Monday, August 27, 2012

Lots of New Photos

I just spent an obscene amount of time working on them, so I'm not gonna spend even more time putting them up here, too, but they are all on the smugmug website for your pleasure:

My favorite:

Monday, August 13, 2012

Toddler Grammar

I've said it before, and I'll say it again - the process of learning a language is so neat to experience!  Especially with toddlers.

Plural: Lettuce
Singular: Letta

Plural: Mac'n'Cheese
Singular: Mac'n'Chee

There are more, but I forget.  It's freaking awesome.  

Pulling Up!

Nora's been trying for several days now, and today she finally figured out how to get both legs up.  So now she can pull up on short things.  I'm sure pulling up on the couch/chairs is next. 

Too too fast, little lady!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Words and Teeth and Measurements, Oh MY!

Nora is 9 months old (and some change).  Holy smokes.  Time's flying, and I'm trying to start her birthday party planning because I know it's going to creep up on me.

Nora's favorite things:
- finger foods; she is not very interested in purees
- cords, and outlets, and small choking hazzards
- pulling Joseph's hair
- patty cake
- being tossed in the air

New and exciting things:

- Dada and Mama: Nora started saying Dada last week and meant it!  And she started saying Mama yesterday.  Woo hoo!  It's freaking adorable (even at 2am)

- Teeth!  She's sort of up to 6 (one was out but I think it swelled back in - poor baby!)  She has 4 on top and 2 on the bottom

- Crawling - yes, I did document the day, but she's quite proficient now and can go where she needs to.  Last week she was getting stuck under the couch and such by pushing herself backwards, but she seems to be able to maneuver now

- Pediatrician: We had her 9mo appointment, and she's looking great!  here are the stats:

Weight: 16lb 4oz (10%)
Height: 27.75" (50%)
Head Circ: 44cm (50%)

She's started doing this "party time" wake up at night, which is NOT CUTE.  Neither of my babies have ever been stellar at staying asleep at night, but at least Joseph always went right back to sleep after nursing.  Ever since Nora learned to sit up by herself, she will wake up and want to have a dance party.  The only way to get her back to sleep is if she is actively nursing.  I'm all for night time parenting, but even I draw the line at nursing for 7 hours straight.  Sorry kid.  So we've had some long nights lately and I'm ready to figure this out.  I might try motrin tonight in case it's teething related.


Thursday, July 19, 2012


I'm in really, really big trouble!

Sugar and Spice

And everything nice, that's what girls are made of!

Nora is soooo sweet smelling, I finally get what people mean when they just want to gobble babies up.  I could breathe her in all day!

Sunday, July 15, 2012


Nora's entering the warp-drive of babyhood.  She now has her two bottom teeth, and the top right one is out (though still very little).  The top left one is almost through I think, too.  These teeth are coming fast and furious, it seems.

A couple of weeks ago I went to get her when she woke up and found her sitting upright.  I didn't know how she did it, but now I do - she can push herself back from a tummy position into sitting.  It's actually how she gets around right now - she can get on her hands and knees and rock a bit, but she moves around by leaning forward, then sitting back up, then leaning forward, etc... it's not fast, but it is effective.

In response, I have set up the cosleeper upstairs in the hallway as a playpen for when I need to shower, and the pack'n'play is in the living room for when I need her contained.  And since we are still living in a construction zone, that is much more often than when Joseph was starting to move around!

Things are about to get very interesting around here!

In note-worthy news about Joseph, he declared me to be his Best Friend the other day.  I think that tops the "best moment as a mom" category besides maybe pushing babies out!  Toddlers are pretty amazing - the highs are SO HIGH, but the lows are pretty low.  Luckily we're blessed with a pretty amazing little guy.

We tried doing swimming lessons with him last week, but only lasted 2 days.  The "lessons" were pretty much a joke, and he hated them, so I said he didn't have to go.  We'll try a different program in the winter or next year.

Gratuitous Kidlet Pictures (many more awesome photos on smugmug from 4th of July... not sure I'll get around to recapping it here):

Incredibly rare photos with Mama (due to having grandmothers around!):

My little flapper

Here's a recent picture of my other "baby" - the one that keeps us so busy that I don't have time to do laundry, dishes, or update my blog:

Unfinished floors installed, bathroom and cabinets taped out
Framing the new window!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Changing so fast

Nora woke up crying last night and I went up to get her back to sleep to find her sitting up in the middle of our bed!  Yikes!  She was sleeping on her belly - I don't know how she got to be sitting up, and I don't think she does, either!  She rolled from back to front for the first time the other day, and I found her asleep for a nap with her feet dangling off the bed.

Last night I told T.J. that we need to get our mattress on the floor ASAP and start thinking about a new bed for Joseph so that Nora can have the crib (it's converted to a toddler bed right now).

Well, today she fell out of the bed during her nap. :(  Poor baby.  Desperate times called for desperate measures, so I set up the co-sleeper as a pack'n'play (with the tall sides since she apparently sits up on her own now) and put her in there to sleep tonight until we get up there.

In other news, she's getting her top right tooth!  It's almost through, but not quite.  Hopefully it'll push through in the next day or two so she (and I) can get some rest!

Grandma and Papa arrive from Minnesota tomorrow, and we have a jam-packed schedule while they are here!  Maybe I'll even post a few pictures.  Ha!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Awesome Day!

Today, Nora:

- Rolled over from her back to her tummy for the first time
- Put herself back to sleep when she woke up just now w/ no crying!

She is so active right now.  When I sit her down anywhere she immediately lunges forward and ends up on her belly.  It's only a matter of time.... I need to keep pushing her butt down.  I kid, I kid... sorta.

I took a few pics w/ photobooth on my computer today - enjoy!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Strange, but True

Having two children reminds me all the time that my children don't always reflect my ability to parent - for better or worse!  The latest case-in-point: potty training.

Joseph has been in undies for several months, now.  He does OK, but his underwear and the diaper sprayer on the toilet are intimately aquainted.  The kid does not like to poop on the potty. 

In contrast, Nora, my SEVEN MONTH OLD has not had a poopy diaper in about 3 weeks.  What the what?  I know, right?  It's as simple as this: she grunts a particular way.  I say, "Oh, do you have to poop?" and take her to the bathroom.  I sit her on the seat, and she does her business.  The end.  It could not be any more awesome (well, maybe if I could figure out her pee queues also). 

I don't think I should take credit for Nora's success any more than I have the burden of Joseph's reticent nature.  It just is.  Everyone tells me he won't go to college in diapers.  We'll see!  We started a sticker chart in a last ditch effort to appeal to his material side.  He's been eying a particular car carrier and I've promised it to him if he fills up his chart (10 stickers). 

I ain't too proud to bribe!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Yes, we have been that busy.

I know, it's been 2 months.  Bad Mama.  We've really been that busy.  Do you want proof?

Taking down the back porch (in progress)
Removing plaster in the dining room
And a chimney
  Did I mention the chimney went up THREE floors?

Demoing the kitchen
My new kitchen.  Did you know you could roast a whole chicken on a grill?
And the porch walls are perfect height for dish washing.  

It's like camping!  With a toddler and a baby!  For 2 months!  Good stuff. 

So... I'm going to try and go back and hit the highlights of the last two months with the kiddos (there's a lot!) but you'll have to be patient.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sucking Face

I learned today that if I linger while kissing Nora, she'll latch on to my lips! 

At least she didn't slip me the tongue like Joseph used to.  Babies crack me up!

Sweet on Mommy, indeed!

Monday, April 16, 2012

My little scientist

Joseph just put 2 pieces of paper on the table to see if the wind would blow them off (it's windy here today and our windows are open).

Love the inquisitive mind of the child!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

First Foods

Tonight I made my first batch of "baby food".  I was cooking up sweet potato wedges for us, so I made some sweet potato cubes for the freezer.  I left a little bit out to give to Nora during dinner.  I'm pretty sure she liked it way better than avocado or banana!  A little bit even got swallowed, though I had to hose her down in the shower after dinner.  Three lessons learned:

1) BIBS - Why did I forget that these exist?  I don't know.

2) Sweet potatoes really bring out the blue in her eyes

3) She really wants to do it herself!  Which is messy, but at least lets me eat my food.  Haha

Saturday, April 14, 2012

She's got, Personality!

Wow, this week Nora really has turned on the charm!  She's started making these super-adorable baby girl noises. (I remember them from my mom's group baby girls - I was always amazed at their sweet little voices!)  She's sitting up safely now, and loves to lunge for stuff already.  I'm nervous that my baby "golden age" is going to be short this time around!  We went out to dinner tonight and she sat in the high chair by herself, and last week she rode in the grocery cart for the first time!  I can't believe how she's growing.

Joseph seems to have turned a corner the last few days, too (knock on wood).  Tonight he went to Nora and gave her a hug and kiss - on his own.  For no reason.  Multiple times.  Baffling.  And wonderful.  I hoe this lasts for at least a few days.  Ha!

By the way, Joseph's manners are improving, too.  He's doing a lot better with not whining while asking for things, uses please and thank you without prompting often now, and was super well behaved out at dinner.  We've never had too much trouble with him, but I can really see the improvement in his behavior after the last few weeks of horribleness!

<3 my babies!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Random thoughts on Toddlers

We went to the museum of natural history today, and Joseph had tons of fun!  At first, he was afraid of the dinosaurs, but he did ask to go back to see them.  Some were "too scary" but he liked the t-rex, triceratops, and sauropods.  The museum was phenomenal, by the way!  Highly recommend if you are ever in the area.

Toddler language is just about the funniest/neatest/most interesting thing I've observed for a while!  Since they say everything out loud, you really get a feel for how their language develops.  I can't believe just a couple of months ago I was talking about Joseph's "first" conversation.  His language has exploded!  Some of the funny stuff he says has to do with his vocabulary.  I was always told that I used "too big" of words when I was a kid, and I think Joseph will be the same way.  He also has superb manners, when he remembers to use them!  Lots of please, thank you, may I, etc...

From the grammar standpoint, he works hard to get things right - sometimes going too far in one direction.  Right now he understands "yours" but instead of "mine" uses "mines" (makes sense!).

The plural can trip him up, too.  Today he had one noodle on his spoon and said "Here is one mac'n'chee".  Then he had 2, and said "Here are two mac'n'cheese".  So obviously "mac'n'chee" is the singular.  LOL!

I love watching him develop... things have definitely been improving around the house in the last few days with our moods!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Swinging, Swinging so High!

Both of my babies LOOOOOVE to swing!  We got a little swingset for the back yard, which I put together a couple of weeks ago.  Joseph and Nora are really getting a lot of use out of it.  Joseph's favorite is the "air glider", I think he's still kind of nervous on the big-kid swings.

5 Months!

Nora is 5 months old! 

She's sitting up well on her own now:

Making tons of noise

Dive bombing my plate at every meal and grabbing for my drink (I'm considering letting her have at it w/ a piece of banana or avocado a little early)

Beginning a nighttime routine (even if it includes wakings every 2  hours still.  Sigh)

Laughing at big brother:

Grabbing for her toes

Loving on Sophie

Being generally adorable!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sitting Up!

Nora started sitting on her own for a few seconds 2 days ago, but I thought it was a fluke so I didn't post anything about it.  Well, she's done it a few times every day now - for just 3-5 seconds - but that's how it starts!  She hasn't done a "tripod" yet, so I'm not sure what that means... can't remember if that comes later or not.  She doesn't seem to have the affinity for keeping her arms up and out like Joseph did, prefering to rely upon sheer brute core strength, I guess!

I'll try to get a pic/video this weekend when I have another set of adult hands.  It's not a one-man operation yet.

Giggles and Fun for Everyone

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Joseph's 3 Year Pediatrician Appointment

Today we went to the doctor for Joseph's physical.  He was a champ!  We'd read Berenstain Bears Go to the Doctor yesterday, and he was very excited.

He weighed in at 26lbs (3% from what I can tell on the charts) and 38.5" (75%).  So I guess he had a growth spurt, as he was usually around 50%.  The doctor was happy with the variety of food he eats, as well as his language skills and physical appearance.  Not one comment about feeding him more or putting weight on him - hooray!  Have I mentioned how much I love this doctor?!?

Joseph did get his MMR finally today (we were waiting for him to top 25lbs).  He knew that he was getting a shot and that it'd hurt for a little bit, but I think he was pretty shocked when it happened.  He didn't cry during the shot, but I think when the pain didn't subside right away he got a little frightened and then started crying.  Poor buddy.  He commented several times that "it hurts" afterwards.  He got a cookie for being brave.

In other news, I went to parent-teacher conferences at preschool today!  It was fun to hear how great he is.  Hahaha.  He's doing awesome at school and learning lots!

Monday, March 12, 2012

20 Questions with Joseph

All About Joseph - Answered by me, because he's only starting to understand "favorites".  He'll get to play next year.

1. What is your favorite color? Pink
2. What is your favorite toy? Mater the Tow Truck (This was a hard one!  Depends on the day)
3. What is your favorite fruit? Grapes
4. What is your favorite tv show? Thomas the Tank Engine (Splish, Splash, Splosh episode)
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Mac'n'Cheese
6. What is your favorite outfit? No preference, but we prefer wind pants for stretchy waists that fit better
7. What is your favorite game? "Here he comes, there he goes" (he runs away and towards me and I say that).  Other favorite is being Lightning McQueen and racing Daddy and Mama around the house.
8. What is your favorite snack?  Crackers, raisins are a close second.
9. What is your favorite animal? He talks about manta rays A LOT.
10. What is your favorite song? Skinimarinky dinky dink.  Also loves the Thomas theme song and See How I'm Jumpin' from our Music Together CD.
11. What is your favorite book? Richard Scarry's "Cars and Trucks and Things that Go".
12. Who is your best friend? Daddy
13. What is your favorite cereal? Quaker Toasted Oatmeal Squares (or "Square cereal")
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Run around the tree after preschool with his friends.
15. What is your favorite drink? Water (we still only do water and milk).  Well, unless you count milkshakes. ;)
16. What is your favorite holiday?  His birthday - he's just starting to get holidays
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night?  Sea horse and brown bear are necessary.  Also has mr. bear, panda bear, blue bear, doggy, and bunny in bed.
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Pancakes
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? We had pizza - his favorite
20. What do you want to be when you grow up?  Based on interest, definitely a garbage truck driver. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

She's a Maniac, Maniac on the Floor

And she's dancing like she's never danced before!

Is there anything cuter than babies in baby legs???

Goodness Me, Joseph is Three!

Yes, my little man is THREE!  This is the first "holiday" he's really understood, and I owe that to preschool.  Several of the kids have had their birthdays in the last 2 months, so Joseph was VERY excited to be the one getting sung to and getting to hand out his gifts to his friends (play doh).

We started out the morning by going in to Joseph's room to sing happy birthday when he woke up.  He got out of bed and crawled under it while we sang!  I guess we weren't that great.

Then he had the first of many temper tantrums about Nora "being loud".  It's a major issue in our household as of late.  Unfortunately, I can't make a baby be quiet, and I apparently can't keep Joseph from dissolving into tears, either!  Sometimes Mama can't win.

Anyway, we'd forgotten one of Joseph's presents at Christmas (it was hiding a little TOO well in a closet) so we had that out for him when he got downstairs.  He was pretty excited to see "big Thomas".

He also got to open a few presents we'd received by mail before school, which was very exciting for him.  He loved them

After school, it was time for more tantrums (yey!), lunch, and a nap.  While he slept, we brought up his toy kitchen from the basement (that I bought on craigslist and painted "stainless" and brown from pastels!) and I put a bunch of the accessories in (to avoid having MORE presents to wrap up - Ha!  Note the present wrapped in Christmas paper... that was all me.

Joseph luckily woke up in a better mood, and loved his kitchen.  Made all the work worth it.  We had TJ's parents, Godparents, and Grandma over for pizza and cupcakes, and Joseph loved being the center of attention.  He was amazed when I turned out the lights and brought out his cake with 3 candles lighting the way!

It was a pretty wonderful day all around.  Joseph's becoming more articulate every day, and says all sorts of funny things.  He uses a lot of big words, mostly adjectives like "wonderful", "properly", "beautiful", and more I can't think of in my exhausted haze.  He's a sensitive, caring, and well mannered little guy, and we're so so lucky to have him.

Friday, March 2, 2012

4 Months!

Nora is 4 months old!  Time really is flying by.  This month she learned to roll over (front to back), *really* found her voice (all the shouting is wreaking havoc on her brother - he thinks she's crying even though she's just "talking"), and can hold on and "play" with toys in earnest.  Best of all, she's beginning to laugh!  She's also starting to like pulling on my hair.  No toothbuds, yet, but she's leaking like a sieve and chomps on my knuckles with vigor.  Her hair and eyelashes are growing in thick, though her hair is still pretty short. 

We had her pediatrician visit today.  Stats:

Height: 24.5" (50%)
Weight: 12lbs 12oz (25%)
Head Circ: 40.5cm (30%)

Interestingly, Joseph's were:
Height: 25 1/4" (57%)
Head circumference: 41.5cm (26%)
Weight: 13lb 6oz (17%)

I know that they are just giving us a ballpark % at this new place rather than the more technical computer printout at our old pedi.  Also, girls have different charts than boys, but it's funny to think that Nora is smaller than Joseph at the same age - she seems so darn tall and chunky to me!  Hahaha.  In my defense, she is almost growing out of some of her 3-6mo clothes already, so what else am I to go on?

In gratuitous compliments, the pediatrician said she had beautiful skin and really thick, luscious hair.  I can't help but agree!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

She Moves, She moves!

Oh Ricky Martin, you are so right.

Nora started rolling the other day!  I put it on Facebook, but I need to get better about keeping up here - as this is "permanent". 

You can see her in action here

She can scoot around on her back pretty well, too apparently.  I put her under her baby gym - and this is where she was when I looked back a few minutes later:

Also note sock and toy placement. :)

After I uploaded the pic she'd made it all the way to the hardwoods.  Crazy girl.

Her 4mo appointment is coming up on Friday - get excited!  Ha!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Funny Kiddos

This week, Nora began blowing raspberries.  It's pretty funny, and Joseph likes it.  Today he said that Nora was blowing... "blueberries".  Pretty close!  Nora is kind of laughing, now.  It is coming out more like a whine/cry, but I'm sure belly laughs are around the corner!

As for Joseph, I'm pretty sure we can cross "doctor" off the list of probable careers as he gags every time he sees a little milk on her chin.  I think he's a bit weak in the stomach.  Ha!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Our first "conversation"

Yesterday, Joseph woke up from his nap and Nora was still asleep.  Joseph has been waking up pretty grouchy lately, and likes to snuggle for a while, so I took him into my bed.  We snuggled and I started asking him about school.  He never really says much about it, but this time I took a "what happened next" tactic starting from when he took his coat off.  He told me about several things that he did in his day that way!  It was the first "conversation" I think we've ever had.  Sure, he talks a lot and we say things to each other, but this was back-and-forth sustained talking.  It made me so happy!

Oh, and Nora is *almost* laughing now - I took her to her first baby storytime during preschool yesterday morning which she seemed to enjoy well enough, and we read a book together and did some songs last night while T.J. and Joseph played upstairs.  It was fun to be in the "baby" stage again for that short while.

I'm feeling very lucky lately!

Saturday, February 4, 2012


Auntie Debbie put this together for us... I always laugh when people say Nora looks like Joseph!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Nora is 3 months old!

Well, 4 days ago.  Never fear, dear readers - I did in fact get pictures of her on the exact day!

Notable things about this time of Nora's life:

- She's got a loose "bedtime" around 9:30 I've been putting her in her cosleeper upstairs with mixed success (about 50/50 now).  She usually tanks up before then (nursing up to 2-3 hours straight) and then sleeps until 4am.  It probably helps that the girl has to live on catnaps between errands and Joseph's banshee-like behavior when he's awake and not at school!

- Reaching for objects.  She can grab, hold, and put things into her mouth, now!  On her actual 3mo "birthday" she started grabbing for toys and holding them for a second.  Over the last four days the skill has exploded and today she grabbed, held, and then brought a toy to her mouth for exploration!  (Video to come - check out smugmug.)

- She also often leads with her mouth, though.  It's so hilarious to watch her try to suck whatever she sees in without her hands!  Today it was her hat.

- Interacting with Joseph: Goodness those two already love each other dearly!  Joseph tries (and succeeds) to make her smile all the time.  They love to look at each other.  I cannot wait for her to become more interactive with him!

- Strong preference for Mama.  Unfortunately for me!  I did get a double-electric pump, and I'm trying to get committed to using it so that I could... you know... go somewhere ALONE (or even with my husband) for more than 1.5 hours.  But right now she cries for about an hour of that time anyway, so I'm trying to accept my lot.  At least I know it's not forever this time, since Joseph is a blooming independent!

- Super slobber.  I don't see any sign of teeth (how could we be talking about teeth already?!?  Where does the time go?) but goodness she's a drool machine.

Without further adieu, here's Nora!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Get in There!

Just a reminder to get in the shot sometimes.  Sure, you may not have combed your hair after you washed it.  You may not have a lick of makeup on.  You may be 30 pounds heavier than you wish you were.  But your kids won't care when they look back at photos in 5, 10, 20,  or 30 years.  They'll just be happy to have pictures of their mom. 

So get in the photo!

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