Our family is honored to be the Fairfax County Area Agency on Aging's "Volunteers of the Month." That means we're featured in this month's "Golden Gazette." You can get right to the October issue of the "Golden Gazette" PDF from here. I'm still impressed they spelled our names right.

I made Ellie her new favorite toy this weekend. Those of you who knew me when I was Ellie's age will recognize the "toy." When I was younger, I used to like locking and unlocking the deadbolt on my grandparents' door. So they fastened a lock on a piece of wood for me to play with, rather than having to have someone hold me up to the door to do it.
Fast forward to 2005, where Ellie enjoys turning the lights on and off. We were at Home Depot on Sunday, and decided that it would be a good idea to do the same for her. So here it is, the switch of her dreams.

What a cheesy grin! She was pretty happy about this gift.

Absorbed with flipping the switch on and off.

Last week's trivia answer: Owl! Shelly got it right again. Can you tell she's a mom?
This week there's no trivia, because the teacher precut the paper for us, so it's pretty obvious what it is. We were supposed to do "Pyramid Painting", but there wasn't enough space in the room for everyone to have an easel, so she improvised and we did "multi-media" art. Cutting paper, gluing, and coloring. Mostly coloring for Ellie. Picking a marker, scribble, put the cap back on, lather, rinse, repeat. You can put in your guess in the comments if you want, but if you guess wrong....
So here it is:

This week's art class was focused on "texture" You can see that there were quite a few different materials used here. The eyes are felt, the nose and feet are more rubbery, and then there's obviously feathers. So, what is it? And no, a "bird" is not good enough, you have to guess what kind of bird. Duh.

The answer to last week's art trivia was correctly guessed by Shelly, who guessed "Elliephants."
I'll have this week's trivia up tomorrow.

Ellie made a trip to the Baltimore Aquarium recently with cousin Colin and Uncle Roger (and Mom too!).

Ellie getting personal with the turtles.
They got lucky and got to see the dolphins, even though they weren't doing their show. Ellie loves the dolphins, and even got a dolphin souvenir to take home.

Underwater view of the dolphins.
Some of you already know that Ellie has her own (disabled so she can't make calls) cell phone. Ever since she got back from the aquarium, she's been talking to the dolphins on the phone. "Hello? Dolphins? Oh hi, yadda yadda." Hilarious.

Ellie and I started art class this past Saturday, so we have our first real refrigerator-worthy artwork! It also gives me something new to post every week for a little while. This week's art was created with fingerpaint handprints, markers, fancy paper and glue. See if you can guess what it was supposed to be. Answer on Monday.

Ellie's 2nd birthday party was this weekend. She actually turned 2 last Monday, but we had the party this past Sunday. Everything went really well, and amazingly enough, I have pictures already!

Lisa's perfect dog dish birthday cake, with Cocoa Puff kibble. More on the cake in a bit.

Going to work unwrapping the presents. She did a really good job with them, but had some trouble with ribbons.

Ellie's new dinner set from Baba.

A perfect gift for the party's theme: doggie backpack! Or is that a frontpack?

She always starts off eating the cake daintily.

But then it begins to go south. At least she's still using the fork at this point.

There we go. Double fisted cake eating. For when one hand just isn't enough.

Doing her Blue Man Group imitation.

She was literally up to her armpits in cake and icing.

Ellie showing off her diva side, with her sunglasses at night and indoors, and her new fuzzy pink slippers!