Monday, October 31, 2011

"It's Christmas!"

Maggie was a little confused at first with all of the Halloween festivities.

It did not take her long to warm up to the idea of walking door to door to get candy, though.

By the end of the evening she was yelling, "Happy, Happy Halloween!" every time a new group of kids came to the door. Then the older kids started coming, with not so fun costumes. After Scream and the Joker showed up, every time the door bell rang she would start, then say, "Maggie not go to door this time." I don't blame her.

Howie completely missed everything due to a late-set nap...which, considering the wet, cold weather, may not have been the worst thing.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Male Bonding

I'm sure this the first of many Sunday afternoons I'll find these two fixated on the tv together.

Friday, October 14, 2011


This is our pumpkin, Fred. Washable crayons have made him quite the hit. (Read: She was NOT a fan of the happy face I drew. He is now faceless.)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Baby vs. Grinch - Five and Six Months

If Howie had a report card for months five and six it would say, "Needs improvement."

He will probably develop a complex someday after reading this, but the truth must be told. The sweet, laid-back disposition he had in months three and four seemed to disappear, and he was as aggravated and disgruntled as we've ever seen him.

Fortunately due to his six-month doctor's visit, things seem to be getting a little more under control. Without going into details that will make you glaze over, we're re-trying reflux medicine, and letting him cry it out at night. I know what you are wondering and the answer is no, I do not miss the swaddle OR getting up 6-10 times a night. I am hoping that his seven and eight (??!) month report will reflect a dramatic change. The past week we already feel like our smiley, happy boy is returning.

We are slowly introducing cereal. He only likes it sometimes. And I only remember to give it to him sometimes.

For awhile I attributed his aggravation to thinking that he was just really anxious to be mobile/upright/part of the action. So we tried a johnny jump up. I'm pretty sure that Maggie likes it more than he does. This also resulted in Howie's first experience with a swing (which is what it is now called).

His real first swing:

The doctor claims that he is only in the 30% for weight and 85% for height, which makes you think that he would be a string bean...but his cheeks are so fat that sometimes I think they may burst when he smiles. And he has at least 10 mini rolls on the back of his thighs. Not to mention his feet - between the ankle roll and the toe rolls they are like little balloons. But oh, he is SO kissable!

He is basically sitting up on his own now. Still a little wobbly, but is gaining control by the day. I was really looking forward to this until today when I had him sitting with the boppy around him and he blew out a diaper. If he thinks that sitting up like everyone else will entitle him to what everyone else gets (coffee), he's sorely mistaken.

He has also started barrel-rolling. Which is keeping me on my toes. I keep forgetting that laying him on the bed or the ottoman are not good options anymore. Don't worry - he's only fallen off the ottoman once.

We call Uncle Paul the Baby Whisperer. He has the magic touch with H.

He chews on everything now. Fingers, toys, hair - really whatever he can get in his hands and pull into his mouth is fair game. His favorite teething item right now is his plug. Probably because it's always in his mouth.

I can't believe how big he's getting. His little personality pops out more and more each day. He is becoming so responsive.

Of all of his fussy moments, he LOVES being outside. Mainly laying on a blanket watching the leaves. Until his sister pounces on him.

He loves to "sing" and squeal and is still gooing and cooing all the time. Maggie thinks it's hilarious when he says "GEEE!" because we tell her he is saying "Ma-ggiieeeee!!!"

I feel like he has crossed the threshold to being a full-fledged baby. When the doctor told me he could start having a sippy cup my jaw dropped open. Then again, we WERE still swaddling him until last week...maybe we were cramping his style. I'm looking forward to watching him grow and develop over the next couple of months. He is SUCH a wonderful addition to our little family.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Maggie had an extremely pinkalicious birthday this year.

The blogosphere is a dangerous place for a mom. SO many ideas. SO many Supermoms throwing Superparties. I started to get really excited (read: sucked in) about planning the most pinkalicious party her friends had ever seen, but then (thanks to a good friend also planning her two-year-old's party) I realized that Maggie was TWO - that this party would be more for ME and for MY FRIENDS. So I scaled things back considerably and we had awesome party with Bops, Paul, Dad and Howie. All of the people that she would have cared about most (who were in town, at least).

The Birthday Fairy came overnight. Unfortunately, due to a Very Light Sleeper, she was restricted to decorating the doorway.

Fortunately, the Birthday Girl got a kick out of the decorations. They are still up.

I love how small she looks in this picture. It is great perspective for a mom who feels like she is such a big girl most of the time.

Thrilled about the Birthday Fairy coming...and already sporting her new pink backpack.

The weather could not have been nastier for her special day. So after her nap I packed up the kids and we headed off to Chick-fil-a for lunch/the afternoon. Who doesn't want Chick-fil-a for their birthday??

I brought down the costume bin in the morning, thinking that she might want to wear her pink tutu for the day. Nope. Instead, she was convinced that this was the birthday hat. And wore it with great pride.

The real birthday hat and table "decor." Upon seeing the confetti, she reached out and wrinkled up her nose and said, "Messy."

Pink pancakes. No duh.

Birthday breakfast with dad.

The cupcake batter.

Making sure they were pink enough.

They were.

The face says it all.

Her new pink boots from her aunties.

She loves them.

It was beyond fun to plan and prepare for her special day now that she had an vague awareness of what was going on, and that we were celebrating HER. I can't wait for Christmas.


Maggie has been two for nearly a month now. (Where the last month went I do not know)

I can't express enough how FUN we are finding this stage. Granted, she has her days, as all two year olds do, but in general this is one of our favorite stages so far.

Most days find us answering some form of a "W" question - Who, What, Where, Why? (When hasn't come up yet...still working on the concept of time) She mainly loves "What." What's dat?" "What's dat noise?" "Whatchoo doin, Mama?" "Whatchoo fixin, Mama?" "What's her name?" "What's that monkey's name?"

She still refers to herself in the third person. (Perhaps a result of watching too much Elmo??) It's a trait that has become SO endearing to Gary and me...we will be really sad when she starts saying I, Me and My. She loves to say "Maggie do by Maggie's self." Also, when she doesn't want to put shoes on she says, "Maggie just go outside with Maggie's feet." AH! Kills me every time.

Also - while on the subject of grammar/vocabulary - she has an incredible vocabulary that is growing every day. However, there are some words that she just CAN'T get:
Dessert = Bessert
Squirrel = Squillo
Concrete = Honky

She loves to say that she forgot something - usually as a stall tactic. For example, after the last story is read at night, she will often race to the door, turn around and say, "Oh wait - Maggie forgot something downstairs." And spin around and slam the door and she's off like a shot. She didn't forget anything.

She continues to love her brother. I often find them holding hands or Howard being smothered in kisses. One of my favorite things she says right now - usually in the morning when she sees him for the first time. "Oh - it's Howard (or Howie or H-man)...he's so cute."

She continues to dislike vegetables. Veggie chips, snap pea crisps, sweet potato fries and veggie burgers are my current bag of tricks. I find hummus and ketchup to be remarkable vehicles for any of these things, as she sees them all as remarkable vehicles for her "dips." I believe I am truly failing as a mother.

Eating hummus by the spoonful.

It's been strange to experience the beginning of a school year as a pre-preschooler. We are enjoying so many fun activities geared toward toddlers...mainly storytime at the library (which we have been known to attend 3+ sessions in one week), but we have also discovered some fun playgroups and activities that Maggie is really enjoying. It is fun to see her respond to other adults and kids in a more structured setting. As you can imagine, she soaks everything in, and leans more to the side of observation than participation...although that scale is leaning, too.

Her favorite thing to do right now is color. She loves to make "M's" and circles, and plows through about a ream of paper a day. She is very serious and intent on her coloring, yet so expressive and proud when she does something she knows you'll praise her for. "Look! Maggie draw an M!"

"Howard colored on table." Right.

"Maggie, what are you drawing?" "M for Howard."

I had to take a picture of this - because after weeks of drawing "M's" I randomly asked her to draw a circle (we have never even practiced this) and she did!

She also loves to read. We have found her reading/reciting entire books on her own. This has also been a great new strategy for me to employ on car rides and in the stroller.

Reading about "Tor," Wheaton's new mascot based on Perry Mastadon.

Playing with dad in her tunnel. For a solid week this box provided ample coloring and play space.

Hanging out with Unca Paul.

I came upstairs at Gary's folks' a couple of weeks ago to find her sitting on Paul's bed just chatting to him. I have no idea what they were talking about, but it was such a precious conversation to observe. Of course, as soon as she saw me, I got a very firm, "No, Mama. Go away."

With her main man.

That hair.

That hair tamed. FINALLY. A solution to those impossible hair days.

Riding in style.

She loves to mimic...from phrases that she uses in and out of context to things she does...we know she is always watching (and listening!).

"Bye bye, Mama. See you later. Maggie going to work."

"Maggie have Maggie's purses."

I will now end this insanely long post. And I promise to TRY to post more often than once a month.