Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy Holidays....

I know I'm a little behind in my writing. Emily's 10 now and in the third grade. Wait! That's next year. She only acts like she's 10. Not 10 years old, more like there's 10 of her running around at the same time. Christmas has come and gone, the person who picked the shortest time in the pool on how long it would take to break the new stereo, fountain and fish tank was the winner. That baby can wreck a room even while under direct adult supervision. (direct adult supervision being mom, less than adult supervision being dad) I can hardly wait to see what the new year brings.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

and the winner is.....

Me. I heard the door handle on the bathroom door jiggle and before I could react, I had company. Emily Grace burst through the door as happy and as proud as she could be. The more I tried to coax her out of the bathroom the more interested she became in what I was sitting on (the toilet) and what I was doing (none of your business). Amazingly, no one wanted to come to my rescue. I had to just wait her out. Live and learn.


Saturday, October 4, 2008

the end of privacy...

Forget about President Bush and his flying ring of spy satellites that he wants to use on us. Emily Grace has mastered the doorknob. I caught her practicing opening and closing her bedroom door today. When mommy retreated to the bedroom to be able to talk on the phone Emily Grace marched right over, open the door and walked in. Can't wait to see who's the first one to forget to lock the bathroom door.....


Monday, September 8, 2008

more fine art

I did need to comment on the Ringling Museum's modern art exhibit. Several of the piece look as if they've come from the Cofer Brothers U-Pull-It salvage yard. It doesn't matter how much you still shine it up, junk is junk.


Sunday, September 7, 2008

fine art

While in Sarasota a visit to the Ringling Museum is a must; beautiful art, beautiful grounds and clowns, what more do you need? Emily Grace was not feeling well the day we went to the Ringling Museum. The room sized baroque paintings were not enough to keep a 1-year old engaged. We managed to keep her happy by finding all of the dogs that were in the paintings. Every time we found and pointed out a dog to her Emily Grace would "woof" for us. At last count there are 39 dogs in the paintings at the Ringling. Emily was a little confused by the angels in the paintings, she thought they were birds. I explained to her that angels were just the result from people having sex with chickens. Mom was not amused.


Friday, September 5, 2008

answers to one of life's pressing questions

I got an answer to the hotel/motel question in the last blog. It seems that one has a heated pool and the other a cesspool.

Thanks Brent,

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

hurricane safety

What better place to take a baby during a hurricane than the beach? We went to Sarasota for the Labor Day weekend, staying at the Lido Beach Resort. A very nice hotel, I'm not quite sure what makes it a "resort"could be the two, count 'em two ping pong tables; maybe it was the fish pond. Of course I'm still unclear on the whole hotel/motel and which is which, so remember your source here. The Lido Beach Resort was a very nice place. My only complaint is that there are no towels or even paper towels in the kitchen. Have you ever tried to dry a wine glass with a bath towel?

Emily loved the beach, even if the hurricane whipped waves were over her head. She loved the swimming pool even if it was over her head too.


Monday, August 18, 2008

important safety tip

Always be sure to securely knot the end of the Diaper Genie before you close the contraption and fill it with diapers. Take it from someone who knows.


Tuesday, August 12, 2008

She's back from vacation...

Emily Grace is back from visiting her Grandma and Grandpa in beautiful Ashtabula, Ohio: the home of covered bridges and not much else. They are on Lake Erie, but you can't really get down to it. The Amish communities are interesting, but they don't watch The Daily Show so what is there to talk to them about.

What was, for me, most interesting is the fact that Ashtabula is trying so hard to attract tourist dollars. They're building these covered bridges, which have to be the least cost effective bridges, in the poorest county in the state of Ohio to attract tourists. Yet, the one thing they could do for free is completely neglected. Customer service. How much would it cost to have the employees of the hotels, restaurants and stores at least pretend that they're glad to see you. It was pretty clear that my arrival on their doorstep was a major annoyance for them. The three employees at Alamo Rent-A-Car could not have been any more un-happy/annoyed when I walked up to claim my reservation. It's not like there was a line. I was the only person there. When I went back in to ask a question they were downright hostile. That will be the last time I rent from them.

The Holiday Inn Express in Ashtabula is another good example. When I made the reservation I called the hotel directly. I asked for a non-smoking room, Emily Grace hasn't acquired the habit yet, although she would like to start so she can get some of that great tobacco money. Anyway, the young lady I spoke to said she would put us on the first floor, away from the smoke. When we checked in they gave us room 325. When we got off the elevator on the third floor and took one breath, we should have gotten right back on the elevator and returned to the lobby. A non-smoking room on the smoking floor is like having a window room on the Titanic, "Look I see fish."

Trying to change rooms was a nightmare. The staff and management could not have made it any more difficult or unpleasant. I highly recommend staying anywhere that's not the Holiday Inn Express.


Sunday, August 10, 2008

terrible twos? already?

At 13 months it seems a little early to be trying tantrums, but kids grow up so fast these days. Emily Grace's problem is that both mom and I face the worst Emily Grace can dish out times ten everyday at school; so, when Emily throws a fit it's just funny for us. That must bug the heck out of Emily Grace. Too bad.


Friday, August 8, 2008

Car off the bridge!?? I didn't do it...

Today was the first day the Emily Grace went to "daycare" that wasn't grandma and grandpa. Even though Emily was with a mother whose daughter is in mom's class it was still traumatic for mom. I have to give mom credit, she didn't call once to check. I wish the same could be said for me.


Thursday, August 7, 2008


Emily Grace at one year of age has had three nicknames, Boobers, Saintonge (pronounced "san-jay") and the latest Jub-Jub. All of these fine names have been given to Emily by her older sister Katie. Who, growing up, had the unfortunate nickname of "the Meatloaf" for her rectangular little body that really did look like a little meatloaf when she was born. Emily's oldest sister was known as the "stunt baby." When she was born I was working in TV and whenever we needed a baby for a commercial we would use her; she always did everything we asked, right on cue. Now-a-days, her nickname might be "call my agent" or "leave your number in the ashtray and I'll get back to you." They grow up so fast...


Wednesday, August 6, 2008

swingin' with the Amish

Emily Grace is back from another big vacation; this time it was to Northeast Ohio to visit my parents. Emily is getting the hang of traveling. She always gets a window seat on the airplane, even if it means sitting on her big sister's lap for the whole trip. Emily loves the extra cookies the stewardesses slip her on AirTran. She enjoyed looking at the horses and buggies as we drove around in the Amish country. But what was most impressive is when she found one of the key cards for the hotel room and was sliding it all over the door trying to figure out how to get out of the hotel room. What will she think of next?


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

more communication...

Grandma is convinced that she taught Emily Grace to point to her teeth when you ask. Which Emily Grace does do. She also points to her teeth if you ask her where her nose, eyes and ears are located.

These photos were taken by Robert Rostick, located here in Tampa. He gets a 5 star recommendation for beautiful photography.


Monday, July 28, 2008

I'm talkin' to you!

Emily Grace has been "talking" (expressive) for a couple of months, starting at 10 months. We/she started with sign language, "more, all done, drink, open, up, give me your wallet." Verbally, she can say "bird, book, Dada, air" (for airplane) and "Mmmmm" (for it's good) "moo, meow" and her favorite "woof." What, to me, is so interesting is her receptive language skills; she will actually follow simple directions, I'm sure that will change as she gets older. And then there is always the un-intended communications; that would be the sumo wrestler squat, or maybe it's an NFL lineman, but depending on how long she's in the huddle (as we call it) will determine how many baby wipes you'll be using later.....


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Now I know...

I always thought that "child-proofing" the house was for the safety of Emily Grace. Wrong! It's to help me keep my sanity; even if it isn't working very well these days. Mom uses baking soda to clean the house and stores it under the sink. The cabinet is "child-proofed" but every time I turn around Emily's walking around with the baking soda and the cabinet is still locked. How is this possible? It's like living with a miniature version of David Copperfield. Finally, the secret revealed! Just like a bad Fox TV special. Emily was crawling into the cabinets two doors down and climbing over everything until she gets what she needs. I'm not sure I feel any better now that I know that I need to keep everything four feet above floor level. Should be handy in case of flooding.....


Saturday, July 26, 2008

Where does she find the time?

I just don't understand how someone so little and so busy has the time to do so much damage. Who re-programmed the stereo? Why is everybody on the TV green? Who put my watch in the toilet? Where did my shoes go? Quick! Run to the bathroom to be sure someone's not flushing them too. Yet, every time you look for her she's sitting quietly, reading a book or hugging her dolly. Might be time for some security cameras.....


Sunday, July 20, 2008

it was bound to happen

Emily Grace and I are now on the same nap schedule.


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

only days away...

It's hard to believe that Emily Grace is going to be a year old in two days. She loves to read (Duck on a Bike) is a favorite, she loves birds and airplanes. She would eat fruit and nothing but fruit for every meal if we let her; mealtime is easy, Emily eats everything (lobster didn't go over too well). She calls me Dada to get my attention and works to make me laugh. Best of all is to watch Emily and her mom interact; the expressions of love that pass between them is breathtaking to behold.
Happy Birthday, beautiful.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

We're on vacation

God help us all! Well, fortunately, for mommy and daddy grandma and grandpa came with us so there is plenty of entertainment and people to cajole Emily. We must admit, however, that she's been a good traveler. She survived the plane ride with a little fussing because she wanted to sleep, but then had a blast going up and down the stairs in the Baltimore airport during our layover. She's not a big fan of her car seat, but she's almost outgrown it and who would like to ride backwards anyway?

She's been on a few hikes, pushed her stroller on the carriage road (instead of riding in it), splashed in a tide pool, picked up over a million rocks (only ate a few), and watched the tide go in and out. Tasted some lobster today (she preferred the corn), yelled at some kids in the park, drove a tractor, and figured out that standing in the crib to yell at mom and dad gets immediate results, especially when mom and dad are forced to sleep in the same room. The one thing good about coming home will be separate bedrooms. Pictures will follow....more hikes and adventures tomorrow.

Love, Mom

Monday, May 12, 2008

so many things to bite, so little time....

I don't which is worse, six teeth or two feet; either choice is nothing but trouble. I watched the other day as Emily walked across the kitchen, removed the "child-proof" lock from the cabinet and proceeded to use it for dental floss.

At ten months old Emily is already clamoring for "real" food. No more pre-digested chicken for her. It's lots of fun watching her inspect each bite of food before she decides whether to allow you to shovel it in.

The walking is still in a "toddling/crashing" stage. It's like watching a drunken sailor walking on the deck of a ship during a big storm. Your first inclination is to yell man overboard and throw her a life preserver; in which she would promptly bite a hole.


Thursday, April 10, 2008


Emily Grace would like to welcome the newest addition to the family, Lindsay Marie; another beautiful baby girl. Emily is not hiding from the competition.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Cooking, eating, snacking if there's food involved Emily's there ready for a taste and if she doesn't want it or like it? Good luck. Emily seems to be able to discriminate between her foods and when she's had enough of something no amount of coaxing can get her to eat it. It's not that she's a picky eater, but how many spoonfuls of peas can anyone eat before they've had enough and the evasive maneuvers begin; head shaking side to side, her head back over the chair, hands flailing, mouth locked shut. If you get something different that she likes, no problem, Emily looks like a little bird in the nest waiting for the next mouthful of food.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Emily's Egg-cellent Adventure

There's nothing better than a basket of empty plastic Easter eggs to keep a baby entertained; just wait until she finds out that the eggs usually come with candy inside (unless dad gets to them first). The big hit for Emily's first Easter was the discovery of something called stairs. I thought climbing the stairs would be a problem for her, shows how much I know; she never even broke stride as she motored right up stairs. God help us.


Monday, March 24, 2008

It's never too late

Even when I get home from school too late to see Emily Grace before she goes to bed, her presence is everywhere; from the shredded magazines to the overturned furniture, you can tell she's had a busy and productive day.


Sunday, March 23, 2008

As if it's not falling out fast enough

It's bad enough that Emily likes to pull my hair but now when I'm giving her a bath she gets hold of my hair and before I can escape her clutches she's kicking me in the eye; had to call for mom to rescue me. The best part of the whole ordeal is that Emily thinks it's hilarious.


Saturday, March 15, 2008

It must be magic

I don't know how she does it it but Emily Grace somehow manages to untie all of my shoes. At first I thought Mom was playing a joke on me but the fact that the ends of the shoe laces are always wet leads me to believe that is the culprit is Emily. Mom is as smart as she is beautiful but even she has limits when it comes to practical jokes.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

on the horizon...

Emily's starting to stand on her own, a little too much if you ask me. Although there is something very endearing when you sit down on the couch and she crawls over and pulls herself up. It starts with the flurry of activity as she crawls over, talking loudly all the way and then the silence as she grabs hold and pulls herself up up. The head slowly appears over the horizon of the couch cushion and then the eyes appear looking for you, followed by that great lopsided grin when she finds that you're still sitting there. Now if I just had time to "baby-proof" the kitchen, the garage, our bedroom, Grandma and Grandpa, the cats.......


Sunday, March 9, 2008

Another tooth for Emily

What can a baby do with two teeth? Tear up a house. Bite everything in reach and enjoy every minute of it.


Monday, March 3, 2008

The definition of ambivilant....

Today was my first day back at work after two months of paternity leave. I was so sad to be leaving Emily Grace that I woke up at 3am and couldn't go back to sleep. It's not going back to work that's the problem, I love my job. I just knew that I'd miss that little lopsided grin as she crawled through the house wreaking havoc just like Sherman's march through the South. The only saving grace in all of this is that she's being taken care of by her Grandparents and I know that Emily adores her Grandma and Grandpa and they adore her.


Saturday, February 16, 2008

And a baby shall lead the way...

Mom, Emily and I went on a hike at the Booker Creek Preserve here in Florida. Now, Mom and I have taken lots of hikes over the years in many different places; in all kind of conditions. And I can say without a doubt that the trails at the Booker Creek Preserve are the best marked trails in all of America. The baby could follow these trails. The choice was a smooth sandy path or a sharp, cutting crawl through pointy, jagged undergrowth. Just in case the pain factor wasn't enough to help you figure out which way to go; there were trail markers every five feet. Why don't they just tie a rope around you and drag you through the park? They must lose an inordinate number of people in the parks here in Florida.


Just in case

Just in case you couldn't see the tooth. If you click on the picture (any of the pictures) it will expand to drive-in movie proportions.


Friday, February 15, 2008

Hard to see, easy to feel.....just ask mom

After an exhaustive search and extensive photo shoot we were able to capture the elusive first tooth on film. It took lots of cajoling, plenty of hot water and a lot of laughter but we finally got it.
Enjoy. Dad

Thursday, February 14, 2008

don't let that cute face fool you....

When Emily grows up she should open a destruction company, that's not a typo. She is a one baby wrecking crew. She's relentless. The house was clean, everything put away and then she woke up. The pictures say it all.


Tuesday, February 5, 2008

There she goes........

There was a time that I didn't care for toys that made noise. Then I figured out that I could keep track of Emily's whereabouts by listening for the music from her toys; if the music was playing then she had to be with the toy. Well..... I could hear the music playing and when I went for a visual check Emily and the musical duck were on their way out of the family room and to the bathroom. So much for the best laid plans. The picture is Emily on her way to a bath, we undress her in the bedroom and she crawls all the way to the bathroom. Watch where you step.


Friday, February 1, 2008

The "grass" is always greener....

It's amazing just how many diapers one baby can use in a day. I'm thinking of renaming Emily Grace "The Super Soaker." On a side note. In preparation for Emily's adventures outside I finally decided to take care of the lawn. (Lawn here being described as a generic green mass that kept mowed prevents the homeowners' association from sending me threatening letters). So I sprayed it with a Weed n' Feed from Ortho; two days later, everything was dead. Now, when Emily crawls across the lawn you can follow her progress by the dust cloud that follows along behind her.


Wednesday, January 30, 2008

A new standard

Here's a shock, even after selling "fashions" at the Home Shopping Network for four years I'm still style impaired; especially where Emily's clothes are involved. I know there's a problem with the baby's outfit when the first question mom asks when she sees Emily is "You didn't leave the house today did you?"


Sunday, January 27, 2008

Where do they all come from???

Feeding Emily Grace is like trying to feed Dr. Octopus; hands keep appearing from under the table grabbing everything in sight. There's a hand swatting the spoon, another rubbing the food into her eyes, there goes another grabbing the bowl. How did she get the napkin in her mouth? Where did the spoon go? The arms (all eight of them) are also a lot longer than you think, nothing is out of reach for Emily Grace.


Friday, January 25, 2008

What I want to know is?

Is it mean to feed the baby a whole jar of prunes when you know she's going to Grandma's for the afternoon?


Tuesday, January 22, 2008

What can you say?

What can you say about a little girl who follows you around the house on her hands and knees, complaining that you're moving too fast? The sign that she wants to be picked up is that she bumps against you with her head. Emily's actually standing on her own at 6 months, she doesn't know she's standing, she's just interested in getting the vacuum cleaner cord to her mouth; the fact that she's standing there doing it is of no importance to her.


Saturday, January 19, 2008

She's a crawling, biting machine...

Mom went back to work just in time to leave me with a crawling, drooling, biting machine. Emily Grace has her first tooth and from all of the drool I'm sure the others can't be far behind. For 6 months old I'm constantly surprised by how fast she can crawl, turn your back for a second and she's under the table, look away and she's dragging the 5lb. bag of bird seed off the shelf, the only thing between Emily and taking a cat "nip" from the poor cat's tail is the sliding glass door.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

different shades of pink...

Brad Pitts' representatives called and asked us to stop talking to Angelina Jolie's representatives; they also wanted to know if Emily Grace came in any other colors.


Monday, January 14, 2008

you know she's cute when....

You know you have a cute baby when representatives from Angelina Jolie contact you three times about adopting your daughter.


Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Today is the first day of the rest of the week...

Today is my first day home all day as a stay-at-home dad with Emily. How am I supposed to get anything done? When Emily's awake, she's crawling all over the place gnawing on anything and everything she can reach. Best of all she will crawl through all of her toys to get to something she shouldn't have, i.e. shoes, electrical cords, the cat, microscopic bits of whatever the vacuum doesn't pick up. And when she finally falls asleep you can't do anything because she'll wake up and continue her quest for the best tasting furniture.... Love you honey.