Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Back from Maine!

We made it back from Maine late Sunday night ... the trip back went something like this: 3 days, over 30 hours, bumper to bumper from New Jersey to Georgia (I'm not kidding), screaming baby and a mommy and daddy in tears! We must say the trip was worth it though, we had a WONDERFUL and RELAXING Christmas vacation in Maine and also spent an evening of our return trip with our friends the Wiggins in Connecticut. Al has already left for a quick TDY, we had a showing today of our house and I have yet to unpack all of our luggage ... it's been nuts! I'll re-cap our holiday vacation with photos and captions ... here we go (we had over 300 photos of our Christmas in Maine and it was hard to pick just a few ... maybe I'll add a few more tomorrow).

Every chance we had we sat down for a game of Seafarer's of Catan with Al's brother Mike and his wife Sue. Each game takes hours to play ... it's a game of strategy and it's addicting! Game wins ... Jaime: 4, Al :1, Sue: 1 .... Mike 0 (so sorry Mikey ... better luck next time! :o)
We has some GREAT snowfall during our stay and we were actually snowed-in one day! We took advantage of Kelty's nap time and built a snow fort!
Kelty's 1st little adventure out into the cold. He looked so cute in his winter gear ... so does Daddy!
Our visit with Al's grandmother.
After our visit with Nana we went hunting for the Christmas tree. It was bitter cold outside and Mike, Sue and I won the "tall and thin" vote over Al's "tall and full" choice. Mike had to treck through the snow to cut down our choice. Kelty fell asleep and stayed in the car with Mom Clay.
Ok, there is a story behind my super cool "toilet paper roll glasses" that I used to "see sound" ... Mike (Al's brother) is in medical school ... these glasses were inspired by one of the patients he encountered during his psych rotation.
Every year since since we were babies, my dad has read us "Twas the Night Before Christmas" ... when we are not home for Christmas he reads us the story over the phone. This is a photo of Kelty listening to Papa Reichlin read the story.
Kelty munching on a Pumpkin donut on Christmas morning.

Kelty checking out his little dump truck from Mimi and Papa!

This is one of Al's gag gifts from Mike .. but this is a totally cool gift we can't wait to use! This was actually from the 50's ... it's a big ball of soap on a metal rod .. the metal rod screws into the wall by your sink ... you just rub your hands over the soap ball! How cool is that and why don't they make them anymore?

Another gift from Mike and Sue ... can you figure out what our new doormat says?

Al's gag gift to Mike ... an ornament that says "Larry" ... hahahahahahaha! What the heck is he supposed to do with an ornament with someone else's name on it!!!!

Kelty playing in his tunnel from Nana and Papa!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Brrrrr from Maine and Oooopsie on the Birthday Thank-you PHOTO Cards!

So ... before we get into the meat of the post I was quite embarrassed to find out that the handmade photo birthday thank-you postcards didn't exactly make their destinations fully intact! It sounds like every thank-you note we sent arrived as just a blue or white piece of paper! So sorry everyone! There was a photo collage on the other side that apparently came unglued somewhere along the postal journey! I'll post the photo collage when I get chance.

So this is just a quick and photo-less post to let you know we made it to Maine after 3, looooong days of driving! It took 30 hours! I think I rather would have sucked up traveling with 2 dogs and a baby on a plane than make the 30 hour drive again. On the plus side ... we did get to spend an evening at my sister and bro-in-law's house in SC!

I'll post again this evening with photos!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Snot, Steam Baths and a Sick Baby

Sorry for the lack of posts the last few days. We've been taking care of Kelty and his pretty intense cold. The cold was in full swing on Fri and Sat ... Sat being the worst. Poor little guy didn't even want to play or move around ... he just sat in our laps or on the floor surrounded by pillow and blankets. The nights were pretty miserable for him, I gave him a steam bath every 3 hours or so to help break up the congestion and the ease his cough. Today he's back to being pretty active but still blowing snot everywhere ... he's my little booger boy!

We did venture out yesterday to pick up the remainder of our Christmas gifts ... one gift that Al and I look forward to finding each year is his brother Mike's gag gift. We always know when we've found the perfect gift when we start laughing uncontrollably ... this year was no exception! We were laughing so hard in the store that everyone within sight seriously stopped what they were doing and stared at us. I can't tell you what the gift is but in year's past we've gifted him a doorknob hung on a wall plaque and a ball of moss. This year I think is the best yet!

Watching Sesame Street

Sitting with Teardrop. Teardrop was Al's stuffed toy when he was a baby!

Snitch is hanging out above the paino today!

This is a cute video from a few days ago ... Kelty figured out how to blow bubbles in Daddy's milk!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Find Snitch

Kelty and I found Snitch this morning ... can you find him too?

Meet "Snitchsnitchity" aka "Snitch"

We introduced Snitchsnitchity (he prefers Snitch) to the family today! Snitch is one of Santa's elves who lives with us throughout the holiday season and reports back to Santa every evening; letting him know if Kelty was naughty or nice. After Snitch's evening report to Santa he comes back to the house before Kelty wakes and sits in a different place ... making it fun for us to find him every morning. Let's hope each day you can help us find snitch in our blog pictures too!

Al read Kelty and I the story of "The Elf on the Shelf" when we welcomed Snitch to the family. This actually turned out pretty comical; Kelty was pretty antsy by the time we read the section of the story about not touching the elf or he could lose his magic. Kelty grabbed Snitch off my lap and rolled to the side and kicked Al in the groin ... I promptly lifted Kelty up and put him on the other side of me ... all the while he was staring at us with these big innocent eyes and biting Snitch's butt. Al and I were laughing hysterically!

Kelty is really having a lot of fun with his new book from Jake and Ryan.

This is a little video from Monday. Kelty has a hang of his little 4-wheeler.

Kelty, Al and I have been coloring together with the chunky crayons I made. I was in the kitchen yesterday while Kelty was exploring and I heard a scratching sound, I poked my head around the corner and he was coloring by himself! He seriously crawled to the table, flipped the paper to a fresh page, grabbed a crayon and colored. Of course today he decided to color all over the table before I caught him ... sigh.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Post Op

Al is recovering well; we got home around 12:30 this afternoon and he was able to rest in bed today ... with the exception of getting up for dinner. I can't believe he's actually walking around the house right now! Here are a few pics and a video of Al following the surgery ... I took them with my laptop!

Resting ... he actually has a lot of color here compared to when I first some him when he was the whitest shade of pale I'd ever seen ... and a little green around the gills!

Getting anxious to leave.

Just trying to make time pass.

Al didn't know I was taking this video initially. He was munching on some ice chips.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Surgery Day

Al is currently in surgery ... I am in the waiting area now. Luckily they have wireless so I am able to catch up on emails and some final on-line Christmas shopping.

We had a 6am showtime at St. Joseph's Hospital for Al's hernia operation. It's a simple procedure and shouldn't take more than a 1/2 hour ... it's more the recovery that we are anxious about. This is Al's first surgery and first time under anesthesia. He'll be out of work for the rest of week for recovery and then he'll be back to work for a few days before we start our holiday vacation.

No pictures yet today ... I'll get those loaded as the day progresses. I thought I brought my memory card from the camera so I could load some photos and videos from the last few days but of course I left that at home. I'll try to get a good photo of Al resting at home ... I'm sure he'll appreciate it! :o)

Wish us well during his recovery!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Kelty's 1st Birthday - Part 2

I'm making this post from my hotel room in Miami ... I left the house around 6:30am and finally made it to Homestead at 12:30 thanks to an accident that had me stopped from an hour and an attempt to get gas at an exit where there were no gas stations! What a way to start my work weekend! Grrr!

So here are a few more pictures of Kelty's big day yesterday. Oh! And I had "a moment" with Kelty the day of his birthday ... I was sitting on the floor with some of the girls and chatting while the kids played, Kelty crawled up on my lap, layed his head on my chest and gave me a hug ... out of the blue! It was like he came over to say "thanks for the party mom". That little moment just made my heart swell ... I wanted to hold onto that little moment forever! Ok ... back to the photos!
I had a musical Christmas decoration on our coffee table that I left out for the kids to enjoy for a while.

So ... I picked up a pack of candles at the store and had no idea that they were the special sparkler kind that kept relighting ... Kelty wasn't a fan and I was a little embarrased!

This is the photo that I copied from Michelle's blog ... Evangeline came over to help Kelty with his cake! How cute!

Happy eating cake with his spoon.

He made a pretty good dent in it.

Ce-le-brate good time c'mon! Evangeline gave Kelty a musical card ... it was a hit!

This is such a cute photo of Catherine checking out her party favor.

Silly Daddy! Al was playing with Kelty in his ball pit later that day and decided to give him a little extra under his shirt.

I love this little picture of Kelty.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Happy 1st Birthday Kelty - Part 1

Kelty turned the big ONE today! It was such a wonderful and exciting day for us ... thank-you to our wonderful families for sending their love and wishes and thank-you to our dear friends that celebrated with us today! Before I share the events of the day ... I want share a few photos taken throughout the year .... here we go!

1:17 pm ... our first time with Kelty

6 Weeks Old

5 Months

6 Months

8 Months

1 Year

Kelty woke up just after 6am this morning .... it's like he new today was a big day for him! Al and I had set up the living room with his new toys (play tent/tunnel and his little 4-wheeler). I tried to capture his reaction in a video for Al to see later after he got home from work.

His party was at 12pm so I spent the morning getting everything together. Kelty napped from 10:30 until noon ... Al got home around 11:45 and we woke Kelty up just in time to be greeted by his friends Catherine and Evangeline! I have tons of photos from today but I'll only share a few this evening since I have to get up early to drive to Miami tomorrow ... I'll post more tomorrow evening after work!

The start of the party! Catherine was sporting her ponytail while checking out Kelty's Exersaucer (front left), Bear had just arrived (right of center) and Ryan in the background checking out the tent.

The party migrated to the bedroom for a bit while Jake cruised around on Kelty's 4-wheeler ... he picked up Kelty along the way!

We kept Pogo and Piper outside for the party. The kids like to go visit them every once in a while. Here's Evangeline checking out Piper.

Kelty and his cake! It took him a little bit to start in on the cake, he didn't want to touch it with his hands (reminds me of his normal meals!). After I gave Kelty a spoon he enjoyed his cake much more! Evangeline came over to help Kelty ... it was hilarious! Michelle has a cute photo of it on her blog (which I'm going to steal and post here later!). :o)

Time for presents. Jake and Ryan gave Kelty "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" book; it also happens to be Jake and Ryans favorite book. After Kelty unwrapped it Evangeline and Jake came over to show Kelty how cool the book was! They are too cute! You should have seen Jakes eyes light up ... he sped over to the book like a bolt of lightning!

Bear brought Kelty an Elmo Peak-n-Seak! This picture cracks me up because Catherine LOVES Sesame Street and you can see her peeking around me to check out Kelty's new toy! I think the kids made a dash for this too! The kids are hilarious to watch when all the toys made their debut!

So this brings a wrap to Part 1 of Kelty's Birthday ... I'll have more up tomorrow!

Thanks again to EVERYONE who made this such a wonderful and special day!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Tomorrow is the BIG day!

Someone is turning ONE tomorrow! We're in the final stages of prepping Kelty's 1st Birthday Party! Al and I rearranged the furniture to make more room for Kelty's 10 little munckin friends and their mommies; his presents from mommy and daddy are set-up in the living room waiting for Kelty to find them in the morning; the balloons have been ordered; the supplies purchased; I'm making the mini-cake for Kelty; preparing the adult food/snack; putting the final touches on the party favors ... oh, and I sewed Kelty his birthday outfit! I managed to decorate for Christmas last night ... I was up until midnight. The decorations are a little more sparse than normal but we'll be moving shortly after the holiday's so I didn't want to go overboard. We are waiting to get the Christmas tree until after Kelty's party. Here are a few photos of from the week and Kelty in all his cuteness!

Fun with Daddy!

Mom is busted ... he climbed up on the lower level of the sofa table and crawled from one edge to the other .... scooted back to the beginning and did it again.

He'll turn anything into a tunnel.

Kelty's last night as an infant.

One year ago this evening we were timing my contractions while sitting around the patio table on the pool deck ... now we have a healthy, happy, beautiful little boy ... I'm happy to say we've made it through our first year ... well almost, there's still tomorrow!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Midnight Madness Success!!!

My neighbor Tina, her sister Amy, my friend Megan and I had a successful adventure at the Ellenton Prime Outlets ... we had soooo much fun! We arrived around 10:15pm, beat out the heavy traffic and secured our place in line to receive free gift bags that were handed out around 12am ... the bags weren't really worth the wait but it was worth the effort to get there early and avoid the traffic. While Tina and her sister hit up the Coach store, Megan and I hit all the kids clothing stores ... we had a great system ... one of us would wait in line for the register while the other one shopped and then we'd switch out. Kelty made out with clothes for "now" and clothes for "later" ... so here's damage (borrowing Megan's idea here!):

OshGosh ($74 for only $25)

1 Hooded Fleece Jacket
1 Pair Holiday Pants
1 Holiday Shirt

Stride Rite (Retail for approx. $84 ... bargain at $46)

1 Pair of Shoes for "Now"
1 Pair of Shoes for "Later"
1 Pair of Socks (FREE)

The Children's Place ( $66 for only $48 ... the $66 was already the markdown price so the actual savings were even bigger)

1 Rugby Sweater
1 Matching Hat
3 Thermal Shirts
1 Fleece Hoodie
1 Matching Hat
1 Pair Sweatpants
1 Pair PJ's

Gymboree (Retail $94 for only $53)

1 Winter Jacket
1 Hat
1 Pair Mittens
1 Fleece Pullover
1 Pair Fleece Pants

Carters (Retail $112 for $30!)

4 Long Sleeve Printed Onesies
1 Pair Cargo Pants
2 Pair Lined Wind Pants

So I spent some $$$ but Kelty got a lot of clothes to get help get him through the winter and beyond! Whoohoo!

Sooo ... after getting home around 3:30 am I slept-in until about 8am (thanks to Al) and then we hit the local shops to get Kelty's Bday and Christmas gifts ... and some gifts for family and friends (those are a secret though).

I love to shop and I love to save money so this way a GREAT day!

Megan, Amy, Me, Tina

Friday, November 28, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving and Week in Review

Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends and family! Al, Kelty and I spent Thanksgiving dinner with the Guttman Family; Al made Mom Reichlin's sweet potato's and I made Grandpa Joe's Pumpkin and Apple Pie. We had a really nice time with the Guttman's and Kelty had a lot of fun playing with the twins Jake and Ryan ... they are so stinking cute playing together!

Re-cap of the week .....

Last Saturday I took advantage of my Disney cast member perks and rendezvoused with the Guttman family, Travis family and part of the Frost family. We started our day at Epcot and visited the Living Sea's, ate lunch in Morocco and then caught the bus over to the Animal Kingdom. As we entered the park we stopped by to pay Pluto and Rafiki a visit and then raced over to cath Finding Nemo the Musical ... the kids loved Finding Nemo. I wish I could have bottled that moment with Kelty because it was the cutest thing I've ever seen. For the first 15 minutes or so of the show, he stood straight up on my lap and was mesmerized! He would reach out and go "oooh, oooh" ... seriously wanted to make me cry! If anyone ever wondered why I chose the underpayed job as a disney performer and made a 145 mile commute every day .... that is why ... to put those kinds of faces on little kids and adult too! *sigh* So ... after the show and an unsuccessful attempt to get the kids to nap while we strolled through the part, we made our way over to the Magic Kindgom ... which was packed! We rode It's A Small World, ate dinner and finished our evening with a whirl around the Haunted Mansion. On our way out we were able to see the castle in all its holiday splendor ... grogeous!

The rest of the week was taken up vet appointments, Gymboree and our squadron playgroup.

Oooops, gotta go! My neighbor Tina, Megan Guttman and I are on our way to the Prime Outlets in Ellinton for some midnight madness!!!! Ahhhh! I'll post the pictures of the week tomorrow and maybe a few of our shopping mascerade!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Things That Go Bump

I have very few pictures from the last couple of days; all of Kelty's antics take up both my hands and even then I can't seem to catch him all the time! Kelty is obsessed with climbing on things and through things. We have a set of dog stairs that we kept by our ottoman that Kelty apparently thought were there for his use. I was in the kitchen while I thought Kelty was innocently crawling around the living room until I heard a new rustling coming from the furniture! Kelty had climbed up the dog stairs, onto the ottoman and was making his way up the back cushion of the chair! Yikes! So ... smart mommy moved the stairs ... hah! I went back to the kitchen and then it got quiet ... that kind of quiet that means something isn't good! I peaked around the corner to see what Kelty was doing ... he pulled the stairs out, climbed the stairs to "no where" and was balancing on the top step in the middle of the floor ... in my attempt to run over and grab him before he hurt himself, I startled him instead and he went crashing to the floor .... oh, buddy.

Kelty also likes to do laps underneath the dining room table. The chairs make a great tunnel ... he climbs under the chairs, turns around, goes back, turns around, goes back, turns around ... you get the picture. Well ... just in case you don't, here's a snapshot!

Kelty's little tunnel of fun!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Playing Some Serious Catch-Up!!!

Seriously, this is nuts ... I am so far behind on our blog! In a nutshell ... Al and I both had to work over the Halloween weekend, we've had playdates, went back to Gymboree (whoohoo), I've been busy with custom ChichiKids and ChichiClay orders, we traveled to Daytona for Embry-Riddles Alumni weekend, I've introduced my "Mommy Necklace" and "Remember Necklace" in my ChichiClay shop (, we've racked up $1,000 in vet bills since Pogo scratched his cornea, I've been to the vet 3 times in 1 week for his treatment ... Wednesday's appointment will determine if he needs surgery, Piper visited the vet last week on base, and I was in a wedding this weekend! Now for the good stuff ... the pictures! I'll cover the last 3 weeks with photos and captions ... enjoy!
Halloween came and went! Kelty helped clean out the "guts" from his 1st Pumpkin! He wasn't too thrilled about touching that icky mess but it was fun anyway!

I carved a pumpkin too! I don't ever remember carving pumpkins as a kid (sorry Mom and Dad if we did and I've lost that memory!) The fall was wood cutting season so I think we were always cutting and stacking wood instead of carving pumpkins.
Kelty LOVES to climb! I was folding laundry by the bed and looked down, only to find Kelty crawling on top of the laundry basket! He had so much fun playing while I folded laundry.
We had a playgroup at the Manatee Viewing Area in Apollo Beach. Here's Kelty standing with his friend Catherine ... they look so grown up!!

Nov 6th - 9th was our ERAU's Homecoming and Alumni Fly-In. Al and I drove back to our old college stomping grounds on Saturday the 8th ... we hadn't been back to the campus since our graduation in '98! Here is the classic picture that most Riddle student's take in front of the Wright Flyer on campus. The campus has grown but it's still small and cozy. The school had a 4-day weekend so most of the students left Friday after the Homecoming festivities which left the campus pretty dead on Saturday. We were dissapointed but did run into a few old classmates.

Here we are ... 10 years later!

Tuesday was Veteran's Day and we had the day off to celebrate. The Lowry Park Zoo had free admission for military; we met up with the Travis, Frost, and Guttman families. Here is Al and Kelty checking out the Stingray's.

Evangaline and Kelty

Kelty is quite the little explorer and spends the entire day crawling, climbing and cruising around the house. He was trying to squeeze out the sliding glass doors ... he figured out how to turn sideways and sidestep through the opening! Uh Oh!

I am soooo excited about this! We spent weeks researching bike seats and outfitting my mountain bike. I was so nervous about our first little ride together but we did great and Kelty was quite content ... except for the helmet covering his eyes. I need to make some adjustments to the helmet and then we'll be good to go on our next bike ride together.

I promise not to have this long of a lapse between blogs again!!!! :o)

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