I say, I happen to like the fast talking and obscure pop-cultural references. So there.
2 - America's Next Top Model. Reality show runner up: Hell's Kitchen.
3 - House
4 - The Office US version.

Four TV shows I love to watch (part 2-off-air shows):

1 - MASH
2 - The Office BBC version.
3 - Six Feet Under
4 - Any Joss Whedon show: Buffy, Angel and Firefly

Four TV shows I love to watch (part 3-shows I miss because we no longer have cable):

1 - What Not to Wear Can I please have $5000 to go shopping in New York? PLEASE? I don't care if you have to trash my current wardrobe first. However, I refuse to buy any of those ugly pointy toe witch shoes. And I'm not cutting all my hair off either.
2 - The Daily Show I miss my daily dose of political snark. sigh!
3 - The Sci-Fi channel. Ok, I know it's not a show...but I really miss my cheesy sci-fi flicks!
4 - Also TLC, The Weather Channel, Comedy Central, The Food Network etc, etc...


E) Four places I have been on vacation:


1 - North Conway, NH (for our first anniversary. I'm hoping for something a bit more exotic for our upcoming 5th. Like say, somewhere we'd have to cross an ocean to get to.)
2 - Cozumel, Mexico (during a cruise with my folks)
3 - Disney World, Orlando, FL
4 - Des Moines, IA (With Theron's family. Among other things, we went to the state fair and I saw a motorcycle carved out of butter and a 2,ooolb hog named Pepperoni)

F) Web sites I visit daily:

(I don't get to web surf as much as I used to so I really only visit #1 on a daily basis but I do check 2-4 frequently)

1 - Salon
2 - Manda's blog (which is on hiatus until they get their internet connection hooked up)
3 - Netflix Thank goodness for Netflix which partially makes up for not having cable. It is with the power of Netflix that we came to find such awesome shows as Six Feet Under and Deadwood.
4 - Pandora

G) Four of my favorite foods:

1 - The original Schlotsky's, which sadly has no locations anywhere near Boston. Fast food runner up: Foot long coney dog with everything, ched'r peppers with ranch dipping sauce and cherry limeade from Sonic.
2 - pizza (cuz even when it's bad, it's still pretty good!)
3 - pho
4 - sushi (I was a late bloomer as a sushi lover...but now I LOVELOVELOVE it!)

H) Four places I would rather be right now:

1 - I've always wanted to go on one of those weekend-long spa vacations. You know, the kind wear you spend most of your time in a comfy robe or naked but for mud and seaweed while various people massage and exfoliate you while bringing you fresh fruit juices or champagne and delectable nibblies...what were we talking about?
2 - Swimming in a lagoon teeming with beautiful fish. And maybe some dolphins.
3 - Visiting my sis and meeting my new nephew in Seattle. Even if it would mean seeing that Travis guy too.
4 - At a black tie banquet accepting the Newbury Medal. Or the Nobel Peace Prize. For stuff I've yet to do and probably won't ever get to. Because I am a lazy git.

I) Four friends I think will respond:


1 - Mom
2 - Manda
3 - dunno..surprise me
4 - ditto

Saturday, July 22, 2006

As promised...a nice, looooong update!

I apologize for my long absence. I know that I have let some of you down by not keeping you up to date with Miss Sylvie's progress and for that I am truly sorry. Now you can quit your yammering (mom) cuz here it is.

Signing Time

Sylvie's vocabulary continues to expand both in sign and in spoken word. As you may have seen from the June photos we are the type of parents who allow our child's brain to be corrupted and shriveled by regular tv watching. Well, regular dvd watching anyway. We are big fans of the Signing Time series and watch an episode almost daily. I'll ask Sylvie "What time is it?" and she gets very excited and signs time repeatedly then speed crawls to the tv where she signs time continuously until I start the show. As the signs are introduced, they are demonstrated very clearly by the host Rachel and then we're shown them being used by other adults, kids, toddlers and even infants. After a series of signs have been shown, there is usually a catchy song about using them. Theron and I watch it along with her and as a result we've all learned quite a few signs which we use with her throughout the day. I've been trying to jot down a list of signs she uses on a regular basis so that I can relate them all to you folks. The words that she also speaks, I'll put in parentheses her current spoken pronunciation. Here they are in no particular order:

baby (baybee)
time
cracker (da-dur)
cookie
diaper (bi-pur)
mom (mom/momma)
dad (dah, dah-dah)
more (mo)
milk (mih)
thirsty (tee)
eat/food
dog (dah-gee)
cat (kih-tee)
bird (bir)--funny story about this one. One day a few weeks ago, we were looking out the window during a torrential downpour when Sylvie started to sign bird. I looked and looked but didn't see any birds and thought it strange that one might have flown by in such heavy rain. Sylvie kept signing bird though and then I noticed that the postal truck was parked in view. Could it be that Sylvie recognized the highly abstracted eagle logo on the truck as a bird? There's no way I can know for sure but I'm just gonna say yes; our kid is a frickin' genius.
bath (ba)
ball (bah)
cheese (teeze)
apple (ba)
banana (nanna)
clean (kee)
bear (buh)
day
sleep
friend (Airwah)--well, Sara IS her best friend after all
book (buh or booh)--Sylvie LOVES to be read to. Over and over and over again. Sometimes we even get to the end of the book but usually she'll bring us a book and we'll start to read it, but she'll crawl away to get another book for us to read. Rinse, repeat.
hat
cold
strong--she only does this in response to us asking her "How strong is Sylvie?" Our follow up to "How big is Sylvie?"
hot
train
all done/finished
(done, done?)
no (nonononono)--she is already showing signs of being a bit bossy (yeah, mom, just like I was) and will reprimand the dogs when she sees them doing something we've told them (or her) not to.
shoes
please (pee or eeze)
thank you (chank chew, tank koo)
boy--Once when Theron was playing with Sylvie, he said "oh boy!" trying to get her excited about a particular toy. She then signed boy for the first time.
wash hands
potty
*poop--small confession...this one we actually learned from Meet the Fockers

She's actually begun to string signs together in 2-4 word sentences like:

more milk
banana please


and just this morning we got:

more time banana thank you

Koko the gorilla would be so proud!

Click here for an excellent site that has short video clips demonstrating all of the above signs plus a gazillion more. I highly recommend signing with your babies. And why stop when they can talk? I think it would by nice to keep it up...it never hurts to be bilingual! Although technically since sign is not spoken maybe it should be biling/manual?

G-tube? We don't need no steenkin' g-tube!

When we last saw Sylvie's GI, we were given the great and glorious news that she no longer thought it necessary for Sylvie to get a g-tube--insert bells, whistles, air horns, trumpeting elephants of joy, etc here. The doctor had gotten a hold of a growth chart specific to Noonan Syndrome and while Sylvie is only in the 3rd percentile for weight on the general chart, she's actually 50th percentile on the more appropriate chart. I think this helped drive home the fact to the GI that kids with this syndrome are just smaller, but not necessarily in a bad way. Since Sylvie is length/weight proportionate and developmentally on track in everything except for gross motor skills (which she is quickly closing the gap on; more on that later), the doctor saw no need to resort to surgery to try and increase her caloric intake. Another thing that I've noticed, along with my friend Marla (Sara's mom) and many other parents of Noonies is that they are ALL small, no matter how good or bad their appetite or whether or not they have feeding issues. Case in point: Sylvie and Sara are a month apart in age, with Sylvie being the elder. Despite the fact that Sylvie has consistently taken in many more calories on a regular basis than Sara, they are only about 1lb. apart in weight with Sara being the scale tipper! I've said it before and I'll probably say it again (because I suck at coming up with new material) but I think that a lot of the calories Sylvie takes in goes to her hair. Well, it's the only explanation I can come up with as to how she stays such a skinny minnie when she eats like a horse most of the time.

Bleedin' good news

On advice from our pediatrician, we'd had a series of blood tests done to check Sylvie for bleeding disorders which are commonly associated with Noonan Syndrome. Our most recent trip to a doctor's office ( I say 'a' instead of 'the' since she's has so many different ones) was with the Hematology department at Children's Hospital for follow up blood work because of an abnormal result in a platelet aggregation test, (not excess platelets as I had originally thought). The doctor was very nice and explained that all of the other tests had looked fine but they wanted to recheck this one thing to be on the safe side. Long story short, (yeah I know, too late) the follow up test was a-ok! Woo hoo! We'll still have to have her rechecked before any surgery, but we don't have to worry about adding a hematologist to her list of regular specialists for the time being, thank goodness.

Sylvie's most recent measurements were taken at this appointment and she weighed in at 17# 2oz and was 28" long. (Either she shrunk an inch and a half since her 15 month appointment with her pediatrician or the nurse who measured her then was just reeeeaaly sloppy when she did it.)


Poop, here it is


On three separate occasions now I've gone in to Sylvie's room, hearing she's awoken from her nap, to find that she's decided to do a little exploring. In her diaper. Which was FULL OF POOP. She'd be sitting in her crib, proud as can be, murmuring in her sweetest voice and holding out a stinky little butt nugget for me to see. I guess I'm lucky that each time she's done it the poops have been nuggety and not squishy since that would have made the experiences all the more disgusting. Hopefully there will be no more visits from Mr. Hanky.

Fun and Games

Sylvie has learned a new game from her Thursday playgroup called Where oh where has gone? (basically, it's Peekaboo!) At playgroup, this game involves sitting in a circle and taking turns putting part of a mini parachute over one of the kid's heads while saying the "Where oh where?" chant, followed by the chosen kid pulling the material down to reveal him/herself while everyone else (read: playgroup leader and parents) exclaims, "Peekaboo!" Sylvie will play the "standard" way at home, hiding behind her bib/shirt/skirt while saying "way oo way" and then grinning hugely when she reveals herself to our peekaboo! chorus, but she has also extended the game to objects, handing us a ball or toy while saying "way oo way", indicating that we are to hide it so she can find it. Last week, I heard her saying her "way oo way" to her EI therapist during a session and when they were looking at a book with characters hidden behind panels that opened up on each page.

Standing up, falling down

She's VERY close to walking and is standing independently of longer and longer lengths of time. Ok, so those 'lengths of time' are less than a minute...but she IS getting better at it. She's finally gotten big enough to ride her little car from G'ma & G'pa Johnson, although she has yet to master turning corners with it. She loves to climb up slides and stairs. She also thinks she can go down stairs head first...as I found out about a week ago much to my horror.

Theron volunteered to look after our friend's Sean & Amanda's pets while they are away on their honeymoon. We've got Sadie the dog at our place but stop by S& A's house every other day to check on their cats and fish tanks. Sylvie started off after one of the cats who decided to flee up stairs. I allowed Sylvie to follow with me close behind, making sure she was safe. Ha. We'd reached the top and the cat had disappeared into a room and Sylvie was gesturing after it and signing/ saying kitty over and over. Thinking she wanted to continue the chase, I started after the cat saying the "Where oh where is the kitty?" chant...thus committing the ultimate act of stupidity by NO LONGER BEING BETWEEN SYLVIE AND THE STAIRS. Of course, Sylvie decided it would be much more fun to go back downstairs and I wasn't able to catch her before she fell. I cannot even begin to say how horrifying it is to see your tiny baby fall end over end down stairs. I shrieked something like, "SYLVIE! OHMYGOD!" and Sylvie just shrieked. I ran down to Sylvie and scooped her up in my arms and I just held her...too frozen with shock and terror and guilt to check her for injury. Theron had come running having heard the thuds and the shrieking seeing us rocking halfway down the stairs immediately knew what had happened and very gently took our crying baby from me to see if she was hurt since I was clearly not in the any state to do so. Nothing appeared to be broken. In fact, she had not one bump, bruise or scrape from the fall.

She was fine.
She was fine.
She was fine.

My self confidence as a parent, however, will probably be in a full body cast for quite some time. I know it's one of those things that can happen on occasion, even to good parents, but that doesn't make it ok that I was careless. Thank-any-and-all-deities she wasn't hurt.

So there you have it folks

I came, I blogged, I confessed. Hopefully you will have seen that aside from the horrible-falling-down-stairs incident, things have been going exceedingly well with our wee girl in every respect. She continues to be of angelic demeanor about 99% of the time with only rare and brief flare-ups of temper, mostly due to frustration. She does get a little grumpy when we tell her no sometimes but so far we've not had any real tantrums. I am under no delusions that we'll be able to avoid them completely...I'm sure Tantrum Sylvie is there, lurking in the shadows, waiting to go all Vesuvius on us in the middle of a restaurant or mall or--heaven forbid--an airplane.

But I'm getting ahead of things.
Right now she is our little curly-headed-sweetheart-genius-baby. July pictures coming soon!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Three Uh-Oh

I'm 30! 30! 30 YEARS OLD!

I promise a for real, super-dee-duper long--and I'm taking frickin' EPIC--post VERY soon. Possibly even tomorrow. Or not. You know how things are. Especially you fellow parents. And oh yeah, it's frickin HOT here and we don't have AC so going to the attic to use the computer is a trifle uncomfortable right now.

But soon...and I really mean it this time, honest.

Monday, July 03, 2006

60 minus 1


That's right folks, it was 59 years ago today that Sylvie's grandpa Dave was born! Wishing you a very merry mustachioed birthday dearest (grand)dad...and many, many, many, many MANY more!

p.s. Maybe you can find out if there is a Canadian beard team, eh dad?

Saturday, July 01, 2006

er...JUNE Sylvie photos


See them here! (I promise a much more long and involved post soon.)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Kitty got (hot pink!) claws

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

My hubby's a real prize winner II

That's right folks, Theron has done it again. This time he didn't win a call in radio contest, but finally got his just desserts in Woot's weekly Photoshop contest. Perhaps you will recall how he wuz robbed in a previous Woot contest...well, this time, he placed FIRST. Yes sir, that's my baby...daddy!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

15 Month check-up

Sylvie had her 15 month pediatric appointment today and --Huzzah!-- all we heard was good news. Her currents measurements are 29.5" long and 16#10oz. which puts her in the 15th and 3rd percentiles for height and weight respectively. Dr. G was very pleased with her growth and also with her language skills which, according to her, are rather above average. Dr. G was then moved almost to tears (I kid you not) when after having apologized in advance for having to give Sylvie two shots, Sylvie hugged her and gave her a comforting pat on the back. (We didn't tell her that Sylvie almost always pats a person on the back when they hold her). Of course, poor Sylvie still screamed her head off when she got the shots, but she recovered quickly. The doctor said that based on Sylvie's current rate of growth length-wise, she would quite likely reach a final height of between 5'-5'5". If this proves to be the case, then I guess she won't be so "wee" after all!

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

May Sylvie photos

I may be getting paranoid in my old age but I'd prefer to think that I am just being cautious; I've password protected Sylvie's photos.
Obviously, I can't post the password here or it would kinda defeat the purpose of having one, so those of you who would like to continue to see Sylvie's monthly photos, send me an e-mail and once I have verified that you are not one of those creepy guys from Dateline's "To Catch a Predator", then I'll send you the password.

Our gal is doing very well, in every way these days. She's crawling like a pro now and almost ready to start walking. She conitnues to add new words to her vocabulary, both vocal and sign, and has developed some very cute habits, such as:

"talking on the phone"-- said phone being her playphone, a spoon, a toy, a doll or even her own fist. She will jabber away, quite aggressively, in a language that sounds like a cross between Russian and Klingon until she very sweetly says, "bye!" Trying to get her to talk on an actual phone when someone is on the other end is another story however as she would rather just push the buttons.

"ticky,ticky"-- whenever we tickle Sylvie we have taken to saying "ticky, ticky" while doing it. She has adopted our habit and loves to poke us in the ribs or belly while saying "ticky, ticky!"

"good doggy...I mean daddy"--sometimes Sylvie decided that we have been especially good parents and favors us with head pats. She'll gesture for Theron to bend his head toward her and she will pat it. Then she will do the same to me, and the cycle repeats numerous times. All the while she murmurs approvingly because we are such good doggies...I mean parents.

"feed the parents"-- this actually started a few months back but I don't believe I've written about it yet. Sylvie likes to pretend to pinch off our moles (and in Theron's case chest hair) and then pretend to feed them to us. Sometimes she "snacks" on them herself. Disgustingly cute or cutely disgusting? You decide.

Speaking of feeding, Sylvie has begun to catch up some on her weight gain. At her last appointment with her nutritionist, we learned that she had gained 2lbs in two months (yay!) and is now back on a growth curve, if still below the 5th percentile. We also saw her cardiologist this past week and he said that things looked the same as before so no immediate steps needed to be taken to address her heart defects. We go back to see him in a year for another checkup and to discuss plans for her surgery, which will probably be done sometime before she turns 5. He has assured us that the surgery is quite common these days so, while we're not thrilled with the prospect, we know that she needs to have it. Next week, Sylvie sees her pediatrician for her 15 month checkup and a week later, she'll see her GI again. I'm hoping that the GI will no longer see the need fot a gtube once she's seen how well Sylvie's been gaining weight on her own. Keep your fingers, toes, eyes...whatever you can cross, crossed!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

I'm an Auntie!!!


Jack Robert Gentry, (formerly known as "Cousin Blob"), was born this morning at 5:15 am, weighing in a 6lbs 6oz and measuring 19" long. My sister, (aka "Wonder Woman") had baby Jack less than 4hrs after arriving at the hospital and without any pain meds. Can I hear a HOLLAH? (I bet the hospital staff and Travis heard some!) I'll post a link to more pictures as soon as I have one!

*UPDATE*

Click here for pictures of the newest addition to the Gentry family!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Mother's Day and a father's brush with mortality

First of all, let me start of by saying a belated "Happy Mother's Day!" to all of my fellow moms...most especially to my mom and Mom Wallis and to my about-to-be-a-mom sister, Manda.

Now on to the not so happy part of this year's Mother's day. To make a long story short:

my dad had chest pains
he went to the hospital
after some abnormal but inconclusive test results and another episode of chest pains, dad was transferred to another hospital
doctors there found a 90% blocked artery
dad had an angioplasty yesterday where they placed a stent to clear the blockage
thank-any-and-all-deities, all is now good

Dad was reeased from the hospital today but is supposed to follow up with the cardiologist on Friday. Since dad is should not drive for a little while and my mom is as phobic about driving on highways as I am of driving in the city, (it runs in the family), my wonderful, above-and-beyond-the-call-of-duty husband has offered to be the driver. Sylvie and I are going to tag along too so we can all reward my beloved husband by torturing him with Indigo Girls sing-a-longs...unless he claims a driver's right to control the stereo of course.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

On this day, 4 years ago...

Happy Anniversary my love!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

My MEEZER-obble day aka why I REALLY need to get over my driving aversion already.

I've always loved the rain, even when it's cold and blustery rain. Going for short walks on such a day can be quite invigorating, don't you think? Even better is to spend all day inside, drinking tea and having a rainy day meal of tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwich.

But.

Seeing as how I am possibly one of the most foolhardy people on the planet, I decided that I simply had to go shopping for art supplies yesterday. In case you haven't already figured out the punchline, it was a VERY cold, blustery, rainy day yesterday. What's the big deal? I hear you thinking...well, ya see...despite the fact that I do have a driver's license, I also have an almost pathological aversion to using it. So Sylvie and I, as we usually do, took public transit. I went online to the mbta website to get directions and bus info...and here's where the day started to go wrong:

1) The first bus was late
2) The bus I was supposed to transfer to was VERY late.
(small bit of luck here...the rain held off until we were on the second bus)
3) After much twisty, wind-y backroads, we arrive at supposed destination only to find that IT IS NOT WHERE I MEANT TO GO AT ALL. Turns out I was wrong about the name of the final destination, which I found out after having gone way out of my way. I explained my dilemma to the nice bus driver and he told me to stay on the bus and he'd take me back to where I could catch a bus that did go by the store I needed to visit. He tells me to tell the next driver to let me "off as close as possible to Michael's." which did not sound good.
4) Got on 3rd bus and after more twisty, wind-y (did I mention I have a slight problem with motion sickness?) roads, am dropped off within site of the shopping center where the art supply store is. My concern is realized as It immediately becomes apparent that I must navigate through a NO PEDESTRIAN ZONE, crossing SEVERAL LANES OF TRAFFIC with a BABY IN A STROLLER in the WIND AND RAIN...in order to actually GET there. Why on earth was there a bus stop there and why the hell did the busdriver let me off there??? So after much hemming and hawing, cursing and verge-of-hysteria-laughter, I very cautiously made my way with Sylvie out of the lion's den and into the shopping center parking lot, all limbs intact. All told, it took a little over 2 HOURS to make what should have been a 30 minute trip. I had had to pee, quite badly, for most of the trip; and when I say 'quite badly' I mean I felt like the just the insignificant pressure generated by breathing in and out was gonna make me start to leak urine. I made an immediate beeline for the Babies R Us store in the shopping center as I knew them to have a public restroom. Sylvie, who had slept through almost the entire ordeal, awoke as I was finishing and I took the opportunity to change her diaper before heading out to complete the intended purpose of the trip.

I had been itching to paint again lately so I bought myself a couple of canvases and replenished my acrylic paints along with getting some odds and ends for my more crafty stuff. (I've pretty much given up on the book purses after being disappointed with the way the two I finished turned out so I'm putting the covers to another use. I'll have a whole slew of new art/craft/design projects to post online soon, so keep an eye out!) Afterwards, I hit a couple of the other stores--figuring that after such a hellish journey I should make the trip worth my while--and picked up some new clothes (all on sale!) for Sylvie and I. Just so you know, this shopping center is the kind where you can only access the stores from outside...and the sheltering overhangs did not extend far past each stores entrance. We ended our shopping trip at Target, (which is in it's own separate building so we had to cross the semi-flooded parking lot yet again to reach it), where Sylvie and I had a bite to eat. I asked a security guard if he could tell me where the bus that actually came into the shopping center--as opposed to the one that drops you off in the frickin' no pedestrian zone--and he kindly told me that it was just down the walk way and around the corner from the entrance to Target and that while there was no posted bus stop sign, there was a bench where the bus dropped off/picked up. I was worried that I wouldn't get enough warning when the bus came to catch it at the stop of I stayed inside the store, so with much regret, I wheeled the stroller back out into the howling gale and pelting rain. The paved walkway ended right at the corner and turned into rocks briefly before becoming grass and mud. It was in the grass and mud area where the bus stop bench was located. For several minutes I was literally trapped at the corner because, continuing in my vein of ill-luck that day, that spot was apparently a nexus for hurricane force winds and it was all I could do to keep the stroller from blowing out into the parking lot while simultaneously holding onto my ridiculous (now inverted) umbrella. I somehow eventually managed to push the stroller over the rainslicked rocks, onto the grassy patch around the corner where the bench was and out of (thank any and all deities!) the main force of the wind.

The bus arrived about 15 minutes later, took us to a station close to home where we hopped one last bus (bringing the total to 5 if you're counting). The stop closest to our house was a 2 minute walk so I plodded along home, close to thoroughly exhausted by this point while Sylvie happily jabbered away in her cozy stroller tent, attempting to touch the raindrops that rolled down its sides.

Sylvie, despite being mostly strapped in her stroller under a plastic tent for several hours, was a complete and total angel for the entire time. What did I do to deserve such a great kid?

Today, I feel like I was out shoveling snow all day yesterday and I think I even mildly pulled a left tricep (probably while trying to keep the stroller from being wrenched from my grasp while trapped in the hurricane nexus). I cancelled a lunch date downtown with my friend Caryl because I couldn't face wrestling the winds for control of the stroller because the weather today is about as bad as yesterday. Given my druthers I wouldn't step outside at all today except I have to go get groceries. But this time, I'm taking the car.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Sunday, April 30, 2006

April Sylvie photos

Yes folks, believe it or not, for once I am actually on time with posting the monthly photos . Sylvie has experienced two breakthroughs this month: 1) she can pull herself into a standing position and 2) her lower left central incisor! Ladies and gentlemen...she FINALLY HAS A TOOTH! And it looks as the the lower right central incisor will be popping through the gum any day now as well. Luckily, she's had no obvious discomfort while teething and I'm hoping that holds true for all the rest of the pearly-whites-to-be. As for the weaning, it has gone extremely smoothly for both of us. I had the one bad day early on and I finally went ahead and boobed Sylvie to ease the pressure. Then we went another couple of days without and I developed a sore spot on one side, (presumably a blocked duct), that I again relieved with nursing Sylvie. I coud tell though that my milk was just about gone. At this point, I'm pretty sure that the dairy has closed down until future child(ren). Bye bye, boobs....Thaaaaanks foooor the maaaamarieeees...hyuck, hyuck.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

6 things about me

I've been tagged by Katie to list 6 random things about myself and then choose 6 more people to tag to do the same thing.

1) I received an honorable mention in the Society of Illustrators Student competition in my senior year at SCAD (...these laurels sure are comfortable to rest on...)
2) I was INSANELY excited to get the complete Captain & Tenille collection 6 CD set, and for only $15 counting s&h! (I blame my parents for my love of 70's pop)
3) I always used to want to be a red-head but now I am too lazy/cheap to be bothered with dying my hair (and I rather dig the silvery strands that have begun to permeate my naturally dark brown tresses)
4) I have 5 piercings (...all in my ears you perv)
5) I've moved alot; spent about 10 years (total) in Alabama, 3 years in Wisconsin, 6 years in Ontario, 8 years in Georgia and I'm going on 4 years in Massachuetts
6) At one point in college I had 7 cats: Tribble, Kittery, George, Luna and Luna's 3 kittens (who I later found homes for)

So, now that I have completed this post, I get to tag someone else. Here are the rules:
1--If you are tagged, you have to post six things about yourself on your site.
2--Then you should leave a comment on my site to let me know that you have posted.
3--You can then tag at least 6 more people. To tag, just leave them a comment to let them know they are IT!

Six people that I choose:
1) Manda
2) Doah
3) Chloe
4) Robyn
5) Brian and/or Liz
6) Bev

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Oh my aching ta-tas!

Today is Day 3 of The Weaning of Wee Wallis. I had hoped that as she'd only been nursing once or twice a day for a while now that going cold turkey would not be overly painful for either of us. As it turns out, I was half right; Sylvie has apparently already forgotten that her chief source of sustenance was once mama juice and instead quite happily downs several ounces of whole milk with Instant Breakfast (more calories! more I say!) first thing in the morning.

Thankfully, the emotional pain that I thought would accompany my decision to wean has been much less than I had originally expected. I do miss the closeness and when I'm holding her and my boobs are feeling like they're about to 'splode, I am sorely (ha, ha) tempted to offer her a nipple not made from silicone. BUT, I have decided upon this course of action and I know that giving in to that feeling will only prolong the agony.

Did I say agony? It's not really that bad...except when any pressure other than the clothes I'm wearing is applied to my chest...then it comes kinda close. Mostly it's like the post header says; a constant ache. I was figuring it would probably take a week or so for the milk to dry up but then I looked it up online and saw that it can take SEVERAL weeks. YIKES!. Time to buy a jumbo bottle of ibuprofen and start stuffing my bra with cabbage leaves I guess.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

March Sylvie photos

A lot happened with Sylvie this past month: She turned one, travelled to Savannah for the first time where she finally got to meet her Uncle Travis, attended her first bridal tea and (extra-utero) baby shower, had her hair cut, started bah-ing when shown pictures of sheep, learned how to sit-up all by herself AND...she's started talking to us in a second language--well third if you count baby jabber--by signing! So far she knows the signs for "more" and "milk". Sylvie and pal Sara also had their first visit to the Children's Museum.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Looks can be deceiving, a google game

I got this game from Chloe on MySpace.com. Google the phrase "(Your name) looks like" and find the best one from the first page of results. DON'T FORGET to put it in QUOTES, otherwise it won't work.

I ended up with a couple of good ones:
Paige looks like a Lab or Hound mix. (yikes!)
Paige looks like she is tied to a table. (double yikes!)
and my favorite result...
Paige looks like she is stuck to the bouncy castle wall!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Sylvie's first haircut!!! (Before and After)

The peer-pressure became too great so today we jumped on the haircut bandwagon. Here are the results.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Just a quickie...

Yes, yes, I KNOW I've become less than regular with my blogging but any of you who have or have had small children probably know why. I promise a much longer post about our trip to Savannah for Manda's baby shower and Jessica's bridal tea v. soon but right now all I have time for is a little bit of bragging about our baby girl.

New skills she has aquired recently include:
*spreading arms wide (or sometimes just one) in response to the question, "How big is Sylvie?"
*pointing at herself in response to the question "Where's the baby?"
*self feeding with spoon (see photos in post below)
*having her blood drawn in a much more nonchalant and mature way than her mother was able to do until she was in her late teens. (She had a blood draw yesterday that lasted for a couple of minutes because they needed to take quite a bit of blood. She never cried once but only fussed impatiently at being restrained during the procedure. If I didn't know better I'd wonder if she were really my child since I am and always have been a big whiner about needles.)

She got skillz





Saturday, March 04, 2006

Sylvie's first birthday!!!

Wow.
Has it really been a whole year already? Has it really been 365 days since our wee one switched from quasi-amphibian to full on oxygen breather?
Wow...just wow.

Amazing to think how different she is now from when she first came into our lives, all blob-like and covered in cream cheese. Amazing to realize that so many of the feelings that I'd felt before her birth, and thought were the deepest most profound emotions one could have, were but ripples on the surface of what I realize I am capable of experiencing now.

A couple of people I'll call "Stinky-Goo-Head" and "Slimy-Muck-Ball" (please know these are actually terms of great affection) have told me that I worry too much about Sylvie's various and sundry health issues. I don't agree; I think I worry about as much as your average new parent. However, I do probably harp on the more negative things health wise with Sylvie on this blog...mostly because I need to vent about them. And I'll admit that I've worried incessantly about Sylvie's growth and weight gain (or lack thereof) and I've filled sheet after sheet of paper with the details of Sylvie's diet, what she's eaten, how many calories she's taken in in a given day. I've worried about how she's yet to crawl or pull up or stand unassisted especially when I've been around other moms whose children, though a month or two younger than Sylvie, are 10 lbs heavier and toddling around like pros. I know that all kids develop differently and at their own rates, yet I've worried. But the other day, I was paging through What to Expect the First Year, something I do only rarely because it has so often fed my fears rather than soothed them and I happened to read the milestones for a kid her age and I gotta tell ya...she's above average on just about everything but the standing up thing. I've been afraid to be "that mom", ya know, the one who goes on and on about how gifted her kid is and such. Well, forget that, because I'm going to take this opportunity to puff up with mommy pride and relate to you all of the things our Sylvie is doing.

She speaks!
momma, daddy, kitty, doggy, Izzy, booby (and yes it means she wants mama juice), hi and bye (with a wave!) and mmm! (which doubles for "I'm hungry" and "that looks tasty can I try some?")

Sylvie the Action Figure!
clapping, pointing, "conducting", "singing" and bouncing to music, can roll a ball back and forth to us, plays peekabo, stacks/unstacks rings, recognizes people in photos AND she's finally started pulling up into a standing position with a little help from Theron and I.

She's just incredible, our girl. Everyday she grows more and more amazing and beautiful and...wow. Just wow.
Happy birthday baby!
Love, mommy and daddy.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

February Sylvie photos, our visit to Toronto and two visits from Pepe Le Pew

Recently, we spent a week in the company of some of our Canadian friends and Sylvie's quasi- ex-pat grandparents. Here is our story.

(THUNKTHUNK!)

No, there are no actual Law & Order elements to this story (thank goodness!), I just couldn't help myself.

Our pal Sean, soon to be wed to the lovely Amanda, drove us to the airport bright and early for our 9:30am flight...which morphed into our 11:55am flight. As a result, we were stuck at the airport for about 4 hours having arrived 2 hrs early for the international flight as recommended. Sigh. The flight itself was uneventful and Sylvie was a perfect angel the whole time. Upon preparing to deboard the plane, a guy sitting behind us noticed our girl and said in a slightly shocked voice, "I had no idea there was a baby there! I've never had that happen before!"

We took a cab to mom and dad's new home. Dad had taken off of work early in order to meet us as mom was herself flying back from a florist gig in DC the same day. It was our first time seeing their place and it's really, REALLY nice; spacious and airy, with plenty of wall space for their extensive art collection. They also have some great neighbors, several of whom we met while attending their weekly card night.

Theron, Sylvie and I had the bad luck to all come down with some variation of cold/flu/infection which wasn't fun. Sylvie especially was wheezy and coughing and her nose was running like a faucet. (I bore many a shiny snail-trail across my chest from being a convenient nose wiping device while holding her.) We bought her some infant cough and decongestant drops which a) did little good and b) kept her awake allll night which did us little good. We took her in to see mom and dad's GP who kindly agreed to see her the next day and he diagnosed her with her very first bronchial and ear infection. (Not only does our kid like to get sick at less than opportune of times...she also does a very thorough job of it!) We got a prescription for amoxicillin aka that "yummy" pink goo as well as not one, but TWO inhalers. Sylvie was much more amenable to taking the pink goo although she was apt to let it ooze out of the side of her mouth if we don't keep an eye on her but she was not a fan of the breathing treatments which had to be administered through an Aerochamber MAX (with mask). Luckily with a little encouragmetn (read, lots of cheering and hand-clapping afterwards) Sylvie began to take her breathing treatments like a pro and now claps cheerfully for herself after completing them. Only a few more days to go and she's done with 'em. Despite her illness, Sylvie had great fun beating up on G'pa Dave and learning a new fave song from G'ma Judy: the Banana Splits theme song. She also made out like a bandit gift wise. Some of the things she received include: a stuffed cat, stacking/nesting boxes, a set of instruments (most of which stayed with the g'parents for future visits), a prism to hang in her window back home and even two dolls from a friendly neighbor lady.

During our visit we also went into Toronto proper for an overnight stay with the always awesome Wilson-Cox family, aka Doah, Al and Owain. Doah and I have known each other since we were angst-ridden (is there any other kind?) teenagers and it was kinda neat watching our two offspring playing together...or at least playing near each other. I guess we'll have to wait a few years before we'll get to hear such cries as, "Mooom! s/he took my toy! Moooooom! I don't want to play with a (snear of disgust) girl/boy!" Doah took us a for a walk around a near by honest-to-god working farm where Sylvie got to see her first real live farm animals.

Another old highschool buddy of mine, Dorie, lives in the same building as Doah and was able to join us all for dinner at a little pub around the corner later that evening. By keeping the kids placated with tastes of our food (esp. Sylvie who loved bits of my steak and mushroom pie as well as Theron's liver and mashed potatoes), we five adults managed to carry on quite a lively conversation although I know Theron and Al had a few (ok, several) eye-rolling-there-they-go-again moments when us three gals reminisced about our school days.

The next day, Doah, Al and Owain took us for a long stroll through some of the local places of interest including Kensington Market where they treated us to some fantastically tasty portuguese custard tarts from a neighborhood bakery. Their generosity did not stop there as later Doah purchased two gifts for Sylvie: an Ugly doll and a beautiful tutu made out of sheer red ribbon tipped with tiny red ribbon roses, which I can hardly wait for Sylvie to be dancing around in. Thanks again Doah!

Alas, our time together had to come to an end and so we said our goodbyes, grabbed our overnight bag and hopped a streetcar-subway-GO train back to Ajax to spend one last night with the g'parents before our return to the States.

Meanwhile, back in good ol' MA...

Cousin Chloe, who was kind enough to dog/cat sit for us while we were out of the country, was having quite a run of bad luck. First, Izzy got into a box of chocolates, which as any dog owner knows is not a good thing. Luckily Izzy puked up most of what she'd eaten and and while under careful observation by Chloe exhibited no further symptoms of chocolate poisoning. Then poor Chloe had a bout of food poisoning herself and while still recovering from it had to deal with Izzy who had a run in with the business end of a SKUNK. Yikes! After a couple of dousings with tomato juice and Pantene Pro V, Izzy smelled less skunk-like and more as if she'd just had a perm by the time we got back home.

You'd think that Izzy would have learned her lesson from the first skunk incident,,,but no. We'd been home only a few days when she came in from being in the backyard drooling, pawing at her snout and reeking of skunk musk. Theron bravely took it upon himself to bathe our pungent pooch, using another recipe (as seen on episode 16 of Mythbusters) of peroxide, baking soda and dog shampoo. Then thanks to Oust, scented candles and occasionally cracking the wondows despite the freezing temps, our home no longer stinks of parfum de pepe le pew.

P.S. Here are the February photos. I figured I had to put them at the end to make you read the whole posting.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Why I'm eating my heart out...

...because it's full of Reese's Peanut Butter cups silly! The most wonderful hubby of all time brought it home for me along with a bouquet of flowers. Not only that but our incredibly gifted daughter apparently snuck over to his workplace, made a V-day card for me for him to present along with the flowers and candy, and then snuck back home with me none the wiser. (I really need to keep a better eye in that girl.)

Happy Valentine's Day everybody!

Doctor, doctor, gimme the news...over the phone next time, will ya?

Roundtrip bus fare: $3.60
Roundtrip subway fare: $2.50
Office visit co-pay: $15.00
Roundtrip travel time: about 2 hours

Taking a trip into town to see our Genetics doctor who told us that the blood test came back negative for the known gene mutation associated with noonan syndrome but that only about half of the cases with a clinical diagnosis do have the mutation (which I already knew)...

POINTLESS.

I mean, seriously, couldn't he have just called me and saved me the time and money???? He really had nothing else to add but to tell me things I already knew---such as, "did you know that there is a doctor here who is running a study on noonan syndrome?" (Uh, yeah, I mentioned it to YOU at our last appointment) and would we like Sylvie to be involved in the study? (YES....again, something I had brought up at our previous appointment). The doctor who is heading the study happened to be in an adjacent office so our genetics doc asked her to come in and talk to us. She told us that her assistant would be calling us shortly to arrange for us to bring Sylvie in to be enrolled in the study which would entail an exam and yet more bloodwork. While I hate subjecting my baby to needles as much as any mom, I think in this case it's worth it if Sylvie's participation in the research can help draw a clearer picture of noonan syndrome.