Monday, April 30, 2012

No Longer a Baby

Clearly Ellie Bellie Is no longer a baby. Come on! She will be THREE in just a few short months. So why am I having such a hard time?

We all knew we were on borrowed time with Ellie's recent pack n play debacle. Of course, come Thursday, I heard a THUNK, a clap and a "yay!" within minutes of putting the Chunky Chicken down for nap. The room was not in total destruction, but a certain Toddler Bear was hanging trapeze-style from her top dresser drawer. That extra inch she grew over the past month has allowed her access to so many new things. (Being the safety-conscious mother that I am, I watched Ellie repeat her crib scaling escapade and I am happy to report it was a graceful, solid dismount with a 2-footed landing.)

Clearly, it is time for the Big Girl Bed. In letting go of the crib, I suddenly am faced with truly coming to terms that Ellie is a big girl. That she is no longer a baby. I had no idea how much a symbol this crib was for me nor just how much I was holding onto the last thread of Ellie's babiness. I have a big girl and it is time for this Mama Bear to allow her little cub adventure out of the den.

Baby Bear

1st Birthday
Still pudgy!

Sept. 2011
Clearly not a baby.

I would love to hear what new things your little ones are doing and also any tips for the big bed transition!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Traveling with a Toddler: Part 2

A few days ago, I started Traveling with a Toddler Part 1 where I discussed the trip that Ellie and I embarked on without Andrew to St. Louis.  It was a one-stop flight with a diaper bag, a carseat, and a stroller.  Oh yeah, and a feisty toddler.  Did I mention I was the only adult?  Was it difficult?  Oh yes.  Would I do it again?  Definitely.  Err, maybe not quote me on that.  Here are the remainder of the tips/things I learned during our travels.

4. The Scream.
This is a key element when standing in a very long line waiting to go through security.  Just when you think you cannot stand another moment of balancing your luggage and a fidgety toddler, your little princess will most likely let out a blood-curdling, annoyed screech.  The scream, in and of itself will grant you admittance the Premium Travelers line.   I am not lying.  The moment we went to stand in line for security, Ellie starts her Scream.  The head guy at the Premium Line waves us on over (to both the horror and relief of those in the regular line) and we breezed right on through security.

Me scream?  Never!
Outfit, courtesy of Kohls--see #8

5. The Flight Attendant is your friend.
Flight attendants have several important jobs and for the most part are greatly under appreciated.  A part of their job description includes helping passengers during boarding.  This extends to carseats.  Or at least in my experience this trip it did.  My AUS-DAL, DAL-STL and the return flights were all much smoother because a kind flight attendant carried either the carseat or Ellie onto and off of the plane.  With the second leg of our flight up to St. Louis, I did have to ask for assistance.  Do NOT be afraid to ask for help, because believe me you will cheese off a lot less passengers if you do not try to walk down a tiny aisle with a diaper bag slung over one should, a squirmy toddler on one hip, and a bulky carseat held in front of you.

6. Utilize that big bulky stroller.
This bad boy served two purposed.  One, it was a carrying mechanism for our carseat which was coming on the plane with us.  Two, helped transport Ellie up and down the terminals.  For the most part, it was a life saver.  Now all of you know that Ellie is motor sensory seeker.  She is a climber and airport chairs scream "climb me!".  The terminals say "run up and down me while waving your hands as frantically as possible.  Oh and don't worry about those other people with suitcases!"

Forever climbing.

When Andrew and I both fly with The Bear, one of us stays with the stroller while the other makes sure Ellie doesn't collide with a harried traveler during her sprints down the terminal.  Traveling solo does not allow for this.  Remember Ellie's heavy work backpack?  It was one of those harness backpacks that came with what I like to call "a leash" that attaches to it.  Oh yes I did!  I swore up and down I would never use it as such, but the things we say before we are parents. . . So, yes, I hooked that backpack bear up to Ellie and plunked her into the stroller with it.  When she wanted to run, I let her out while holding onto "the leash". Let's just say Ellie was not a fan and tried to climb back into the stroller.

Oh my goodness, can you believe this was taken nearly a year ago?!

By the way, I am totally winning a Parent-Of-The-Year award as Parent's magazine just recommended not using harnesses on our wayward toddlers.  Poor Ellie will be forever scarred.

7. Pack all things you cannot live without in the diaper bag / carry on.
First off, do not bother to fill up your bag with toys. She will refuse to play with them.  And throw them.  Then the toys will roll to the back of the plane and be irretrievable.

Next, make sure to pack your diaper bag with the important things like medications, diapers, food, blankie, and the iPad.  Perhaps I should preface this with I did pack an iPad.  Okay, we are not rich.  Really, we aren't, but we (Andrew) are techies over here so we are technologically well-off.  We have 2 iPads.

The first (cheap or cheaper) iPad is the one that I talked about with Ellie and learning to point.  The second was a wonderfully, fabulous surprise gift from my Andrew for our anniversary.  Thank you, honey!  I will be honest when I tell you that I seriously was not thinking things through when it came to packing.  I loaded the diaper bag up with Ellie essentials, iPad #1, toys, and medications.  Unfortunately, because I packed enough toys to outfit a small daycare, I did not have room for my iPad. . . the expensive, pretty one.  Andrew assured me that it would be fine in its case all bundled up in my clothing.  You are all probably shaking your heads right now.

We traveled through Dallas the day after the tornadoes.  This, therefore, made it the most chaotic air traveling day in Dallas outside of Christmas.  You see where this is going, right?

In St. Louis, I had a cranky, tired, no-nap Ellie strapped down in a stroller and my mom excitedly greeted us.  I patiently stood by the baggage claim conveyor belt.  My patience turned to panic as I saw no more bags descending and I was left with neither one of our two bags.  I will tell you, I was not the only with lost luggage from this flight.  Hours pass and there were still no sign of our bags.  I was consistently reassured by Southwest Airlines.

Now, remember iPad #2 was in one of our bags.  You know that "Find My iPhone/iPad" app?  It really works.  I had Andrew look for my fan-tabulous piece of electronic using this app and guess what it said? "St. Louis National Airport Terminal E".  Ah hah!  It had arrived.  A few more round-a-bout phone calls with the baggage department of SW and it was determined that Ellie's bag was still missing.  Good thing I had her blankie!

Absolutely, positively do not travel without the beloved blanket.
The moral of the story is, do not pack your iPad into checked luggage.  Needless to say, I shoved Ellie's toys into the checked bag for the return flight home and crammed both iPads into the diaper bag.  The airline did finally deliver both of our bags, unharmed to my parents' front door in the pouring rain.  I nearly kissed the poor guy, I was that happy.  Andrew, you didn't just read that and notice I said nearly!

8. Finally, when all else fails, go to Kohls.
When a certain toddler is covered from head to toe with food and there are no PJs or clothing to change into due to a luggage disaster, head to Kohls where you can find cheap, cute clothing and kind, caring people.  By the time we realized that our luggage was not arriving that day and Ellie and I would have to run around naked, it was rather late by the time we made it to store.  Little Miss No-Nap thought it was an ideal time to throw a huge screaming-crying fit in the middle of the check out line.  Exhausted, I turn to the entire line of people and say "I am so sorry.  Normally, I wouldn't bring her out this late, but we have no clothes or pajamas because the airline lost our bags."  Customers nodded sympathetically and handed me Kohl's coupons!    Did I mention that I love Kohl's? Look at these cute jammies!

Please share your travel ideas and tips with us!  


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Why Ellie Has Such an Awesome Immune System

Yes, I let her kiss the dog. . . and play with the puppy toys.

*sorry for the annoying sounds of my voice.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Traveling with a Toddler: Part 1

As many of you know, a few weeks ago Ellie and I went on a grand adventure to St. Louis, Missouri. . . sans Andrew.  It was a complete genius idea of mine.  Of course I could balance a diaper bag, a car seat, a stroller, and a monkey  Ellie on a 2-legged flight to the Gateway state.  I need not tell you that I had daily panic attacks of the whole ordeal for a week leading up to our departure.  My visions essentially included Ellie escaping my clutches as we went through airport security and her streaking through the terminals.

Clearly, I survived.  Ellie survived.  Our luggage sort of survived.

In my state of what on earth have I gotten myself into?!, I talked to several other parents at Ellie's ABA therapy center and gained a lot of tips, which I would like to share with you.

In case you missed it--we celebrated Easter with my parents in STL

1. Have a passenger escort.
My biggest concern was not getting on the plane or sitting through the flight, it was getting through airport security.  I had to lug the diaper bag, the stroller, and the car seat up on the X-ray belt after removing my shoes and whipping the iPad & medications out of the diaper bag.  All of this while holding onto Ellie.  You do know that she is squirmy little thing.  She is also fast.  She is also flexible.  She could also probably sense my fear and would thus act out to her full potential.

Passenger escorts come in two forms--airport escorts and family members.  Many of my ABA mamas used airport escorts by showing documentation that their children have autism.  They were met at the check-in counter with a wheel chair and a passenger escort.  These escorts handled all of the nitty gritty of the security screening.  Andrew was my passenger escort on the way to STL and my mama was the escort on the way back.  I put them solely in charge of Ellie while I handled everything else.  It was still a bit stressful, but it was a breeze compared to my nightmares of what I was expecting if I was alone.  At the airline check in counter, no one even batted an eye when I said my mom was our passenger escort.  They just checked her ID and printed out a boarding pass-like thing.  So my suggestion is if you are traveling alone, ask the person taking you to the airport to be your passenger escort.

My Mom and Ellie on the carousel at Foust Park

2. Donut Holes
Do NOT and I repeat do not underestimate the supreme importance of donut holes.  After clearing security and getting all of your belongs and child back in order, it is imperative find a place that sells donuts.  Be sure to discretely buy said donuts so that the cranky pants toddler does not see them until you are safely on the plane.  This is your distractor for during those times when electronic devices must be "off and stowed away".  Graciously provide your complaining toddler at take off and landing with a few donut holes as this will keep her quiet while you cannot have the iPad available for her use.  If she is eating, she isn't complaining.  Again, donut holes are imperative.

She may look like a sweet little angel, but this kiddo needs some ooey gooey sticky glazed yumminess to prevent of the screaming triggered by turning off the iPad.

3. Use a carseat.

Now I know not everyone can afford to purchase a seat for their wee bambino.  We have looked into it and some airlines offer airfares at lower rates, but typically you have to book via telephone rather than online.  Also, if your child does okay sitting on your lap, excellent!  That makes me insanely jealous.  You will still need the donuts though.

The Bear is NOT a snuggler. There would be none of this sitting on mommy or daddy's lap during the flight.  Instead, there would be running up and down the aisles of the aircraft which is generally frowned upon (and a safety issue). We learned that the best thing was to get the hyper mobile toddler Bear her own seat and to use our own car seat.  Come on, you didn't honestly think the Chunky Chicken was going to sit unassisted in the airplane seat and not get out did you?

When I was pregnant, we registered for the Sunshine Kids Radian 65 (now called Diono Radian) carseat specifically because it is FAA approved and the seat folds up. It folds up so nicely that I was able to set the carseat into the carrier basket of the stroller.  Viola!  I did not have to carry the carseat at all (which is good, because I am certain the seat weighs more than Ellie).

I suppose now would be the appropriate time to say, do NOT remove your toddler from the carseat after safely buckled in.  For any reason at all.  Andrew and I made that mistake on our flight to California.  We were unable to wrestle the strong 22 lb Bear back into her safety seat during a good portion of the flight.

Ellie's first plane ride Oct. 2010  

This post is getting to be a tad long so I shall continue in the next post.  Please share your traveling tips in the comments!

Be sure to visit Traveling With A Toddler: Part 2


Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Escape Artist

I believe the days of using our pack 'n' play while traveling are over.

While celebrating my mother-in-law's birthday in Plano, TX this weekend, we laid Ellie down for a nap and all was quiet. . . until we heard the door knob jiggle.

The Chunky Chicken "filed" some desk papers, unpacked all of our clothing, relieved the box of its tissues, and removed tubes of toothpaste, Ben Gay, and hydrocortisone from the nightstand.  She also attempted to hack into Andrew's computer, but couldn't beat the password protection. Her building blocks remained untouched. Thinking it was all a fluke (yes, we are that naive), we tried the pack'n'play again at bedtime.  Cheeky little booger hopped right out like it was nothing and clapped for herself.  Cross your fingers that she doesn't try those shenanigans with her crib tonight!


Friday, April 20, 2012

Megan, Needs a Home and Has a Large Grant


Meet the lovely Megan.  Megan is an active, social little girl with Down syndrome and she desperately needs a home.  She has already been transferred to a mental institution and I hear that it is not a good one.  Although, is any mental institution really a good fit for a little girl with Ds?

The wonderful news is that her adoption is nearly fully funded.  $23965.50
So please, carefully consider if Megan is your child and if she is not, please spread the word.  This little lovie should not be spending her days in an institution.

Forget-Me-Not Friday is a blog hop sponsored by Jane at Flight Platform Living with the goal of bringing about awareness of orphans with special needs in Eastern Europe.   To learn more about why this is such a cause close to my heart, please click here.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012


I have deduced that purple is Ellie's favorite color.  When given two choices of clothing, she always chooses purple.  Needless to say when my mother gifted The Bear with this delectably fabulous dress, we (as in me, although I am sure Ellie was rather pleased) were very happy.  Ever the fashionista, I whipped out Ellie's old purple leggings with the little ruffles that now fit a bit more like capris status post another large growth spurt (1/2 inch in one month!).  Have I mentioned lately that my little chicken is a giant on the Ds growth chart?  Think 90th %tile.  My little towering Bear is what I like to call a "Purplicious Diva".

I know that she looks all sweet and innocent, but do not be fooled!  

Isn't our garage door beautiful?  It is one of the only things that was not a husband DIY project.  Oh the garage was a DIY, but not the door.  We actually paid *gasp* someone to install it.  


Monday, April 16, 2012


Happy Monday!  Occasionally the antics of my little Ellie Bear are ridiculously funny and outrageously clever.  Okay, I am perhaps a bit biased, but she is one adorable little cookie.  I thought that would share of a few of her little -isms with you.

-We have been working on "fill-ins" with Ellie.  For instance, if we say "Ready" her response should be
"set go".  Now her set sounds more like Ssssss and her go sounds more like bo, but you get the picture.  On Thursday, we were hanging out in the lab for one of her routine blood draws and the phlebotomist turns to the nurse holding Ellie's arm in a vice grip and says "Ready?".  Ellie fills in with "SSSSSS BO!"  Poor little kid didn't realize she was telling them to stab her with a needle.

-Also on Thursday,  I pulled into the Lowe's parking lot to get Andrew a gift card because I am all about shopping last minute for our anniversary.  Ellie says "dada dada dada".  As we enter the store, she demands to be set down and starts screaming "dada dada dada!".  Take a wild guess where Andrew likes to take Ellie.

-Many of you know just how important Ellie's beloved blankie is to her.  We try to keep it in her crib only, but the little stinker has a really long reach and really skinny arms.  I have found her blankie unexpectedly in the freezer, the dishwasher, and in a hole in the wall.

-The concept of eating out was way beyond Ellie's cognition.  When I say we are going "out to eat", she frantically signs eat while saying Eeee and runs to the high chair.  Apparently, I am a magician because The Bear fully expects food, her preferred food of the day, to appear immediately in front of her for her consumption.  So imagine my surprise when I asked her if she wanted to go to Quizno's, she signs eat and car and did not pitch an epic fit on the way to the eatery.  Mmm mmm mmm toasty!

-An Andrew Antic: many of you have asked when our bathroom will get done after he made that little "dent" in our mold problems. . . I estimate one year, or two.


Saturday, April 14, 2012

5 Over 10,000: Forget Me Not Friday

My friend, S, has such a tender heart for the orphans on Reece's Rainbow.  It was S who brought sweet Elden and then little Malcom to my attention.  These boys weigh so heavily on her (and my) heart.  S recently sent me an email about an observation of hers. . . you see, there are several boys listed on RR around the age of 5 with huge grants.  Grants around or above the $10,000 mark.  By now, we know that some of the children with larger grants are more likely to be adopted because, frankly, adoption costs a small ransom.  Adoption is expensive.  Adoption is not for the weak of heart.  Yet, the path to adoption can be smoothed by rescuing a child with a large grant.

These boys are all 5 or 6 years-old.  Mental Institution age.  These boys all have large grants.  These boys, however, do not have families coming to rescue them.

The purpose of this post is to spread the word that these boys are on borrowed time and still need families.

Sara (who is adopting Martin), from Foxberry Farm Almanac wrote a beautiful blog post about these sweet boys hoping to bring about awareness and hopefully to find them families.  Please, spread the word!



Preston (2H)

Alexander (2H)

Sergei (9HA)

Yegor B. 

Nicky Z. 


This precious beauty has near $24,000 in her grant!

Forget-Me-Not Friday is a blog host sponsored by Jane at Flight Platform Living with the goal of bringing about awareness of orphans with special needs in Eastern Europe.   To learn more about why this is such a cause close to my heart, please click here.


Friday, April 13, 2012

How to Point: Teaching my daughter how to use her index finger

 *at the end of this post, I recommend two apps that were very beneficial in teaching Ellie to point.  I am not being paid to write this post although it would be very awesome to receive some compensation such as a free iPad or something exciting and whatnot.  

Pointing?  Who Cares?:
Prior to having Ellie, I took for granted pointing.  I knew that in having Down syndrome, Ellie would have delays in both fine motor development and language development.  I mistakenly assumed that pointing would come naturally and that we would use sign language prior to spoken words.  Until Ellie, I never truly realized just how much pointing serves as a means of communication.  Isolation of the index finger, as seen in pointing, is so important in forming many of the signs when conversing in American Sign Language [ASL].  Consequentially, for the longest time, SCREAM was (and at times still is) the primary language spoken by Ellie.
Confusion & Frustration:
Up until Ellie could point, I would hold up two options of food.  She would bat at them.  Sometimes she was batting at the food item to “shove it away” while other times she was batting to indicated that was the food she actually wanted.  I had to be a mind reader in order to figure out which food she truly desired.  I failed about 50% of the time.  When she started pointing, a whole new world of communication opened up.  If she pointed at a specific food, I knew that was the one she wanted.  Instead of loud, high-pitched screaming to indicated she desires something, she could now point to a toy on a shelf for me to get it down for her.  She can now formulate more intricate signs as a direct result of index finger isolation.  
Therapeutic Strategies Implemented:
Ellie took a lot longer to point than most of her friends with and without Down syndrome.  To the great frustration of myself, our therapists, and Ellie, we tried a variety of activities to help her achieve this fine motor skill.  I decorated the bottom of an empty egg carton with glitter, stickers, and fabric to encourage her to put her fingers into the bottoms of those egg shells.  I created a pegboard using an old heavy-duty cardboard shoe box.  I invested in a series of Melissa & Doug puzzles with those little knobs on them in hopes of eliciting a pincer grasp (using just the index finger and thumb to grasp an object).  I also doled out raisins one at a time to help Ellie move from the raking hand motion to the pincer grasp.  In spite of all these activities, Ellie’s fine motor abilities were not progressing.  

Exasperated! The Next Step:
Feeling like we reached a dead end (and that I was a failure because after all, no matter how hard we try, we look at our beautiful little progeny as extensions of ourselves), I did what any parent would do. . . I talked to other parents and discovered that the iPad might help.  Now, I know that not everyone can afford an iPad, but there are available grants out there for kids with special needs.  We got an old, version 1, refurbished iPad.  Meaning, we bought one used at a ridiculously cheap rate.  

I thought, “This was it!” only to discovered that many of the toddler apps were too sensitive to touch.  Ellie could just bat at the screen and something would happen (ie the cow would moo, it would move to the next flashcard, etc).  This did not promote pointing at all.  
Many other apps had the opposite problem.  They were not sensitive enough.  I would have to practically beat on the screen with my own finger to get a response.  In fact, I believe I nearly broke my hand trying to get to the next animal/body part on those evil Fisher Price apps. 
After a lot of research, trial & error, and wasted $1.99s, I have 2 iPad apps that I would like to recommend.  Both apps are less than $2.99, they are entertaining to kids, and they are educational.  What more could a mama bear want?
iPad Rules:
Now before leaving your little destructive toddler with a highly breakable iPad, I have two things to tell you.  The first is rather obvious.
  1. Supervise your bambina.  I had Ellie sit on my lap in the beginning.  I was in charge of the iPad, not the super-charged Ellie Bear.  Now, I sit on the floor with her, but she can hold it on her own, after all, I have to be free to snap my usual 20 million pictures of the spoiled princess toddler.
  2. Invest in an Otterbox case.  I am serious here.  This case, while bulky, is amazing.  I even have one for my phone.  Ellie has, unfortunately, dropped the iPad.  More than once (remember what I said about supervision?  Oops).  In fact, it crashed onto the Endocrinologist’s office floor yesterday from the exam table.  Yes, that far and. . . it DID NOT BREAK!  
I suppose I should tell you there is actually a 3rd and perhaps the most important thing: 
Do not expect your child to just start pointing automatically because she has an iPad.  It is magical, but not miraculous.  I started with Ellie sitting in my lap and I would help form her hand into a point.  I would then, with her hand formed in pointer position, guide her finger to the screen.  After a while, I would just form her hand and she had to tap the screen herself.  Finally, I stopped forming her hand.  Her pointing now extends beyond the iPad into daily activities and into some signing.  Now, I should tell you that I got a bit lazy and I never finished the above procedure for her left hand.  Her right hand does the perfect point 90% of the time while her left hand is at 30%.  

Recommended Apps:
I bet you thought I was never going to get to this section!  
  1. Starfall ABCs.  This app is derived from their website which is a free website.  The app, however, costs a few, but very worthwhile bucks.  It shows all of the letters in the form of building blocks.  The child selects a letter and then the app goes through the upper case & lower case letter name and sound.  For instance, you have to tap on the “A” and is says “A, ah, apple” and moves on to alligator, astronaut, etc.  Because of this educational app, the Bear can now point and can also identify many of her letters.  

  1. Duck Duck Moose Apps.  This is actually a company that provides a series of musical, interactive apps for $1.99 each.  They offer “Wheels on the Bus”, “Old MacDonald”, and “Itsy Bitsy Spider”.  Ellie LOVES the “Old MacDonald” one.  On each page, Ellie has to tap on the animal to elicit the sound &/or and action.  The farmer, when tapped, dances.  The cow, moos and does flips.  Aside from pointing, the Duck Duck Moose Apps have some actions that require dragging the finger across the screen (yay, more fine motor exercises!) such as when opening the doors of the bus or moving the tractor across the screen. These apps also have the option of selecting a language such as English, Spanish, German, French, etc.  

Ellie and I are always looking for new and exciting apps.  Please leave a comment telling us what your child’s favorite iPad or iPhone app is!


Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Little Girl in a White Dress

A little belated, but as promised, Easter Ellie!

Growing up, we always had two Easter egg hunts.  One was at my Grandparents Bruns' house where all of us cousins would hunt ruthlessly for the "big" egg.  The one that held a dollar as opposed to the ones filled with candy and nickels.  My cousin Brendan nearly always uncovered the coveted "big" egg.  I am relatively certain that he is extremely rich now due to all of those Easter egg hunts.

The second was at my parents' house with just me and my brother.  We would be in coordinated outfits masterfully sewn by my mother.  Our baskets were filled with chocolate and one year, they each held a beautiful stuffed, white bunny.  I ceremoniously named mine Bun-Bun and carried him around with me for years until his eyes, mouth, nose, and one ear detached themselves from his plush body.  My brother's bunny remained a pristine white complete with all body parts. Oops, I did not mean to divulge my secret about Bun-Bun.  Anyway, the eggs would be hidden indoors behind curtains and under wooden tables because it was often too chilly or rainy in St. Louis around Easter time.

One time, I escaped my bed in the middle of the night to get a glass of water.  I discovered the Easter Bunny.  Or should I say, my mom.  Still, I enjoyed our years of Easter egg hunts and now I am thrilled to be sharing the tradition with my Ellie (last year she fell asleep just before the big hunt).

no, your eyes do not deceive you.  The Bear is wearing her tennis shoes because she couldn't walk in her nice Easter shoes.

This year, it was actually warm and sunny outside.  My parents carefully hid empty pastel eggs around our backyard in what was perceived to be rather obvious places.  However, Ellie was more interested in destroying the edible grassy filling in her Easter basket rather than hunting for rabbits, err I mean eggs.  Sorry, I have Looney Tunes on my mind.

My father walked around the backyard, kicked each egg into the middle of the yard, and shouted "HEY ELLIE!  LOOK HERE!".  Ellie Bear has a great attachment to all the men in her life and her "Papa" is no different.  She gave him her undivided attention, immediately sauntered over to the egg and plopped it into her basket like a champ.

Little Miss Chunky Monkey enjoyed cracking all the eggs open, dumping them onto the grass, and then putting them back into her basket.  This continued for the remainder of our St. Louis visit.  Seriously, cheapest toys ever-plastic eggs.

Wishing you a happy belated Easter.  Tell me how your family celebrate Easter or Passover!

Happy Holidays

May you all have a wonderful, safe, healthy, and relaxing Holiday season full of laughter, love, and copious amounts of coffee!