Thursday, April 29, 2010

10 K: A Blogging Milestone

No, I'm not going to be running a 10 K. I'm talking about another kind of milestone. Last Friday, April 23, 2010 at 7:25 (and 31 seconds), my Eclectic Blog was visited for the 10,000th time. Thanks to modern technology, I know how appropriate that visit was. It was from one of my most faithful readers-- who knows how to take the bad with the good. This reader was on-line in Hamlet, North Carolina.

A few of you know who it is now.

It's GAIL!

I guarantee that several hundred of my blog "hits" have been from Gail. Not to mention countless "warm fuzzy" comments. Thank you, thank you, thank you Gail. And thank you to all you other faithful readers, both long-time and relative newcomers.

As I reviewed my blog history, I was a little surprised that in less than two years since I retired, I have posted 290 blog posts. Wow, that makes me a little tired. But not really. It has been hugely fun, and I have no plans to stop. I can't even imagine how many photos I've posted, but I know I'm up to more than 60% of my allotted capacity. What will I do when I max out? Start another blog, of course!

My very first post in July 2008 explained what I meant by an "Eclectic Blog." Unlike Jerry Seinfeld, who had a show purportedly about nothing, my blog can be about anything and everything. Even about Seinfeld, as a matter of fact.

Feel free to visit my archives if you're a recent follower. In the past two years I've blogged about grandbabies, nature, opinions, vacations, family, blessings, and much more. Eclectic stuff, ya know?

Predictably, there will be more about those lovable, huggable, knee-bounceable grandbabies. What else will there be? Stick around and find out. And thanks again for visiting.

Oh yeah, what's with the flower pictures? They have absolutely nothing to do with today's blog post. But I was in the mood for them. And they're nice, aren't they DEBI?! (other most faithful reader) : )

Saturday, April 24, 2010

24 Hours With Claire: Part II

If you haven't already read Part I, scroll down to the previous post to see the first part of Ken and Judy's grand adventure with granddaughter Claire.

"Somewhere between the last post and this one there were a couple of prodigious naps. But we don't need to talk about that."

"Tummy time is no chore when you have a caterpillar pal with chewy antennae."
We "camped out" at Claire's house overnight. This child can sleep. 8 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. without a peep. Of course, she doesn't have to get out of bed for her potty breaks.
"Grandma, this is my bottomless basket of books. At least, I've never seen the bottom. Hold on to me very tightly, please. I'm goin' in!"

What a pair. Wonder where Claire gets that winning smile?

"You're right, Grandpa. The air is much thinner up here."

"Somebody get me a parachute, quick! Grandpa's finally lost it!"

"No matter what the sign says, this Kirby ain't for sale!"

"Grandma, don't look now, but here comes your 'wannabe' photographer hubby."

"Ho, hum. It's a little early for bouncing in the Johnny Jump-up, don't you think?"

"But it's never too early to smile for the camera. My public simply adores me."

"If that chain will slow down long enough for me to focus on it, we'll find out what it does."
"VOILA! Lights, camera, action!"
And lights, camera, action is a pretty good summary of our 24 hours with Claire!
BONUS FEATURES: Videos of Claire in Action!

24 Hours With Claire: Part I

Friday and Saturday Judy and I had a wonderful opportunity for "extended babysitting" with our granddaughter Claire. She has spent a lot of time with us, but this stretch of nearly 24 hours incorporated all aspects of her typical daily and nightly schedule. That made it a valuable learning experience and bonding time for her and for us.

As you can see, there is no "separation anxiety" when Jennifer and Matt depart. Claire's ready to party.

She's ready to "get down." Even if it means lying on her tummy, which she has generally disliked.

"Help! I've fallen and I can't get up. Just kidding."

With those strong little arms, she finds tummy time is not the difficult chore it once was. As long as she doesn't think about it, that is.

"You use your camera your way, I'll use mine my way. This is actually quite tasty-- for molded plastic."

"Yes, I can stand on my own two feet. Just keep that big mitt of yours on my belly, Grandpa."

"Mirror, mirror, in my hand, who's the fairest in the land?"

"Well, DUH! Who do you THINK?"

"Hey, everybody-- gather around the keyboard and I'll play ya a few tunes."

"For my first selection, How about Grieg's Piano Concerto in A#?"

"Here's my little bumblebee rattle. It's good for keeping the grownups awake when their attention starts to lag. For that matter, it's good for keeping me awake."

"By the way, some of you are looking a little drowsy. I'm gonna save the rest of my story and pictures for the next blog post. Now go take a nap."
"I'll let you know when I need a nap. But not yet!"

Monday, April 19, 2010

Brianna is one . . .

Brianna is ONE YEAR OLD!
Sunday, April 18 was her big day and she was surrounded by her family.
If you know Brianna, you would agree that the statement "Brianna is one. . ." could be completed in a variety of ways.

Such as:
Brianna is one happy gal!
Brianna is one sweet young'un!
Brianna is one lucky child!
Brianna is one little bundle of love!
Brianna is one adventurous soul!
Brianna is one non-stop crawling machine!
But whatever you choose, Brianna IS one!

Turning one is a new experience. It only happens once. Grandma knows what's going on, but Brianna isn't quite sure.
Grandpa Steve (Stephen's dad) assures her this will be painless.

"What do you think, Cousin Claire? There are only two of us, and a whole kaboodle of the big people. Can we take 'em?"

Little does Brianna know of the treasures that await her!

Just in case someone wandered in off the street and didn't know the purpose of our gathering. . . .

As much as she loves her banana, this shiny, floating balloon arouses her curiosity.

A crowd gathers to watch Brianna finish eating so they can start partying!

Creative Amanda put together umpteen cupcakes to form a numero uno. Some had a "1" and some had a "B." (for Brianna or Birthday?)

Brianna was a little hesitant to dig into her cupcake with her hands. Normally she might be told that was a no-no. But when Daddy offers it, it's definitely okay!

"So once a year I get to play in my food, right?"
A special tub of rhythm instruments from Aunt Jennifer, Uncle Matt, and Cousin Claire. Thoughtful gift or sweet revenge?

"Don't worry, we'll share with Claire! Hee-hee-hee."

Aunt Gail says, "Your Mommy always loved her 'blank.' Here's one just for you!"

And to make you think of your Aunt Gail, a special "Noah's Ark" book.
Can you tell the suspense was unbearable?

This spiral raceway from Granny and Grandaddy was a favorite for both Brianna and Claire. Brianna spent half her time standing. . .

and half her time sitting down to clap for the music she had triggered.

"Now that I'm ONE I'll be opening my own mail, thank you very much."

"And how convenient that Grandma and Grandpa gave me my own private mailbox. I just hope our mail carrier can find it."

Now Brianna has her very own "Very Hungry Caterpillar," too.

And speaking of hungry, "Daddy, I love my family, but I'm glad they went home so I didn't have to share my bottle, too."

Emma says, "Brianna, I think you got better toys for your birthday than I did."
Says Claire, "Birthday, huh? I think I might be interested in having one of those sometime."
Judy and Ken love the fact that there are more birthdays on their calendars than ever before!
Below is the video of everyone singing Happy Birthday to Brianna, plus her adventure with her birthday (cup)cake. About 2 minutes. Sing along if you wish!