Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Friday, December 5, 2008


I always enjoy decorating for Christmas. Especially once it's all done and the house is so cozy and festive. This year we've had the added aesthetic bonus of a real wood burning fire since removing our gas logs a couple of weeks ago. (Might sound like a strange thing to do, but whenever we turned the gas logs on, the whole house would smell strongly of gas. Gas company said there was no leak, but clearly something was wrong. Then last summer we had to take a tree down, which gave us lots of really nice cherry wood, so those two things combined convinced us to go old school. :)

Anyway, back to Christmas decorating...

Eliana loves to play with the Little People Nativity that my cousin gave her for her first birthday. Every year I've been putting it away around the end of January, so it's like a new toy again as Christmas approaches. My mom collects Nativity Sets, so at her house, many of them are not so playable...this led to Eliana saying, "Oma, I want to see 'just-the-look-at-Baby-Jesus'."

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Eliana's THREE!

Saturday, November 29th, Eliana turned 3 years old. She had lots of fun at her "My Little Pony" Birthday party with friends and family. This marked the first year she blew out her candles all by herself! It was a fun weekend, and I'll post more later...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

another Mr. & Mrs. Perkins!

Congratulations, Dan and Amy!

Two weekends ago we traveled to Amy's home town, Lancaster, Ohio, for Dan and Amy's wedding. It was a beautiful weekend with gorgeous, warm, weather. We spent a few hours Friday enjoy the wonderful fall day at a great park. The rehearsal dinner was on Halloween night, so we let Eliana dress as Snow White. The wedding day was equally beautiful. Stu and I were both attendants, and Eliana was the flower girl. She was very excited about her role and had been practicing her "flower girl walk" for weeks. When the moment came, she threw the first few petals, but then sat down in the isle to play with them. It took a little coaxing, but she made it the rest of the way, followed by the beautiful bride. There's lots of pics here if you're interested.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Guess Who's Thirty?!

Happy Birthday, Stuart! I love you!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

2-year-old Etiquette

I'll be posting more about our trip to Ohio and my bro-in-law's wedding (with pics!), but right now (since I'm at school and supposed to be working) I just wanted to tell you a quick story about our trip that I found amusing. Hopefully you will too...

The morning of the wedding we went down to the hotel lobby for breakfast (the free kind :). Eliana was enjoying her "vacation breakfast" of fruit loops, and ate them all. Of course she had a big bowl of milk left, and proceeded to pick it up and drink the milk. She got a quick rebuke from my mother-in-law. Grandma was appalled that Eliana would drink her milk from her bowl! What really made it funny to me was: 1. Stuart had just done the exact same thing, but his mom hadn't noticed, and 2. the look on Eliana's face. She had a mix of surprise, shame, confusion, and regret that I just can't quite communicate. Trust me, it was priceless. Like a good little girl, she set her bowl down. She asked me later why Grandma had gotten upset with her, and I guess I un-did the etiquette lesson, because I told her it was okay to drink her milk from her bowl. In the realm of "picking your battles", for me, this is definitely not one of them!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


It's not often I get to try something new, but the other day a co-worker of mine brought me a bag of persimmons harvested from a tree in her backyard. She had to explain to me what they were! I've done a little research... Persimmons are an Asian fruit, not common to the United States and grow only in a few places on the east coast and California. They are a fall fruit, harvested October - December, and provide important nutrients like beta-carotene, Vitamin C and potassium. Orange colored when ripe, Fuyu persimmons can be eaten out of hand like an apple or pear, and there isn't any need to peel them. The California Grower's Association described them as crisp like an apple, sweet like a pear. You can let persimmons ripen until soft (fully orange) and use as a puree for baking or sauces, or make easy sorbet by just freezing and then peeling. Its flavor reminded me a bit of pumpkin - very fall tasting! - so adding nuts, raisins, brown sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, etc. when cooking would be a nice compliment.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Swimming in October!

We haven't gotten around to closing the pool yet, so today Eliana decided to take advantage. She had been playing outside and it was quite warm, so I figured, why not? She wanted me to swim with her, but there's just something not right about swimming in October.

Yeah, that's a leaf floating in the pool with her...

Tuesday, September 30, 2008



Win a Free Handbag!

Thanks to Tricia for pointing this out...

Handbagplanet is giving away 24 purses in 24 hours to promote the launch of their new company. Entry is really easy, and they bribe you with more entries to mention it on your blog. :)
Just go here:
Good Luck!

Which one do you think I chose?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Eliana making conversation...

"Mommy! I like the spice (in the dinner). That's because I'm a big girl! But I'm a little small. But I'm going to keep growing and growing until I'm a big girl as tall as you!! And the baby's going to get bigger and bigger cause your tummy's going to get bigger..."

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Wait a little longer...

I was supposed to have my gender-telling ultrasound today, but I had to reschedule until next week. So sorry to keep you waiting! I feel like this pregnancy is going by so quickly. I'm already at 19 weeks! I've gotten some pregnancy-pics requests, and these aren't the greatest, but they come with a cute story... Eliana has been giving the baby hugs for a while now. She'll point to my stomach and say, with increasing excitement and volume, "Mommy, I like your baby. When she comes out, I'll give her a kiss. And then I'll have a FRIEND!!" She's practically screeching and jumping up and down by the time she gets to 'friend'. It's very cute. But yesterday she didn't want to wait to give the baby a kiss, so she lifted up my shirt and started kissing my belly. I had to grab the camera. :)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Eliana's Favorite Things

1. Books
2. Baby Patches
3. Her Paci
4. Twirly Dresses

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Eliana woke up really early this morning, so while I was attempting (without success) to get a little more sleep, I heard her and our good friend Heath (who had come back to the house with Stu from the rec center) having a conversation downstairs. Eliana was not happy about her daddy leaving for work...

Heath asked Eliana: "What does your daddy do at work?"
Eliana replied: "He makes money so we can live in this house."

So very funny. As much as I just wanted to be asleep, it made me laugh.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Baby Flutters!!

Last night as I was lying down to go to sleep, I felt the first baby movements! "Quickening", as they call it. I don't really get that term. Anyway, it made me smile. Feeling those little (later, not so little!) reminders of life is my favorite part of being pregnant. It just amazes me that there's a life growing inside of me. Not to mention, I still find it so weird! I'm now about 18 weeks along.

I had a check-up last Friday and Eliana came along. She was very excited to hear the baby's heart beat. The doctor jokingly said, "It sounds like a boy!", and Eliana didn't like that comment very much! She disagreed. We'll find out if it's a boy or girl in less than two weeks! Maybe we'll let you know. ;)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Lucy's Visit

Just want to say a big 'thank you' to our good friend Lucy for making the trip from Puerto Rico to come visit us. We had so much fun with you! Hurry back! :)

Friday, August 29, 2008

Another cousin got Married!

My parents spent part of last week in NJ visiting family and the week ended on the north side of Philidelphia for my cousin Stephen's wedding. His little sister Lindsay just got married 3 months prior. Unfortunately, we weren't able to make it to CA for Lindsay's wedding, but we did get to meet the lucky guy last Sunday.

Steve and Lauren's wedding was a lot of fun, and i think it'll be a long time before we forget how much fun Eliana had! She loved the dance floor and had a blast playing with Clara!

the Newley Weds, Lindsay and Grant with Aunt Claire

the Even Newer Newley Weds, Steve and Lauren

We're so happy for you!

See lots more pictures of the NJ visit and Skaar wedding:

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Norfolk Botanical Gardens

We've recently had the pleasure of visiting Norfolk Botanical Gardens twice. They have the greatest childrens' area called "World of Wonders". Eliana loved it and had so much fun playing in the fountains. It makes getting a yearly pass very tempting, especially since you can get any 6 people in each time. Here's some pictures to enjoy. :)

Eliana at NBG in June 2007 and then August 2008.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Just so cute...

I can't help but post these pictures of my little ringlet-beauty. She loves "reading", and I'm so glad that books are her favorite toys!

Budding Artist

I don't know why it's taken me so long to give Eliana finger paints to play with, maybe I just didn't want to deal with the mess (though that wasn't as bad as I thought it'd be), but I finally did last week, and she had a blast! We got out one of daddy's old t-shirts for a smock, and started creating!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Blueberry Bush Party!

Those are Eliana's words. Ellie and I had a "blueberry bush party" with her good friends Robertson and Simeon, and their mama, Ali. Every berry Robertson and Eliana picked ended up in their mouths, so they went home with empty buckets, but Ali and I picked a good bunch. Yum! I'm looking forward to some blueberry muffins, pancakes, smoothies...!

Saturday Fun...

Saturday wasn't the typical day of yard work because there was too much fun to be had! We went to my dad's company picnic during the day and then our friend Julia's wedding that night.

The family at the "picnic party", as Ellie says (the last one is of Eliana thoroughly enjoying her Cheetos):

At Julia's wedding with friends, Kim and Matt; and the bride and groom:

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The best way to Nap...

...after a long, hard day at the beach. :)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Baby Shower!

It's that time in my life...just about done with any foreseeable bridal showers, and loaded with baby showers! I love it! This past Saturday I helped give a baby shower with my friends Ali and Melissa for our friend Suzanne. Ali and I were friends in high school, as were Melissa and Suzanne. The four of us met the first day of freshmen orientation at Mary Washington College (I don't like calling it University of...), and we have been friends ever since. Marie, another friend from MWC, was so sweet to make the long drive to come to the shower.

Melissa had a fun idea to do a 'onesie' theme. She handmade some very cute onesie invitations, Ali made a really great onesie cake, and we asked everyone to bring a onesie for the baby so we could have a 'greatest onesie' contest (and Suzanne could get a bunch of unique onesies for Lily!). Suzanne's baby, Lily Ruth, is due October 8th. We can't wait to meet Lily! One really cool thing about her name- 'Suzanne' means 'Lily'!

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Stu: "Come here, Princess"
Eliana: "I'm not a princess, I'm just Eliana"

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Road Trip

My mom, Eliana and I spent the week of July 4th in New Jersey with my mom's parents and two of her sisters and their families. We had a really nice time. Eliana was very excited to see G.G. and Papa, got especially attached to my Aunt Mary ("Oma, I love your sister Mary...where's Mary?"), and had a really great time playing with my cousin's kids, Clara and David. We missed fireworks last year, so this year was her first real experience with the "bright lights and boom boom that hurt [her] little ears"!

Check out the picasa album for more pictures. Remember, if you have a google account and download the free picasa software from google, you can also download any of my pictures into your account. It's pretty cool. Enjoy!

We have pictures of me and my brothers, about Ellie's age now, posing at these same trees.

Aunt Mary took us to the Bergen County Zoo. We had a fun little train ride around the park and saw some pretty neat animals.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Finally, a Beach Day!

It took me until June 25th to get to the beach this year. And I haven't yet been again. What a shame. Some beach bum I am! I guess I don't deserve that title anymore. I do still love to go to the beach, but it's awfully nice having a pool at home, and so much less effort is required to get to the water! I do feel blessed to live so close to the ocean, though.

My mom, Eliana, and I had a beautiful day. Ellie wasn't too sure about the waves, but she loved the water once we were past them! When I laid on my towel to read a book, Eliana wanted a book too. It was so cute. My little mimic.

Eliana's Announcement

"My mommy has a baby growing in her tummy. That means I'm gonna have a brother or a sister!"

We're, of course, very excited about the new-one due February 16th! Thanks for all the prayers and support!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sleepy Girl

Ever since Eliana started sleeping in her big girl bed, nap times have been a challenge. We're at the point now that they're basically nonexistent. I try to enforce a "rest time" where Ellie has to stay in her room, hopefully in bed. She just reads her books. No napping occurs. My dilema is that she often gets too tired to make it to 7:30 or 8pm.
Cases in point:
-Falling asleep at dinner.

-Falling asleep while on a bike ride.

It has been nice to get her in bed a little earlier (for her that means 8 or 8:30), but it's tricky. Tonight she fell asleep in the car on our way home from a friend's birthday party around 6:00 and slept a couple of hours. When we got home I changed her into her jammies without her even stirring, so I was hoping she'd sleep til tomorrow...but no. We'll see how late we're up tonight!

Stu in St.Petersburg

It took me a while to get this up here, but I wanted to let you see a bit of Stu's trip to Russia. He left June 20th and after some harrowing travel trying to get home, finally did return on the 28th. Check out the picasa web album for more pictures and commentary from Stu, but here are some highlights:
-Working with some great guys.

-Seeing some really cool architecture.

-Marathon dinner. Russians treat dining out quite differently then we do. I like their way! It's an event (at least it was this night with Stu). Everybody ordering food at different times, filling up the table, sharing...for hours!

-Bringing matrioshka (nesting dolls) home for Eliana. (I got a really cool gift too, but Eliana's delight was priceless!)