Saturday, December 27, 2008

Build A Bear Gift Card- Bunny is Created

One of the gifts that Shaylee received from her grandparents- Grandma Nea and Poppa Ed- was a Build A Bear gift card. We have been to Build A Bear Workshop before and Shaylee really enjoyed it. That is where she put together "Buddy" her spunky talking puppy. This trip Shaylee decided on a very soft floppy eared bunny. She got to pick out the bunny and watch it get stuffed with fluff and love.After Bunny got stuffed, Shaylee got to bring her over to the "wash and dry" salon area (look, there is Buddy! He came along to have his neck stitched back up as all the loving he has received caused a small hole.)

Then it was off to find an outfit for Bunny. Here is Shaylee giving her Bunny a good squeeze while looking off at the wall of clothing. When asked what kind of outfit we were to get Bunny, Shaylee, without heistanting, said "Ballerina." I think that came from her recent love of the Nutcracker Ballet. She watched the whole San Franciso Nutcracker Ballet on PBS several times this month.

It was my idea to be sure that Bunny got a pair of "big girl panties" just like Shaylee since we are about to begin potty training.

I think Bunny looks very grown up in her big girl panties!

We were almost afraid we would not be able to find a ballerina costume for Bunny but Shaylee has a good eye and found a perfect Sugar Plum Fairy like ballet costume even in the sea of super cute outfits.
This is Shaylee's "ta-da" photo with Bunny- all stuffed and dressed up in her ballet finest! Huge thanks go to my wonderful in-laws, Linnea and Ed, for a super gift idea and a wonderful opportunity to spend with Shaylee- wish you could have been there!!!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

Shaylee's Photo with Santa 2008

Family Update

Nils is making what we hope will be his final and successful attempt at quitting smoking. He has not had a cigarette since December 11th which makes it a full week where he has not smoked. I am VERY proud of him! He has acquired assistance from a program that makes scheduled calls to keep him motivated and discuss his progress. They also have a free lozenges program which he has been using. I especially think this part is helpful for those on the program who may be hesitant to pay for them. Even though smoking cost money, the lozenges cost more up front which a lot of people are not willing to pay. Anyhow, I think he is doing pretty good- not too irritable or anything. And its so much nicer to kiss someone who doesn't smell like an ashtray! Please be sure to give him your congrats on this difficult but very rewarding change in his life.
Nils has also applied for a supervisor position at our work. He looked quite sharp for his interview and we hope to hear back as to whom the company is considering filling the position by late January, early February. Cross your fingers that it will be Nils!

I have more or less given up on Weight Watchers. After completely disregarding how many calories and fat were in everything I was eating, I gaining back about five pounds over my maximum limit while in the Maintenance program. I realized I was getting out of control and begun being more careful but not going to the extremes of recording every little B.L. T (bite, lick and taste). I have accepted my weight as it is and figured I love cooking and food too much to spend the rest of my life worrying about the numbers on a scale. I don't mean to say I plan to go crazy, I still am eating fairly healthy (minus the goodies of the holidays!) but I am not considering myself "on a diet". Since then I have loss about 2 lbs in the last two weeks. So things are looking better and the pants are back to fitting better again. Besides, they say "never trust a skinny cook!" LOL!

January 1st, 2009 marks day off of Project Potty Train! That's right, we are making a very serious effort to potty train Shaylee at the start of the new year. We have made one other attempt in the past but it was a complete flop, obviously she was not ready at such a young age, but now that she is two and a half, all signs are pointing to "GO!"

The other night, Shaylee and I went Project Potty Train shopping. She got to pick out her very own potty for the house (since the other one we bought stays at my grandmother's house since that's who watches her while we work). She choose a pink princess one that has a sensor at the bottom of the bowl so whenever she pees or poos in the potty, it plays a twinkling magical sound. She was so excited to try it out as soon as we got home that she actually made a tinkle in it! It wasn't much but enough to play the magical reward sound and she was so excited! Then yesterday morning she did it again! I really like that it plays the sound since this morning she wanted to sit on the potty a little longer while I was getting ready for work. I left the bathroom only for a few minutes to go grab something out of my closet when I heard the magical sound coming from the bathroom followed by a very loud, very excited Shaylee- "I peed! I peed Mommy!". Again, it wasn't much but she obviously is getting it!

Then last night she did her very first full potty pee-as in she actually used the potty instead of just tinkling in it. Hurray!!!!

Some of the other Project Potty Training supplies we got was a notebook that I have written the date at the top of each page starting January 1st. The idea is we are going to reward Shaylee a small colored star for each attempt (like those teachers use for charts or on school papers) she makes on the potty and a larger "special" sticker of her choice, such as those of cartoon characters she loves, when she actually pees or poos in the potty. Then we not only have a record of how many attempts and successes she has made, but Shaylee also has a really cute sticker book when its filled. The idea is to eventually have only the special character stickers which shows that all attempts made were successful. As I said, January 1st marks the big day of the serious training (as in no more diapers, scheduled trips to the potty, etc) but we are making little learning step along the way (sitting on the potty and knowing why we are there, learning how to wipe properly, etc).

Since Shaylee has enjoyed this semester of her Kindermusik class so much, Nils and I have agreed to enroll her in the next semester. The theme is "Fiddle Dee Dee" and has a lot of animal themed songs and storybooks. We made our first deposit and will get the new semester's material in time to wrap up and put under the tree.

Speaking of being under the tree... we also purchased some additional Kindermusik CDs for Shaylee for Christmas as well. We also got her a toddler portable DVD player that can withstand being dropped, thrown, and wet. We feel it will be a sanity saver for us when she is wanting to watch as specific DVD and we want to watch something less juvenile after a long day at work. Plus it will be great on long trips or to entertain her when we are waiting at doctors offices or something. We also got her some fun Play-Doh tools since she likes playing with it so much. It has things like cookie cutters, rolling pins, and other little gadgets I think she will have fun with. A lot of what is going into her stocking is Hello Kitty themed as I found a bunch of little goodies with Hello Kitty on them in the dollar section of Target. And there is talk that "Santa" is getting her the two moose stuffed animals from Build A Bear Workshop that come with a storybook. The male moose's antlers even light up (they have little Christmas lights on them).

Another big change in Shaylee's life, and obviously going to be more difficult than potty training I am sure, if breaking her of her beloved "passies" as in pacifiers. For months my grandmother, my mother, my dad, Nils and I have been talking with her about how on Christmas Eve we are going to get all the "passies" together and 'put them in a special bag for Santa to give to all the little babies so he will leave big girl toys for Shaylee'. Shaylee has seemed very agreeable to this and if you ask her "What are we going to do with all your passies?" she will very proudly state that we are giving them "to Santa for all da babies". I think this is going to be much harder than she leads us to believe. Just because she is so agreeable now, doesn't mean she is going to be so agreeable when bedtime rolls around and she wants one. That's why we begun talking about it months ago, in the hopes that we would more or less brainwash her into believing this was going to be so easy. Just stick 'em in a bag by the plate of cookies and glass of milk and it's bye-bye pacifiers forever! Hmmm..... we shall see!

Shaylee has also spoiled my surprise gift to Nils this Christmas.This year I decided to get Nils a watch. Not too expensive, but a nice one. I took Shaylee with me and we were looking at watches and chatting back and forth as we always do when we are together. I was asking her what she wanted to get Daddy and she kept telling me "a bracelet" and I'd ask what kind and she would tell me "an Elmo bracelet". Well when it came to actually picking out the watch, I let Shaylee help me decide between about three different styles. I explained to her that instead of a bracelet we would get Daddy a watch from both of us. Well, I had thought that with the excitement of getting to pick out her very own potty that she would have forgotten all about the watch. No such luck. As soon as Nils came home from work last night, Shaylee, out of the blue, turned to him and said "Daddy, I got you a watch". Now had I not just told Nils about twenty minutes prior to that that I had just finished wrapping his presents before he came home, he might not have put two and two together. Nils smiled when Shaylee said this, I could tell he figured it out. I tried to change the subject, thinking maybe, just maybe he didn't hear or understand her, but she told him again. And again. So it was pretty obvious that A. he knew he was getting a watch, and B. that I am never going to tell Shaylee what we are getting other people for presents! Snitch! LOL! Its a good thing she is only two and so damn cute or I might have been more upset. I was bummed at first but Nils and I agreed this would be one Christmas we would laugh about in the future- as the year that Shaylee spoiled the Christmas surprise! LOL!

Everyday Shaylee amazes us more and more. She is SO talkative and comes up with the craziest things! I love how she puts her hand on her hip when she gets to be a big girl and talk on the phone. She acts so much older than she really is. I think its because she is so tall and talks so well for her age. A woman at the playground actually commented on her vocabulary. I told her I thought I was bias by thinking she was advanced and the woman said it wasn't that I was bias, she really does have a larger vocabulary than most two year olds. It feels good knowing she is so smart. Nils and I have agreed we would like to put her into a charter school when she gets older rather than just a regular public school only because private schools are so expensive.

Zoey, Cayman, and Sterling
Since there is usually not much to report other than Cayman's therapy dog work, I decided to group the three of them together. Anyhow, with the season our trees start dropping their leaves and such. Zoey, with her curly poodle hair, has brought many of these tree droppings (I am not sure what kind of tree it is to tell you what is actually falling off of them) inside which is ANNOYING as we have to sweep the house and pick them out of her coat several times a day. No exaggeration. I hate it!

Cayman starts his new training classed at the Dog Obedience Club of Lee County in January. Its way more advanced than the simple puppy training class he took at Petco. I am extremely looking forward to it, he is so smart he will catch on fast and who doesn't love an obedient dog?!

Sterling is her typical self- not seen much. She has caused a near heart attack or two. See, she likes blankets and rugs and likes to lay on them and knead with her front paws. She has taken up this habit under our Christmas tree on the tree skirt. Unfortunately she still has her claws and tend to get them snagged in the blankets and rugs and in this case, the tree skirt, she is kneading. She then panics and tries to pull free. In this situation, she starting bring the tree skirt with her, and I am sure you can see where this almost went considering that the tree skirt is wrapped around the base of the Christmas tree. I thought for sure it was going to fall and we would be cleaning up broken glass ornaments but luckily she freed herself before any harm was done. The animals are pretty good about staying away from the tree- basically because we chase them away before they get too close now.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Modeling Christmas Spirit

This is Shaylee's new little pose she does for the camera! I have no idea where she learned it but it's so freaking adorable and funny!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sunday, November 30, 2008

New Family Update

Nils and Shawna

At the YMCA Family Festival, there was a chiropractor tent set up that Nils and I checked out. We got a gift certificate to get an consultation, x-rays and free adjustment so two weeks ago, we attended our appointment and had the x-rays done. I already got to speak with the chiropractor who discovered my spine twists to the left down by my pelvis and that there is a concern regarding my neck. I have loss the curve in my neck which is a condition commonly referred to as "military neck". The doctor is concerned since my test shows that on one side I have extreme nerve interference- the same nerves that run to my heart, lungs, and brain. Nils' x-ray examination is on Monday and then we will have one more appointment on Thursday to discuss our course of action (how often we will need to come in for adjustments, what our insurance covers, etc). So a lot is up in the air right now until that Thursday appointment. Man, it sucks getting old! LOL!

Ugg. The holidays have not been kind to my waist line. I am back to 130.6 lbs. I have been avoiding going to Weight Watchers meeting since I only have two more weeks of weigh ins before I am a lifetime member....if I don't gain more than 128 lbs. So I have stayed away until I can lose a few pounds. I never asked what happens when you go over but I am afraid they might tell me I need to start over and get back to my goal weight and begin another 6 weeks of maintence.


Shaylee is developing an imagination. She will tell stories and when she plays with her toys, she has little dialogs to go along with whatever she is going. She makes her hand talk, like you would if you have a hand puppet on, and has us do the same, calling our hand character "my friend" although in her little baby voice, it sounds more like "muffin". So yeah, my daughter talks to her hands, LOL! She will invent little games including one where she is running from a "scary ghost". Its another sign that she is really growing up so fast.

She LOVES her Kindermusik class! Each Saturday she becomes more and more outgoing. We are now making it a routine to listen to the take home CD everynight which Shaylee loves. She is beginning to learn all the words to the songs and danced along to all of them. Its money well spent and we plan to renew our membership when its time.

Whole Family

Our Thanksgiving was very nice. My paternal grandparents came over and had dinner with us. I'll be posting some pics later.


Not much new to report about Zoey other than she is teaching the other dogs bad habits. For example, I always bragged about how Cayman rarely barked. He is now copying Zoey's horrible habit of barking when people come into the house. One alert bark to announce their presence is fine, but Zoey has a tendency to bark when she is a room with someone and they stand up. Its really quite annoying and Cayman is starting to pick up on it, barking at my grandparents on Thanksgiving, something he has never done. He is also mimicing how Zoey jumps off the back of the couch which is going to give me a heartattack some day since I am so fearful about his back, being a dachshund and all. Roxy, my parent's beagle mix, is also copying off Zoey's jumping at the french doors to be let back in. She used to just sit and whine and now she is scratching at the woodwork which if not nipped in the bud, could cause some destruction since she is a much large dog with much larger claws. So Zoey is gonna need some work. I just have been reluctant since the time spent trying to teach an old dog new tricks is better used preventing the same issues in the moldable young pup- Cayman, which really isn't fair to Zoey when I think about it.


Cayman has gotten his certificate and it is official- we are now a therapy dog team with PAWS Ministry. We have been assigned the Hidden Oaks retirement home and have our first assignment on Saturday, December 6. You can read more about this on Cayman's very own blog:


Sterling is her typical self. We see her when she wants to be fed or when she wants in from outside. She is more aloof than she has ever been but I think she is happier since she is able to go outside. She always stays right in the yard, it is fenced in anyhow, and I think that it keeps her from getting bored. There is always lizards, birds, and squirrels to chase and plenty of sunshine to sun herself. So even if she doesn't spend as much time with us, she is definately enjoying life more than she did when she was strickly indoors.

Our Peanut Butter Birdseed Bird Feeders

Recently, Shaylee and I made peanut butter and birdseed bird feeders.

Shaylee decided to eat more peanut butter than she actually spread on the paper towel rolls.
Spreading the peanut butter on before rolling it in birdseed.
These were set up in the backyard. Since neither on is still there, I am assuming the squirrels must have carried them off to their nest.

Random Pics of Shaylee

Nils and Shaylee get to pet a real wolf at the Howl-A-Jubilee Pet Festival.

Shaylee cuddling a slightly uncomfortable Zoey.

"If I just close my eyes, it will all be over soon!"- Zoey

Saturday, November 15, 2008

YMCA Family Festival

After Kindermusik today, Nils and I took Shaylee to our local YMCA's Annual Family Festival. While we were there we got to meet Snow White, bounce around in the bounce house, listen to music and get Shaylee's child identification packet which included her photo, fingerprints and a kit to collect a DNA sample, God forbid anything should happen where she would go missing. Better be safe than sorry!

More Random Cuteness

Shaylee must have remembered her last "photo session" outside of her Kindermusik class because she couldn't wait to ham it up for me again today!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Vicks on Your Feet for Colds?

This whole week Shaylee has had a cold. Runny nose, some coughing, congestion, the works. So then my mom tells me that about 10 people at her work suggested to get over a cold to put Vicks and socks on your feet overnight to get rid of a cold. What?! Vicks on your feet for a cold?!


But then again I was told that orange Gatorade (no flavor substitutions) and original Lays potato chips (no substitutions) cured nausea. Someone my mom knows husband had to go thru chemo and that's what they suggested. The last time I had a hangover (hehe) I tried it out. Hey, if it worked for chemo it had to work for overindulgence of vodka, grenadine, and Sprite! And it worked! I couldn't believe it! Jot that down.

So maybe Vicks and socks on your feet overnight for a cold really isn't that strange at all. I will have to try it out. It can't hurt and I definitely would like to avoid calling Shaylee's Kindermusik teacher to tell her we can't come to class tomorrow because Shaylee is too sick.

Oh and today Shaylee used up all her nasal decongestant on her baby doll so how her baby doll is "oll better!"

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Random Pics of Cuteness

These were taken outside of Shaylee's Kindermusik class. I just loved what she was wearing so much I had to take a picture....well, that turned into several since they all came out so cute!

Shaylee Goes Bowling!

Yesterday after Shaylee's Kindermusik class, Nils and I took her bowling for the very first time. I had received some free game passes during my company's Wellness Fair. The girl that worked that counter could not get over how cute Shaylee was and ended up renting out the bowling shoes to us for free when we would have normally had to pay for them. Shaylee did really well! She could not wait to get out and roll the ball. I had to laugh how she put her hand on her hip after each roll, like she was an old pro. The girl set it up so that during Shaylee's turn, the lane gutters went up but went back down when it was Nils or my turn. We bowled okay, it has been a long time for us too! And it was a blast and everyone just thought she was the cutest! After bowling, Nils took us to lunch at Five Guys Burgers and Fries which is well known as the best burgers in town. I LOVE their fries! When we had finished eating, we went to pick up our pottery that we painted at Get Your Paint on. They came out so good! The woman that ran the place said a lot of people complimented on my jar. We finished our day with a quick run to the vet's to pick up a copy of our dachshund's vaccination records since they are required for today's Temperament Testing with PAWS Ministry, a therapy dog group (more on that on his own blog, link to the right). It was a perfect family day out and Shaylee did really well- she participated in Kindermusik class, was good about taking turns and following directions at the bowling alley, ate her lunch at Five Guys, and took a decent nap in the car on the way to and from the pottery and vaccination record pick up.