we had a surprise birthday party for gina bina on saturday. it was not an easy undertaking-but somehow no one spilled the beans! lisa had gone outside to see if she'd be able to spot their car when they came down the street and lo and behold-there were brad & gina in. the. driveway. lisa was quick on the fly and said she was watching for her babysitter to come, but that didn't give the rest of us any preparation. so there we all were, standing around munching when the birthday girl walked in through the backdoor. it was awkward. and surprising for everyone. after about five seconds of stupified grins and silence, we managed to get a "surprise" out. then gina cried. mission accomplished!

*thanks to lisa for thinking of it and making it happen. and thanks to the rest for bringing yourselves and the food-it was all SO good.

*OH, and thanks to gina for coming-sure wouldn't have been a pary without you or your purple shirt! i still can't believe you wore purple...!

and, of course, i had to throw in a photo of the dessert spread i made (with the help of my mom-who was in town-post on that to follow). yummmmm...


9 months

9 months stats:

teeth: 2!
weight: 18 lbs. 6 oz./42%tile
length: 28 inches/60%tile

the doctor has a mirror on the wall that runs along the little bed/table. haven was IN LOVE with herself, laughing and kissing herself. it was sort of unreal, but we realized the only mirror in our house is the bathroom vanity, so this was totally new and exciting for her. the doctor thinks she's "a vain little thing" and the nurse said "my sister is the same way." i tried to take some pictures of the flirtation going on (with herself) but all i had was my camera phone, so they're pretty lousy.

she's starting to babble a lot and even gets out some mama and dada's. she's at that age where we're really starting to fall in love with her. we've loved her from the start, but now is when it starts to get fun and her personality really starts to show. the only thing i'm sad to report: her cheeks are deflating. noticeably. so we're trying to enjoy what's left of them while they last...


pay it forward

"The first 3 people to leave a comment on this post will receive a handmade (or possibly store-bought) gift from me during this year. When and what will be a surprise. There's a small catch though...Post this same thing on your own blog and then come back and leave a comment telling me you're in. Remember, only the first 3 comments receive the gift!"




lots of double dog dares and even a triple! well, i guess there's no getting out of this one. i've been saving this gem for a rainy day, and although it's actually sunny today, it's still cold and i'm bored (if i still had a dog maybe i'd walk it). so here goes...

from left to right:

kindergarten-you've got to have the bowl, right?

1st grade-pierced ears (i remember getting off the school bus and rotating my earrings, just like they told me to, thinking i was so cool).

2nd grade-notice that i've got my second set of (BIG) teeth. this is the year i peed my pants at school. on my "special day"! what are the odds? good thing is that my mom was already coming in for my special day anyway, so she just brought me some new clothes. oh, and i totally had a crush on mike smith.

3rd grade-emilie and i got perms and i remember thinking my sweater was the prettiest thing ever (it had roses on the bottom, which, sadly, you can't see). BUT my mom had to leave town for picture day and my dad did our hair-and BRUSHED out the perms. our teachers told my mom that they tried to salvage our do's, but as you can see-dad did some damage.

i'd say this is when things begin to go downhill...

4th grade-this sweet vest had matching hammer pants. that's right, hammer pants. i remember being sort of bugged because i got the outfit when we were in florida, so i was sure that no one else would have the same one. instead, another girl had it AND wore it on picture day AND her name was melanie martin (my maiden name is martin), so she was right beside me in the class picture! so uncool.

5th grade-notice that i've toned down the wardrobe and have added a special "b.f.f." necklace! allie and i were b.f.f. and i think we even had a three-piece one as well with our other b.f.f., erin. this was my last year at haine elementary and before i left allie and i cut our hands and stuck the bloody mess together to seal ourselves as "blood sisters."

6th grade-my shining moment! ah, where to begin...i kept this one hidden for years. that is, until i took stevie to 'meet the parents' and my mom busted it out in all its 8x10 glory. stevie almost called off the engagement (i'm still not sure if he was totally kidding). in my defense, my dad was responsible for the most obvious problem: my 'kelly martin' glasses ('kelly martin' in respect only to color, because i'm quite sure her glasses were much more fashionable. and were her size.) my dad took me to sears for new glasses and despite the best efforts of the sales associates to persuade him otherwise, he was determined that these glasses would be a sound purchase; i would grow into them. instead, i was dubbed 'flat-face' because the large glasses combined with my small nose made my profile just that-flat. you can betchyurbottom i upgraded to contacts shortly thereafter. oh, and the hair...i don't even know what excuse would suffice.

so there you have it, LTB K-6. ain't that a sight to behold?!

now, i'm going to double dog dare a few of you (one for each grade i dared to reveal): holwonder, alifinale, +L, blonde canary, gina bina, shannon and jess.


haven's feats of strength

haven has some great tricks-most of which are harder than if she'd actually just crawl. although she's made a ton of progress since she started her dead-man-crawl two weeks ago, so i think she'll be on to a full crawl within a week. wish her luck!



jessie tagged me to post the fourth picture in the fourth folder of my photos. unfortunately, i backup my photos monthly and then delete them from my hard drive, so this isn't a blast from the past or anything crazy like that (although if someone double dog dares me i just might post my sixth grade picture). i've been practicing with my new camera and lenses and this is my favorite from the batch of little graham who was visiting last week. his eyes kill me.

{stay back, little ladies, he's betrothed to haven. as is owen and caleb. we have to keep our options open, but we're still staking claim on all of them till further notice!}

now i tag sheena, +L, emmy may, and j-rok

bunco romantico

i hosted bunco this month and decided to do a valentine's theme. i immediately remembered the good ol' days of making a special valentine's box to take to school and use for the valentine exchange. so, in addition to the regular festivities each of the girls brought their box/bag and we exchanged treats and cards. i served cheese fondue with cubed french bread, cubed ham, and seasoned potato wedges. and then we gorged on a chocolate fountain with all the dippers. prizes were all sorts of fabulous valentine decor & a special romantic date-night basket of goodies for the grand-prize winner (who, i might add is the girl who least needs assistance from props and treats!).

{p.s. i think i'm becoming obsessed with glitter and doilies.}