August 29

So far this week, Daphne has attended a music class, a program at the library, and visited the local splash park. Somewhere along the way, Daphne acquired a nasty cold (dripping nose and cough included). Fortunately, her illness has not slowed her down one bit and she's in great spirits.

While no one has inquired about our house yet, more than 10 flyers have been taken from our FOR SALE sign holder. And, our realtor tour earlier in the week featured twelve realtors who graded our house. We were given all 9's and 10's where 1 is an unsellable dung heap and 10 is an incredible castle. So, how much longer until this castle is sold?

Here are some new photos of Daphne from this week's activities:

Until tomorrow,
Dave T.


August 26

Our house has now been on the market for a week. Unfortunately, we have not had any nibbles or bites from prospective fishies (homebuyers). Our realtor held a realtor tour at our home earlier in the week and we are not sure how many folks attended or what they thought of our residence. Anything that helps create a stir of additional interest in our home is welcome, I suppose.

Sitting in my lap, Daphne decided to split her McDonald's Apple Pie with me this afternoon. As Daphne graciously placed a pinch of pie in my mouth, the unthinkable occurred when I bit down. Oh no, I got more than a bite of pie -- Daphne's thumb was in my mouth, too! Luckily, her thumbnail was only bruised a little. I felt about two inches tall and Daphne's lungs are in great shape! She yelled and screamed for several minutes as I cradled her in my arms and showered her with kisses. No more pie for me...

Here are some recent photos of Daphne hiking, swinging, learning to sweep, and visiting her grandparents' house:

Until tomorrow,
Dave T.


August 24

Jennie and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary yesterday by taking a nice hike around Couchville Lake at Long Hunter State Park. Daphne insisted on walking for most of the journey (oddly enough, she usually loves riding on my shoulders, but not yesterday). She is becoming more independent each day and wants to prove that she's a big girl.

Tomorrow, our realtor is hosting an exclusive realtor tour of our house. I have never heard of this type of viewing before, but whatever it takes to help us sell our home is fine by me. Several of the informational flyers out at the street have been removed from our FOR SALE sign. Hey, that's great news!

Here are some new photos of Daphne learning to sip through a straw and playing at the park:

Until tomorrow,
Dave T.


August 22

Tomorrow is my 12 year anniversary with Jennie (or better known as my 144th wedding anniversary since we celebrate monthly). We have nothing special planned at this time, but I think a long afternoon nap sounds delightful! Am I getting old?

Our house has been on the market for a little more than four days and we are already growing impatient! Come on, please sell it already! hehehe

With the $8,000 incentive for first-time homeowners still available and the recent upswing in home sales over the past three months, I cannot understand why no one has even made an inquiry or scheduled a tour. Oh well, I must have confidence that something great will happen in the coming weeks.

Daphne had a blast today walking around a local Toys R Us store. She could not contain her excitement for the Yo Gabba Gabba, Sesame Street, and Wonder Pets toys. Elmo (or as Daphne says, "MELL-moe") has a special place in her heart as well. At lunch, Daphne displayed her new found independence -- she loves to sip her drinks through a straw and prefers to use utensils to feed herself. "WATT-EE" is how she refers to water and "MUCK" is any other drink (milk, juice, etc).

A few days ago, Daphne was quietly playing in her room. Jennie captured some of Daphne's Kleenex fun in the photos below:

Until tomorrow,
Dave T.


August 19

What a hectic week! And, it's only the wee hours of Wednesday morning...

As of Tuesday afternoon, a "FOR SALE" sign was placed in our front yard by our realtor. The realtor's photographer shot each room and delivered the front door lock box. Wow! There's no turning back now.

Daphne's favorite two words for now are "cookie" and "milk". She's addicted to animal crackers (aka "cookies") and loves to chase them with large amounts of whole milk. Weighing in at less than 22 pounds, Daphne is an extremely active gal and climbs on everything in sight with no fear.

More photos coming soon...

Until tomorrow,
Dave T.


August 15

It's official! Jennie and I sign all the legal paperwork to list our house for sale on Monday. We have been scrambling this weekend to make our house appear like a model home and free from clutter.

The final drop of stain and water seal was brushed onto our deck this morning while the garage door repairman adjusted the track for our garage door. The chore list is down to less than ten items; ah, the light at the end of the tunnel is near!

As tempting as it might be to go ahead and buy another house before ours sells, we are trying to be patient and responsible in our actions. Even if we must live in an apartment for a month or two, I want to avoid (at all cost) the dreaded dual mortgage scenario. My biggest fear would be to own an unsellable, empty house as well as our next home. I don't even want to bother with the whole contingency headache (e.g., I'll buy this one if that one sells, etc).

As of today, Daphne can now open the pantry door! Her eyes glistened with surprise and the smile of "I'm so proud of myself" curled the corners of her mouth as she raided the pantry shouting, "cookie, cookie, cookie". She already opens the refrigerator, grabs the first item she sees, and cries, "milk".

I guess we will be buying those baby-proof door handle covers ASAP.

Here are some new photos of Daphne:

Sniff, sniff. This oak leaf smells great!


Walking in Mommy's shoes.

Can't get enough Yo Gabba Gabba...

This book is my favorite! No, no, this one is!

Until tomorrow,
Dave T.


August 13

Jennie met with our realtor today while I was at work. The process of selling our castle has begun. We will cross our fingers and toes continually for a great result. Some random family out there needs to buy our house! Over the next few months, it will be a challenge to remain positive in these tough economic times. Hey, the worst case scenario means that we simply continue to live in this house, right?

Daphne's newest word is "burger". And, boy oh boy, she loves a big, juicy bite of beef.

More photos of Daphne soon...

Pardon my hebetude, but it's late and I need some sleep.

Until tomorrow,
Dave T.


August 10

We meet with our realtor this coming Thursday to discuss listing our house for sale as soon as possible. A lot of special memories were formed beneath this roof, but the time has come for us to move on. Five or six houses fairly close in proximity to ours have gone up for sale in the last month or so. And, our adjacent neighbors appear to be readying their house for sale as well. Uh oh! I hope any potential home buyers do not see this as a red flag...

Daphne has learned several colors by name and a few letters of the alphabet. Every animal is either a duck, dog, or frog to Daphne and she still mixes up hot and cold, too. Actually, everything to her is usually "hot, hot, hot" (no matter what the temperature). Tonight she correctly said "cold" and giggled when I placed a cold glass of water against her knee.

Here are some new photos of Daphne acting crazy around the house:

Sleeping in a bizarre position...

Ready to watch some TV

Resting on the table?

My ball is gone forever! Help me, Daddy!

I'm a little monkey! Watch me climb.

Until tomorrow,
Dave T.


August 7

MAJOR MILESTONE: During lunch today, Daphne spontaneously said the word "broccoli" while grabbing a fistful of the veggie from Mommy's plate. We have tried to teach her many different useful words, but that one was a total surprise!

Daphne occasionally gives the evil eye or death stare to strangers in public. I am not sure if this emotional expression is an extension of her mild separation anxiety. She might be full of smiles and sweet to random people in a grocery store and suddenly without warning, Daphne pierces the soul of a stranger with a hateful gaze. I cannot find a pattern or analytical reason for her odd behavior. Maybe there is no rhyme or reason and I am over thinking the issue? Go figure!

Tonight, Daphne finished up her supper with a generous helping of fresh blueberries. In the brief moment it took Jennie to rinse out a rag for wiping Daphne's food covered face, Daphne began crying and fussing more than usual. Alarmed and concerned, Jennie sprinted to Daphne's high chair to find a rather large blueberry shoved up Daphne's left nostril. Great! My daughter is now trying to eat food through her nose... Surely she was only experimenting and became frustrated when this large blue orb wedged itself inside her olfactory organ? I restrained Daphne's flailing arms while an insouciant Jennie carefully removed the sapid fruit with her pinky fingernail.

We hired a close friend of my Father-in-law to stain and seal our deck. So far, he has done a terrific job and seems to really pay great attention to detail. He is probably one third of the way finished with the project.

More photos of Daphne coming soon!

LINK OF THE DAY: Common errors in the English language...

Until tomorrow,
Dave T.


August 4

Daphne completes her 7-day swimming course tomorrow. Although she has progressed very well, we sometimes wonder if her rolling over and floating success is coincidental or dumb luck. Nope, I truly believe Daphne is a smart cookie capable of learning through repetition.

Remember my excitement after spreading the six cubic yards of mulch last weekend? Well, I caught something I would never wish upon my worst enemy. Hundreds and hundreds of chigger bites on my forearms and around my knees have appeared and itch terribly.

Out of embarrassment, I have been wearing long sleeve shirts to work this week. I catch myself scratching the irritating bites until I bleed a little and then I scratch some more like a drug addict seeking a fix. I tried rubbing Listerine (antiseptic) on my arms, applying hydrocortisone cream, isopropyl alcohol, and every home remedy under the sun, but I still itch... please, make it stop!

I have been told that clear fingernail polish and turpentine work miracles, but I have not yet tried them.

Keep checking back for more photos of Daphne coming soon. Pardon my brevity, but I have a few hundred itches to scratch!

[scratch] [scratch] [scratch] Aaaahhhh!

Until tomorrow,
Dave T.


August 2

What a weekend! I'm so worn out from house chores that I'm anxiously looking forward to work tomorrow. Sitting behind a keyboard and creating complex medical code for eight hours is a breeze compared to spreading mulch, pulling weeds, and doing chores around the house.

As you know, we are trying to get our house looking spiffy for our realtor. She will be visiting us for the first time later this week (hopefully, she will not tell us that our house is un-sellable in this economy). Since 1997, this is the only house we have ever owned, so the thought of selling our house, packing & moving our junk, and buying another house is a little scary.

Daphne completed day number four of her swimming lessons today with an amazing feat. After jumping off the diving board, she successfully rolled over onto her back and floated wearing a placebo life vest. The first few days she was wearing a real life jacket while learning to float. But today, she accomplished the goal of day seven and she still has three more days to go! She is well on her way to become an expert swimmer!

While brushing Daphne's teeth tonight, we discovered tooth number eleven. Her newest tooth is a lower incisor located just to the left of her existing bottom incisors in the front of her mouth. Number twelve should pop through any day now!

Here are some new photos of Daphne:

Watching Sesame Street from her magic box...

The show is over; time for a snack!

Exhausted after a swimming lesson

My weekend project. 6 cubic yards of mulch!

Until tomorrow,
Dave T.