Sunday, November 30, 2008

More Longwood Goodness

Just a few more pictures from our visit last Friday. I could have spent three days there!!










Friday, November 28, 2008

Longwood Gardens ~ Winter

After our visit to the summer splendor of Longwood Gardens back in August, we vowed to visit again during the Christmas season. Today's unseasonably warm weather and sunny skies (not to mention that my camera is back home and firing away better than ever!) made this a perfect day to do just that. We were not disappointed. It was truly a feast for the magic around every corner! Like my friend Lisa, I am still fussing about Christmas card photos...and have gone through at least three different versions of this year's warm wishes...but I THINK I may have gotten our shot today! These are just a few of my favorite images from our visit. I actually had a hard time editing myself and keeping this post at a non-yawn length! :-) Enjoy!

My creation












Thursday, November 27, 2008

So this is love...

Yesterday was a big day for us. Lia had an extended audience with the big jolly guy. Since most people were at home, preparing for Thanksgiving I assume, we had Santa to ourselves for quite some time. He was one of the kindest, sweetest Santas I have ever met...and Lia was equally smitten. She spoke to him in soft, reverent tones, alternating between telling him that she loved him and the occasional Christmas request. She promised him gingerbread men for Christmas I better dust off my recipe and get baking!! It was just one of those unplanned moments that turn into lifelong memories...a nice little start to this most special of seasons.

We have so very much to be thankful for today. Wishing you all a most wonderful of Thanksgiving Days with lots of turkey, pumpkin pie...and dreams come true.


(This photo is scanned...thus the blurriness :-))

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

"Oh was totally me...all me" Monday!

So here it is...the debut of my version of "Not me Monday". :-).I promised to share pictures from the one time I tried to cut Lia's hair myself. Honestly, I was just trying to even up her bangs and get them out of her eyes. It was a horrible mistake. Apparent after the first snip. I am taking full responsibility...and in fact hope that these photos serve as a public service of sorts to other sleep deprived mothers who might, in a moment of cloudy thinking, feel that they want to just "even up" their child's crazy hair. My message is simple. Put. Down. The. Scissors. Walk away. Take deep breaths and your child to a professional. Yes, we lived to tell about the harrowing hair situation we found ourselves embroiled in back in the spring of 2006...but it did cause days..weeks even...of angst and tears...and a whole lot of embarrassment when I finally got up enough courage to take poor Lia to someone who could fix my large error in judgement.

Here she proud of feeding herself...and darling despite how badly I botched her little "trim"!


Look at innocent and happy...with no idea of the "situation" going on with her hair...


And finally, one of my favorite pictures from July 2006...the bangs had been fixed and were starting to grow in...the only time Lia has ever rocked bangs...gosh she looks cute with them!!


So there you go...a little coming clean for me...a little Monday amusement for you all!! Hope it's been a good one!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

If nothing else...I amuse myself...

I am not the craftiest of people. While I do consider myself creative...words like stitch, pattern, glue gun...make my blood run cold...

And so you can imagine how thrilled I am with this centerpiece of party favors I crafted for Lia's brithday party tomorrow afternoon (with 14 of her closest school friends...good times...good times...and I am NOT even being sarcastic at all). It is constructed with styrofoam, felt and spray paint...and while a glue gun was not used...I did use crafter's glue .

While this happy little gobbler makes me smile everytime I pass by...I am pretty sure I heard Jim guffaw....oh, how well he knows me and my...ahem...abilities...


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Just because...

Just because my camera is still broken. (I have slipped a few photos in that I took with a generously loaned camera...but I REALLY want my own back! I know, I know...a little cheese with that whine, please....)

Just because parenting has been a challenge with our determined gal this past week...and it's nice to reflect on her sweet side.

Just because it's good for me to remember that she entered our lives as an independent, spirited girl...and it makes perfect sense that it IS who she still is...and her Mama needs to embrace that and be proud!

Just because these photos show how HAPPY doing things for herself makes her.

Just because, even though I am dead tired, worn out...and my child, sleeping like an angel in her bed right now, nearly brought her Dad and I to our knees last determined was she...she is the greatest blessing to us both and we love her more than words could possibly say.

In the first photo, I caught her in the act of removing her socks and shoes...something she did with amazing speed and agility for the first year we had her. She was a shoe Houdini and could kick those shoes off in a split second, no matter how hard I tried to foil her plot. We, of course, finally gave up and just began removing her shoes in the car or in restaurants. Now that I know her inside and out, I am certain Lia was thrilled that we finally got on board with her plan. We were slow learners, novices you know...but we catch on a lot quicker these days. She has trained us well.

In the second photo if you can't tell...she is attempting to put her sock back on. She would work and work...and never get frustrated...until she learned how to take them off...and put them back on. It was impressive. But what really gets me about this photo is how stinkin' proud and happy she is with herself. May I always (or at least most of the time) give her the space and support from the sidelines (you know, staying out of her way and all)that she needs to allow her to bloom. To do things in her own time. To dance to the beat of her own drummer. To be herself.



By the way...these pictures were taken when we had only been home a few weeks. Lia was almost 15 months old. How I miss that reverse mullet she sported those first months...she was all business in the back (shaved)...with a little fun in the front. She refused to keep a barrette in her hair and the bangs in her eyes drove me so crazy that I attempted to trim them myself one sleep deprived afternoon. I will share the devastating results of THAT rookie mistake another day. Needless to say, I haven't picked up scissors around hair since. Happy weekend to you all!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

She's a Superstar!!!


(If you look might notice I am in this shot too!! :-))

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Cooking with Kate...

Bwah ha hahahahahahahah!!! Can you hear me laughing about the title of this post??? Because I am...totally tongue in cheek since I don't do much in the cooking department these days...BUT I do have a great cookie recipe I thought I would share!!!

My first job after graduating from college was as a nanny to cousins. I still recall those days with Lee Grace and Jack with fondness...sweet children, lucky nanny...not a bad gig, I have to say. I got a bonus with their silver tongued, witty, excellent cook of a grandma. Very often she would show up with warm, freshly baked cookies...and while I haven't mastered her particularly high level of culinary genius...this recipe, one of the regulars on her list, is pretty hard to mess up! It is a great way to use over-ripe bananas...which is exactly what Lia and I did today. Grandma Eleanor...we did you proud!! :-)

Banana Oatmeal Cookies

3/4 cup shortening (I use butter flavored cri*sco)
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp. soda
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 3/4 cups rolled oats
1 cup mashed ripe bananas (2-3 medium bananas)
1/2 cup chopped nuts, raisins...or our favorite, chocolate chips

Heat oven to 400. Place all ingredients in mixing bowl. Beat until well blended. Drop rounded teaspoonfuls of dough about 1 1/2" apart on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar while still warm.

yield: 4 dozen cookies


Saturday, November 8, 2008

Physics for the pre-school set!!

Recently we visited the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia with some of our adoption friends. Since my camera is in the shop, we took our point and shoot along, hoping for the best. It didn't go well, picture wise...the batteries died after only a few shots...but since I liked these two I thought I would post them.

The first area we visited was a miniature water park...truly a child's dream come true. You can't see it in the picture, but Lia had a little toy boat. She and Jim were using air currents to float the boat to each other. After awhile, Lia really got the hang of it and did a great job of aiming her air in the right direction to make the boat move where she wanted it to go!! A little science wrapped in a lot of fun...nice!!!


This was a pretend pond. Lia could make sounds by jumping from lily pad to lily pad...but I think her favorite part was the stuffed duck, complete with plastic eggs, keeping watch from the side of the pond!


And the Winners Are...

Okay...the first La Vida Lia Giveaway has come to a close!!! I wish I could give you ALL a subscription to Family Fun Magazine...but since I can't...I used to pick two numbers for me this morning. My two lucky numbers were 17 and 26...which means...Deb and Jen ( random!) will soon be receiving a subscription to one of my favorite magazines!!! May you read it in good health...and have lots of fun!! Thank you all for playing along!!

Update: Jen has decided to decline her prize and would like to pay it forward. Because I love her dearly, I went back to trusty and chose a third winning number (Really, are not making my life really, I promise....NOT. AT. ALL!!!)...and this time around came up with number 15...which is Bridget!!! I am thrilled, AGAIN to share this magazine with the sweet mom of one of the cutest little girls around...darling Lucy!! It looks like the Minneapolis Moms are feeling the La Vida Lia love today!!!

Congratulations to Deb and Bridget...and Jen...please let the Pay it Forward go now...Please...

Friday, November 7, 2008

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Well...yeah...the look says it all...

Update: It has come to my attention that this picture was taken by Jen, using Lisa's camera. Jen has admitted that she instigated Jim to "do something funny". You don't have to ask a goofy person twice...

Also...The first La Vida Lia Giveaway is still open!!! To enter just leave a comment on the post below! I would love to hear from you!

When Lia was about 16 months old, home for only two of those months, we enrolled in a Mommy and me music class. While I believed it would be beneficial for Lia of course...I honestly enrolled us because my friends were enrolled. In those early days as a mom, I am not ashamed to admit, I was overwhelmed. In over my head. Living upside down. It was the best thing ever...don't get me wrong...but it was all so new. It took me longer than I anticipated to find my sea legs. And so that one hour of music class a week was like a beacon of light. And while there was not a lot of adult conversation taking place...just being in the same room as other adults did me a world of good. It made me so happy, I occasionally broke my own golden rule (and my husband's fervent pleas) and sang out loud. I knew right from the start that any singing out loud I may do could be a source of embarrassment to Lia. I remember telling her on the way to music class one bright Friday morning that Mommy doesn't have the capacity to sing like others...that I had inherited my singing talent from my much loved, hard working, good natured but musically disinclined grandfather who often mentioned something about rats needing to be killed before launching into song. I seriously explained that while she might feel the need to hide her head in shame...or even run from the building, she should give Mommy a chance...throw caution to the wind, have some fun...and frankly buckle her seat belt...because well, it was just the start of what is no doubt going to be a long, bumpy life of parental embarrassment.

As you may or may not know, goofy begets goofy...and I married a man that can top my goofy any day with one hand tied behind his back (although just for the record he CAN carry a tune...).

Most days Lia fits right in. She can get down, funny face, bathroom humor, prat fall, funny rhyme, and knock knock joke circles around both of her parents. But as she gets older, I am... sadly... starting to see signs of...well...exasperation with our antics.

This picture was taken during our recent visit to the Please Touch Museum in Philadelphia. My friend Lisa snapped this gem of my homies on the carousel. I think the look on Lia's face (and well...Jim's too) says it all.


Long, bumpy ride...and it's only just begun... :-)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

"Off with her head!", camera woes and a giveaway...

"Your way? All ways here are my ways!" ~ Queen of Hearts, Alice in Wonderland


No matter whose way it was, I think it is safe to say that Halloween 2008 was a huge success. We began our evening with a neighborhood dinner and then the dads escorted the trick or treaters while the moms stayed home to pass out the loot! Lia made it half way around the circle... to our house...and then called it quits to help me pass out the candy. She had a lot of fun...and is already devising her costume for next year!

Ahh...but with such happy times comes the news that my beloved camera is sick. Yes, tragic, I know! I was hoping it would be a quick fix, but it appears that it will take about two weeks before that hot little number is back in my loving hands. I adored it just a little more after my futile attempts to snap my little queenie in her holiday garb with my old point and shoot this afternoon....frustrating to say the least...

Which brings me around to the final point of interest in this multi-taskng post (and really the most fun!). Since I will not be snapping many new photos for a few weeks, I thought it would be a good time to start off the season of good cheer with the very first "La vida Lia Giveaway"! I have posted a few projects and ideas that I have gotten from Family Fun magazine. Each issue is full of fabulous ideas for kid friendly crafts and projects of all sorts. I can't say enough about how much I love this magazine...and so I have decided to give away two subscriptions to Family Fun! To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post. If you do not have a blogger ID, please leave your e-mail as well so that I can contact you if you win! You will also need to provide me with your snail mail address so that I know where to have the magazine sent. I will keep the contest running through November 7th. The winners will be drawn and posted (always better than drawn and quartered!) on November 8th!

If you read my blog and have never posted, I would love for you to leave a comment and tell me a little about yourself...and if you regularly leave comments, don't shy away from the contest...I would be thrilled to share something I love with you!! Thanks for playing...and Good Luck!!