Catherine Elise 2009

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Oh my, the photos are stacking up here.  If you don't have

broadband, better go get a cup of coffee. 


These ought to be in reverse chronological order, so newest
are at the top and oldest at the bottom.




Vacation in Gatlinburg, Tennessee

July 2005



               Yes, it's me, in the woods!



Catherine Elise took a nice, long road trip, to Gatlinburg to meet up

with her cousins who came up for their vacation.  Everyone stayed

in a cabin in the forested mountains on the edge of Gatlinburg, a very

scenic location (not Gatlinburg, and definitely not Pigeon Forge --

we mean our spot in the hills).  Here's the cabin, as well as the

trusty Aztek that carries Catherine Elise all around the country:



It rained a lot.  As in every day.  Not all day, but if you didn't get out before noon,

you were probably going to get wet.  Then again, the forest is nice and peaceful

in the rain, and that's what umbrellas are for anyway.



These are Catherine Elise's cousins, Rex and Max under the umbrella. 

They're preparing to go out on a rock-hopping exercise in one of the nearby

streams and get soaked to the skin.  It must be nice to be a kid and be able

to do that without worrying about things like wet car seats, pneumonia, and

all the other things that silly adults worry about! 


Meanwhile, Catherine Elise mostly stays inside, nice and dry!




And here below is the whole party gang, minus Slack Daddy Webmaster, of course,

who is behind the camera.  This is out on the porch of the cabin, where there is a

fireplace and a hot tub.  Very nice! 






May 2005


At home, Catherine Elise is surrounded by toys, multicolor toys, and hordes of them.

She also has a "walker", but it's not the kind that more relaxed countries let parents

put their babies into.  Seems that here in the USA, you can't let your kid roam around

in a wheeled walker.  (Hmmm... "Land of the Free", is it?  Not when it comes to walkers.)

Nope, this walker is pinned to a swivel so that it only goes around and around in a small

circle and really doesn't go anywhere.



So Catherine Elise pushes it around and around.  Actually, she only does that for

a short while because even to a 9.5-month-old baby, that can get a bit boring,

and then she usually starts feeling trapped and starts to holler.  Either that,

or she sticks her foot under he wheel.  Doh!  But not always!



What's going on today?!  Wow, she's loving this!  And if you could only hear

her delighted squeals right now.  Ah, if only we could figure out the magic trick

to put her in this mood all the time...



Catherine Elise on the Move -- or NOT?


As you could tell from the photos starting weeks ago, Catherine Elise is really

starting to get around.  That means we have to take all the books off of the lower

shelves -- or she'll do it for us!  Electric wires are endlessly fascinating.  Yikes!

Doorways and stairs are always a hazard, so now they're being blocked by

baby gates.  One of her favourite things, though, is to grab on the baby-gates

and rattle them back and forth. 


She even rattles the bars when she's in her crib.  Little Jailbird Catherine.

(We showed you her Martha Stewart impersonation with the cooking gadgets,

didn't we?  See where that gets you, Catherine?  Behind bars, just like Martha!) 



"Rats!  Get me out!"  Imprisoned.  :-(


And because she wants to get out, we have to make sure to keep that crib rail

in the "Up" position, else she CAN get out! 


Ah yes!  Freedom beckons!!!!



Oh my, that is too mischievous a look.  That glint her eye means

she must be ready to get into some kind of trouble.  Or maybe it's just

the realization that now she now knows how to scramble over these bars!

And if she gets out, she can be anywhere in the house in half a minute.

Maybe we'll have to keep track of her with an ankle bracelet like the one

that Martha uses these days.


And once she gets loose, off she goes.  Note the adapted "Pilates" stretch

position, with one leg out and one tucked under.  In contrast to the normal

on-the-knees crawl that she does on soft rugs, when she's on a hard and

slippery floor, this is the way to really move!  Probably easier on the knees,

as well:



And on, on, to the formal living room, where the best toy of all resides,

that mesmerising televison set.  Just wait till she discovers that it's not on.

Oh, well then...  so boring a room.  Then she'll have to discover another

as-yet-unknown skill:  The skill of turning around when you run into a chair

or a wall!  Doh!  



Bath Time


And what could be better on a cold winter day than to sit in

a nice warm bath? 



Here she is with her blue duck.  And she even seems to enjoy

the flash of cameras while she's cavorting in the water in a

state of undress.  Hmmmm, this might be a bit worrisome

in future years, but for now while she's just six months old,

we'll enjoy the moment!



Learning to Cook at Six Months


Well, we have to start somewhere.  How about getting familiar

with kitchen utensils?  Maybe just the plastic ones for now.



Martha Stewart, look out!  I bet you didn't know this, but before you

use a spatula, you need to check it out for firmess.  Catherine Elise

knows this, of course.  And that's why she tests out the bowls and

measuring cups as well.  "Now if only I can get that oatmeal can open,

then we'll really have a party in this house!"



The Mom's Club


Every week, about a dozen new moms in Frederick get together and have activities

with their babies.  Sometimes they line up all the babies for a group photo, and

sometimes they have even more fun:



Yep!  It's a pile of babies!  A full dozen of them!  Catherine is the one on top left,

wondering what on earth is going on.  And no, they are not strapped on to keep

them in place.  I bet setting these babies up for a photo was like herding cats.


[Thanks to The Picture People in Frederick's Francis Scott Key mall for copyright permission
on this photo.  And thanks
to them also for having the patience to stack up all these babies

at one time!  They hadn't ever dealt with so many at once, but they did a great job.]




November 2004 - Thanksgiving Road Trip to Louisiana


Catherine Elise's first real road trip was for Thanksgiving week

in Louisiana, and what a road trip!  19 hours driving time there,

and thanks to nasty traffic on the way through southwestern

Virginia, 22+ hours on the way back.  But she managed to take

it with more patience than her Daddy.


Besides interminable sleep sessions (oh thank God for those!),

the most fascinating thing for her on this trip was the amazing

Pilot truck stop west of Knoxville, Tennessee.  OK, it's not amazing

to you or me, but to her in the middle of the night, the roaring sounds

of engines, hiss of air brakes, and ever-moving lights of the 18-wheelers

moving carefully through the parking area could have provided hours

of entertainment!


One thing we found when chauffering Catherine Elise on this long trip

is that when she sleeps for 12 hours or more during the day in the car,

then when you arrive at the hotel well after midnight, that can only

mean one thing:  "It's Play Time!!  Oh Boy!"  Great fun at 2 AM

when you're dead tired from driving, right?


In Louisiana, she visited and was visited by lots of relatives, and many

thanks to all who managed to make it over to see her!  And one thing

we found is that she does seem to like crowds and attention. 


She had two mini-road trip was to Baton Rouge to see her cousins,

and here's a photo from one of them:



That's Uncle Peter, caught in mid-sentence.  And Rex and Max.

And of course, Catherine Elise.  Who wants her orange toy back!


Catherine Elise also made it over to see her namesake:



That's Catherine Elise with Aunt Elise.

Or shall we say, Catherine with her Great-Great-Aunt Elise?


And the rest of the holiday was the usual mix of relatives,

friends, driving around every day, and the slack webmaster

who (as ever) took far too few photos of the events. 













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