One week!

13 12 2010

Woo! I go to Florida one week from tomorrow morning.

To Little C, Lili and NE’s house.

Oh, wait! And to Dewey and Clyde’s house! I can’t wait to see my dog and cat again! I loooooove them!!!

But, based on Little C’s nearly ear-piercing  “YEAH!!!!!!!” and giggling when I asked, “Are you excited to see Aunt Claire next week?” this evening on the phone with Lili and My Little C, I think she’s excited. She knows Nana is going to be there. Er, I assume, because after I said I was visiting, she said Nana over & over again.

That lovely little lady? She LOVES her Nana. I support this, because the Nana? She’s awesome. I told Little C this, she said “Yeah.”

That girl knows her family is awesome. I love her.

So anyway, I talked to Lili and Little C. Got NE’s gift approved by Lili. Little C had no offerings when I asked what to buy daddy. I expected her to tell me “baby” or “colors” (aka crayons) but I was met with dead silence.

Gift approved. Gift to be bought in Florida.

I bought The Nana’s gift from me tonight. It was surprisingly easier than I anticipated. We’re talking 35 seconds. It was the best gift experience at a major mall. Ever. Also, The Nana, I’ll be watching you!!! You’ll get it when you get your gift.

I also bought The GrandPa another gifty. It involves birds. Woo! Birds! (The GrandPa loves birds. I win!)

All that is left is for me to buy some warm clothing (sweaters and long-sleeve shirts) for my Little C, and I really hope I don’t go crazy and buy her every warm thing I see….  I mean, she does live in Florida.

(Don’t worry, Lili, I will not buy her a Parka and snowsuit.)

And, in order to pack my enormous suitcase, (which I may have not unpacked entirely from my Thanksgiving trip… what? I may pack some Pooh & Friends things I intend to hand-down to Little C. You know, to fill the spaces in my big suitcase to hold whatever I pick up for Christmas down there in the sunny state…)

I love my family. And the biggest bonus? I get to see the CD of the family photo extravaganza we had the day after Turkey Day. According to The Nana, there are many pictures of Little C and I that will make me happy. I see make me happy as “Make Claire melt into a puddle.”

So I can’t wait. And we’ll be taking that CD to a photo-producing store ASAP.

And I will spend a ton (approx. under $20) on photos of my family.

And I will come home feeling like I am a millionaire and the most blessed person on the planet because of these photos. And that’s entirely before any Christmas presents from anyone.

I win Christmas. Totally.

Happy pictures of my family, and me and Little C? WIN.

It’s that time of year!!

3 11 2010

It’s Christmas Crazy time!! You know… When we donate to BurghBaby, and then she and I and some friends go raid a Toys’R’Us and nearly fill a bus full of toys.

Except this year? We WILL fill a bus. BurghBaby has done all kinds of crazy stuff, like Crazy Scary, the ScareHouse thing, to raise money for this. (As did Ginny, @janepitt, for Make Room for Kids!!)

I’m incredibly blessed to know these two women who raised this much cash for kiddos. You know I love my kiddos. (Side note: I miss my ‘Burgh kids… just saying…)  And I think you know part of the reason I’m waiting to go to radiology school is so I can eventually work somewhere with kids.

But please, donate to Christmas Crazy. The more you donate, the more I can beg my family, The Nana, The GrandPa, Lili and NE to take me to a NEW crazy Floridian Christmas  light display!!!! I suspect you’ve all seen the west-side Florida display I put up a few years ago, it’s time to inspect the east-side, don’t you think?

I do…. But you have to help us fill an entire bus… Then I’ll pressure Lili to take me to every fantastic east-side Floridian Christmas display ever.

BurghBaby can decide if and when I need to do this.

Let’s do this. Give kiddos a GREAT Christmas!! And I’ll give you crazy Floridian Christmas lights, with video, when I can. You know you love it.

If all else fails, just give a few bucks to the cause. It’s good. And I love it!!

Do it. Donate now.

Little C’s 1st Christmas.

1 01 2010

Oh, what fun it was, Little C’s first Christmas… That tiny person has a smile that would brighten your day, and – I kid you not – has a laugh like Boo from Monsters, Inc. that could power multiple cities… I have video proof, which unfortunately due to my own rules & regulations, I cannot share here, so you have to trust me on that…

Just seeing Little C’s HUGE smile when I said good morning to her on Christmas Day was more than enough of a present for me. Just based on that alone I would have been happy all day without any gifts to open.

From what  could tell, Little C loved her presents from myself, Santa and everyone else… I could tell mostly from the shrieking and enormous smile on her face… I think she liked the box I put the bags of letters, numbers & shapes in more than the gifts themselves… It was one of those gift boxes from Target that had Santa’s face on all four sides & the top of the box was his hat. It became a drum of sorts for her… It was adorable, and she loved talking to the Santa face. Hilarious.

She definitely loved the finished version of the doll I made for her. Definitely. And how can this not make you happy, especially if you made the doll she’s hugging!!


So cute. The doll now has a name, Molly. Love it.

Molly had to get a hair cut after Little C opened her gift. Molly’s hair was way too long and hung down into her eyes. This is how she looks now:

It’s kinda like she has a pigtail mullet, I know. But it works for Molly. She rocks.

Little C received a ton of clothes and a bunch of learning & fun toys for Christmas. We really had a good time playing with the toys on Christmas Day and the day and a half afterward that I was there. I can’t really share the pics of her new fave toys – because she’s in all of them. Oh well… You have to trust me that she got some really cool toys – I recommend the Fisher-Price Stack & Roll Cups – they are really fun in many ways. Hooray! Learning is fun!

If you read this site, you know I hate mornings… But there is something awesome about a tiny person in jammies & a sleep sack… (like the pic below – it’s like a progression from the Baby Burrito!)

…with a big smile on their face being presented to you a you first open your eyes in the morning around 6:30 or 7am. You don’t care what time it is. You don’t want coffee or food. You want to hug them, speak in a soft morning voice and carry them downstairs to play for a little while. It’s absolutely wonderful! And I thank Lili for giving me that wonderful thing every morning I was visiting… I wish I had a Little C alarm clock every day!!!

In addition to what Little C received for Christmas, she was also a very, very busy little shopper!! Unbelievable, given that she is only 7 1/2 months old… But she bought me a photo calendar from Kodak Gallery’s website with pictures of her and her & I together AND a hard cover photo book from Snapfish of photos of her from her first 6 months. Pretty good for a 7 1/2 month old, huh? I love both gifts! Both grandparents also received the photo book as well. Talk about good shopping by Little C. Geez…

Apparently all of us (Lili, myself, The Nana and NE’s mom) thought that someone else was buying Little C a “Baby’s First Christmas” ornament… And none of us did. Oops. This resulted in The Nana and I trying to find one the last few days and finally deciding on one you personalize yourself. And it resulted in my sister ordering one online. We aren’t sure if NE’s mom tried to find one too. Oh well, Little C will have 2-3 first Christmas ornaments… She deserves them all…

Merry Christmas!

25 12 2009

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Christmas. I know I did. Watching Little C look at her new presents was awesome. She got some really cool things, and the shriek of excitement when she realized things were for her was really cool.

I’ll write more soon…

A warm Christmas?

22 12 2009

I’m officially packed for Florida. Well, 99% packed. I only have to pack up toiletries and throw a few things in the carry on. And wake up at a ridiculous time tomorrow morning. Hooray!

While I’m in Florida, I’m going to spend some time with The Nana and The GrandPa. And I found out that I get an extra day with Little C! I get two full days with her AND two partial days. We aren’t headed back to The Nana and The GrandPa’s house until Sunday!! Sweet!

The whole Christmas in Florida thing is still bizarre to me. As are having holiday light displays in Florida. But, because BurghBaby is such a good friend, and also because she’s insanely in love with holiday lights, I’m going to try to send some Florida Christmas Crazy back to her.

I’ve asked my family to take me to maybe two places near Lili’s. I had to do some research to find places. Thankfully, there are Christmas Crazy people all over, and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel has a little map thingy where you can post pictures of good displays. (Click on that link to go to the Sun-Sentinel light site)

I found two places I’ve asked to visit:

That is from…

And I found this:

That, boys & girls is

Hopefully, the fam and I can find some time to take Little C to see one or both of these.


19 12 2009

Ok, so first off, I’m having some serious phone issues. I see missed calls hours after I apparently missed them. I’ve missed about 5 voice mails from people in and around the ‘Burgh… And I’m not sure texts are up to par either. My poor phone. It might be because of the drivers on random roads who cut me off lately, and my phone flying to the floorboards of my car… Just saying.

I love this song.

So Merry Kisses and Christmas to everyone I know. And I’m bringing you a NEW version by Jimmy Buffet! Woa!

What Santa does…

18 12 2009

There has been a recent discussion on Twitter initiated by BurghBaby. Does Santa deliver to where the kid IS or where the kid LIVES.

A few days ago I sent a tweet giving my opinion.

There is also a discussion on whether Santa wraps presents or not. All I can tell you is MY Santa did both, but the BIG gifts? They were not wrapped. Dunno what this year willl bring, but even in the past 5 years, “Santa” has given both Lili and I wrapped presents. Hmm. Wonder who Santa is…

And now there is an actual survey on her site asking what you think about where Santa finds the kids… Please read what I have to say, and then go HERE and give your opinion. Help my friend out – if you read this? I guarantee BurghBaby or someone else that she and I are friends with have helped me 30,000 times over.  DO IT. I command you!

So, I’m going to start by telling Lili that she should be so happy I never took that scanner from her. Otherwise, there would be pictures of her and yours truly back in the day. (To be honest, those pics would really help right now…)

All holidays while Lili and I were growing up – Christmas, Easter, Thanksgiving… were spent in Canada or on the way to Canada. Sometimes Toronto, sometimes Montreal.

I know I’ve told you all I *asked* for a little sister, and I got her. (Love you!) And I remember her first Christmas, and I have one other memory which are in my head as if they were yesterday. Neither one was ON Christmas Day. All were a day or two before. My parents had to do it because we were headed to Canada for the actual day.

So first Lili and I Christmas memory:

The thing I know for sure is that when I went downstairs, and The Nana carried Lili, there were a ton of wrapped presents. But there were also unwrapped, set-up ones. I’m pretty sure I got a huge-a** chalkboard that year. Wow, I loved that chalkboard!

All of the unwrapped ones were from Santa. All of the “big” requests on our list (to be honest, I made Lili’s list for the most part until she was old enough. She still wouldn’t see Santa at the mall, but sent me to see him with her list in tow. She’s so cute.) OOH! I wish I had that scanner or pic right now so I could remember everything that was there!!

Anyway, each year that we went to Canada, we were allowed to open and/or play with these gifts early, but then we had to select one or two to take with us on the trip.

So now we have memory #2. It was Christmas Eve, I think. We were driving through Erie (hi FatherSpoon! hi Woycheck!) and a monster storm hit. I remember being in the back seat of the car, playing with some kind of toy. While The GrandPa (who grew up in Montreal where the snow was taller than him! I have pics, I swear!) was digging our car out of the snow. Oooh boy, was he mad. As The Nana says, the air was blue from his swearing. We ended up spending the night in a hotel in Erie or somewhere near Niagara Falls. The Nana would probably faint from my memories from that trip… (How do I remember this crap and Lili remembers almost nothing?!?!?!!)

I could share more, but for family things, I won’t. All I can tell you is no matter what the other family members think, you should remember that Santa finds you at YOUR HOME. If you travel, this will help you with the “Oh, Will Santa find us if we aren’t at home?” questions. Hooray to The Nana and The GrandPa on that one. Somehow I’m sure my brain and that question are the reason that Santa always came to OUR house… And I know eventually Lili and NE will have to travel, and while I’d LOVE to see everything my lovely gets for Christmas, I know that can’t happen.

And if Santa doesn’t want to wrap up the big gigantic things like a chalkboard? I’m going to give the big fat man that one. I love wrapping presents, but I do not want to wrap something big like that.

(Also, some of my fave memories of Christmas in Montreal involve a certain Grandfather clock that is now dead and hanging in my “room” in Florida. Lili, I’ll fight you for it, but if The Nana tries to gets rid of it, I’d love you even more for holding onto it for me!!)

A better idea- no. A great idea.

16 12 2009

So if you read this blog lately, you know I’ve made some super awesome things for My Little C for Christmas.

I’m very happy with them.

What I’m not happy with is not having a job yet that would give me a little more money to buy her something else. Or to buy anyone else anything.

Recently, I remembered something My Little C enjoyed while we wandered around Kohl’s at Thanksgiving.

And then, last week, while sitting on my couch, I looked up at something… Something that could very well be one of my most favorite presents ever. But I admit, I forgot that I owned it!

Ladies & gentlemen, I have found my dream present for My Little C, sitting on my own shelf.

And with some spit & shine, with the help of some rubbing alcohol and Q-Tips and other stuff, this thing WILL BE the perfect present. The perfect thing I’ve wanted to find for her since a long-ago blog post… Something I didn’t even think of during that long-ago blog post.

I’ve had this thing for quite some time… before I even lived in my current apartment!

I’ve already shared to all of you, and Lili, the rest of My Little C’s presents. And please bear with me until Christmas Day. I’ll post pics of it that day or the day after, I promise.

This one HAS to be a secret.

I have to figure out how to get it down to Florida. This could be an issue. But I’ll make it happen. No matter what.


10 12 2009

Last night wasn’t too bad. I had enough warm blankets and fleece clothing to keep me warm. And I went to bed with my netbook and watched a bunch of Christmas TV specials on Hulu. I love that my netbook has a kagillion hours of battery life. Really. It worked all day yesterday, last night and this morning without being charged and without dying on me. It still had around 2 hours of battery life on it when I shut it down around 10am!

Since there was no power around 10am, I took a little (ok, huge) nap and woke around 2pm. And I have power again. I woke up and tried to charge my phone, it worked! Hooray!

I slept quite well last night, actually. My apartment is usually overwhelmingly warm in the winter. But last night when I was getting ready for bed? It was a little bit chilly… I swear this building holds heat like crazy, thus why I’m sweating my butt off in the summer.

I need to do some serious Christmas shopping/brainstorming for the rest of my family and others in the next few days. I don’t think my mom will accept a felt doll or fabric alphabet as a gift. Actually, I take that back. She’d probably love it since she loves what I made for Little C. But for me, that’s just not acceptable.

Thankfully, I discovered a gift for the hardest person to buy this evening. Whew.

Now for the rest of them….

Change of plans.

8 12 2009

Way back in July I booked my travel for Christmas (along with Thanksgiving and my trip to Little C’s Christening in September.)

Since I had a job at the time, I had very few days to work with.

I set it up so I was flying out of Pittsburgh around 7pm on Christmas Eve and getting into Ft. Lauderdale around 9:30. And I was flying home on the 27th, getting back into town around 6:30pm.

Since July, my flights changed multiple times so that I would not be getting to Ft. Lauderdale until after 10pm on Christmas Eve and wouldn’t get home on the 27th until around 8pm.

As I now have no job and time restrictions, I made some changes. Since Little C was born, I haven’t spent any time alone at my parents place. Not that I don’t want Lili & Little C there, believe me. But I wanted some time with my parents. So my parents and I will leave Lili’s the day after Christmas and I’m flying home on the 30th from Tampa.

And since that post-10pm arrival time on Christmas Eve kind of sucked, I changed that flight too.  I’ll arrive in Tampa on the 23rd. Just enough time for maybe some last minute shopping and then packing up to drive to Lili’s early on Christmas Eve day.

And because all of my new flights were actually cheaper than the original flights, and even though AirTran charged us $75 for each change, we ended up spending only $40 or so for the new flights! Yay!