Sunday, December 28, 2008

Happy Zoo Year!

We took Sam to the zoo today for the first time. We packed a picnic lunch, put Sam in the backpack and roamed around for the day. He loved it, but mostly loved the birds, and not the ones in captivity, but the ibis and ducks that roam there on their own free will! We were most excited to show him the tiger because the baby tiger "roar" is the one animal noise that he has perfected. (video to follow)

one of Sam's faves

our little monkey

taking it all in

The child will not sit in a stroller for more than 10 minutes but will sit in this backpack for days!

Sam and the Tortoise

Friday, December 26, 2008

Birthday Fiesta! Ole!

The Birthday boy

The birthday boy in his new convertible mini with his special guests Great Grandmama, Aunt Denise & Uncle LB.

The family :)

The birthday boy sharing his new wheels with his baby friend Aiden.

More photos to follow. I did not stay behind the camera much today because I didn't want to miss a moment. We are counting on our family and friends with cameras to provide us with more lasting memories! Come on guys!

We had a wonderful time. Sam was not a fan of anyone singing to him, which must mean he takes after his mother. He cried and cried and would not even touch his cake after that. Which works out because I wanted to do a separate "smash" cake photo shoot anyway, so we spared the mini cake....... for now!

Our most special guest was Sam's Great Grandmama delivered to us by Aunt Denise and Uncle Larry all the way from South Carolina! What a special Christmas and birthday gift!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

On Such a Birthday Eve


Tonight I sit, exhausted from our big day, your first Christmas. We woke up together this morning, just our little family and opened presents to and from our clan. We played, we laughed, we ate and we enjoyed our family. They trickled in and out and we ventured to them. I can't remember a Christmas filled with so much joy since I was a little girl. In my wildest dreams I can't imagine another happening again, but it will.

I am mesmerized by your joy and your laugh, your curiosity, your every move. Just as I was last year, Christmas night, with you still stirring in my belly. Last year this time, this very hour, your dad and I had finished up Christmas dinner much the same as we did tonight and settled in to our hospital room to change our lives, to have you. We laughed and we cried, we were nervous about the unknown and we were excited to meet you. We wondered would the world would be turned upside down when you arrived? Would we sleep, would we eat, would we still love each other when we knew we would love you so much? But, nothings changed really. Sure, it was a little crazy for a while and every once in a while it gets crazy again, and it will be crazy in the future, but we have each other and at the end of the day if we are together, we'll always be just fine.

We sat tonight after our family left, our bellies full, in the dim light of our Christmas tree and we laughed. Then we cried, about how it was hard to not forget where we were such a short year ago. How far we've come since then and how quickly it has all happened. You are the best thing that has happened to us. We love eachother more than ever because of you and you more than we could have dreamed. I see the best memories of childhood in the eyes of everyone that sees you and I daydream the best possibilities imagineable for your future when I look in yours. Life just keeps getting better with you in it. Thank you for making this the best Christmas ever.

Happy almost birthday, Punka!


Monday, December 22, 2008

It snowed in Florida!

So, not real snow, but we heared there were nightly flurries downtown so we headed down to Cityplace and we saw, snow, er bubbles. Sam was not fooled because he has seen real snow, but he had fun watching the Florida kids believe that this was the real thing! ;)

"uh, you call this snow?"

Paul was fooled, he thought it was real. We let him go with it ;)

Nanny, Sam & Paul walking in a winter-like wonderland

Friday, December 19, 2008

Love on the Rocks.....

Let me introduce you to this guy I know only as Jon....

Doesn't he seem happy? He is one of the stars of one of Elise's favorite Discovery Channel shows "Jon & Kate + 8". He is the proud father of 8-year old twins and 4-year old sextuplets. Yep, he looks thrilled. As far as reality TV stars go, he seems...well, for lack of a better word, 'real'. Let me tell you why:

When you think of father figures throughout the history of television who comes to mind? Ward Cleaver. Mike Brady. Cliff Huxtable. Ben Cartwright of 'Bonanza'. Homer Simpson (okay, so maybe not a shining beacon of fatherhood, but his heart is always...well, the right place.) But they all seem too good to be true. This guy...this Jon Gosselin...he's the real deal. He tells it like it is. Is he thrilled every minute of the day that he has eight kids and an overbearing wife? NO! In fact, 99% of the time the guy look thoroughly and unequivocally miserable. If you were a man contemplating fatherhood, watching this guy would send you screaming for a vasectomy.

I love the irony. He is the star of a television show based upon the commitment and love it takes to raise 8 completely out of control toddlers and, yet, he is berated and humilated by his wife constantly, rolls his eyes, and basically drags himself through every day. I do not canonize this man for his attitude or zeal. There's is a complex household, and until I have to deal with 8 screaming kids I can't cast stones.

Until today.

Let me preface this by stating, I don't think the guy in the picture above is Jon. But if it is, I have lost all the respect I may have had for this man. (And the girls he got caught with...? Why is it that when public figures have affairs, the women they have the affairs with are never attractive? Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky, Eliot Spitzer/Client 9 girl, Gary Hart/Donna Rice. Need I go on? I mean if I'm going to blow up my blossoming political career, I might as well blow it up with a hottie, right?) (And that is not to say that Jon had an affair. Allegedly, he was out partying with college girls. 3 nights in a row. Presumably, while Kate was at home taking care of 8 kids by herself.)

Am I surprised he snapped? No, probably not. He makes no attempt to hide how miserable he is or to sugar-coat the difficulty of their existence. Nevermind the fact that he splurged on hair plugs with the new-found cash begotten from his cable TV show. Kind of vain, Jon, and kind of a waste of money, Jon. Maybe he was already in the early stages of planning his getaway?
And yet, perhaps because he was the star of a TV show based around the concept that families come in all shapes and sizes this seems particularly, tragically sad. Probably more so, because we want to believe that because it is a TV show there is some part of it that transcends reality, even if it is, by very definition, a reality-based TV show. So, therefore, based in reality, the union is destined to fall apart?
I'm hoping that Jon pulls it together before it's too late. And I am not so naive to believe fault lies solely with him (it would be too easy to take shots at Kate. I cannot fathom what parenting 8 kids would do to me....turn me into some dual-personalitied freakazoid, no doubt, like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde) Some would say I am idealist, but I can't help but hope there is some fraction of time off-camera where they can reconnect and ground each other.
I do not perceive the world in black and white and know divorce has merit in many situations. It did not ruin my life or my childhood, but I think I am lucky in that regard.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Things you did this week that astounded and amazed us:

On this, the eve week of your first birthday week, you have been doing crazy impressive things, my son! I know I look at you as though you are a maker of world peace, ender of world hunger and saver of lives, already, but, really, you are just a little boy and these are the things little boys do. But not every boy has such joy, so many smiles and such perfection.

1. Though we have been tirelessly teaching you the sign for "thank you" and "please" you signed "more" to us this week when you ran out of Cheerios and needed more. You were so proud of yourself when it actually got you more Cheerios!

2. You climbed the stairs, by yourself! You can't even walk yet, silly! What are you thinking?

3. You said "ra ra" a thousand times, but we finally figured out we think you are saying "run, run." Naturally! :)

4. You started letting go of our hands for just a split second as you gain confidence to stand and walk on your own.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Naughty or Nice?

And I'm not talking about Sam! This was by far the creepiest Santa I have encountered in all my days. I was more nervous than Sam (not surprising given my long history of breakdowns on Santa's lap) I was shaking and sweating as approached him! I hoped that that our mall and all its super fancy Palm Beach decorations would surely house the best Santa we'd ever seen within it's giant sparkly sleigh, but instead we got this fool. Nicotine stained beard, just returned from a 3 martini lunch, who didn't say one word to Sam, myself or Paul in the entire 30 seconds that it took to take two sub-par photos for $7 million dollars, throw us a light up bouncy ball and send us on our way. Next year, we settle for nothing less than the real Santa and I'm bringing my own camera on the trip to the North Pole! ;)

On a side big does this little boy look! What happened to my tiny baby?

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Tonight, Dave was over for dinner and we jokingly asked Sam to say the blessing. As we all looked at him laughing for a moment, he picked a raisin up off his highchair tray and lifted it way up above his head and looked up to the ceiling, closed his eyes and smiled.

Perfect. I couldn't have said it better myself.
I think we become jaded about Christmas in our adulthood. I know, I am, I can say that it is not my favorite holiday. I like gifts and food, yes. But, I don't enjoy the stress or expectations that accompany it. I expect everyone to be patient, thankful, polite to store clerks, not cut, butt or otherwise bitch in line. I find this is the time of year when I put my "Officer Elise" badge on (as Paul like to call it) and defend the hard working clerks, tellers and servers of the world, instead of just flitting around in a holiday trance. Hard work, people, very hard.

I think we could all say at one time that we used to love Christmas, it was magical, mystical, cold, crisp and white(at least where I come from). It meant pajamas all day, the smell of mom's cooking, and late afternoon sledding trips, hot cocoa and laying under the tree rearranging clothespin people ornaments. It was a time when you dreamed of little elves making your toys, not factories, you sat on Santa's lap and didn't see the glue unglueing on his beard and couldn't identify the smell of Marlboro lights that he snuck on his break.

All the whimsy and mystery that makes Christmas so Magical seems to fade away and then become a forgotten memory, like training wheels, banana seats and braces. That is until you have a child of your own. Then you see it all again, those memories are not so hidden, not so hard to retrieve. You witness just how magical it is to a child to see a tree in their living room, and even more joy as it becomes wrapped in tiny lights and colorful dangling ornaments. To hear Christmas carols for the first time, to hear an orchestra and listen to the jingling of bells.

Paul and I have exchanged many a knowing glances in the past week, watching as Sam points and laughs with glee each and every time he comes in to the living room and witnesses our tree as if for the first time. He looks at the tree and then at us as if to say "Look! There is a tree..... in our house! Those are usually only outside! How cool!" He chased ornaments around the floor last night and stayed up way past bedtime taken with the excitement of the night. We love it. I will speak for both of us and say that we have a little spark in our hearts this year and a sparkle in our eyes (not sayin it's tears, not sayin) that may have been dimmed, even burned out for the past 20 years or so. It is, I guess, what life is all about, why we have children (besides to take care of us when we're old and grey) to remind that there is still such a thing as magic.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

What a difference a year makes: Part 1

December 7th, 2007

December 5, 2008

Wow. Just wow. And I'm not talking about the fact that a year ago I was 36 weeks pregnant with a little stranger who was rolling around nudging me to get out, or the fact that today, a mere year later, we took our son to the "North Pole" (a parking lot with Christmas cheer a block from the beach) where he pointed at all the trees and giggled at the colorful lights, I'm talking about how in the hell did Paul keep me from eating that Christmas tree last year, because seriously, it looks like I ate about everything else in the house! Not saying I'm about to hit the runway these days in a size 0, but we're getting there (well not to a zero, I was never a zero but I'd be happy with a 6), 9 months up, 18 months down!