Wednesday, June 28, 2006

More Rain


Chloe is running around the basement eating Ritz crackers and Lizzie the dog is outside for the first time today. It was pouring when we woke up this morning and 4 1/2 hours later it has stopped. The rain has been a common occurrence lately and the ground is saturated. There are fallen branches and dirt caked all over our patio. When the rain finally stops we will have some cleaning to do. Lizzie has been tracking in mud, so trying to keep the floor clean is useless. It is supposed to dry off Friday and I will attempt to clean the house then. In the meantime, Chloe and I have been playing in the basement where the majority of her toys are located. I have seized the opportunity to dust off some of my chic lit. books and have already managed to read one since the rains began this past weekend. I am now on my second. I am making pretty good time on them with stop-start reading during naps and down times. If I do manage to squeeze in 10 minutes to read when Chloe is awake, she will sit beside me with a book or magazine and pretend she is reading too. It is cute.

I have included a photo of Chloe and Daddy. Chloe has on her New York Yankees hat which has become a favorite accessory for her. She slept in it the other night and it is usually the first thing she puts on in the morning (which is when this photo was taken).

I hope you all are experiencing much better weather.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Chloe's Birthday





Chloe is officially two (even though she has been telling everyone that she is 2 for the last 5 months).We had two celebrations for Chloe's 2nd birthday. On her actual b-day, the 14th, we had a cake. Chloe's favorite part was blowing out her two candles. We had to do it twice. I bought the cake for her actual birthday. I decided to go for "mother of the year" and make her a cake to celebrate when BeBe came. Since Chloe was born in the year of the monkey and we call her our little monkey, I decided to make all from scratch a monkey cake. It was a Martha Stewart recipe. And, as it goes with Martha Stewart, some of the items for the cake could not be found...the black licorice drops for the eyes and the 1 cup muffin pan. Nevertheless, I proceeded and found out that I got in over my head! It came out ok, it looked like a monkey, but it didn't look as good as Martha's (of course). Chloe recognized it as a monkey and referred to it all week as "Chloe's monkey cake". She once again enjoyed blowing out her candles on her 2nd cake.

We got Chloe a motorized Dora the Explorer four-wheeler. She jumped right on it when she saw it, but when she pressed the button and it started off, she decided it wasn't for her. It has been in the garage ever since. When we try and coax her on it, we get a very dramatic, head-shaking, "NO!" (which is her favorite new response). Chloe also got a soccer goal and soccer ball. But, her favorite gift from mom and dad is the covered swing we got her for the patio. She likes it so much that she took a nap on it last week while BeBe was swinging her.

Chloe's BeBe came to Jersey last week. I think BeBe was pleasantly surprised by Jersey and she liked our little village. Her only complaint was the humidity, which was at its worst. We spent most of the week in NYC. Chloe was a little trooper as BeBe and mommy took her to see the sites. At Matt's suggestion, we took the GrayLine double-decker bus tour. It was really a great way to see the city. It also beat trying to figure out the buses and conquer the subway with a toddler and a stroller. You can just jump on and off the tour as you desire. Chloe liked the view from top deck and was really well-behaved on our tours.

Matt and I celebrated our 8th anniversary on the 20th. Since BeBe was here to watch Chloe, we were able to go out to eat on our own. We went to a very nice restaurant in our village and were seated next to two, very nice elderly gentlemen. Because the restaurant is so small and intimate, we struck up a conversation with the two men. They were old friends who went to dinner once a month to catch up and share in their favorite pastime, collecting wine. Over dinner, they would share 2 bottles of wine, each one bringing a bottle from his cellar (our community is BYO at restaurants). The two men wanted us to celebrate and since they had farther to drive than us, decided to share their 1975 Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon and the 1987 Chateau Montelena. Even if you don't know wine, you can tell that they are both very old bottles of wine. For those of you who know wine, you would also know that that they are VERY expensive bottles of wine. These two guys weren't just playing around with wine, they were connisseurs of wine, each having about 4000 bottles in his collection that they had each been collecting for over 30 years. It was a great anniversary gift from 2 very nice strangers with whom we had a nice conversation about their lives, grandchildren, travels, the Andy Warhol painting that one owned & our daughter Chloe. We just had to save the empty bottles of wine as a souvenir of such generosity and of course to prove the story. All in all, it made for a memorable anniversary. Oh, and BTW, they were both fantastic wines. The Silver Oak was fantastic as it should be for a $1000 bottle of wine.

BeBe left on Saturday.The weather for the week was nice (but hot and humid) but it started to rain on Saturday and is supposed to keep raining for the next 5 days! Yikes!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Finishing Touches



Before we left on our trip to Dallas, we attended the Northern NJ group of FCC-NY's Dragon Boat races. It was lots of fun to see the little girls dress in homemade dragon boats and have a land race. We also got to meet some fellow adopters from our town. Chloe enjoyed the day and was very tired. She passed out in the car on the ride home with her milk cup in her mouth. Poor buggy!

Our trip to Dallas was a success! Matt returned to Jersey for work on Wednesday and my three day stay in Dallas stretched out to 5 as I stayed on to fly back with our dog, Lizzie. The entire family is now together! Of course, our 2 cats, 2 fish and a lot of other junk are still at my parents house, but that's why we are calling it a success!!! Ha! Ha!

It was nice to see my parents and Chloe immediately got back into the groove with Papaw and Bebe. She remembered the horses out back and she also remembered how to boss the cats. She loves to spend time outside with Papaw and play in his car. Her love of the outdoors garnered her 4 mosquito bites. What would be normally be just 4 itchy bites on anyone else turned into an allergic reaction on Chloe. Her bites swelled and looked terrible. After some applications of hydrocortisone and some Benadryl all is looking better.

The weather in Dallas was a delightful 101 degrees. Ah, warmth! My internal temperature gauge was needing June in Dallas. Of course, I return to 60 degrees in Jersey on Saturday but that's ok, everything is green here and not brown from a drought! It may not be a delight to my internal temperature gauge but my flowers and green, green grass is a delight to my eyes!

Other than basking in the heat and enjoying a swim in a pool that would only get to that temperature in Jersey if it was heated, we did manage to accomplish the important tasks that really brought us to DFW. Matt and I were fingerprinted by Citizenship & Immigration on Tuesday for adoption #2. However, they forgot to put my parent's on the fingerprint notice and they will have to wait to go get their fingerprints done. We won't get our last piece of our dossier until they get fingerprinted. We squeezed in a few doctor's visits and we sold my car (sob!). We only need one car right now and my little red BMW didn't make the cut. So, I say a fond farewell. And, to those who know what a car fetish we have...can you believe we only have ONE car? And, even though Matt drags Chloe and I to car dealerships, we will not be purchasing another car.

I also was able to catch up with my close friend, Stacie and her one-year old daughter, Cameron. I am so glad that I could introduce her and get her hooked to shopping at Gymboree. You just have to buy something when it is buy 2, get 1 free and it's GymBucks time!! Of course, she will have to return to Gymboree at the end of July to redeem her GymBucks!

Now that we are back home, we are planning on the celebration of Chloe's 2nd birthday this Wednesday. She has no clue it is her birthday and she appeared completely clueless today as I shopped for her gifts, determining what she liked as she squealed up and down the toy aisle. Of course, we will have the gifts on Wednesday, but we will save the real celebrating until Bebe arrives this weekend. (I don't think Chloe will know the difference.)

I just can't wait to hear what my mother thinks of the northeast. This will be her first time in NYC and I hope she enjoys her stay in the Garden State.

Speaking of visitors, we are getting excited that my college pal Melanie will be coming in July with her son, Grant, and her cousin. I am also thrilled at the prospect that my other college pal, Christi, may also come out at the same time with her daughter. Matt will have to clear the house with all of us under one roof. Melanie and Christi are my best friends from college and both were bridesmaids at Matt & my wedding. They both reside in California now (how bizarre...one in the San Francisco area and one in the L.A. area) and they are both amused that I am a Yankee now! I guess they have to come and see how I am surviving north of the Mason-Dixon line.

I will combine Chloe's two birthday celebrations into one post, so look for it later in the week.





 
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