Monday, November 24, 2014


Well, gee.

Things have been more chaotic than usual over here (and we do enjoy a fair amount of crazy in this household). Recently we've...

Had a killer Nerf-gun fight 
On Lauren's birthday, he came home from work to the following gift inside our front door:

The note reads:

Welcome home from work!

Two things:
1. This is your gun.
2. I have one too.

Good luck.
(Evil looking skull and crossbones)

Lauren immediately loaded up his gun and started slinking through the dark house. He was creeping through each floor, peeking around corners and in rooms. Then, all of a sudden, Brayden runs out of a room at top speed -- wearing an American flag bandana -- screaming at the top of his lungs. I follow suit while carrying a human baby-shield (both of us also wearing bandanas) and start icing my dear hubby. He retreated down the stairs, we chased him, and a pretty epic Nerf war began. It was awesome.

Practicing her Ninja moves for the pending battle

Celebrated Daddy's 31st birthday (in a more traditional way)
Also on the menu for the birthday boy were gifts and cake. Lauren requested a cannoli cake - and I did my best to oblige (though it was nothing like the treat Aunt Kate spoils him with!). The battle took too long for Elissa to partake in cake, so once she was in bed, Brayden finished decorating the masterpiece and we sang and ate.

Visited a Christmas tree farm
We had a fun family photo shoot at a Christmas Tree Farm near the West Virginia border. We packed up the kids and dog (at an hour early enough to make most people crazy) and drove out there. As soon as we got there, Brayden gleefully started running through the rows of trees. Our dog went nutty with so much land at her disposal and our little girl just sat there being cute. Despite the long drive, it was a lot of fun.

Having some fun between shots. 

Recovered from surgery
I had surgery last Thursday and let me just tell you... the recovery has been awful. I especially liked the part where the on-call doctor prescribed me something that "will definitely help with the pain" (but that was also safe for breastfeeding). After taking the six pills (as directed), my heart was racing faster than it ever has before, I could hardly breathe, and I was hallucinating. Umm, yeah. Thanks for that, doc. You just epitomized the reason why my philosophy is to limit medical intervention and medicine as much as possible.

Dealt with mistaken identities
Elissa thinks she's a goat. Or a dog. We keep finding her eating paper, shoes and frisbees. (At least she's a cute goat)

Force fed the baby apples
What can I say? Brayden knows the old adage and was insistent that his sister not go to the doctor. ♥

We've had a crazy couple of weeks,.. and the next few are just as busy. Even though there's a lot of chaos, I really love this time of year. There are so many fun activities, so much family time and so much joy. I'm looking forward to the rest of the holiday season...

...and sort of hoping Brayden keeps giving us the verbal gems he's becoming known for. Just yesterday, he told Daddy, "I need to take a picture of you. You look cute tonight." ♥ Love that kid.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Nine Months!

Nine months looks pretty good on Elissa.
(Growing up pictures are now updated!)

She's a feisty and smiley little girl who has a knack for charming the pants off people. She's insanely curious and has a strong independent streak. These days, she's busy standing and cruising all over the place, crawling to wherever Brayden is, and babbling away (usually saying "da-da" in typical daddy-girl fashion). Lately, she's also taken to dancing. When she's sitting in her high chair for meals, Daddy strikes up a beat and she bops along. It's pretty fracking adorable to be honest. I also love how she kicks her little legs wildly whenever she gets excited.

My very favorite thing right now is watching her and Brayden. In addition to normal playing together, Brayden has his own version of "follow the leader" with her: whatever Elissa does, whatever she says, wherever she goes -he mimics. He's freakishly good at imitating her babbles and she gets a big kick out of it when he follows her around. She has this funny little laugh that sounds like a duck. When she sees Brayden coming after her, she turns and quacks at him - which makes him quack back. And pretty soon, it's like the Mighty Ducks are here.

On the flip side of the coin, she also makes it obvious when there's something she doesn't like. Suddenly, her biggest enemies are getting her diaper changed (she thrashes around so much I've been known to give up and let her crawl around naked for a while before attempting it again) and getting her face wiped after meals (as soon as she sees the napkin coming, she practically dives out of the high chair. She's also not a fan of it when I snub her. When she gets tired or hungry, she crawls to Mommy. If I'm busy and don't notice (or worse -- if I step over her), she gets pretty ticked off and starts crying.

Other than those little things, Elissa is a pretty laid back baby. She's happy and smiley and so much fun. She steals Daddy's heart every day and - despite Brayden's occasional insistence that she not play with any of his toys - her brother is pretty smitten too. As for Mommy? Please. I was a goner long ago.