Is it really August Already?

Where has the time gone?  It’s hard to believe we’ve been home over two months.  We’ve settled into a routine and the time has just flown by.  And I’m proud to say I haven’t forgotten the baby at daycare for weeks now!  How much progress I am making as a mommy! *grin*


Annabelle is now approaching 11 months old!  I can’t believe she’s almost a year old already.  It really is a cliché to say it but it is amazing how fast the time passes. 

Cutest baby sailor in the whole world



Topic:  Food

Today I tried to introduce the classic American food – the thing kids scream for, the food adults love to hate: Kraft Mac & Cheese.  Well I love the stuff and I figured it was a perfect time to introduce Annabelle to this children’s favorite.  Well, it didn’t go over so well.  I included a single noodle on the spoon with her rice and apricot muesli.  And after 1.5 seconds, her tongue pushed the entire contents back out again. (It was even lovelier than it sounds, but unfortunately I didn’t capture it on film given that I was (futilely) trying to shove it back in.  Out it came again.  The girl definitely has issues with texture in her food.  She’s a smoothie girl all the way. 


Here she is showing off her new and prodigious clapping skills. She claps for food she likes, she claps when I walk into her room in the morning, she claps at the doggies….


August_files\clapping 2.MOV


Speaking of eating, I do have a series of wonderful pictures and video that give details of her neat and pristine eating style.  Note: this is not for the faint of heart, the easily grossed out.











Isn’t she a real little lady?  And for some extra special grossness, here’s a movie.


August_files\gross eating habits.MOV



Topic:  Outdoor living


On other topics, in between the overheated days of July and more in cooler August, we’ve been spending a lot of time outdoors.  When it was really hot, we’d go to the local wading pool almost every day.   Annabelle loves the water.  Since these photos, she’s already gotten tired of the floaties and now wants to be fully immersed in the water – no floaties for her, she’s a big girl now.




I’m also getting back in the gardening swing and trying to rescue my lawn from looking like an abandoned industrial superfund site. I’ve found that Annabelle is content when I just put her on her blanket on the lawn and then I toil away.   She chatters away and plays contentedly.



Topic:  Photography


A few weeks ago at Bryant park, a woman approached me and said “Your baby is gorgeous, have you ever considered modeling her?”  Well, Cha-CHING! Of course, that’s part of “The Plan” of parental support.  Anyway, turns out the woman works for a modeling agency in town and asked me to send her a “headshot” of Annabelle. 


What the hell is a headshot?  (A headshot to me is something I had to watch out for in Iraq)


Luckily, I got guidance from my beautiful entertainment industry friend Chandra who gave me the lowdown.  So first, I had to get a photo.  So I went to a portrait studio and explained what I wanted. They said “sure” and took adorable photos of Annabelle.  Then, after I paid up, they refused to issue a release for the photos - So I couldn’t use them for the headshots. 


So, I decided “hell, I took enough photos of her in Kazakhstan, how hard can it be?” and I set up my own sitting.  I dressed her in a cute sailor outfit one day to take some photos. Here’s pretty much how the ½ hour session went.


Rakish little sailor girl


This sucks, I want to move, not sit still. And what’s the deal with this thing on my head?



I hate this stupid hat.  I hate all hats.  You know that, why are you putting this on my head?



I HATE hats, mom!!!!!  How many ways can I tell you that?



Thank God that’s done – another battle won after Mom concedes defeat.  Where’s my soymilk martini, I’m bushed!



At the end of the day I did get one photo I could use and now Annabelle has an official headshot to shop around and make her a star and allow me to retire and eat cheez doodles in bed.


Topic: Daycare


* At daycare the toddlers call Annabelle “Tinkerbell” instead, which I think is adorable!


* At daycare the teachers call Annabelle “the gymnast” – she climbs everything. One day I walked in and saw her heaving herself over the edge of a plastic gate – she pulled herself up and over. It’s amazing how strong she is.  So last weekend I sucked it up and bought this playset at Toys R Us (Tarzhay didn’t have it so my shopping mecca, and employer, let me down). 

It’s going over well as you can see from the three videos below.


August_files\up the slide with the ball 2.MOV


August_files\in playset.MOV


August_files\the wall.MOV


Topic:  Bath Time


And what update from the mericle household would be complete with yet another bath photo and video. She really loves her bath, although she’s getting annoying because she’s figured out how to pull the drain stop up and thinks this is a mighty fine game and so it’s a constant battle to keep the water in the tub.


I do love my bath.  I love all water. I love shoving my face underwater all the time and it has added benefit of causing my mom to have a heart attack each time! Yay me!


August_files\standing in bath.MOV


Topic:  My Margaret


Finally, I found this really great wedding website of Margaret’s close friend Cathy McIntyre.  My parents and I had not seen it before and it has all kinds of great photos of Margaret serving as Cathy’s maid of honor at her wedding on New Year’s Eve this year.  Marg looked so pretty in her dress, with her hair all fancy!  She called me at midnight that night to wish me a happy new year (of course, I was asleep but we chatted for about 30 minutes, her tipsy, me sleepy!) and sent me a picture of this HUGE pile of bobby pins she took out of her hair that night (I must have deleted that picture since I can’t find it).  It was the first New Years in a long time we hadn’t spent together.  We always argued about whether to go out (her) or stay in with videos (me).  I’m glad this year she got to go out and look as glamorous!  I still cry every day as I think about our lives going on without her.  But I am able to smile sometimes now when I think about her. Check out my beautiful sister.






PS – To Cathy & her parents – you will never know how much it meant to us that you drove through the night to be at Margaret’s service.  We will never forget that.  Thank you.



Okay, that’s it folks. I’ll try for another update in September when Annabelle celebrates her 1st birthday!