Thursday, December 31, 2009

More Snow...Playing With All Those Toys!

We got a little more snow overnight. About two inches. What the forecasters call a wintry mix. It was pretty easy to shovel it away, compared to the 21.5" before Christmas.

Merrilee has played non-stop with all of her toys from Santa and friends.

She has really gotten used to her guitar. She straps it on, strums, and dances away. Looking forward to a time when toys don't make noise.

Oh well, at least her preference is guitar!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Cutest Little Dress

Merrilee wants to say a special thank you to Aunt Judy and Uncle Jim. They sent her this cute little outfit for Christmas -- complete with the red holiday bow.

She wore it to Doug and Kadie's for dinner on Christmas day. Merrilee loves this outfit. She calls it her "fancy Christmas dress."

She really did look cute!!! Thank you, Judy and Jim!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Mommy and Santa

Merrilee was separated from her mother this Christmas day, but she did get to talk to mommy for a bit on Skype, and show mommy all of her presents. Mommy sent Merrilee a couple of pictures today too. First, mommy got to spend some time in the big sandbox with Mr. and Mrs. Claus...

Mommy also sent a picture of her roommate. Her name is Beth too! Merrilee is always happy to get pictures from her mommy...

Technology is a wonderful thing. It's amazing how quickly images and messages go from one side of the world to the other.

To everyone far away from home this Christmas, Merrilee says "be safe!"

Doug and Kadie's

On Christmas afternoon, we went to cousin Doug and Kadie's for Christmas dinner, and more gift opening. Beside Doug and Kadie, cousins Heather and Jordan were there, along with Uncle Glenn and Aunt Sandy.

As Merrilee said, she looked "fancy." She wore her special Christmas dress and shirt that were a gift from Aunt Judy and Uncle Jim. She event wore her special bow, though she didn't keep that in very long. (We'll have more pictures of the dress soon. We left our camera at Doug and Kadie's and won't get it back until Sunday...)

Merrille was showered with gifts. She loved them all. Her bracelet, teddy bear, games, jackets, and her Disney Princess FJ Cruiser electric car. That thing is so big it took up the entire back of the 4Runner on the way home. There were lots of other gitfs...dolls and games and more. And she loves them all!

Merrilee especially enojoyed seeing Jordan, and going up to his old room to see his Christmas garden and play his drums!

Here's a little video of Merrilee on the drums...

When we got home, she also had to play her "electric" guitar. She has a style that is a mix of James Burton and Jimi Hendrix...

Can't wait til Merrilee gets to entertain all the people who gave her these gifts. And Merrilee can't wait until mommy gets to see, and HEAR, all her new toys. Merry Christmas everyone!

Christmas Morning

What a busy Christmas morning.

At 6:10 a.m. Merrilee started calling, "Daddy, I want to get up. I want to get up." She toddled out to the baby gate at the top of the stairs, looked down and said "Presents! Presents! Santa was here!"

She could barely contain herself as she ran down the steps and over to her gifts. Santa brought her a lot of nice toys.

A special thanks to Merrilee's Aunt Brittany (she loved her Disney hoppy) and to Uncle Bart (she has taken her little stuffed animal everywhere, and we've already watched her DVD about five times!)

Here's a sample of some of the gift opening from Christmas morning.

Friday, December 18, 2009


Okay. The Baltimore area got whacked BIG TIME over the weekend with a major snowstorm. In Catonsville, where we live, the unofficial total was 21.5 inches. And, it's so cold it's going to be around for a while. Most of the major school systems were closed Monday.

A big thank you to Merrilee's niece Heather. We trekked over to get her early Saturday morning, and she is staying with us til Tuesday to help take care of Merrilee while dad is working early (going in at 4:30 a.m.)

It took a couple of hours to shovel out on Sunday, and a huge thank you goes out to Mr. Bob down the street. He came by with his snowblower and cleared out the foot of the driveway. (After we got out and shoveled, the plow came through and pushed up a huge snow wall on our cul de sac.

Merrille loved the snow. She loved looking at it and feeling it on her hand. She did not like it so much though when it ended up being almost as high as she is tall.

Meanwhile, Merrilee got her latest school pictures on Friday. Does anyone have a favorite?

So what do you think? We're a little selfish about this. We think they're ALL good!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

She Has Made MUSIC!

Three of the people who work for Merrilee's daddy -- Ms. Anne, Mr. John, and Mr. Robert -- pitched in and got Merrilee a little holiday present.

They insisted she open it tonight, and she did.

It was a Disney princess musical instrument set, complete with trumpet, cymbals, castanets, maracas, and oh yes, the drum.

Lots and lots of noisemakers. Needless to say, Merrilee loved them. So much so, in fact, that she had to sleep with the trumpet in her bed tonight.

By the way, be listening for Ms. Anne, Mr, John, and Mr. Robert on the radio. You'll be hearing them all soon on the new OVERNIGHT shift.

Merrilee says if her instruments are keeping daddy awake, the people who gave them to her might as well be awake too!

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Special Visitor On Our Street!

Merrilee heard a noise at the end of our street.

Lo and behold, it was the jolly old man in red himself! Santa was riding on a fire truck!

He went down the street and stopped right in front of our house.

Merrilee waved and blew him a kiss. She said, "I've been good" and "Bring me some presents..."

Santa's elves gave Merrilee a candy cane. She's trying to be a very good girl.

We hung her stocking tonight, and ones for the dogs, Bogart and Bacall. Will they be filled with treats on Christmas morning?

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Merrilee and her daddy were treated to a nice traditional Hanukkah dinner at Mr. Rob and Mrs. Susan's house. The food was excellent, especially the peach soup and the brisket. Yum-mo!

Merrilee was fascinated by the dreidel, and she loved the lighting of the candles on the menorah.

She also liked playing with Jonathan and his friends...especially the drums and the piano.

A few quick glimpses from our visit...


The highlight of Merrilee's Saturday was a visit to see the train garden at the Ellicott City Fire Station # 2.

Merrilee LOVED it! She didn't want to leave.

Here's a little bit of what she saw...

Friday, December 11, 2009

Loving Her School

We are very lucky that Merrilee loves going to school. As we've mentioned previously, Merrilee goes to the Goddard School in Hanover, Maryland. It makes daddy's commute a lot longer in the morning and afternoon, and she usually spends 10 to 11 hours at the school each day.

Merrilee is blessed with some great teachers and classmates.

Every morning when she gets to school, Merrilee runs in to see Miss Charlotte. Later, her teachers are Miss Richie, Miss Jessica, and Miss Debbie.

We are keeping Miss Debbie in our thoughts and prayers. Her husband is a marine, and he will soon be going to that other big sandbox where more of our troops are headed. Will hope he will be safe.

Today, the school email us some pictures of Merrilee. We thought we'd share them with you!

Clearly Merrilee loves all the fun she has at school. She loves the music and the arts and crafts. The other day, the class practiced shaking hands and saying "Nice to meet you..." We practiced all that night when she got home too. Thank you, Goddard School, for all you do for our Merrilee!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Our First Snow Of The Year

Baltimore received its first snowfall of this winter on December 5, 2009. We probably got about five inches here where we live. The flakes were big, but the snow didn't cause much of a problem. The roads were still pretty warm so not much piled up on the highways, though as you can see, it was enough for the salt truck to come through our neighborhood.

Merrilee was fascinated by the snow, as always. She remembers it from this year. She stood at the picture window a lot yesterday, and just watched it come down.

Today we made another trip to the grocery store. Merrilee has to stop and play with the snow on the bushes next to our front porch. She thinks the snow is pretty cool, though she doesn't like the cold or the wind. (By the way, sorry for the poor quality of the pictures, but they are video screen grabs, and I was shooting through our front window.)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Interesting Comment...

Everyday, Merrilee's school sends home a "daily activity report" for each child.

It says how much she ate, when she napped, when she used the potty, what they did for language and cognitive skills, creative arts, music, and much more.

At the very bottom, there is a block for a special message.

Today, Merrilee's said

"Today Merrilee told Ms. Debbie 'I miss my daddy. He's at work. I miss my mommy. She's at important work.'"

What an interesting and observant comment from a two-year-old.