Monday, February 25, 2013

February 2013

I set aside these ramekins in the hall closet to give to Aunt Sue. Elyse kept digging them out to play with them. I guess Doggy needed a drink.

Serious eyes.

That thumb... We take her thumb out of her mouth and shout, "Big Girl!" She yells back, "Big Girl" with arms raised. And puts her thumb back in her mouth... Ugh.

This girl has some seriously funny faces. This one is something!

She was being super silly this evening.

She will haul that stepstool down to the kitchen from her bathroom to "help". We were making cookies. And the slippers? She puts those on herself.

More faces. We take our baking seriously around here.

All that work in the kitchen can tire a girl out.

I purchased a mini session (15 minutes) for Valentine's Day with a photographer up in Bonney Lake. This is the "after" in the car.

Here's one from the six from her session. On Valentine's Day, I posted one of the ones of her pouting. That is basically what she did the entire time. Here is one good, but serious one, we did manage to get. The family ones... Not so good.

Of course, afterward she was all smiles with a grilled cheese and balloon.

She carried this pillar from the spare room into her room. It became a very handy reading stool. And I guess I interrupted her?!

Morning cartoons while Mama finishes getting ready.

Elyse is in love with her new shoes. She is so taken with them I thought I'd do the honor of photographing them for her.

This girl loves the iPad.

Have a great week!

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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Heart Day to You!

There's just no caption good enough. I'll let you fill in the blanks.

May your heart be touched and your loved shared today - and everyday.

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Playgroup - Is it Right for You?

Playgroup Picture FAIL - Halloween 2012

We are part of a play group. I've shared about it here and here - not to mention the many other times when detailing our lives.

It has been one of the best choices I've made as a parent. You have to have the right mix of people for you - that is for sure. Our group discovered early on how easily compatible we all were. We are all different and come from a variety of backgrounds, but we all have the same basic principles around the important topics of parenting: safety, nutrition, cleanliness, health, fun and play. These shared principles are important - never once have I felt my child to be unsafe, felt judged by another parent and/or felt myself comparing my child to another in an unhealthy way or experienced anything other than positive support from this group. I'm sure that is the reason we've stayed together for as long as we have - it will be almost two years now!

We have a new friend in the group, whose daughter isn't yet one. Janelle now has her second who is four months and two Mamas have babes on the way. We even have a Dad now. All these changes along the way have just made our group better and better!

Our conversations now bounce around from:
  • How did you wean from the pacifier?
  • What were the best gifts for a one-year-old?
  • What are your favorite snacks for car rides?
  • Do you allow snacks on car rides?
  • When are you transitioning out of the crib?
  • Are you having mealtime struggles?
  • Do you give a warning for a time-out?
  • How did you balance going from one to two?
Play groups help parents: build confidence, get creative ideas and solutions, get support, share in laughs, see their children being loved by other parents, witness how others parent their children, etc.

Play groups help children: learn social skills, learn to share, use up tons of energy for great afternoon naps, play with new toys, build immunities (sharing germs), develop their first friendships, help transitions to daycare, etc.

The other thing I like about playgroup, is it helps with me being a working parent. Even though I'm often the only one with a blackberry in her lap because our playgroups are on work days, it somehow helps with the Mama Guilt I do experience. It also helps me to benefit personally from Elyse's social interactions. At daycare, she learns a ton through playing and interacting with other children. But, I don't get to see much of it myself. I can watch Elyse at playgroups and see where she might be struggling (sharing) and what she likes to do with others (mother). It has really helped me to learn more about these issues, so we can work on them at home away from other children.

Interested in starting a playgroup? Go to a local parenting class - whatever is in your area. Locally, we have infant singalongs at the libraries, StrollerStrides, BabyGym and now a great new place called Piper's Playground. Next, you cannot be shy. You have to TALK to other Moms and Dads. Introduce yourself. Make one friend who is open to the idea of a playgroup. Then, you can invite others. It is how I did it and I'm so glad I took that chance. Thank you, SAM, for being the first Mama to agree to this!

We host once a week. We take turns hosting at each other's houses or sometimes at other destinations when it is warm. We provide snacks for the adults and kids. That is it! Here are some pictures from some recent fun.

The TV accidentally got left on and we wondered why the kiddos were so quiet in the other room.
Playgroup Superbowl party! Elyse with Luke's West Virginia Crocs on chillin' in Nate's Cars chair/bed. 
Today, we celebrated Janelle's return with Gabby and Ava! The kiddos were loving Sweet Charley B's cupcakes!  

Elyse and Gabby really missed each other. Here they are hugging goodbye.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Sure. It may be coincidence.

Sure. She is into mothering - everything.

Sure. It was something new to play with.

BUT... I believe it is something more.

My mother painted these ceramic kissing angel Christmas decorations when she was a young girl. They were out every year after Thanksgiving. Before Mom passed, she went through her Christmas things with Corey and I saying she had too many and wanted us to take some. We knew the real reason - so we obliged.

Now, I've pulled them out every year since 2008 - the first Christmas without her.

Elyse was infatuated with them. The above picture is one of the times she had tucked them in "night-night". She puts them to sleep. Kisses them on the lips. Has them kiss each other and tries to carry them all over the house. I say *tries* because I have to hide them when she's not looking as these have to be played with under supervision. I try to keep her in the living room on the carpeting because she is constantly dropping them. They are very heavy and quite fragile. I just hold my breath the entire time - loving and enjoying how much she loves playing with them, but also praying she doesn't shatter them to pieces.

Here is a video and don't worry if you don't make it through the whole thing. I just couldn't find a decent place to cut it off. She is so into playing with them. I do feel Grandma Kathy couldn't have been far away.

Elyse and the Christmas Angels from Courtney on Vimeo.

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Monday, February 4, 2013

More Old Pics

OK, they aren't new pics, but they aren't THAT old. They are just a few more pictures that I've never shared here before. And there's no time like the present to share with you random photos.

One day at playgroup with Luke, Lydia, Nate, Lucien and Elyse playing in Erin's bathtub. AND, eating blueberries. Good times!
I make my hair appointments on Mondays. Elyse gets to watch a movie while she waits for Daddy to pick her up (highlights take forever!).
Breakfast at Paco's Tacos with Grandma Jo.
LOVE this.

Normally, I'd never address anything work-related here, but this one is different. My boss left our agency in Septemer and they did up this super clever picture for her. Beth is in the wheelchair and that is me on the far left. It is a cell phone picture of the photo, so the quality is not so great.
 On the way back from Cannon Beach in September, Bill and I stopped and had breakfast in Astoria. Elyse was antsy so Elyse and I walked down the street and popped into an antique store. We ended up bringing this awesome dresser home and went back a month later and got the matching one. Stay tuned for the after photos.
Elyse and Jennifer - our friend and hair dresser. We love her.
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Sunday, February 3, 2013

Saturday, February 2, 2013


This is a darling video of Elyse in December saying the ABCs with me. I love her little additions on some of the letters, how she gets more "comfortable" and our missed high-five.

Precious memories.

Elyse says her ABCs from Courtney on Vimeo.
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Friday, February 1, 2013

Photo Dump Nov-Dec-Jan 2012/13

I've got scheduled posts almost every day this week. I'm organizing and making sure I don't miss sharing any moments. Yes, it is for some of you, but it is mostly for us... This is our special place to capture our family moments - so we can share this in six months or six years.

Elyse already loves watching her videos. We can watch Vimeo on our new TV and she begs to "Watch Lysey". What can I say?

These are super random and start from most current to about November 2012.

This was yesterday. It probably now seems like I feed my daughter ice cream treats every day. Not true, but they do become photo opportunities. Mama was shopping a fantastic sale at Ann Taylor Loft. Elyse was super-good and Italia is right around the corner. We walked over and had gelato. She was pretty pumped with her mint chocolate chip.
Marcie and Elyse shopping in downtown Seattle Nordstrom on a fun girls getaway.
Shopping at Ann Taylor. Elyse started it and the sales gal helped her complete the look.
After a long day of trekking around Seattle - Caillou helped us entertain her at dinner.
Two of our favorite ladies - two who know my heart completely and now love my daughter like their own.
Elyse got a couple babies for Christmas with pacifiers. She is super into it and will often be silly and suck on the paci herself.
The Christmas angels my Mom painted when she was young. Elyse was INFATUATED with them. She bawled when I packed them away. Here they are tucked to go night-night.
Gotta cook a little breakfast in my new kitchen with my bed head and my new boots on.
Just lookin' cute.
We had playgroup the week before Christmas at Kelly's. She had Polar Express Cocoa in the crockpot. It was simply divine. I had to take a picture of her setup. She also had croissants, darling little paper cups for adults and little ones with lids, striped paper straws and all the toppings you could want (whipped cream, chocolate chips, marshmallows and peppermint crumbles). I am a sucker for this kind of thing - it is the little touches that make my heart happy.
Missy LOVED having her own cocoa.
She was dressed so cute for playgroup because we came straight from the mall to see Santa.
I am so thankful of this age - for every single day I have a sweetie pie who wants to initiate multiple kisses with me. Sometimes it is because she just wants to "share" my lip gloss. But, most times it is 'cause she wants love.
My attempt at a fun mama/daughter pic in the front of the tree with light bokeh did not work out as I'd planned. But, I still love it.

Baby lovin'.

One of the heartwarming things about daycare is when they bring home their projects. This was a large glittery Christmas ornament. Wow, she was proud of it.

And yes, wanted to eat it too.
Wilson loves hanging out under the tree.

"Uh-oh... I spilled my 'nilk'".
Fun night. We bundled up on a super-chilly evening and headed up to see the Zoo Lights at Point Defiance and had dinner afterward at one of our favorite places in the Proctor District.
Sooo pretty. The Narrows Bridge.
This display was great. Elyse loved all the lights, dashing around with happiness.
Bill took a picture of us and we have no idea why it turned out like this. Fun memory to share nonetheless.
No more pictures, please!
One day in November, Elyse and I rode up with Sue and Scott to spend a day with OJ. It was an absolutely miserable, stormy day. We had planned to play on the beach, but it was too nasty. They bundled up and chatted with OJ while Elyse slept and I baked cookies and organized OJ's cupboards.
I do love to do this. And I love OJ - so it is double the happiness for me. Here is the after. Cue the music!
Family feet.

First day of daycare. Just the thought of it makes my stomach turn. The second day was the hardest... What matters now is it was a great decision and she is doing amazing now. She goes one day one week and two days the next. It has worked really well!
Breakfast at Darbys'.

OK, I think that is enough... Gotta back up the phone once in a while and then catch any other pictures I've missed along the way. Happy Friday!


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