Someday Veteran


Could this little guy be a future veteran? I’d say the chances are good. There’s a long legacy of service in his family from his father, who is active-duty Navy (like that was hard to figure), to his great-grandfathers, both of whom served during WWII.

He turns two months old today, this Veteran’s Day. I guess he has a few years to decide.

Happy Veteran’s Day to all my fellow veterans. Thank you for your service!

You Get Candy

Half the time I can’t get my daughter to wear pants—she literally refuses—so when she let me put on her Elmo costume I knew the night was off to a great start. No doubt it helped that her “costume” was just a shirt and pants with a tutu thrown in for good measure.

My husband and I had prepped our daughter for weeks, explaining how all the kids dress up to go trick-or-treating. By Halloween night she was pretty excited about the prospect of collecting a bag of candy. “Let’s go!” she said, and we were off.

At the first house she marched right up the walk but balked at the front door. She stood there timidly, watching wide-eyed as our neighbor dropped candy in her bag. She looked in her bag, looked at my husband, looked in her bag, looked at me . . .

“Let’s go to the next house!” she exclaimed.

As we approached each house we would remind her to say trick or treat. “I don’t want to say it!” she would holler as she arrived at the door. Of each house. She’s no dummy. Clearly these people were going to give her candy, tricks or no. At least she said thank you without hesitation.

For me, the highlight of the night was when we saw another Elmo. As the Elmos passed each other on the sidewalk, our daughter casually said “Hi Elmo” and kept right on walking. You’d think seeing Elmo on the street was an everyday occurrence.

There’s no telling how long she would have lasted if the night had been warmer. As it turned out, she grew weary of wearing her hat and mittens before she lost interest in trick-or-treating. It was cold so we called it quits.

Pants and tutu came off the minute we got home. Elmo, however, didn’t come off until bath time the next night. I love that she still loves Elmo.

Kelly - November 3, 2012 - 1:34 pm

She looks adorable!!

Tricia Mitchell - November 3, 2012 - 10:40 pm

What precious photos of sweet GiGi! Here’s hoping we’ll get to meet her in person someday soon.

Cynthia Roelle - November 4, 2012 - 1:13 pm

Thanks you two! Tricia, you better meet her in person some day. The sooner the better! When are we going to see you?

That’s a Pumpkin!


Sometime in early October my husband and I started talking up Halloween. We were hoping to get our daughter excited about knocking on strangers’ doors and soliciting candy. She’ll do just about anything for M&Ms so it hasn’t been that hard of a sell. At least in concept (the concept being chocolate, not ghosts and goblins). Getting her to say Halloween has taken some effort. It’s not that she can’t pronounce it, because she can, but for weeks she insisted on calling it McQueen. As in, Lightning McQueen, which is funny because she has never even seen Cars, she has just heard her 3-year-old twin cousins jabber incessantly about McQueen and Mader. They’re as infatuated with those little guys as our daughter is with Elmo. But I digress…

We spent yesterday and today trapped inside by the rain from Hurricane Sandy. Our pumpkins sat inside the foyer, brought in from the porch where high winds threatened to launch them into orbit. They practically begged us to give them faces. And so began our daughter’s introduction to the fine Halloween tradition of carving the jack-o’-lantern.

As we soon found out, there’s not a whole lot a 2-year-old can do to actively participate in the pumpkin carving process. She can’t draw the face, wield the knives or scoop out the seeds. Well, she may have been able to scoop except that she refused to stick her hands in the pumpkin. She apparently had no qualms about sticking her entire head inside the pumpkin. I guess the best view is from the inside out.

When it was all said and done she seemed pretty pleased with our newly carved jack-o’-lantern. She planted a big kiss on his cheek and declared: That’s a pumpkin! Who can argue?

I’m now guest blogging for parents.com. You can see this post, How We Rode Out Hurricane Sandy and others on my friend Jill’s blog page, Fearless Feisty Mama: Candid and comical confessions from a slightly obesessive mom, by Jill Cordes.

Linda - November 2, 2012 - 1:58 pm

These are so cute! And Paul is a pumpkin carver extraordinaire! Didn’t you get a little nervous with her face so close to that knife? I would have been barking, “Get back! You’re too close!” I manage to ruin all fun moments…

Cynthia Roelle - November 2, 2012 - 5:25 pm

Nope, wasn’t a bit nervous. After all, it wasn’t my face. JK! Actually, Paul wasn’t cutting when her face was that close. He would pause and wait until she moved. Since we were trapped inside anyway we weren’t in any hurry to get done.

You would have had a heart attack when I was sewing her Elmo costume. She wanted to feel how sharp the pins were so I gave her the pin cushion! Before you freak out, I only let her have it for a minute and I watched her like a hawk the whole time. But the way I see it, poke youself with a pin and you won’t soon forget how sharp it is!

Love Affair


When you think of the world’s greatest love affairs, who comes to mind? Romeo and Juliet? Napoleon and Josephine? Cinderella and her prince? History and literature, heck even childrens’ fairy tales, are full of epic romances. But surely none is so pure or true as the love affair between my daughter and Elmo.

I can’t speak for Elmo, but for my daughter, it was love at first sight. It started when she was about a year old with Elmo’s First Book of Colors. There was something about that little red monster that caught her eye. Weeks later, on a trip to Grandma and Grandpa’s house, she became instantly enamored with Tickle Me Elmo who, mercifully, stayed at Grandma’s house. (In case you’re not familiar with Tickle Me Elmo, he giggles and talks when you squeeze his tummy. It’s mildly annoying the first 1000 times you hear “Oh boy, that tickles!” after which point you’re thinking this toy should really be named Throttle Me Elmo.) Anyway, after we left Grandma’s my daughter would latch onto any and every Elmo she saw, regardless of where we were or who it belonged to.

Thankfully, not long thereafter my friend gave my daughter a little stuffed Elmo that she could claim as her own. She dragged that little guy everywhere. She would pretend she was feeding him, pretend he was sleeping, pretend he was clapping, pretend he was reading. It was the cutest thing. The intensity of her devotion was something to behold.

The day she stuffed Elmo between a cabinet and the wall was the day I started taking pictures. At first I just wanted to show my husband some of the funny places she would stash Elmo throughout the day. The only problem was that she rarely left him anywhere long enough for me to grab my camera and snap a photo. Soon it became a quest to get a photo before she took off, Elmo in tow.

The day she sat Elmo on the back of the toilet—not on the tank but on that little part between the lid and the tank—was the day I put my camera down (and wretched). Though our bathroom is quite clean, it is not a place I like her to be, ever. Nevertheless, on this particular day I was brushing my teeth when she toddled in after me.

I was brushing away and I could hear her behind me repeating something. I didn’t think much of it at first but eventually her words broke through my early morning fog: “Brush Elmo hair. Brush Elmo hair.” What’s that now? I turned around and there she was rubbing Elmo with the toilet brush. Noooooo! GROSS! Tumble me Elmo, into the washing machine you go.

I suppose my daughter was around 18 months old when her love affair with Elmo peaked. She’s now two. Twenty-six months to be exact. I hadn’t noticed that her passion for Elmo had faded until about a week or so ago. I had put her down for a nap and she asked for Elmo. It was purely a stall tactic but it hit me that it had been some time, months even, since she had carried him around or stashed him anywhere. Longer, since I had taken any Elmo photos.

When I went in to get her up from her nap I was delighted to see she had wedged Elmo between the crib and the wall. “Look at Elmo hanging!” she exclaimed with glee. I ran to get my camera, but by the time I returned Elmo had been tossed aside, out of the crib and onto the floor.

Though she no longer has little Elmo by her side every second of the day and night, she is still enamored with most things Elmo. Sesame Street videos, in particular, she can’t get enough of.

It makes me sad to think her first love isn’t going to last forever. I’ve become fond of the little monster and I’m not ready to see him go. At least we’ll always have these photos to remember him by.

 I couldn’t resist including this series of GiGi at her friend’s house with an appropriated Elmo.

I’d like to dedicate this blog to my parents (the same grandparents with Tickle Me Elmo) who have been married 49 years today. Happy anniversary mom and dad!

[...] jabber incessantly about McQueen and Mader. They’re as infatuated with those little guys as our daughter was with Elmo. But I [...]

[…] jabber incessantly about McQueen and Mader. They’re as infatuated with those little guys as our daughter is with Elmo. But I […]