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Saturday, December 30, 2006

Christmas in Peoria

I'm a little late with this post, as we've been back home for four days since our trip to Peoria. Overall, I would say the trip was a success. I loved getting caught up with family and friends and having some time to relax. Bryn thought that Peoria was one big party, which resulted in her being far too excited to sleep for the duration of our time there. Ben and I both spent a lot of time watching cable tv in the middle of the night while attempting to put Bryn back to sleep (always unsuccessfully, unless our attempt involved putting her in the car and driving around town).

So we were definitely exhausted at the end of the trip, since Bryn seemed to think that 2-3 hours of sleep a night were ample to maintain her party schedule. We left some very tired grandparents and aunts behind when we returned to Indy! But aside from the exhaustion, we had a fantastic time. Bryn loved all her presents and did a pretty good job tearing into the wrapping paper herself. Of course, the oranges were still her favorite (she collected them from all 5 stockings at my mom's house), although she discovered that the skin does not taste very good!

My favorite part of the trip was getting caught up with old friends and old places. Dining out included Italian favorites Aggatucci's and Avanti's, and my Clan of high school friends even managed to make a stop at Panache, a coffeehouse that was our regular hangout during our senior year. Several friends (Derek, Jolyne, and David) came over to my mom's house to recapture our days of hanging out in the basement in front of the Nintendo, and we were so glad to see each other that we immediately began brainstorming future Clan reunions and trips.

On our last day in town, I managed to connect with Melissa, Maria, and David for coffee. It was wonderful to see my friends! Our busy schedules don't permit for visits very often. Jolyne is a doctor in Chicago, David is a grad student in Providence, Maria is a lawyer in Chicago, and Melissa is living on a remote volcanic island in Nicaragua to research monkeys for her Ph.D. Oddly enough, I did not manage to connect with any of my friends that actually live in Peoria, which was disappointing, but there's always next time. At any rate, we are now all safely home, listening to our little evil genius's cackle. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Our Evil Genius

The newest addition to Bryn's vocabulary, if it can even be categorized as such, is the phrase "bwahahahaha." We refer to it as her "evil laugh," and if you can't imagine what this sounds like, just remember the Count on Sesame Street and you'll be pretty close. We thought it was really cute when she first started doing it, but now we have found that she does it most often right before getting in trouble..... For example, when we were in Peoria for the holidays (more on that later) and she woke up in the middle of the night, a little "bwahahaha" preceeded her 5-hour crying streak. Today at lunch, whenever I tried to feed her a bite of meat, she promptly threw it to the dogs without even trying it. When I said, with all the firmness I could muster, "Brynie, no no no!" she just grinned at me and gave me her evil laugh. She wins the prize, though, with her antics from "naptime" today. She refused to go to sleep when I put her down, but I left her in the crib in hopes that she would eventually give in. Over the monitor, I could hear her continually going "bwahahahaha" in there all by herself. I thought this was pretty funny, and even called Ben at work to tell him how cute our daughter was, until the cackling turned to hysterical crying and I ran upstairs to see what was wrong. I found Bryn still in her crib, soaked to the skin. No, we had not had a diaper accident. She had stood up in her crib, reached through the slats to the changing table, pressed the button to open the box of wipes, and systematically removed all of the wipes one by one, piling them in her crib until both she and the crib sheet were covered with sanitized moistness. She thought this was hilarious; I thought it was the work of an evil genius, one with the laugh to prove it.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Santa Came Early

Last night we did our own family Christmas, since we'll be travelling over the actual holiday. We wanted to tear into our stockings as soon as Ben got home from work, but little Miss Bryn insisted that we eat dinner first. We had a yummy crock pot recipe of turkey and stuffing and felt like we were actually at some big holiday celebration. And hey, there are plenty of leftovers for Ben to eat for the rest of the week!

Then it was finally time to tear into the presents, a big relief for Ben, who has been snooping around the house for the last month to find out what I got him (but he'll never find my super-secret hiding place!). Ben and I took turns helping Brynie open her presents, and while she did occassionally give a tug on the wrapping paper, for the most part, she was far more interested in the contents of the floor than the contents of the box at hand. She did, however, seem pretty interested in sorting the lottery tickets that Santa left in all our tickets (including the dogs), and at one point, she tried to make her escape by crawling off with a handful of them. Sad to say, she would not have gotten very far on her newfound riches, as the 10 tickets netted us $1.00 in prize money.

The big culprit in Bryn's present-distraction?
The first thing she pulled out of her stocking--an orange. Growing up, my mom always put fresh fruit in the toes of our stockings, so Ben decided to do the same for me and Bryn. Bryn liked her good-smelling, roll-able orange so much that she promptly absconded with mine as well and spent the rest of the night crawling around the floor in search for them. We have many pictures of her clutching an orange (or two) while propped up (and utterly uninterested in) her real presents. Ah, if only we had known, we could have saved big money!! :)

Friday, December 08, 2006

Brought to You by the Letter S

Several days ago, as Bryn cried unconsolably, I gave in and cuddled her in front of the TV. She promptly stopped crying as she was sucked in by the adventures of Elmo, Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch, et al. I had forgotten (or maybe I never noticed, since I was probably about 5 the last time I sat and watched an episode) how clever and funny "Sesame Street" is. I had also forgotten that at the end of each episode, they say who "sponsored" that episode, as in, at the end of the episode Brynie and I watched, we were informed that it had been brought to us "by the letter R and the number 4." This has inspired me to have this entry of catch-up news have a theme.... So this blog entry has been brought to you by the letter S.

Shrubbery - On Monday, the dogs went crazy barking at the windows Shortly after I had gotten out of the Shower. This is pretty typical, Since there is So much construction in our neighborhood, but they Seemed to be rather more infuriated than usual. When I finally looked out the window, I Saw a crew of Six or Seven workmen installing Several Shrubs and a Small tree in our front yard. Our construction manager had warned us that the landscaping company would probably just Show up, but I was definitely Still Surprised to See them, considering that it was the coldest day we'd had yet.

Shots - On Tuesday, Brynie and I got up early (for us) (meaning at the Same time as normal people who go to work) and went to the health department for her to get her 1-year booster Shots. Much Sobbing and Screaming commenced.... for the rest of the day. She was obviously very Sore, and the Sadness continued for the next two days.

Sod - On Wednesday, the dogs resumed their window-barking with a vengeance, and a peek out the window revealed another crew of workers laying Sod in our yard. Again, this Seemed odd, as temperatures were Steadily dropping, but what with all the Screaming and Sobbing from my Sore baby, I didn't really have the presence of mind to worry about it. So our house actually looks like a real residence now.

Seniors - On Wednesday afternoon, I took my Snotty baby (She has also come down with a cold) to Zionsville HS for a callout meeting for the annual Mr. Zionsville pageant, which I have directed for the last 2 years and will be helping with this year. The classroom was packed with Seniors, all of whom want to be involved with the pageant in some capacity. Sad to Say, there was of course much drama (one of the aspects I don't miss all that much about teaching high School), but after the big meeting, I got to Sit around with Some of my favorite Students to do Some planning. Makes me realize how much I miss them.

Snow - After hearing the horror Stories of Snow from friends and family in Peoria, I was prepared for the worst, but our version of the big Snow Storm invovled us getting about 1/4 of an inch. This was apparently enough to cause chaos though, as it took Ben 3 times as long as usual to do his morning commute. By the time Bryn and I went out at 9:00 though, everything was under control.

Spine - On Thursday, I had my Second appointment with the chiropractor. My x-rays from the initial appointment revealed by my Spine, especially in the area of the L-4 for those of you who know about such things, is hopelessly out of alignment, this accounting for the Serious Soreness I have been experiencing Since the birth of Bryn. I had a treament involving Something that Sounded like a Staple gun and then some Sticky Sensors Sending electricity into my lower back. Scary.

Stupid Server - The reason that none of you have heard from me this week is because our Stupid internet Service provider has been down almost all week. They blame it on the Storm earlier this week, which worries me, considering that the Storm netted 1/4 inch of Snow and I'm Sure there will be worse coming as the winter progresses. Today, thankfully, our Service was restored.

So that's my week thus far. This weekend includes many hours of retail work, another Spine adjustment, and a Mexican fiesta meal and Snowman cake at game night. I encourage you all to leave comments for me on this post, and I challenge you to use as many S words as you can too! :)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Play Group Games

Last night we resumed our Sunday night gaming sessions, although on this particular night, it was unclear who was enjoying themselves more, the parents or the kids. It seems that a new feature of our grown-up board game nights is a play group for all the kids! Here you can see Elena as the center of attention while she plays with Bryn's Intellitainer. Elena's big brother Elias split his time between the kids (Bryn was the next oldest after him) and joining in with the adults on Apples to Apples (where Ben unfairly appealled to the 4-year-old and won two rounds with "Batman" and "fireman," in spite of the fact that they had nothing to do with the word in question). Also pictured here you can see our new little buddy Christopher (more shots of him on Cathy and Eric's blog, link below), and even a glimpse of Ravage (behind Bryn) as he plays with the "other kids." Bryn was a little uncertain about sharing her toys at first, and she had a bit of a meltdown toward the end of the night because she's getting some new teeth in, but overall, she was a delightful little hostess. Later in the night, this group was joined by both Hannah (more shots on Rob and Andrea's blog, link below) and Elaina (more shots on AJ and Caroline's blog, link below).
As for the adults, well, it's good that we have this new big house, because I don't think we would have fit in the old house! We had quite the assortment of guests: Derek, Eric, Cathy, Mandy, Jennifer, Adarryl, Rob, Andrea, Caroline, AJ, Ryan, and Kathy. Our feast included beef roast, cheesy hashbrown casserole, green bean casserole, homemade white bread, cranberry cream pie, and chocolate cream pie. I for one was stuffed by the end of the evening. In addition to "Apples to Apples," we also played "No Thanks" and some pirate game (sorry, don't know much, I wasn't in on that one). During "No Thanks," Caroline and I lost every time due to our vendettas against each other, following the first round where I lost because Bryn threw some of my chips on the floor and I didn't know they were there. Yes, I admit that I'm a sore loser!
Overall, a good time was had by all. This week includes some trips out to ZCHS for me to start the planning for the Mr. Zionsville pageant. I also have my usual Tuesday-Friday-Saturday-Sunday schedule of work at JoAnn's, and of course the neverending unpacking of boxes, as well as shots for Bryn. Yikes!

Friday, December 01, 2006

Cut and Shots

Last night was pretty notable for all of the MeyPfan girls. First off, we took Brynie to get her very first haircut. We went to Cookie Cutters, where they put her in a little car in place of a regular seat and let her watch her beloved Baby Einstein while the cutting commenced. Once again, people commented on her "serious baby" face, and we had to engage in some big-time antics to get her to smile for the camera at the end, but overall, the only thing that actually upset her about the haircut was when the stylist accidentally got in the way and blocked her view of the TV.

I would say that most of the "styling" consisted of getting rid of our much-loved Grandpa Dave combover, which was getting way too long and unruly and kept falling in her eyes. The stylist convinced us (actually, convinced me; Ben didn't care one way or the other) that little kids should have bangs because otherwise you have to always pull their hair back with a clip or a headband. I was anti-bang at first because hey, it's not the 1980s anymore, and also because I remember what a hideous time I had growing my bangs out in college, where I only succeeded due to daily email affirmations from my dear friend David B. This being Bryn's first cut and all though, I figured we would have ample time to grow the bangage out if we didn't like it. In the end, though, I really like the haircut, even though it makes me a little quesy to realize how grown-up she looks. I didn't notice that much difference last night, probably because the huge plastic barrette the stylist put in her hair threw me off, but when I went in to get her out of bed this morning, I was just overcome with how much like a little person she looks now.

The less-happy event of the evening followed the haircut. We had to take both dogs in for their vaccinations. This proved to be quite an acrobatic feat to transport 2 adults, 2 dogs, and a baby in a carseat in the Jeep. Luckily Bryn was greatly amused by the fact that they kept jumping over her to get from window to window and laughed and babbled at them for the entire car ride. On the short leg of our journey (from the haircut to the vet), Tela decided that she really wanted to be the navigator, and she wedged herself onto my lap in the front seat. I did NOT handle this as well as my daughter did. At any rate, the girls were very good for their shots, although it was definitely a balancing act for me to hold the second dog and the baby while Ben helped the vet hold the dog who was getting shot. Our biggest surprise of the evening was that Tela actually weighs more than Dagny does now, so for all of those of you who were around when we laughed about our fat dog (Derek, remember how she "broke the flowerpot"?), those days are no more.

Today is supposed to hold 2 inches of snow here in central Indiana, which I thought was ridiculously impossible since it was 64 degrees and sunny earlier this week. Sure enough, though, I awakened to the sound of howling wind this morning, and the dogs freaked out a minute ago because a neighbor's plastic deck chair went flying past our window. If this persists, we won't get sod in our yard until spring, meaning we can't put our fence up yet, and I do NOT look foward to continuing walking the dogs each multiple times a day all winter. Okay, my cute-banged toddler is out of juice and hungry for bananas, so I'm off.