Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Red Bell Pepper Soup

This is one of our favorite soups.

Red Bell Pepper Soup
3lbs. red bell peppers, seeded and sliced
2 onions
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 serrano peppers, chopped
1 1/4 cups, strained tomatoes
5 cups vegetable broth
4 tbs. chopped fresh basil

1. Put the red bell peppers in a large, heavy pan with the onions, garlic, and chiles. Add the strained tomatoes and vegetable broth and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.

2. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes or until the bell peppers have softened. Drain, reserving the liquid and vegetables separately.

3. Puree the vegetables in a food processor.

4. Return the vegetable puree to a clean pan and add the reserved cooking liquid. Add the basil and heat through until hot. Garnish the soup with fresh basil sprigs and serve.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Antics of the Little Miss

We have had a few fun moments with the Little Miss recently and I just had to post about them. There are many fun moments with Hadleigh these days, but there are also many difficult moments. The past few days have been mostly filled with fun, which is a welcomed relief because the past two weeks have been VERY difficult.

Here are a couple funnies.

We went to the farmer's market this morning and they do not have carts that can hold two children, so Annelise rode in the front and HC rode in the basket. I began putting my produce in the basket with her and she was asking what each item was and was asking if everything was yummy. She kept asking about the mushrooms and I kept responding, "Yes, HC mushrooms are yummy". Then I looked at her and realized she had broken the plastic, taken out a mushroom and had it in her mouth eating it. Yuck!

I was putting some laundry from the eash to the dryer and when I came out of the laundry HC was no where to be found. I wandered around and continued to call for her until I heard her say, "Yup! I'm going potty." I walked into the bathroom and found her sitting on her little potty. This is the first time she has gone on her own! She did it again a couple hours later...yea HC!


Thanks Sar!
How To Play This Game of Tag: List 3 joys, 3 fears, 3 goals, 3 current obsessions/collections, and 3 facts about yourself. Tag people at the end of your post by leaving their names. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

3 Joys:
1. Doing the "Short's On/Obedience" dance with Miss Hadleigh Claire.
2. Cooking. I love it.
3. Nights out with Dave...where he drops a chunk of change on a really good dinner with an awesome bottle of wine.

3 Fears:
1. The dark. This really bugs Dave.
2. The future. That covers a bunch of stuff...
3. Providing for the girls.

3 Obsessions/Collections:
1. Survivor...love it...though I am picking 15th in the pool this time around, so I will prob get someone lame, like...Randy.
2. Organizing. Now if I can just organize my home.
3. Photos.

3 Facts:
1. I aspire to be a more disciplined person.
2. I could wear Ann Taylor clothing for the rest of my life and be happy.
3. I hate sorting the girls' clothing...packing up the old stuff, trying to determine what will fit them in the new season/age and filling in the missing pieces. This is especially painful because HC and Annelise are opposite seasons, so some things cross over, but not all things...and then Annelise is small so I cannot go by months (she is still mostly in 6-9 month clothing). Oh and it also bugs that I cannot find pants that fit HC well. She is ALWAYS showing a bit of crack. Any suggestions would be much appreciated...and yes I have tried 3 different brands of the adjustable waist.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

One More Thing

I just wanted to clarify that MY girls throw tantrums and fits when they stay up late, and the following day is always painful. I do not think that all children who go to bed after 6PM throw tantrums.

Monday, September 22, 2008

On Bedtimes

I remember when my bedtime was moved from 7.30 until 8. I was able to stay up and watch the Cosby Show, and I must have been about 10 or 11. It was big news. My brothers' room faced the street and they never had a shade for their window. I remember that during the summer they would be in bed in their room and look outside to see families with 2 and 3 year olds out taking a walk. They said they would always roll out of bed onto the floor so that the little kids would not see these much older kids in bed SO early. All this to say, my family was an early to bed, early to rise family.

I suppose it is not much of a surprise, then, that we are an early to bed, early to rise family too. However it is not necessarily because of my roots. There is nothing inside me that likes getting out of bed. It is actually the worst part of my day. I am in no way a morning person, but have adjusted to my current life. We started putting HC to bed early after reading what I call the "Sleep Bible", and realizing that she was such a scheduled baby that she needed some major structure with her sleep. And we have never looked back. We wake-up at 5.30, I feed Annelise while Dave takes a shower, and then Dave takes Annelise while I take a shower. Dave is off to work by about 6.15 and home a little before 5pm. We feed the girls, give them a bath and bedtime routine. They are down around 6pm. We then eat dinner and hit the bed by 9pm. It works.

We often get comments about the girls' bedtimes. We hear everything, from questions about how in the world we get them to sleep that early to why in the world we put them to sleep that early. We have also heard some, well I might not exactly call it criticisms, but pointed questions about things we are missing out on because of the early bedtimes.

Yes, we are missing out on hanging out with other families in the evening, and missing out on doing things together as a family. However we are also missing out on tantrums and other things that might be associated with not getting enough sleep (Annelise gets up at 5.30 no matter what time she goes to bed).

So, I decided to list all the reasons why I am thankful our girls go to bed early.
1. I have a marriage! It is so nice to have some hands free time, time where we can play Yahtzee, clean the house, set goals and plan for the future over a nice bottle of wine, etc. I swear this early bedtime thing has saved my marriage.

2. The girls love their schedule and know what to expect every day in terms of naps and meals and playtime. And I love to be able to plan my days around these things.

3. We can have people over to our house in the evening and we do not have to worry about it running into bedtime. I LOVE this. We have folks over all the time, and I can just tell them to come over at 7 and have time to clean the house before everyone arrives. We have a community group that meets every week at our house, our ministry team meets here. We have people come over for dinner, we are just always busy, and thankfully folks do not mind coming here.

4. It is easy to go out. With all the hard work done by 6.30 I have no problems with Dave going out to get a beer with a buddy, and he in turn lets me go out for my pedicures or whatever else I want to do. When we have a babysitter, it is easy to just put the girls down and then the sitter just gets to sit here, eat pizza, watch TV and get paid WAY too much (when did babysitters begin getting paid more than minimum wage?).

I guess that is about all I have to say. We love the early bedtimes and I do not feel like I am missing out on anything, besides overly tired children who do not want to obey, oh wait I deal with that anyway.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Verdict Is In

Thanks to all who commented and shared advise and opinions about our car search. Apparently we are quick decision makers, or actually, I should say Dave is a quick decision maker. This actually wasn't a decision we were planning on making anytime soon, just before the end of the year. However we did know that as we browsed occasionally, if we found something, we were ready to write the check.

This week we bantered back and forth. We flip-flopped a lot. We looked at Land Rovers (fun!) and BMWx5 (super fun!) and Acura MDX (awesome!). I gave Dave a list of criteria...if he could find me an SUV that is a stick-shift and fits 3 car seats across the back, in our price range and not 20 years old...yea...yea.

We had been reviewing Craig's List to see what price range cars were being sold, what year, etc. On Wednesday he sent me a link for a 2005 Toyota Sienna that was in our price range. He was all excited about it (though I was still stuck on the BMW), and wanted to look at it on Friday. It was being sold at a clearance dealership, which basically buys trade-ins off dealership lots, trade-ins that dealers won't resell because they are too old (dealers won't sell cars older than 5 years because it is hard to finance a car older than 5 years), or whatever the reason. The clearance place marks up the cars $300-500 from what they paid the dealer, so the price is good for buyers. The rub is that the clearance place turns over cars by the hour, so the Sienna he saw on Wednesday was sold by Friday morning. However dude told Dave he just got in a clean Odyssey that was worth a peak and added we should come immediately because it would likely be gone quickly.

We piled the kids in the car and as we pulled out of our neighborhood Dave leaned over and asked if I brought a check with me. I laughed...we don't need a check, I said...because we aren't going to be buying anything. I think he was a little frustrated, but turned around and kindly asked me to get a check just in case. I humored him and off we were to a distant Atlanta suburb. The clearance place actually reminded me of the place we bought our 1984 Mercedes Benz when we lived in Germany. It is on the same street as Vogelweh in Kaiserslautern. Funny enough, the dude who runs the clearance place here in Atlanta is Irish (though he speaks as someone from the south), and the dude in K-town who ran the car place was Irish too. OK, silly connection, but ah well.

The car was beautiful, 2003, silver, loaded, leather, dvd player, etc. Dave was busy checking all the parts, under the hood, under the whatever (I am glad he knows something about cars!). Before he took it for a drive around the block I asked the dealer the price (as it wasn't marked on the car). I literally almost laughed in his face when he told me the price, as it was less than half what the Honda dealers were charging for their 2004 Odysseys that did not have leather. And honestly this 2003 was a lot cleaner, no major spots on the carpet, etc. Dave took it for a drive and we went in to write our check.

We arrived at the clearance place at 10 and by 1030 Dave was writing the check. It was hilarious. But it was just WAY too good of a deal to pass up. Dave always wants a steal of a deal, and I was encouraging him that we should just look for a deal...well he got his steal. And I really feel like the Lord led us to the right place at the right time with the right car. That might seem a bit cheesy, but I do think he cares where we lay our heads at night, when we sit and when we rise, as well as what we drive. We so desired to pay with cash and to stay within our budget and I was afraid we might have to get a loan which we REALLY did not want. I think he honored our desires and provided in a wonderful way.

So, now I am a true mom. I have my carpool numbers on my front windshield of my minivan. It makes me feel really old, and it does not feel like me at all when I drive it, but I am thankful...and will be even more thankful when I drive the girls up to Knoxville by myself and can pop in The Muppet Movie for Miss Hadleigh Claire.

By the way, HC is obsessed with vans. She loves them, and I am not sure why. She is always trying to climb into other peoples...it is weird. So, she is super excited about it all. We had family fun day and went to the park this morning. After a while I said, "OK, let's go to the car!" And she corrected me, "No Mama, it's a van". OK, HC!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

To Minivan or Not to Minivan

The time has come. Fear not, our faithful Buick has not bitten the dust, in fact it is going strong, however, we are nearing a point of decision. We are hoping to buy a new-to-us car in the next 4 months and are trying to decide what we should be looking for.

At this point, we are undecided and we are not in agreement. Dave wants an SUV and I would prefer a minivan...well, you see I would not prefer a minivan, but given our current circumstance I would prefer a minivan. There are many people on both sides of the spectrum who have tried to convince of us the "correct" side, but we remain undetered.

The sides:
1. Cooler than a mini
2. Can tow our boat (hmmm...what boat?)
3. Can use for camping/fishing/off-roading

1. Practical- has room for more than 2 carseats and still room in the trunk for strollers/pack n' plays/groceries.
2. Is smaller than a suburban.
3. Drives smoother than a truck/SUV

There are other issues, but these are the ones that continually come up. Here is the thing. Everyone in favor of SUVs are like...oh, but there are so many SUVs with 3rd row seats like Honda Pilot and Toyota Highlander, etc. So we went car shopping over the weekend and looked at Honda- the Odyssey and the Pilot. Let me tell you people...there is a way you can have 3 children and own a Pilot, but forget about having anything more than your stroller in the trunk if you have that 3rd row up. I know it is the same with the Highlander. Once that 3rd row is up and used as seating there is zero trunk space. If we were only going to have 2 children (which the jury is still out on), the Pilot of Highlander would be a viable option, but it doesn't make much sense to buy one at this point. I thought all that was a strike against SUVs. Dave, however, is unconvinced.

Now, he is certain we need a Toyota Sequoia, or a Suburban...I mean...really? Those are monstrous! And I have told him I refuse to drive it. He is slightly winning me with an offer of a BMWx5. Those are lovely cars and come in manual, and I am so wanting to have a stick! But they do not even offer a 3rd row seat, so I think even with this bribe I will stand my ground.

I think there will be a day in my future where I will be able to own the car of my choice, but I fear this is not that day.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Miss Hadleigh Claire Beings Preschool

Here she is...the big preschooler! The little miss had her first day of preschool this week. It was a BIG hit, and I know this because she had a huge grin on her face when we drove up to her school and when I picked her up. I was really nervous because this year I drive through the car pool lane...which is a bonus because that means I do not have to get out of the car with Annelise, but I had no idea how Hadleig would react to a strange lady getting her out of the car. It was pretty funny. She looked around, looked at me, but let the lady take her out of her carseat and never protested! What a big girl! She is going two days a week this year which seems so big. I love her little preschool because they just LOVE those kiddos, and honestly all I care about other than that is that she has lots of fun playing with her friends. She is two afterall...playing is what you should be doing at two. I thought I would include a picture of HC's first day of school last year.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Vaca 2008

Well folks, it is true, we had our first family vaca last week. Well, it was our first family vaca as a family of four. About three years ago Dave and I discovered that there are trips and there are vacations. We had gone on a lot of trips while in Europe, but for our 2nd anniversary we went to an all-inclusive resort in Turkey for a week...now that was a vaca. I made zero decisions besides did I want to lay in a hammock or learn how to shoot a bow and arrow (which actually left my whole arm bruised). Last summer we went to Napa with my family, and I would call that a trip/vaca. There was a little resting involved. However this was the first vaca we took as a family since we went to Costa del Sol two years ago. I was SO excited for us to be alone with just us. I mean I like being with friends and family, but that is not always a vacation either.

We rented a cabin in a little town in the Smokies (NC). I was so excited. There was a pool, a lake for fishing, boats, bicycles, swings, a farm, a restaurant...it had all the makings of a nice place to rest.

Here is the rub...we brought Hadleigh and Annelise. Of course we brought them...but we brought them. Apparently being the Mama to two children is stressful in Atlanta or in the Smokies...doesn't matter if you take away the phone and internet and house projects it is still stressful.

And to make matter worse Hadleigh actually probably had the worst week of her life. We have now truly discovered that she is a creature of habit and likes her own bed, her own house and things that she knows. She did not sleep well, either at night or during her naps. She had a lot of nightmares, and was just restless. That led to numerous fits and tantrums and fights and just overall unpleasant behavior.

And of course in a small cabin if one child is restless the other one has a hard time too...ugh.

We spent the first half of the week trying to readjust our expectations...yes we still had to get up at 5.30, and we still had to care for our children. Dave and I actually kept looking at each other asking each other when we would ever get to spend time with one another. At one point he asked, "Do you think we could pay someone to take them for a while?" It was actually slightly depressing, but once we adjusted our thoughts about our "vacation" things got a little better. There was no slowly eaten dinner over a glass of sipped wine...ah well...those days are over for a time.
So, no that I have depressed everyone I will talk about the fun things we did. Every morning Dave would take Hadleigh out (so that Annelise could nap). They generally went down to the lake to fish, and so Hadleigh caught her first fish last week! She even pulled it in and held it in her hands. She was always so excited about her morning outtings with Dada. One morning he took her on a bike ride and she loved going fast over bumps.

There were a couple wooden swings and a couple hammocks on the property and we all enjoyed a mid-afternoon swing. There was a farm with goats and chickens and turkeys and horses. It was fun to sit on our front porch and watch Hadleigh go and feed the goats grass. She loved it.

We went to the Western North Carolina Air Museum. Hadleigh was able to sit in some cool old planes, and then Dave bought her one of those little paper airplanes. They put it together and then spent some good time flying it...until it got stuck on our roof.

We went to a children's museum which was super cool and Hadleigh painted and played with legos and other things.

Dave tried some local beer which he liked. I read a book, played Sudoku and cheered Federer and Roddick on while they played at the US Open. We went on a couple hikes. We went to a park. Hadleigh discovered gaterade...it was a good trip. I am glad to be home.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Miss Hadleigh Claire is Two and a Half

Little Miss Hadleigh Claire turned two and a half yesterday. She is growing and learning each new day and it is fun to observe her learn and interact with the world.

She still seems to be on the shy side, though we are daily overcoming that with pep talks about greeting people. She will now at least do a little wave of the hand when she sees someone, as opposed to giving them a stare down. I try to give her lots of warning, so for example, yesterday as she was eating breakfast before church I told her we were going to church and that she was going to get to see all of her friends. She gets really excited and immediately begins talking about her buddies Brennan and Jacob, and there are also other random friends she mentions, like Luke (who apparently now talks about Hadleigh too). I knew that she was going to see some of her "big girl" friends (which means my friends who love her almost as much as I do), so we went through the list of who else she might see...Jess and Courtney and she will go down her list talking about her big girl friends. And I remind her that it is always important to greet her big girl friends with either a wave or a hello. She did well yesterday and was running around giving folks a general wave, or sticking out her tongue...not sure where she picked that up...um...Dave?

Speaking of that, a couple weeks ago Jess came over to watch the girls while we attended one night of Living in Grace (a recent leadership training at Intown). I had been telling HC that Jess was coming over and she was getting really excited, which usually happens when I tell her someone is coming over. Usually when the person actually makes an entrance she will not look at them or greet them, but become shy for a few minutes...however this time when Jess walked in the door she screamed JESS and then got off the couch and started running toward her, as if to give a hug. She got almost to Jess and then paused like she realized what she was doing and thought better of it, but with some coaxing she followed through and gave Jess a big hug...we were all amazed, but hoping that will continue.

Hadleigh loves Annelise. They will sit in the playroom and just laugh and laugh and play together, so it seems for the time they mutually enjoy each others company. The other day Annelise was fussing and Hadleigh went over to pat her back and tell her it's ok. I then watched this hilarious transaction...Hadleigh looked at Annelise and said, "Oh Baby, do you want a cheerios?" (which always makes Annelise quiet) then, "Ok Baby, say 'more please'" then she took Annelise's hand and helped Annelise rub her tummy (which is the sign for more), then "Good job Baby, here you go" and she handed Annelise a handful of Cheerios. Hilarious!

She is becoming more independant and wants to help choose her own clothes, including panties (by the way I hate that word, but it is so cute when HC says "panties" so we continue to use it). Every morning I ask who she wants wear...Curious George, Elmo, Zoe, Minnie Mouse, Tinkerbell, it does get tiresome, but if she is in a good mood upon waking up it generally goes fast. She also likes to dress herself, and the only problems she seems to have is getting socks on, so that is fun to watch.

We learned some new things about the little Miss this month. It has now become completely clear that she is really attached to home. I thought that one of the reasons she struggled to sleep while we were in California was the time change, and while I think that did not help things, I have also come to realize that she just sleeps better in her own bed. I mean, who doesn't? However, even our week trip to Asheville seemed to cause massive amounts of turmoil in the sleeping area. This was difficult to handle. She woke up in the middle of the night crying several times, she struggled to take naps, she woke up early, it was a struggle. And then that made all the rest of the day REALLY pleasant let me tell you. That is kind of a bummer overall. Of course we are still going to take trips, but I am going to have to weigh these things more into consideration when we do travel.

Of course now that we are home she is back to sleeping 14 hours at night and 3-4 hours in the afternoon. And honestly, she NEEDS that much sleep. She sleeps more than Annelise, though honestly Annelise could use some more sleep. HC is a different child when she has slept well.

Our church schedule has switched around and we are now attending the first service and will have our fellowship the second hour. I am actually glad for this because Hadleigh will be joining us in the big service for singing. She LOVES singing, but when we attended the second hour I did not feel comfortable dropping her off for nursery, picking her up in the middle and then dropping her back off. She would not have handled that well at all. Now she comes with us immediately and before the offering we took her down to her class. This happened for the first time yesterday. I actually did not get to be with her and Dave because I was greeting in the nursery (since I am a room mom this year). However Dave said she LOVED it. He said that in between each song she said, "In Christ Alone?" I cannot wait until she gets to sing that in the big service, or any of the other songs she knows.

She begins preschool this week. Last week was actually the first week of school, but we missed it since we were on vaca. I am excited to see how she does, and I am sure she is going to love it. Some of the same kids from her class last year will be there this year too, and of course her buddies Brennan, Jacob and Anne Marie will be with her too. Her teacher is wonderful and I look forward to hearing all about it. We actually get to do carpool this year, so I drop her off and pick her up and never have to get out of the car. That will be super since I have Annelise, but I am wondering how she will do when they go to take her out of the car this week. Time will tell!

One hap that I forgot to mention...the little Miss is swinging in a big girl swing. She has occasionally asked about swinging in a non-baby swing but I have always ignored the requests. Or I would let her sit in it but really would not push her. Imagine my surprise when I happen upon Dave and Hadleigh at our place in NC, and she is swinging, not only in a big girl swing, but on a plank of wood swing and flying higher than Dave's 6'2" head. Yikes! But she is amazing and apparently gets the whole "hold on" thing. So she has graduated and now gets to go "real high" in a big swing. Who knew?

Sunday, September 07, 2008

About Photos

Just a side note, because some of you have commented about the pictures I post. If it is a good one, Dave probably took it. He does a great job of taking pics...of course he takes them and then I use them before any editing or anything, because well, he doesn't have time to edit and I have to get these pictures up! He has a Nikon DSLR, one of the cheaper ones, and has had it for over 4 years, it works great and he can do some amazing stuff with it.

The Elf is 10 Months

We are a little behind the times here, but it is for a mostly positive reason. Last week we were on vacation. It was long awaited and anticipated and well...I will have to write more in another post, because it is Annelise's turn. So, here is my crazy elf.

One of her new nicknames (well it is not really new, we have been calling her it for a while) is Munch. This can be short for two things, Munchable (which she can be) or Munchkin (which she always is). It seems to fit her, so we go back and forth with Munch and Elf. Dave has also been calling her Annalala, because she LOVES to say "LALA" and she pronounces and emphasizes it wonderfully. I, on the other hand, have been calling her Lieshka. Before she was born, when we were choosing a name, this is what I knew I wanted to call her, but only recently really started using the name. I got it from this movie that is infamous in the F family..."Christmas in Connecticut". There is this whole debate because my brothers think we should not watch this movie on Christmas because it is not a Christmas movie, as in it isn't about Christmas, it only occurs around Christmas. I think that is LAME, especially since they wanted to watch "It's a Wonderful Life", which I would argue is not about Christmas either...but I digress. In the movie "Christmas in CT", the heroine's name is Elizabeth. She has a Hungarian "Uncle" who calls her Lieshka (of course I am using the German spelling, so who knows what this all means). It seems fitting, and I know my mom would LOVE to know I call her that.
One hap this month is I have started weaning. As you may or may not know, the Elf is a biter, and after getting my second breast infection I decided two strikes and you are out. I made it to almost 10 months and I feel that is an accomplishment. I think I might have considered doing this sooner, but the crazy has hated bottles until about a month ago, and formula is pretty foul in general, and sorry folks I am not going to pump for the next two months. After a week of giving her apple juice with the formula she is finally taking it straight up. I am still nursing her in the morning and before bed, and for now that is a decent compromise. I am now only putting my bobs in harm's way 2 times a day. I am not a big gushy nurser, but I definitely felt guilty as I was cutting her off, but I am over that now. Annelise is also such a cuddler that she has made me feel better about the whole weaning process, and now Dave gets to share in the cuddles. After she takes the bottle she gives me this big sideways hug and just rests on my chest and smiles up at me. I *love* me some Lieshka cuddles.

Eating food seems to be a fun habit for her, and she is weighing in at 16.5 pounds and 26.5 inches long. Both are below 5% which I only know because I looked it up. I guess the doc isn't worried, but he doesn't worry about much so that works for me. She is gaining weight and growing, which is the point. She has started this thing with her hands, she waves them in the air and twists her wrists when she wants more...though if I was being technical that is the sign for all done...but she hasn't quite picked up on the whole sign language thing. Funny side note...the other day Annelise was sitting on the floor and fussing. Hadleigh went over patted her on the back and said, "Baby do you want more Cheerios? OK, Baby, say more please" and then she took her hand and made Annelise rub her stomach (which is the sign for more) and then poured her some more Cheerios (yes we let her eat right off the floor).

Crawling does not seem to be in Annelise's future, although she is completely able to get from one place to another...she just doesn't crawl. She will scoot on her bottom, she will creep on her tummy, she will reach out to things and pull herself around, but will not crawl. I have seen her up on all fours maybe 2 or 3 times. She is not interested. Her main interest these days, and for the past month has been pulling up and cruising. She pulls up all day long. Her fav position is to pull up, be bent at the waist (because whatever she has pulled up on is short) and to walk around that way. It is funny to watch. I do not know what that all means. Maybe she will walk soon, or skip crawling, or maybe not. Who knows...in any case we are moving her up to the crawling room in the nursery. That is a BIG graduation.

Annelise LOVES Hadleigh and just spends her days watching her. Hadleigh can do almost anything to Annelise and she will not get upset, which is good so far. She loves putting anything in her mouth, pulling hair and shirts, and giving huge wet kisses. She is still sleeping relatively well...not as well as I would like, but probably decent by others standards...the thing is there is always someone who does worse and always someone who does better.

This month has been busy for her, she added the great state of Cali and South Carolina to her list of places she has been, and also added a bike and a boat to things she has ridden. She met some important peeps like Uncle Chris and Aunt Rubie. Overall she has really mellowed out and is such a joy to be around these days. I love my little elf!