Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Savannah! (A day early!)

I made this video to celebrate Savannah's birthday. I have another one with pictures of family members, but this one just has pictures of Savannah with her Daddy and Mommy (and Maggie the Cat).
I'm posting this early because I know there will be several postings tomorrow and I wanted it to get the play it deserves).
If you listen closely at the end you'll hear Savannah talking... she gets louder and louder as the video ends.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Getting a new toilet...

The verdict is in... we need a new toilet. Thank goodness we have the home warranty because it would have cost $400 to get a new toilet installed.
We came home last and I went to the bathroom. When I flushed the toilet water went every where. Apparently a piece broke off the back of the toilet bowl causing water from the tank to spill into the floor.
I pulled out the home warranty... which we got as a bonus when we bought the house. The booklet didn't specify whether toilets were covered, but I put in a work order online anyway.
I also read up on installing toilets.
This morning we found out the warranty does cover new toilets... which is great because when the plumber gave me paperwork that showed the bill would be $400!
He promised to be back by the end of the week to install the new toilet and I'm holding him to it... I have 12 people coming for a party on Sunday and the extra toilet could come in handy.
We really are  going to have to treat these toilets like china... 

Rainy day in Virginia... in more ways than one.

We picked a rainy day to travel to Washington, D.C., yesterday... and boy was it a crazy day! 
Pat had a funeral to attend at Arlington National Cemetery and we were all meeting with his sister, Kathy, for dinner so Savannah and I tagged along. I took Savannah to a nearby mall while Pat walked a mile from the metro station to the funeral... and because of traveling delays he missed most of the service.
By the time we got home last night there had been tornadoes across the state that killed 1 and injured 200, my family members had called to see if we were OK and Pat had a bad reaction to the McGriddle he ate earlier in the morning.
To top it off I flushed the toilet in our bedroom last night and water leaked out of the back! Apparently a piece of the toilet bowl has broken off the back and we're going to have to replace  the whole thing.
We have a home warranty that came with the house, but we're still waiting on a call to see if they will cover a new toilet.
It was a crazy day, but at least we had a nice dinner with Kathy.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

In front of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette...

... well not exactly.
I was working on Savannah's birthday video tonight when I stumbled upon this picture Pat took of Savannah and I at the Newseum a few weeks ago. There is a collection of daily front pages  in two separate areas of the Newseum... and so we took our photo in front of the ADG.
Savannah looks really excited, doesn't she?

I'm Gonna Miss This...

Everyone knows how emotional I can get (i.e., crying through my entire baby shower), but I've been especially teary-eyed while working on the CD for Savannah's  time capsule. 
I've been looking for songs that will speak to Savannah when she'll need it most - in her teenage years. I want her to gain something from hearing songs that I think she'll need at a time when doubt, self-hate and fear is constant.
Every time I listen to a song it makes me realize how fast this year has gone by and how the next 15 years will be gone before I know it.
I ask myself the same questions all the time:

Will we raise her right?
Will we teach her the things she needs to know?
Will we show how to take care of herself in the real world?
Will she understand that life has its ups and downs and every decision she makes can impact her life?

It's so hard to believe Savannah is about to take her first steps... and the baby that I brought into the world almost a year ago will then be a true toddler. 
Savannah is a bright, headstrong, beautiful child who knows what 'no' means, but pushes every limit she can. She makes me smile just by looking my way and my heart melt when she cries every time her Daddy leaves for work.
She's my biggest accomplishment and my life's masterpiece which I'm working on each day.

I'm posting two pictures... one of the first photos Savannah and I took together and a more recent one... I'm gonna miss the baby days, but I'm looking forward to all the days ahead.

Savannah is almost walking

This is a little clip I took tonight... Savannah walked a few steps to me earlier, but I didn't get it on tape. I put the camera on the shelf under our coffee table (and cut off Savannah's head in the process).
I know it won't be long before she's walking ... and then her baby days will really be over!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Photos from our yard...

Here are some photos taken this week in and about our yard... the picture of Savannah in her stroller also includes the outdoor lights my in-laws bought for us (I haven't learned how to rotate photos on here yet).
The picture of Pat and Savannah shows them going to the bottom of our driveway to install the lights.
The other pictures are self-explanatory.

Savannah's time capsule...

We received Savannah's Baby Time Capsule in the mail today and I thought it would be a good time to remind people to get those letters ready.
I'm planning on sealing the time capsule after her birthday party (and we're waiting on an important item from Canada to arrive before we can seal it) so there is still time to get your letter to me.
The capsule will be opened May 1, 2023 - on her 16th birthday.
Please include anything you think will be important and if you mail the letter itself I'm just going to put it in the capsule so she can see that she's the first one to read it.
The time capsule came with several envelopes and I wanted to include what it said on the back because it might be beneficial to you.

Don't write anything that might be negatively perceived when opened in the future. Add photos- especially a current one of yourself - and other items. Stuff it full!
Mail the envelope so that the date will be stamped on the front by the post office.
Have fun, be creative and finish as quickly as possible.

Here is our address again:

Savannah Fitzgerald
663 Jonquil Road
Ruckersville, VA  22968

Don't worry if you've already put it in the mail, but I thought it might be helpful if you're still getting things together.

Loving the blog...

I had to post these pictures of Savannah enjoying The Wiggles post on my blog. I check in on the blog several times a day to see if anyone has left me a message and to link to other blogs on my list.
I had Savannah on one leg and the lap top on the other when she noticed The Wiggles picture and started "dancing" or wiggling. She really went crazy when I hit play and the music started.
Pat and I keep hearing her say "too too" and start dancing when the song "Toot Toot Chugga Chugga" song goes off... and she wants to you sing or play it again.
I called her name just before snapping the second picture... and she looks like she's telling me to leave her alone so she can enjoy The Wiggles!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Diagnosis is in on Maggie - hyperthyroidism

I wanted to let you know we received test results on Maggie today and they show that she has hyperthyroidism, a common endocrine problem among older cats.
Here are some of the symptoms that make sense with the diagnosis:
- Extreme weight loss
- increased food consumption
- increased water consumption
- unkempt hair coat

I think she's had many of these symptoms for a few years and it just went undiagnosed.
We'll be able to treat this with medication, but it won't cure the problem and will have some side effects.
I included a photo taken about of us days after we brought Savannah home from the hospital... Savannah now chases Maggie and I can't get the two of them in a photo together.
Thanks for you kind words.

The Wiggles - Toot Toot, Chugga Chugga, Big Red Car

This is Savannah's favorite song... she loves The Wiggles and we're hoping to take her to one of their concerts next year!
I never thought I would be able to sing the lyrics to these songs, but I can. Ah, the joys of being a parent.

Making a boy baby...

Pat came home last night and told me about a story that will be in his paper today. It's about a British study that determined women trying to conceive a boy should eat breakfast every day and bring more potassium into their diet.
At first I didn't believe him because everything I've read says it's the man who determines the sex of the baby.
So this morning during my normal online newspaper reads (before Savannah wakes up) I glanced over the story... and realized the findings show the if a woman eats more potassium and a daily breakfast than sperm that carry male chromosomes live longer in a richer environment.
Anyone who knows Pat knows he's hoping for a son... and that we're trying to have another baby in the next year.
So I guess he's going to start feeding me bananas and cereal every morning!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Update on Maggie cat...

Pat took Maggie to the vet this morning and all of her blood work came out good and she doesn't appear to have any blockages. They're now checking her thyroid to see if there are any problems there (which the doctor said would actually be a good thing as the alternative is cancer).
Maggie now weighs just 6 lbs., down half the weight she was when Pat and I married two years ago.
I will tell you that Maggie was her normal self this morning (except she still hasn't eaten anything). It was good to see her meowing when I walked into the living room.
The old girl has some fight in her yet.
This is a picture I took of Maggie with Pat and Savannah just before we moved into the house.

Mary Cassatt (Child of Mine)

I've been looking for music for a CD to put in Savannah's time capsule (hopefully CDs will still be around in 15 years!).
Here is one of several I'm going to use...

Arkansas weather

Times Five, originally uploaded by MRHSfan.

My friend, Melissa Jones, recently took this photograph. I think it's pretty awesome and wanted to post it on my blog.
The weather in Arkansas has been pretty brutal since we left... they've had plenty of rain and ice.
Hopefully spring has finally arrived there.

Something to inspire me...

My creation, originally uploaded by gagalinark.

I'm loving Flickr... didn't realize there were so many fun things you could do (or I would have already done them!).

Our beautiful daughter...

I posted photos on Flickr because I saw this free item that allowed you to make a mosaic of the photos.
This is what I created of our beautiful daughter... I still can't believe she's almost a year old!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Practicing for her party...

These are pictures I took of Savannah eating her dinner tonight... and yes, she did actually get some of the chicken and stars baby food into her mouth.
I had to take Savannah directly from the high chair to the tub... and shake her down before I put her in. Once she was out of the tub and dressed I had to hose down her high chair.
I got a little preview of her upcoming birthday parties as she'll have her own cake at both to shove in her mouth.
Mama will have a lot of cleaning to do.

Our Maggie cat...

Maggie, our 16-year-old cat, has stopped eating in the last week. We're planning to take her to the vet tomorrow and are hoping for the best.
Pat has owned Maggie since she was a year old... and anyone who knows him understands how much he loves her.
We're hoping for the best tomorrow, but expecting bad news.
I wanted to post a picture of Maggie protecting our little Savannah soon after she came home... Pat thought our marriage and Savannah's birth would take Maggie out, but she has stuck around to make sure we were OK.
I'll let you know how it goes.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Feed the birds...

I decided to take a few pictures of the birds feasting outside our front window today. We have such a beautiful group of birds that eat from the Fitzgerald Bird Restaurant. We have cardinals, finches, crows, bluejays and many, many birds that I can't name.
I wanted to share a few of the pictures with you.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Sleeping through the night...

Like many first-time parents, Pat and I made the decision to co-sleep with Savannah. For non-parents that means to keep her in our bed and make her crib a foreign concept. 
It worked for the time I was breast feeding, but has since become a dangerous situation as we worry that Savannah will now wake up and take a trip (translated - bad fall) over the side of the bed.
Last night I did what every parent dreads doing... I forced Savannah to cry herself to sleep in her own bed. It took about 1.5 hours and I ended up going in there several times and patting her until she finally fell asleep.
Now it's almost eight hours later and she's still asleep!
I went in there to check and make sure she was OK and she was fine.
I just hope I have the strength to do it again tonight... everyone promises me that she'll sleep on her own after a few nights of crying.
We'll see....

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Surprise trip to Virginia Beach...

Savannah and I surprised her grandparents Wednesday with a brief visit to Virginia Beach. We drove down with my sister-in-law and niece for a quick trip and Savannah stole the show (which is no surprise).
Here are a few pictures I took just before we left... the first three are in my in-laws' back yard and the last photo is one of Savannah with her granddaddy (after he fed her a little ice cream).
Can't you see where she gets some of her looks from?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Our trip

I wanted to post a few pictures from our trip this weekend. We had a blast at the Newseum on Monday and then we went to Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington, today. Savannah wasn't having the best time today so you won't be seeing too many pictures of her... we'll have to go back when she's older (and not teething) to actually get into the house.
The first picture was taken from the sixth floor balcony of the Newseum (and you can take a guess at the big building behind us). 
The other two pictures were taken today at Mount Vernon... the first is the only great shot we got of Savannah and the second is a photo of the gardens... which were beautiful.
I'll write more about our trip tomorrow... got a lot to do tonight before bed.

The Newseum

I'm posting from the hotel in Fredericksburg this morning while Pat sleeps in... just wanted to say hello to everyone and let you know we had a fabulous time at the Newseum yesterday. It was a fabulous anniversary gift (and a night baby-free wasn't bad either).
Savannah was a real trooper and let us enjoy the place for FOUR hours... we had such a blast seeing each of the six floors dedicated to journalism.
It would be hard to pick just one thing we like, but I thought the history of journalism (which was a room that included old newspapers and historical things from the past) was really neat... along with the 4-D movie about journalism (which actually jerked you in your seat and threw water in your face at one point).
We ended it with a great dinner at the Bonefish Grill in Fredericksburg (where we stuffed ourselves silly and couldn't think about going to the movie we talked about!). They even brought us a little dessert to celebrate our big day today.
We had a wonderful time in D.C. and are now planning to spend today visiting a few people and then head home to see some fireworks for the Dogwood Festival in Charlottesville tonight... if Savannah and the weather cooperates.
I promise to post pictures from our trip tonight or tomorrow... I'm on the hotel computer now.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

My two reasons for living...

I wanted to take a break from the laundry and packing to post this quick little ditty about my wonderful husband and daughter. 
Pat took care of Savannah today so I could have a little nap time... which doesn't come often for a mom (one of the things they try to warn you about, but you never fully understand until you're a mom).
He also cooked dinner and cleaned up while I rested tonight... and we leave for Washington D.C. in the morning for a family day and then a night and anniversary day by ourselves. I'm so excited to have this time with Pat and Savannah and then some time for ourselves.
I've decided that I have the best husband in the world... of course I know all of my friends who are married would disagree with me.
I'll just say I have the best husband for me.... and he continues to prove it to me every day.
Here is a picture of Pat and Savannah at the park in Greene County... it was taken Friday. They are the reasons I'm so happy to greet each new day.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

My wonderful husband...

On Tuesday, Pat and I will celebrate our second wedding anniversary. There are days when it's hard to believe we've been married two years and others when it feels like my life didn't begin until I met Pat.
Last year I found a letter written in my single days after reading on of the many self-help books I used for guidance. In the letter was a list about 30 characteristics I wanted in a husband... there wasn't a single one Pat didn't meet. It was like having a checklist long before I needed it.
He loves me unconditionally, accepts my faults and champions my successes, gives me trust and shows that I can trust him and he leads our family in the right way.
I gave him that letter that I had written so long ago... just to show him that he had met my every requirement without even having to try.
He's a wonderful husband and father and I know I'm the luckiest woman in the world to call him my hubby.
Here are a few pictures from our wedding day... some that many of you might not have seen.
Happy Anniversary (a few days early) Pat... I love ys baby.

Watching daddy...

I had to post this picture I took of Savannah today as she watched her Daddy as he cut our lawn for the first time.
 She was so cute with her little hands pressed against the glass door waiting for her Daddy and his noisy machine to come into view. Savannah actually started crying when she could no longer see him because he went on the other side of the hill.
I took her outside to let her know Daddy was OK and just cutting the grass.
I'm in awe of how much Savannah loves her daddy... and it's a wonderful way to remember what has otherwise been a sad day.

Friday, April 11, 2008

R.I.P. - Ricky Jesus

My cousin, Ricky, passed away tonight after being taken off life support earlier today.
My thoughts are all over the place as I think about his children and his mother and brother. I got off the phone with my mama and just cried for a few minutes before I came in here to do  what I do best and write about my feelings. 
Ricky and his brother, Randy, were like older brothers to me when I was growing up. I spent many summers around both them and  their families and they helped me become the woman I am today.
I wanted to share one memory of Ricky that stands clear in my mind... he was taking me home from Tater Town, the family business. We were driving fast with the music turned up loud... I don't know where we were going, but I remember he was driving fast.
The song in the tape deck was "Bad to the Bone" by George Thorogood and the Destroyers.
Every time I hear that song I think of Ricky and that trip... it's a good memory that I'll always have of Ricky.
People have demons that consume them and make them different  than they would normally be. I choose to remember how kind and fair he was to me and to love him despite his flaws.
I'm thinking of his children and family and am sad for all of them.
Here is a song to you cousin and to our drive so long ago.

Greene Acres...

I went into the bathroom this morning and saw what looked like a toy mouse in our bathtub... and I abruptly turned around and woke Pat to make sure it was a toy mouse and not what I've been dreading since we moved out  to the country.
Unfortunately for me, my fears were real.
Inside our tub was a baby mouse... unlike any I've seen before. Pat collected him inside a container and took him outside saying "He's so cute!" All the while Maggie, our 17-year-old cat, slept on the couch.
We're calling an exterminator after we return from D.C. next week because he didn't pop into the world (or my house) by himself. I've seen numerous dead bodies in my career as a journalist, but the last thing I want is a rat crawling into my daughter's crib or across my toes!
Thinking about this led me to this theme song... and although we didn't move to Greene County from New York City, I think it applies when it comes to rats (and I think all mice are rats!).

Green(e) acres is the place for me.
Farm livin' is the life for me.
Land spreadin' out so far and wide
Keep Manhatten, just give me that country side.

New York is where I'd rather be.
I get allergic smelling hay
I just adore a penthouse view
Dah-ling I love you, but give me Park Avenue.

The chores.
The stores.
Fresh air
Times Square

You are my wife
Good bye, city life
Green(e) acres we are there.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Meeting other mommies...

Savannah and I ventured out today to lunch with a few other mommies and their children. It's been something I've planned to do for a while, but just haven't been able to get things together (or my nerves up) and actually go.
Imagine my surprise today to find a great group of young women with their beautiful children... and they accepted me even though I had to be the oldest at the table.
I'm embarrassed to admit that on my drive to the restaurant I kept thinking "Are they going to like me?" "Are they going to judge my mothering skills?" "Is Savannah going to be at the same level their kids were at her age (two of the moms had older children and one had a younger child)?"
I can tell you that my fears were quickly eased once I met the first mommy... she was friendly and welcoming. Before I knew it lunch was over and we took all the kids to Pen Park (where Pat and I took Savannah earlier in the week). All the kids had a ball... and Savannah crawled around in the Virginia red clay.
I have to thank my friend, Suze Stucka, who encouraged me to go. She told me that she went through the same thing in her first play dates, but soon realized how much she benefited from being with the other moms.
I found my play date group from a local parent support board, but I also found a resource online if anyone out there is looking for a great way to meet other parents:

I'm already looking forward to my next play date... and I think Savannah is too.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A trip to the park with Daddy...

We took Savannah to Pen Park in Charlottesville today because the weather was nice and it gave us a chance for some family time. There were a lot of parents with their kids there because it's spring break here.
Savannah had a blast on the swing and slide ... and her daddy and I enjoyed having that family time.
I just wanted to share a few of these pictures with you.

Being a Mommy...

I found this article on tonight that discusses the changes that occur once you become a mommy.
 The author talks about all the big plans she had when she went on maternity leave... how she was going to read books and get lots of sleep once her son was born.
Then she quickly realizes that wasn't the case... that once the baby came her life revolved around the baby and she forgets herself.
I'm still learning how to carve a little time out for me in this full-time job of being a mommy and wife... and I admit that some times it's hard to do so. There are times when I have to debate how long I can wait to go to the bathroom or risk waking a sleeping Savannah up when she falls asleep in my lap.
If you're interested in reading the story click on the link below:

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

A missed star sighting...

Apparently Pat and I missed the biggest news in Washington D.C. by a week.
No it's not political or criminal.
We missed Angelina Jolie taking two of her children to the Air and Space Museum!
 Apparently Jolie and her two sons were a tourist attraction all their own. Here is a blurb from People's Web site:
"Accompanied by security guards and sporting a navy blue hoodie, 
6-year-old Maddox and 4-year-old Pax, in an olive green jacket, 
reportedly asked a barrage of questions as they gazed upon Space 
Hall, Skylab and the WWI and WWII aerial exhibits."

The old newspaper reporter in me always hated to miss the big story, but I must admit it doesn't bother me one bit that Jolie and her children beat us to D.C. by  a week. I hope they had a great visit and didn't get bombarded by too many camera crews and adoring fans.
I think Pat would have ran in the other direction had her visit coincided with ours because he HATES everything celebrity. 

Now if it had been Brad Pitt.... hmm, that would have been an extra bonus anniversary gift.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Cutting the rug...

We finally got most of our new carpet in today... and I wanted to post a "before" and "after" picture to give you an idea of what it looks like. You can see Savannah put herself in the middle of everything... until she wore herself out and fell asleep.
We were hoping to wait on having new carpet installed, but soon realized that 10 years of wear on the cheap carpet wasn't going to cut it (especially since the previous owners had a large dog).
They had to order a special cut of carpeting for the spare bedroom and it won't be installed until next week.
I can't begin to describe the difference between the old and new carpet... the new padding alone was thicker than the old teal carpet (apparently the old padding was what Lowe's gives away for free).
I'll post more pictures later.