Saturday, August 30, 2008

Binoculars

I'm home alone tonight ... Brian's off doing security at the Kingdom Hall and Allen's been asleep for about two hours now. I'm watching Law & Order: Criminal Intent for the first time in like, six months, which I'm debating the wisdom of, given my tendency towards irrational fear ... but one of my most favorite people just made a guest appearance on the intro: Mo Rocca. That just made my evening ... anywho ...

Allen was adorable today as usual. He went with Papa to the park, where from what I hear he was as charming as last night. He came home to me with rosy rosy cheeks, and quite ready for a nap. When he woke up, his hair was a MESS ... he had horns! Sadly, I didn't have my camera handy so we have no documentation.

This evening we went to Nana and Papa's for dinner. We had flank steak, asparagus, a fingerling potatoes. It was a delicious dinner. Allen particularly like the "beans," which he ate by shoving the entire asparagus spear into his mouth at once.

It was such a nice night out, that we all sat outside on the front porch and watched the "egets," "hennons" and "stokes" flying around the pond. Allen got particularly excited when we broke out the "knockers." Here's a picture of him holding them ...



That's about all the news that's fit to print for this evening. XOXO ...

Friday, August 29, 2008

Papa, New Friends, "Try it ... you'll like it!"

Papa arrived today! Allen was very excited to pick him up at the airport, and was in Nana's arms pointing to Papa and smiling when he came to meet them. Pretty much no one else has existed since Papa's appearance. Papa read to him in the car; Papa fed him "pizzie" at the pizza place; and he cried when we had to go home this afternoon.

This evening we went to one of our favorite restaurants for dinner -- Saltus. Nana and Papa love the raw oysters, Daddy loves the sushi, and Mommy loves their dirty martinis. Allen loves the "owives" from Mommy's dirty martini. Overall he was quite well-behaved during dinner ... he ate his pasta all by himself (and ate a ton, which is good, since the pants he wore to meeting last night nearly fell off of him because he's so skinny), and made everyone try it ("Try it ... you'll like it" he likes to say, since he learned the phrase from an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba). He played with his mail truck and bus ("mail sleeping" and he put the mail truck upside down with the wheels up in the air). He talked to all the staff -- "Hello, how you? Thang you, you're welcome." Nana and Mommy sang "Itsy Bitsy Spider" to him and he really wanted Papa to do it too, but he couldn't quite get the hang of it. We decided it was time to leave once Allen tried to dip his "binky" into Papa's wine, and drove his bus onto Papa's salad plate.

Since it was a lovely night, we decided to walk by the water and look at the boats (one of Allen's favorite things to do). Once again, it was an occasion in which I should have had my camera, and once again, I did not. He waved to the boats, and ran down the river walk after them. He walked up to two little blond-haired British girls who were sitting on a bench swing with their parents. He marched right up to them, said "Hello, how you?" and proceed to climb right up onto the swing with them. I took a picture of the kids with the British mom's camera and gave her my card, so hopefully she'll send me the picture.

Then he ran onto the grassy area and chased after two older boys' soccer balls. He ran around with them, and threw the ball, and chased it, and kicked it. They weren't so amused, but they reluctantly shared. When it was time to go, Allen didn't put up a fight, but instead said, "Bye bye! Thang you!" So sweet.

We walked some more towards the boats, saw a "Mia puppy" (Chihuahua puppy), and sat on the bench swing with Nana and Papa. Overall it was a fantastic end to the day, and he fell asleep quite quickly once we got him home, after he made Mommy and Daddy "cwy" before he would kiss them (this is his new favorite thing to do ... if you ask for him a kiss, he says, "cwy" and won't kiss you until you pretend to cry first).

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

You too can have a camera

Boy do I have a lot to blog about ... I hope I can remember all the stories I want to share. Before I get started though, I wanted to let those of you who are having trouble viewing my "Scrapblog" to click on the "view full size" button. It will open a separate window and load much more quickly. Moving right along ...

Nana watched Allen today, and they had a fabulous time eating cupcakes and cookies, and all kinds of things that Mommy and Daddy try to limit. Anyway, Gigi was teaching him silly things to say today. Tonight, I was trying to get Allen to tell Daddy what Gigi taught him to say, and he said, "Nana farts!" It was hilarious! We immediately called Papa and tried to get Allen to tell him what Nana does. I kept saying, "Allen, tell Papa what Nana does," and Allen would say, "Papa." Well, kind of ... but we won't get into that :)

Then we were trying to get him to sing songs. We started with "Twinkle Twinkle," and then "You Are My Sunshine," neither of which was very successful. Then I started to sing "Life Without End At Last" (I sing that to Allen when I'm trying to settle him down). To truly get the sense of this, I will italicize the words that Allen sang ...

Sing out with joy of heart

You too can have a camera

That's an interesting version of the song, isn't it? He did eventually fill in just about every word in the song that I asked him for (including childhood, or as he says, chiiillld). He really is a smart cookie.

After dinner, he went outside with Daddy to play in the water while Daddy watered Mommy's plants. Here are some pictures, and a video ... very cute.


video

Allen is really into names lately. It's funny ... he picks up on everything we say, so for a few months now, he will occasionally call me "Honey" (what Brian calls me) or he'll call his Daddy "Babe" (what I call him). Now he's added some new names to his repertoire. Sunday morning, Brian was trying to wake me up, and he's gently shaking me, saying "Honey, we need to get up." And Allen chimes in and says, "Bwian, Bwian, get up." Close enough ...

Allen's really good at saying people's names, but not their "titles." For instance, he doesn't say "brother" or "sister" before he says someone's name at the Kingdom Hall. He just says their last names. Two of his favorite people in our congregation are brothers with accents. I've mentioned Brother Adjei before (Allen just calls him "uhJAY"). He also loves Brother Watkis, who happens to be the reader in our book study. Last Monday night, Allen whispered "Watkissss" through the entire meeting. And ever since, he looks for him at the Hall and excitedly says his name. So this past Monday night, he learned the Marconis' name ... except he can't quite pronounce it correctly. At first it was "Corneys, Corneys!" Then it became "Coneys, Coneys ... where are you Coney?." It's really quite sweet.

Nana, Allen, and Mommy went to lunch at Chick-Fil-A on Monday, and we saw Brother Tobias. He was in service, and stopped in to use the restroom. So as Allen was saying, "Hi Bias," Brother Tobias was hurrying off to the bathroom. I explained to Allen that Brother Tobias had to go potty, but he would be right back. Allen said, "Bias poopy?" Something like that kiddo :)

That's all for tonight. Stay tuned ....

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Long Absence, Mamma Mia, Soup

I apologize for the delay in posting. We have been quite busy this past week with house guests. Lori-love arrived on Monday night, and we were fortunate enough to get to have her stay until Saturday evening (tropical storm Fay was kind enough to stall over the Jacksonville area so Lori was able to extend her visit). We also had the pleasure of a visit from Mom-mom from Thursday evening until today! So, needless to say, we have been very busy in the Craig household (and very tired).

Last night we all went to see Mamma Mia. Allen has been to movies before, but usually they are of the animated variety. But since this movie was a musical, we thought maybe he'd enjoy it. Boy did he ever! I have never seen him sit so still for so long. He sat in his booster seat staring up at the screen for the longest time. There were some moments where he participated as well ... some dancing and arm raising, stuff like that. He did really well.

Afterwards we went to a Japanese restaurant, where Allen insisted on feeding himself soup (he really digs those big spoons). Mom ended up wearing the majority of the soup after he dumped the bowl over. Other than that though, he did very well.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Part Canine, Tinkle Tinkle

I think my son may be part canine ... tonight, Nana, Mommy, and Allen took the puppies and Zoe for a walk. Allen quickly lost interest in the "yeash" (leash) and decided to run down the street -- first after a woman on the bicyle, saying " I get you I get you!" and then after a man and a dog on a golf cart. I literally had to run after him past Nana's house and pick him up to stop him from chasing the golf cart anymore. It was unbelievable.

I've also decided that I can't go anywhere without my camera anymore. He is absolutely hilarious. He tried to imitate Gigi's "fish face" tonight, which was hilarious, and he runs so cute I can't stand it. He twists his little butt back and forth. It is one of the funniest things I have ever seen in my life.

He also has started singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star though he says "Tinkle Tinkle" instead. One of these days, I'm going to get it on video and post it. But he's so obsessed with the camera, that I have to do it when he's not paying attention to me. Stay tuned for that video ... it will be worth it!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Rain-Ball, Phone, Flowers

So I have a sinus infection, and have spent most of the evening sneezing and blowing my nose ... which is why I'm not at the meeting tonight (I know I know ... such a heathen!). Anyway, it figures I would get sick now ... but that's OK. It's an excuse to take things a little easy, and to have a hot toddy (is that how you spell it?). Thanks to J and Y for introducing me to the healing power of the hot toddy.

After a day-and-a-half of not picking Allen up, I have been given the go-ahead to lift anything under 75 pounds. Thank goodness because if he looked at me one more time with those gorgeous blue eyes and said "care" and then cried when I told him Mommy was hurt and couldn't, I think I was just going to burst into tears. He seems to like me better already :)

We played outside a bit today ... and I got my camera out and took tons of pictures. Allen wanted to throw his soccer ball around, and he decided to throw it into the bird bath. Each time he did it, he would say "Uh-oh, rain, ball" meaning that there was "rain" on the ball. Here's a shot and a video clip of it ...


Mom ... watch this!

video


Sorry for the background noise ... lots of construction around our house. But basically, he's saying "Uh-oh, rain ball" and "Where'd ball go?"

As some of you know, Allen is obsessed with talking on the phone. After the Kissy phone call debacle, I've realized that offering to let him talk to actual people on the phone is not really an option unless I'm in the mood for a tantrum. But, pretending to talk on the phone is awesome ... enjoy this video clip, and notice what Brian and I call the "pa-pa shake." Let me know if you see it (we were in hysterics over it, which made Allen quite upset).


video



Here are some other random shots of my ridiculously cute kid ...

A very important phone call, obviously

He got a fat lip last night at Nana's, but you can't really see it here ...

I see the light ...

Daddy's home!!!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Too Much TV, Recovering

Sorry it's been a few days since my last post. As I mentioned last time, we've been going through a bit of a rough time. We found out for sure on Monday that we did lose "Cookie," and yesterday I had a D&C. I also woke up yesterday with an awful cold or something ... so it's been a double whammy. But I'm recovering quickly, thanks to Brian and Mom taking such good care of me, and thanks to phone calls, flowers, and notes from family and friends.

So I think Allen may be watching too much television. Sunday after the meeting we went out to lunch. The waitress gave Allen a whole box of crayons so he could draw on the butcher paper on the table. He wanted us to draw "Rocket" and "Big Jack" (really, it's Big Jet) from Little Einsteins. Then he starting yelling (yes, I mean yelling) for "Jack" (jet). "Where are you Jack?" He was looking everywhere for him.

Then on Monday we went to lunch, and he put one hand on each cheek and yelled, "Oh Tooootles." That's from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. I think Mickey must cup his hands around his mouth when he yells for Tootles and that's why Allen puts his hands on his cheeks. He yelled that for awhile too. He also knows the names of all the characters on the show. It's really quite cute, but I think we need to get to the park more often :)

At the moment he is "reading" a book I bought him about San Francisco. He's so cute when he reads. He's been very good to Mommy while she's recovering (she's not allowed to pick him up), by playing well by himself and understanding that I can't "care" him (carry him).

Well at the moment, my memory is failing me with regard to additional stories about my monkey (could be the drugs). But when I think of more, I'll post them. Thanks again to all of you for your thoughts, prayers, and kind words.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Where Are My Shorts? Reading

Just a brief posting today ... Allen's shorts kept falling off, so he decided to wear them as a hat instead ...



Allen was reading to us this afternoon also. We got that on video. Please ignore the ugly lady behind him ... I was in my PJs all day, not feeling very well.



video

Friday, August 8, 2008

Epic & Cookies; Big Storms

I woke up from my nap this afternoon to Allen walking around the house saying "epic." Epic his how he says ice cream (don't ask me why ... for the same reason that milk was the f-word for awhile, I suppose). So he and dad went out and bought some. For a special treat, he got ice cream sandwiches made with Mrs. Field's cookies. Cookies and ice cream together -- could life get any better? Dad let him feed himself ... thus the picture above.

Late yesterday afternoon, a terrible storm blew through Beaufort. High winds blew probably at least a dozen trees down in our neighborhood (more throughout the town), and we lost power. Mom was working at the shop, and called to tell us that water was leaking in underneath the walls. Once the rain let up a little we drove through our neighborhood surveying the damage, and then all of us went to clean up the shop. It was a mess, but fortunately no real damage was done.

With no power, we set out to find a restaurant for dinner. Unfortunately, most of Beaufort's restaurants were in a similar bind. We finally found a restaurant that had power and immediate seating ... but we probably would have been better off going home hungry. The service was awful, and the food mediocre. But of course, we came away with some Allen stories ...
  • The poor little guy was so tired and hungry that he cried most of the time. He wanted to sit on my lap, but I haven't been feeling well, and he's awfully squirmy. He got distracted by Anthony for awhile ... an 8-month-old Indian baby who was gorgeous, and also not so happy. Allen and Daddy went to see the "baby crying" and made him feel a little better. Allen almost took off with Anthony's keys though.
  • We entertained him with his "giggle bug" (a little bug that giggles when you push his belly) playing hide & seek behind the menu, and with dipping his binky in his water glass (Dad did it once to clean it off, and Allen thought it was great, so he continued to do it). He then decided that Giggle Bug needed a bath too, so into the ice water he went!
  • Allen's at the age right now where he's very curious about body parts and going potty. So, he lays Giggle Bug on the table, and pushes its chest and says "Neeples" (nipples), then points lower and says "Peepee, poopy!" Once we got control of our laughter, we explained that we only use bathroom talk in the bathroom.
  • Not to be outdone by Allen's hilarious and embarrassing stories, Mom went into the Men's room at the restaurant. I didn't realize it was the Men's room until I left. And no, there was no lock on the door, and YES there was a urinal (that should have been my first clue, eh?). Fortunately, no one used the urinal while I was in there. I was so mortified!

We did finally get power back, but not until 5:30 this morning (oh, and the reason we were at dinner last night and not at meeting is because the Hall had no power either and meeting was cancelled. Wouldn't want you to think we were heathens or anything!). Needless to say, we had mostly a sleepless night ... it was around 80 degrees in the house, and poor Brian was without his breathing machine (for sleep apnea), so we barely slept.

In the meantime, our family is going through our own emotional version of a big storm. Tuesday was our first "Cookie" appointment, and the ultrasound didn't show the development that it should have, based on my gestational calendar (7 weeks). We were faced with two possibilities ... that I wasn't as far along as we originally thought, or that the pregnancy wasn't going well. With no physical symptoms of a miscarriage, our only next step was to monitor my hCG levels. So we took a blood sample on Tuesday and again on Thursday. I found out today, that while my hCG levels did go up slightly, it did not go up at the rate that it should if this were a viable pregnancy. The two scenarios the doctor gave me are that it could be an ectopic pregnancy or that it could be something the medical field calls a "missed abortion". This is basically a miscarriage that my body has not expelled (for lack of a better word). While we won't know anything definitively until Monday morning when I get another ultrasound, we're pretty sure that "Cookie" is gone.

Thanks to all of you for the well wishes and congratulations I received when I announced my pregnancy. Having your support and love is helping to sustain me through this difficult time. I love all you guys and miss you tremendously.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Beep, Big Pop, Bugah

It's not even 3:00 in the afternoon, and I already have tons of stories for you! I'll start from the beginning ...

This morning we were on the phone with Aunt Kissy when Allen, Snake, and Cat all tackled me. Suddenly Kiss hears a muffled Allegra saying "hold on a minute ... Allen I can't breathe." It was quiet amusing. No need to worry ... I wrestled, Snake, Cat, and Allen off me and I'm OK.

We had a morning of errands to run, so I asked Allen what he wanted to take with him in the car. Big mistake ... we left with milk, puffs and cookies, cat, snake, car (all stuffed animals), and a truck. And he wanted me to "care" (carry) him. We stopped briefly at the shop and saw Nana ... when she said "Bye," Allen said "Bye bye Nana. See you soon!" So cute ...

Our first stop was the ATM to deposit a check. Everytime the machine beeped, I heard "beeep" from the back seat. Now he's an ATM impersonator ... Next stop was the UPS Store to ship some stuff to Aunt Kissy. There was a toy box in the store with trucks ... which Allen immediately honed in on and took out. He rifled through those toys and found all three trucks in there. His favorite was a truck with Ernie on it. He played and played so well for the five minutes or so that we were in there. When I was finished, I said, "Let's put the trucks back since they're not ours." It didn't go so well ... major meltdown in the middle of the store ... we left with him crying "Errrrnieee Truuuuck". Pleasant ...

After the meltdown he fell asleep ... and stayed asleep for the next stop to the doctor's office to pick up some prescriptions. He let me pick him up and put his head right back down on my shoulder and slept ... slept through getting him back into the car seat and everything. "Good," I thought, "Maybe he'll sleep in my arm while I get my bloodwork done at the other doctor's office." After two years with him, I should really know better ... as soon as we arrive at the next doctor's office his eyes pop open and he's ready to play.

Upstairs in the waiting room, Allen immediately pulls out the resident Tazmanian Devil and boat and throws them around the room. Then, he looks at the fish briefly and is ready to go back out to the "egatuh" (elevator). Fortunately he didn't put up too much of a fight when we got called back. It helped that the phlebotomist is beautiful (Allen loves pretty girls), and that they hand out lollipops to the toddlers so Moms can have some peace.

With a blue and white swirled "big pop" (lollipop) in his hand/mouth, he was pretty happy for the duration of my appointment. One minute he's neat and clean, and the next he's covered in blue and sticky mess. I wish I had my camera so I could have shown you the blue mustache, blue lips, and blue tongue.

On the way home, we stopped at Chick-Fil-A. I asked him if he wanted nuggets. Negative headshake ... so I asked him if he wanted a "chicken burger" and his eyes lit up, and he said "chicken bugah!" We took everything home to eat (he cried the whole way home for his "bugah") and once he discovered the mayonnaise that Daddy was putting on his sandwich, he wanted some for his own. He sat there, happy as can be, dipping his "bugah" in mayo and licking it off. He ended up with a mayonnaise mustache ...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Good Burger, Reminiscing

Allen spent the morning with Nana. I think they had a good time ... he usually does with her. She lets him do anything he wants. Nana asked him if he wanted lunch, and he said "No." But when he saw her eating a salami and cheese sandwich, he wanted one for himself. He called it a "good burger" (he says burger more like buhguh ... it's very cute). Pretty much anything between two pieces of bread is called a burger in Allen's world.

The rest of the day passed without too much excitement. This evening he picked up the book I'm reading, opened it up (upside down), and started to "read" it. He got so upset when we took it away at bedtime.

I've been awfully nostalgic today, so I thought I would regale you with some pre-blog Allen stories ...
  • He used to say F**K instead of milk. Don't ask me why. He has never heard that word, but he just could not get milk out. It was very embarrassing for awhile there ... fortunately he learned the correct (well, almost correct ... he calls it muk) pronunciation fairly quickly.

  • A couple weeks ago we were reading the story about Job in the Bible Story book. We showed Allen the picture of Job when he had leprosy. And we explained that Satan hurt Job. Allen said "Job hurt?" We told him he was right and went on with the story. Then all of a sudden, Allen says, "Is he OK? Is he OK?" He was so worried about Job because he got hurt. It was one of the sweetest things I have ever heard.

So we put Allen to bed at about 8:15 tonight (about 45 minutes ago). When we came downstairs, we could hear him playing with his crib brood for awhile. Then all was quiet for about 20 minutes. We heard a little bang though, so we went up to investigate ... he was standing up in his crib, holding elmo by his feet. I think the crib animals are a little too much for him so we removed the snake and the car. I took Snoopy out too, but he asked for dog to come back. Hopefully he will go to sleep now.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

New Friends, New Haircut

Today was a very good day for little mister outgoing. This morning at the doctor's office, he met a little boy named Jacob. Allen walked around going "Jaco ... come ere Jaco!" or "Jaco, I see you!" It was hilarious. Then, at Chick-Fil-A, he met an older boy, and they played peek-a-boo over the booth seats. He was cracking up ... it was so cute. And then tonight at dinner he met an older boy named Desmond, and Allen said, "Peesed ta meet you." He was hilarious.


Tonight he got his first "salon" haircut. It didn't go so well, despite the pictures. He was bribed by two lollipops, but the blue one got very fuzzy and then he started spitting to get the hair out of his mouth. He also screamed quite a bit. The owner of the salon said, "Well, we know he has a great voice ... maybe he can go into opera or something." Brian and I walked out and said, "Well for that kind of experience, we'll save the $20 and cut his hair at home."




Afterwards, we went to Carolina Wings & Ribs for dinner. He was so cute ... he reached over to grab Daddy's hand, and held it for quite awhile. It warmed Mommy's heart.




On the way to the salon tonight, he kept yelling for us, and saying "ephant" (elephant) or "feet" or "have shoes on." He just wanted to be part of the conversation so much! He's talking more and more each day. One of these days I'm going to videotape him and post it. So stay tuned ...

Monday, August 4, 2008

Tizzy

Today was a fairly calm day. Mommy is feeling particularly tired these days (I am growing a baby, after all), so we laid low today. Allen was alternately sweet and sour all day ... one minute he's playing quietly by himself, the next he's taking a huge sip of milk and spitting it out all over the living room.

Anyway, one cute highlight of the day ... he was reading one of his favorite books to himself -- Llama Llama Red Pajama -- and he knows the story so well, that he can look at each picture and tell the story pretty well. He said, "Mama, run run run," then "Tizzy," and then "Patient." For those of you who know this book, you understand just how cute this is. For those of you who don't know the book, I highly recommend it (if you have children, that is). It's a really great story for little ones Allen's age.

Tonight he added to his crib brood ... we now also sleep with a rubber duckie that he got from a Westin hotel in Atlanta. Don't ask me why .... I fear that with his companions in his crib with him that he may not have actually napped this afternoon, but played quietly. I wouldn't actually know, since I was asleep within five minutes of putting him down for a nap, but he did seem awfully tired tonight (we had a major meltdown this evening before bed).

Tomorrow we're off to see the first picture of "Cookie." I'll try to scan the ultrasound pictures and post them soon.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Little Dude

This afternoon Allen helped Daddy out with the carwashing. While Daddy washed the van, Allen washed his little car. Sadly, I was at work so I have no pictures of this, but Allen does have a small souvenir ... some nice polka-dot feet, courtesy of his Crocs and the hot South Carolina sun.

So Uncle Mark and Aunt Michelle are visiting this weekend, so we went to have dinner at my mom's house tonight. Grandmom made chicken cutlets ... YUMMY! Anyway, Uncle Mark called Allen "Little Dude" and Allen walked around all night saying "Duuude!" Sometimes he would call Mark "Big Dude". He also referred to Mark as "Me Mark." Michelle was "Seashell." It was an entertaining dinner ... complete with Allen's "muscle man" impression, and Mark threatening to teach Allen bad words or to flip the bird.
When we got home tonight, we took a few pictures that I thought we'd share.



Daddy's always making him laugh!

So yesterday I told you all about how Allen is sleeping with a bed full of his stuffed animals. We decided to take a picture of him in his crib with all of his friends tonight. Enjoy!



Friday, August 1, 2008

Ti Ti and Ya Ya, Serenades, and Stuffed Animals

Today we said goodbye to Ti Ti and Ya Ya. It was a sad day :( If you're reading this guys, we love you and miss you already. For those of you who don't know who they are, Ti Ti is Annie, Allen's babysitter and our friend (Tia is Spanish for "aunt," so Ti Ti is what Allen called her). And Ya Ya is Maria, Annie's mother and Allen's surrogate grandmother and also our friend (Allen calls her Ya Ya ... that's how he says Aya which is Spanish word for grandmother). They moved to Jacksonville tonight, so we are all very sad that they are gone.

Allen serenaded us today at lunch. He attempted to sing "Twinkle Twinkle." I wish I'd had a tape recorder so I could let you all hear it. It was very sweet. He also got a boo buooon (blue balloon), and pretty much wreaked havoc with it during the entire lunch.

Some of you may know that Allen sleeps with an elephant named Effie. Well, a couple days ago he found his stuffed Elmo and he's been carrying it around with him everywhere. So last night he decided he wanted to sleep with Effie and Elmo. So he put one on each side of him, rolled on to his stomach and put an arm over each one. He fell asleep like that and stayed that way for some time. It was precious.

This morning he got a little Snoopy stuffed animal that Papa sent him. Before I could even explain to him what it was he grabbed it and took it over to his books. He kept saying "look dog." When he made a mess, he said, "Mess dog, mess" like he expected him to clean up. Later today we got him a little stuffed snake (it hisses when you push its tail) and a stuffed car. So tonight when he went to bed, he had to sleep with Elmo, Effie, Snoopy, Snake and Car. Pretty soon there won't be any room for Allen!