Wednesday, July 30, 2008

So sweet - The bugs just can't get enough

Mingo Falls, originally uploaded by echeasley.

Seems Leah has inherited my mother's sweet blood. Well actually I believe it's technically the emitance of more CO then the average person. Anyhow seems the bugs have taken quite a liking to her this year. The past several weeks I've noticed a new bite on her each day. Going to the mountains I was torn with what type of repellant to use. I thought deet was a no no but if you find something without deet it doesn't seem to faze the bugs in the least. On Monday I picked her up from school and her teacher pointed out a strange mark on her arm and we concluded it was about 3 bites really close together. Yesterday I picked her up and the same area looked like a bulls eye. A little nervous it was ring worm, I covered it up with a big band aid and decided to wait and see what it looked like in the morning. This morning the bulls eye was enormous and she had another bulls eye on her ankle, several little bumps on her other arm, a big bump on her forearm, a nice big bite right on her knee, on her forehead, above her eye and another bump on her hand and a strange mark on her shin. So I took her into the dr and the 1st dr was stumped. We waited for a second opinion and we're working under the assumption it's not contagious (no ring worm thankfully) and that her body is having a serve reaction to every little nip. Hopefully a couple days of hydrocortisone and Benadryl will clear things up. If not it's on to antibiotics in case it's Lyme disease. I'm certain I would have noticed a tick on her arm and ankle so I'm pretty comfortable in dismissing the Lyme disease theory but I feel bad for my itchy, bumpy little girl. Shew fly don't bother her.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Gatlinburg Aquarium

Gatlinburg Aquarium, originally uploaded by echeasley.

I've never much been into fish but I could spend hours in the Gatlinburg Aquarium. We visited the Aquarium in 2005 and decided it was so nice and we had so much fun it was worth braving the traffic in Gatlinburg. This time we were smart and drove through the park to avoid Pigeon Forge (As much as I loved our trip to the Smokey's I'm still struggling to think of something nice about Pigeon Forge. Well I guess I could say the scenic drive to avoid Pigeon Forge is that saying something nice?) . After having lunch on the terrace we walked down to Ober Gatlinburg and rode the Tram. I think the kids enjoyed the ride. We were so exhausted by the time we got there we didn't really do anything short of play in the arcade and go to the bathroom before we decided to ride the tram back down. Leah got a Nascar beanie bear with some driver I've never heard of (not that's hard) to remember the occasion.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

View from Clingman's Dome

view from Clingman's Dome, originally uploaded by echeasley.

Ok so Murphy's law...I get a new camera and some really great pictures and our phone and DSL go out. Gotta love AT&T.

I just have to share this picture from the peak at Clingman's Dome, the highest peak in the Smokies at over 6,400 feet. Silly me forgot to put sunscreen on and despite freezing my tushy off got quite a nice sun burn. The dead Fraser Firs are the result of a European invader. Although this picture doesn't show many dead trees, it's a eerie getting up there and seeing what an effect the introduction of foreign species can have. In the photo you can see the blue haze that gives the Smokies their name. It's the white haze above the blue that is man made. It's great to get a bird's eye view and get high enough to see the layers but it's disturbing all the same.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Smokey Mountains

We've returned from our Smokey Mountain vacation and plenty of pictures are to follow. Scott bought the camera I've had my eye on for sometime for my birthday last week. As soon as I picked the camera up I realized it's been 15 years since I've done photography to any extent. I didn't have a clue what any of the buttons were for and fished my old Pentax 35mm out to see if it felt as foreign to me. To my relief it felt like it belonged in my hands and I realized I just needed to get used to the digital aspect of a SLR. There's certainly plenty yet for me to figure out but I'm really happy with the pictures I got. I certainly had a beautiful subject to focus my lense on. The Tennessee Smokies are just breath taking.
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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Best Buds

July 2008 (18), originally uploaded by echeasley.

Well as promised here's a pic of Leah with her best friend Aria. Can you believe Leah actually found a friend smaller then her? Don't let their size fool you. These two have more spunk per ounce then one might think is possible. My best friend and I became playmates at 3 years of age and I felt bad that Leah didn't really have much of an opportunity to meet other kids have play dates outside of school so I was so happy when I noticed the bond Leah was forming with Aria. Aria is a great friend that sticks by Leah's side. They give each other support when dealing with some of the bigger more assertive kids (to put it nicely) in their class and each evening when I pick Leah up, Aria insists on a hug before she'll let Leah leave. Their friendship really is heartwarming to see. I had been debating getting Aria's number to set up a play date in hopes that she didn't live across town. When Leah received an invitation to Aria's 4th birthday party I was delighted to learn she literally lives just around the corner. Hopefully we'll find time to set up lots of future play dates outside of school.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Holiday Weekend

Wow! What a fabulous Holiday weekend we had! Scott for years has moaned about his birthday being on the 4th because everyone always has other plans or is too busy to celebrate his birthday. Jokes about setting off fireworks to celebrate his birthday are just about enough to send him off running. Now I get not liking your's really not something most of us look forward to once we hit 25 or so but I couldn't understand not liking the 4th of July. I have such fond memories and wanted Scott to enjoy the holiday as much as I do. We haven't gone to see fireworks in 4 years since becoming parents and this just wasn't cutting it anymore. We took a gamble and recreated one my fondest memory of 4th of July in northeast Ohio. Grammy came up from Cincinnati to visit and we packed a picnic and loaded everyone (including my parents) up for a night listening to the Cleveland Orchestra under the stars at Blossom Music Center. Tyler loved the music and was a little ham getting everyone near us to laugh. At each interlude he'd start clapping and cheer "YEAH!" to which we'd all hushed him and told him the piece wasn't over yet. The canon during the overture of 1812 made the kids a bit uneasy but there were no breakdowns and fireworks followed. I think Tyler might of had a little sensory overload where his brain decided...ok too much going on...must shut, because he fell asleep during the fireworks then woke after words on our walk back to the van. The whole experience was a blast and I just so impressed with how well the kids did given the hour. I think Scott enjoyed himself least he said something about starting a new Heasley family tradition for 4th of July.

On Saturday Leah's best friend Aria had her 4th birthday party at Memphis Kiddie Park on the west side. One of those places I always heard about growing up but had never ventured to that side of the Cuyahoga to visit. It's a fun little park where you have to be under 50 inches to ride. The children of Kindercare had a blast. I'll post a pic of Leah and the Birthday girl in another post (currently having issues with the upload feature).

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

18 Months

I forgot how much I love this age. When Leah was little I remember thinking each age was my favorite. It just kept getting better as she learned more about the world and became more able.

A few weeks ago it occurred to me that Tyler is the same age Leah was when we decided to try for a second (two months later we learned T was on the way). When I realized this I took a look at him and thought no sir! I'm not ready for another anytime soon! Then a week or so passes and Tyler hits this wonderful irresistible stage. Every thing is funny. Everything is interesting. Everything brings a big devilish smile. Everything is irresistibly adorable. Right until it's not and the melt downs and tantrum kick in. I think God knew what he was doing making them so adorable at this age. Otherwise how could you get through what is yet to come? In all honesty T's tantrums don't even faze me. I often wonder if it's because Leah beat it out of me. Was she really that bad or was I just a 1st time mother that didn't know how to deal with the tantrums. I'm sure it's a bit of both. Anyhow I'm just loving every minute of this age and admit I've found myself thinking another might not be too horrid. But don't be holding your breath for any announcements any time soon. I haven't lost all sense of reality.