Category Archives: Photos

Dear Tori: You’re killing us, kid.

I remember the weeks following your birth like they were yesterday. I couldn’t snap enough fuzzy pictures (while trying to avoid blinding you with the camera flash) while you were sleeping.

Or had your eyes open.

Or were simply being.

There for a little while the amount I bragged about you made me feel a little overwhelmed and I’m sure that everyone I spoke with tired of hearing the wonderful things my baby did.

But kiddo, I have news for you. . . that was nothing. You’re killing us with your cuteness.

You are absolutely *the* most polite two-years-and-two months-old little girl. When you ask for something there’s rarely a time that you don’t ask politely, but when you do forget, all we have to do is give you a look and you’ll enthusiastically bust out with “PWEEEEEEEASE?!” When you’re handed something you promptly say “Tanks!” When we thank you for handing us something, you say “Ou wew-come!” Don’t get me started about sneezes. If anyone sneezes you say “Bess ee!”

You’ve said “Uh-oh” for the longest time – but the last couple of days it’s transformed to “Oopsy-daisy!”

You’re killing us kid.

You don’t walk anywhere. You either run or trot. Your long hair bounces behind you while you run from one side of the house to the other (usually toward your bed or ours where you dive directly into the mattress to “hide” and then start giggling).

You can’t help but giggle when you’re pretending to sleep. Between little “snores” you giggle. We tell you “Wake up!” and you giggle. If the roles are reversed and you tell us to wake up, you giggle. But my favorite is when we ignore your wake-up calls and you bend over sweetly, give us a kiss, and say “Night-night!”

I hear you bounding to the door from the outside when I get home from work in the evening. “MAMA! Ou’re BACK! Wook! (look)” Then you start telling me about your day as best you can in your broken two-year-old-English.

If we’re busy doing something and you remember something you want, you hold your tiny index finger in the air and say “Wait! I back!” You run to grab the whatever it is and come running back to us saying “I back! See?!”

Everything is new and bright and fascinating and funny to you. You’re (mostly) all smiles (you know, between those two-year-old temper tantrums). I truly am seeing the world through brand new eyes – and Tori – I thank you for that.

But seriously – if you get any cuter I’m going to OD on cuteness.

At least that’s a happy way to go.


And Then She Was Two.



The past couple of years have been such a learning experience for me. I always knew there was more to learn, but Tori gave me truly interesting subject matter. I’ve watched her start as a soft, squishy lump and then blossom into a miniature girl with big hair and a bigger personality. We’ve reached an incredible number of milestones – so many that I curse myself for not spending more time carefully writing down each one.

Around Memorial Day we took the paci away. I thought it would be a huge fight, but to be honest, Tori never looked back once we took it from her. We were concerned that taking her pacifier may impede the progress she was making through TEIS with Project Help and with her Occupational Therapist, but she lost the paci and never skipped a beat.

Since starting services with TEIS and playing with Sue and her friends at Project Help, Tori’s language skills have grown by leaps and bounds. I mean – absolutely exponentially. She now spontaneously counts to six. She regularly calls for her malk (milk), book, Towi’s toys (Tori’s toys), fwends (friends), and knows how to say pwease (please) and tanks (thanks).



She absolutely understands us when we’re speaking to her. If she starts throwing a tantrum we tell her “Tori, that’s fine if you want to throw a fit, but you can throw a fit in your room.” You then hear little elephant feet stomping toward her room where she wails for a couple of minutes until we go in to check on her. When we get to her room we’ll ask “Have you calmed down?” She’ll nod “uh-huh.” We’ll ask for a hug and she’ll gladly give one while she says “hug” and then she comes out to play again.

This is the little girl that calls for me in the middle of the night when she learns that I’m not in the bed with her anymore. When I come to her room and snuggle in bed with her she cuddles up against me and smiles a sweet smile before falling fast asleep. She also wakes up the next day, rolls over to see me, smiles a sweet smile, and then gives me a morning hug and kiss.

When I walk in the door for lunch or after a long day at work, Tori will run to me when she hears me walk in the door. “Mama! Hug.” Then she starts jabbering. I’ll be able to pick out words like school, water and Dad amongst other unintelligible jabber – but I can tell she’s sharing her day with me.

I’m telling you – all personality.

This little girl has laughed, cried, played, slept, and warmed my heart. And now she’s two. Time flies. I can’t say it enough. Time absolutely flies.

Happy 2nd Birthday Tori!

Happy 2nd Birthday Tori!

Have you tried Swagbucks yet?

Search & Win

I know a lot of you have tried the “Do Surveys for Money!” and “Submit for a free sample of blah!” gimmicks out there. If you’re like me, you haven’t had a lot of success with actually getting money or free samples from these sites.

Well here’s one that actually works.

I get the most Swagbucks from my searches. When I’ve got a lot to search the web for, I head straight for Swagbucks’ search engine. (It’s powered by Google but you have to look below the link to see if it’s a sponsored ad or not.) You get awarded Swagbucks at random for searching. I even use my Swagbucks search engine when I’m going to familiar websites like WordPress, Facebook, and Yahoo. I just type that into the search bar and then go to the site from there.

You can also do surveys on the site, take a daily poll, do tasks, things like that. And you’re actually awarded Swagbucks, unlike those other survey sites that say “Hey, we’ll give you a dollar!” and then, twenty minutes later, you find out you haven’t qualified for their survey.


Back to the point, just give Swagbucks a shot. Click here and go look around. I’ve already redeemed some of my Swagbucks for music prizes, and I’ve got a lot of other things from the Swagbucks store on my wishlist – things like a Wii, a Keurig Single-cup Coffee Maker, and a Dali poster.

This site really works! Try it out! (And if you join from these links, I’ll get a referral bonus when you use the search!)
Search & Win

Wordless Wednesday – We Get By with a Little Help from Our Friends

Wordless Wednesday – Climbing

Wordless Wednesday – Going Places

Let me tell you why I adore my daughter.

At ten-and-a-half months old Miss Tori amazes me every day.

She’s all over the place. Since she learned to crawl about a month ago she’s been unstoppable. The baby gates hold her in place, but just barely. She powers through any form of baracade that her daddy and I try to make. Stack of pillows? Ha! She’s through it. Using her Jeep as a baracade? Ha! She crawls under it. Even the two-parent-human-style-baracade fails sometimes. Since this little one got mobile, she’s realizes she has places to go.

She also knows she has plenty to say. Her range of vocalizations and noises is all over the place. This little girl makes me smile more than I ever have simply by discovering a new sound or jarble of words she can make. When she gets wound up she doesn’t stop jabbering! What’s adorable is that we think she might be saying “Mamamamamamamama” at this point, but I think I’m more impressed that yesterday she started rhyming words with “duck”. I’m not sure if she fully intended to say duck, either – it’s hard for me to tell at this stage if she’s just making noises or if she’s starting to try and say something. If she is, “Dada” won’t be far behind.

Her little laugh is incredibly sweet. Her daddy and I love to make her laugh and giggle. Lately she’s been squealing a little higher and quite a bit louder – and we love it. She loves being chased while she’s crawling around – she’ll turn around, see us behind her, giggle and squeak, and then take off again.

She’s started nuzzling us. From our lap or from her arms, she’ll just bow her head toward ours or toward our chests and lean it against us. Each time she does Josh and I melt. I think it’s as close as she can get to hugging us right now. Like Josh said, it’s awesome that she’s got some way to show us affection at this point.

She tries new foods like a champ and we haven’t seen her turn down anything to eat yet! I love it when Tori shares my sandwich with me while I’m home on lunch. It’s fantastic to be able to get that time with her in the middle of the day. Tori is always finding new ways of being too cute for her own good, and spending my lunch with her allows me to recharge my batteries in the middle of my lunch day.

This afternoon when I came home she was napping. By the time I’d made my sandwich she had woken up. I took her from Josh and brought her to my lap. She looked up at me, smiled sweetly, and then laid her head on my chest. Adorable! We gave her a teething biscuit and she started a game she’s picked up in the last week or so. She’ll take a bite, then give it to Daddy. He’ll thank her for it, give it back to her, and then she’ll hold it to my mouth to take a bite – so I pretend to munch on it until she takes it back and takes a bite. She continues to share her biscuit with us until she’s bored with it.

I could already tell as a baby she is going to be a sweet girl – now as the days continue she’s just proving that more and more. I couldn’t be more proud of this sweet, smart, and beautiful wonder!

T’s First Easter

It’s official – my little girl has celebrated her first Easter. We didn’t do a lot this year because, well, let’s face it – she won’t remember much. We did know she could have a great time with her basket though.

J and I picked out a few stuffed things and a couple chocolate things to put in the basket. I think the final outcome was great!

T took her time to inspect everything carefully.

She soon decided what her favorite things were!

Mean Mommy and Daddy took the chocolate bunny away from her (as well as the Reese’s Eggs, shh!) but we allowed her to keep the eggs to play with. She still loves them!

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