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Transitions and New Visions

There’s no two ways about it: Ellie Graye is no longer a baby.  She’s not quite a “big kid” yet, but she’s certainly on her way.  I couldn’t be more excited!

While I was away in Los Angeles, she convinced Daddy to let her sleep in her “big bed” – and while he was quite successful with the whole deal, for me, it hasn’t been all that smooth.  It might be that I just don’t like the thought of her being able to get out of bed, wander the house, and get into who knows what.  Whatever it is, she’s been a total pill.  Bedtime has become more of a chore than the tender time we used to share together; I have to allot at least an hour for the process, and even then it seems she’s still fighting the whole thing.  Tonight was much better than last night, that’s for sure; but there still was a lot of screaming and shouting and carrying on.   I made her sleep in the crib last night, so tonight I had something backing me up – and I’m quite sure that helped.  After quite some time of “settling down” she finally put her head on my shoulder and cuddled with me as we sat singing songs. When she finally said, “Bed, Mommy. Bed,” I almost didn’t want to let her go! It was the first peaceful bedtime in ages!

The lights were out, but I heard her talking, and this is exactly what she was doing…
Then Boots joined her
And it was all over

On top of the transition from crib to bed, she has begun the transition from diaper to potty. Yes, we will be diaper free in the foreseeable future!  For quite a while now, she has been showing signs that she’s ready (she recognizes when she’s going pee-pee, she takes her clothes off, she sits on her little potty, she doesn’t like being wet).  She’s still under two, though, so I have been waiting until she really wanted it. So here we are: potty training.

Having been a “toddler nanny,” I have gone through this process on multiple occasions, so it’s not completely foreign to me. However, it has been so long, I feel like it’s the first time I’ve done this.    Today was the second day of staying home with her pants off, and she was successful about three-quarters of the time!  Not bad, I say.  Tonight after her third or fourth successful trip to the potty, her little face lit up like I’ve never seen, and her body was shaking with excitement!  She’s SOOOOOOO DAMN CUTE!  I am looking forward to a diaper free house! Woo hoo!

Wearing Nana’s shoes
Uncle Jake playing with Guy the Monster…check out her plastic panties. They crack me up!

Besides for transitioning my daughter from the crib to the big bed, potty training her, and teaching her all sorts of new words, sentences, phrases, and such, life at DPF still goes on. Avdoo had an acupuncture treatment this morning, and needed to have a lesson in manners a bit as well.  Boots still needs eye drops 4 times a day (on Sunday, they had to surgically remove a thorn that was stuck in his eye).  I’m watching not just his eye, but also his general health since he had another seizure the other night (a result of not being able to have his meds after the surgery). Sometimes I just can’t believe what a wacky collection of animals I’ve accrued! If it’s not one thing, it’s another!  Aaaah, the joys of owning animals.

Miserable Beagle

Over the last few days I have canned (I made some blackberry jam from last year’s harvest and Jake threw together some of his insanely delicious spice mix), worked in the garden, started some Strawberry vodka with the very few strawberries that I have), and some how have kept my eyes open for the majority of that time!

All that, and I’ve been brainstorming, filming, and trying to create an amazingly impressive video audition for Oprah’s contest that will give someone their OWN show.  Once I get it done, I’ll be sending it out to all of you, in hopes of having you pass it on to all YOUR friends, and then for them to pass it to THEIR friends…stay tuned. If you have any input, I’m more than willing to hear ideas, suggestions, or just simple observations about who I am, how to present it, or what you would want to see!

Watch out! There are cameras everywhere!

Just because I don’t have enough going on, I’m also hosting Renee’s parents for the next few days, and of course, had to spend some time preparing for their arrival.

I always put a basket of easy snacks in the guest room. Having access to easy nibbles makes a guest feel more welcome, and less awkward when they get the urge to graze!

It was pouring rain, but I just couldn’t stand the thought of not having fresh flowers to welcome them, so out I went in the rain, and brought in more flowers than I ultimately needed.  I also discovered that for the first time since we’ve lived here, the deer have found our rose garden.  It sucks, and we’ll have to figure out some way to keep them out….I’m still not sure how.  The garden is in pretty sad shape compared to when we first moved here, but I’m working on learning more and I haven’t killed EVERYTHING yet…

I love the simplicity of this arrangement…flowers that you would otherwise walk right by, make such a statement when bunched tightly together!

Over the last few days, I’ve been cooking a bunch (while Jake takes video), and I’ve come up with a few kick ass recipes. I’m definitely going to post the chicken salad recipe that is to die for, and while it has been in my repertoire, I mixed it up a bit this time.  The result was just amazing, and the little green side salad? It came straight from the garden!

Chicken Cashew Salad with Avocado and Provolone

No more carrots, Ellie!

I also made a delicious Asian Onion Soup from the onions that were still in the garden from last year.  The stems were extremely hard (like WOOD hard), and I almost thought they were unusable….however, I boiled them, then strained all the pieces out, and just used the broth – and wow! it was DELICIOUS.  I’m pretty sure the recipe would work with leeks too, because fresh onions would have too strong of a flavor.  I’ll try it with leeks and if it is as delicious as tonight’s dinner, I’ll be sure to post the recipe!

Making the broth....this became........................

Asian Onion Soup with Mirin Chicken
……………..THIS!  Asian Onion Soup with Mirin Chicken

Last but not least, I have to share some of my photos with you.  I managed to capture a few shots that I’m just loving…they wouldn’t win a photo contest, but I love the spirit of them…awww, birds!


One Comments to “Transitions and New Visions”

  1. Melissa, you are such an amazing woman and I feel so blessed to know you. Thank you for sharing your life almost everyday online! I hope to see you more and remain friends even though I dont see you at swimbabes! Sending you lots of good energy! Love to you and your family!

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