Friday, February 29, 2008

Teethy Face

Noah has been working on getting some teeth for some time now. And, with this whole teething process has come some new and interesting behaviors. Lately Noah's been making a few funny faces that I'm sure have to do with his gums hurting...

He's been sticking his tongue out a lot. Which, as you can imagine, is only encouraging Bree's little tongue sticking out habit.

And then he's also been making this super funny face where he sucks his inner lip way in. Check it out:

In fact, when he does that he looks an awful lot like the guy from the old commercial with the "bitter beer face."
And aside from that we get a lot of these faces as well...

Just plain old miserable ones. Poor little guy! We sure are ready for those teeth to pop through already!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Super Spy

This morning, out of nowhere, Bree just says to me, "I spy with my little eye...something red." (I was a little bit surprised because this isn't a game I've played with her before. But, I thought, hey why not? and I played along.) And that launched us off into a really good game of "I spy." I had a great time playing because, I always find it interesting to get a peek of what's going on in her head, and also I thought many of her answers were pretty comical as well. Here were some of my favorites:

(On Bree's turn): "I spy with my BIG eye (since she's into being a big girl) something that's a mirror!"
"Is it the mirror?"

(When it was my turn): "I spy with my little eye something purple."
"No Mom, something blue."
"Okay....I spy with my little eye something blue."
"It's Noah's bouncy seat (excersaucer)!" (Which I assume was the right answer because I didn't get to pick what I was spying.)

(Bree's turn again): "I spy with my little eye something that lights up."
"The light?"
"Yes! Good job!"

(My turn): "I spy with my little eye something that's chubby!"
"Is it Noah?"

(Her turn): "I spy with my big eye, something that's pink!" (Before I could even answer.) "It's my pants!"

(Her turn again): "I spy with my big eye, the TV's costume."
"The TV cabinet?"
"Good job Mom!"

(My turn): "I spy something that's noisy."
"Is is that kid over there?" (Noah)

(Her turn): "I spy something that's eating Cheerios."
"Is it Noah?" (We spied Noah a lot, he's kind of hard to miss.)
"It sure is!"

It was a lot of fun! Yep, I Spy is now one of my favorite games.

Sleeping Beauty

Brianna is at the age where nap time is sort of hit and miss. She's transitioning between really needing that afternoon nap and just skipping it all together. But, Mom, however, still needs that down time so I've been insisting on having "rest time" every afternoon. During "rest time" Bree has to stay in her room between 1/2 hour to 45 minutes but she doesn't have to sleep. She can play quietly or read or whatever, just as long as she stays in there until I come to get her out. Some days she ends up falling asleep and taking a nap, some days she doesn't. I figure that if, after that amount of time, she hasn't fallen asleep then she probably isn't that tired on that given day. But then, that theory may be flawed, if the following pictures are any proof. This was a day when she played quietly in her room for a good long while and then kept popping out of her door to ask if she could come out yet. Finally, after about a half hour of that I decided it was useless to force it and let her come out. She asked if she could play computer and I said sure, and then got a phone call. After a few minutes of talking with my friend, I noticed it was WAY too quiet at that end of the house and walked back into my room to check on her. And this is what I found:

Passed out, fast asleep in a weird position in the computer chair. Sure, put her in a nice comfy bed and she's awake but contorted up in a chair equals zzzzzzz.....

Monday, February 25, 2008

February Visitors

My parents stopped by for a quick visit over this last weekend. As usual, it just flew by but it was time enough for them to get to reconnect and hang out with their grand kids. And on their parts, the kids were quick to dive right in there and relish the extra attention while they could.

Aside from his usual baby babbling and rolling over and such, Noah made sure to show off his latest "tricks"...

Like sitting up by himself. In just the past week he's gotten really good at it and can sit up very stable for longer stretches of time. Especially if he has something interesting in front of him, like this bead toy.

He even came up with something new to show off for his grandparents. Here he is demonstrating how he can hold his biter biscuit in his mouth and flap his arms all around at the same time. I'm sure he was thinking, "Look Ma, no hands!" He was quite pleased with himself for inventing this little maneuver, thought it was quite funny in fact. (Okay and we did too.) As if he didn't already have enough fun with those biter biscuits to start with - look at his face!

Meanwhile, Bree spent most of her time playing pretend with her Grammy. As you regular readers out there know, she has quite a rich imaginary life with her Grammy DeeDee (because Grammy plays along so very compliantly). So, there they were back at it again. Most the time, it was their old standby, Brianna was the mommy with her baby "GooGoo," her favorite game to play with Grammy. (I think for the obvious power role reversal reasons.) And also Bree insisted on being called "Apple Cinnamon" (her usual alter ego) most the time as well, but she made clear to clarify to her GooGoo "but I'm still your mom too!" And there were some new imaginary games added this time as well... at any given time during the visit both Grammy and Brianna were cats, birds, doctors, or zookeepers. In which case Bree's official title would become respectively, Apple Cinnamon Cat, Apple Cinnamon Bird, Apple Cinnamon Doctor, or ZooKeeper. (Not sure why that last one didn't include the Apple Cinnamon part, but it didn't.) Although, any of these new games were added on top of the Bree/Mommy Grammy/Baby GooGoo scenario and so Grammy's new names for these games were, Baby Cat, Baby Bird, Little Doctor, and Little Zookeeper. Brianna was quite strict that we all address her properly during these times, otherwise she would either refuse to respond or correct whoever it was trying to talk to her. "Hey Bree..." "You mean, Apple Cinnamon Cat?" "Yes, Apple Cinnamon Cat, you want a snack?" The problem was, it was kind of hard to know exactly what her name was at any given time during the weekend so we were wrong most of the time. It got a bit confusing trying to keep it all straight! Even Bree would have to correct herself and would say things like, "GooGoo, I mean Little Zookeeper...."

While they were here it was really nice weather so we also managed a trip to a nearby park, much to Bree's delight. She's been at me all the time to take her to the park, but it's just been too cold for more than a 10 minute shiver fest. Finally this weekend though it was nice enough for a good long play at the park so we bundled the kiddos up and headed out.

Bree was a big fan of the slides.

And she also liked the teeter-totter. But I'm not real sure she gets the concept because she insisted on riding it by herself. She actually got mad if anyone tried to sit on the other side.

After that it was a case of playground monkey see monkey do with Noah copying everything his big sis did. (Okay, more like we amused ourselves by making him follow along behind her and do stuff.)

First, Bree climbed up the wall...

And then Noah had to try it. He thought it was great!

Then Bree decided to try hiding out in one of the big tires. (One of my favorite things to do in elementary school.)

Of course, then Noah wanted to do that too. (Apparently, it wasn't as fun as the wall climbing.)

Then it was on to the swings. Here's Bree swinging, with attitude! (Little smuggy smirk.)

And with a little help from Grammy, here's Noah swinging as well, with attitude of a different flavor. This is his new face, this wrinkly nose scrunchy face. Not sure what it's all about...

Then we found a swing that was the perfect Noah size!

Okay, actually it was a balancing thingamabob, as Bree is demonstrating here while Noah admires her skills.

Time for a little rest on a bench and a quick smooch...
Awwww... what a sweet sibling moment!

Not to be outdone in the having fun department, the big boys, (Trav and Grampy), who are both photography nuts, entertained themselves by having Travis slide down the slide and at the end they each took pictures.
Trav, taking a picture of my dad, taking a picture of him.
And vice versa... Silly boys!

Just time enough for one last father/kids swing on the tire swing...

Thursday, February 21, 2008


Here's what Noah's been up to lately:

He's into figuring out what all he can do with his hands and arms lately. So recently we've seen him doing some waving. I don't really know if he's to the level of control over it where he could wave back if you wave at him, but still, there he is waving at us quite often. It amuses us to wave back.

Keeping with the hand/arm motions, we've also seen some clapping going on. Again, he can't do it on demand or anything. But it's funny to see him doing it on occasion.

And he's teething. Yes, while we still haven't actually seen any chompers pop through those gums, you can see them hovering just under the surface. There are about 6 of them all lined up on the bottom, just under there, and I keep expecting to see some come through any time. Or maybe he'll just get a whole passel all at once! Meanwhile, understandably, he's been a bit more cranky than normal.

His little personality continues to develop as well. We had a little mischievous moment the other day... I was nursing him and he was kind of waving his free arm around in the air when he let it fall and his hand ended up accidentally smacking me on the cheek. Well, he got a little gleam in his eye and decided that was worth trying again but I could see where he was going and this time around when the hand came close to my face I grabbed it in mine. Then I looked down at him and said, "No, we don't hit Mommy." But when I turned his arm loose what did he do but turn around and start swinging his arm around again, right at my face. So, I took his hand in mine again and repeated. "Hey, don't hit your Mommy." ...and he laughed! Guess it's never too early to get a kick out of getting attention from a little rebellious activity. Well, okay so, he really had no idea that his smacking his little hand on my cheek might hurt, or be "naughty" so to speak, and was more laughing because he was getting a reaction. Which, is the same reason he's doing some hair pulling right now I think. But still...kind of funny to see him getting old enough to want to try something again, just to see what Mom will do. Can't believe we're at that phase already!

Noah's other new thing of late is he's starting to sit up. He's still a bit shaky at it and will suddenly stiffen up and flop over, but he's starting to get the hang of it. See for yourself...

I like to put his Boppy right there in case of sudden tippage...then there's not accompanying head bumpage and howlage to follow, just a soft landing.

One of the great things about sitting up is you're in a position for examining your toes, or reaching for some Cheerios, whichever the case may be. (I put some there for him as a little incentive to lean forward and keep his balance.)

Sitting up is also cool because it gives you a whole new perspective on your big sister.

So, there you have it, sitting up and looking like such a big boy!

Growing up fast!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Trip to the Children's Museum

When we lived in Minneapolis, one of our favorite places to go was the Children's Museum. With 4 floors of hands on fun it was just a great place to play, especially in the winter, and it's been one of the things we miss the most. So, when we found out Missoula had it's own Children's Museum Bree and I were thrilled and we went today, along with our good friends, Karen and her kids Olivia and Nathan. (Actually, this is the second time we've been, but I forgot the camera the first time around.) :) This one was a little smaller, but it still had plenty of wonderful learning activities and interactive play things for the kids....

There was a nursery play area where the little ones could play without getting run over by the bigger kids, so Nathan and Noah spent a lot of time rolling around in there. The soft blocks were especially a bit hit with both of them.

The boys wrestling over who gets this yellow block. Yes, the learning to share thing starts pretty much at day one, especially for these two, being younger siblings and all.

Meanwhile the big girls spent their time racing around visiting all the different themed rooms. Here they are being rain drops in the water cycle and "falling to earth." (Climbing up the stairs was supposed to be water vapor going up into the clouds.) Although, I'm pretty sure this part went right over their heads and they were just having fun racing on the slides!

Brianna whipping up a tasty snack in the kitchen room.

Of course, after they made their snacks, Olivia and Bree had to try them. (Mmm...tastes like painted wood.)

Bree directing some traffic in the transportation room.

And here she is digging up some "fossils" in the Dino Dig section, one of her favorite areas.

The girls creating their own rythms and beating on the big drum. (Just like the Dr. Suess book... Two little monkeys drumming on a drum. Dum ditty dum ditty dum dum dum.)

Of course, Bree also had to spend some time on one of her obsessions right now, the computer!

One of Bree and Olivia's other favorite features was the water room where they could splash their hands in some fountains and use plastic pipes to make the water flow wherever they wanted, but somehow I didn't end up with a picture of that one. Yep, there was lots to do there! We had a great time and it was just what the doctor ordered for our winter blues.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Aaargh Matey!

Just a few pix of the kids playing pirates together the other day. (Okay, Bree playing pirates and putting a hat on Noah's head while he just sat there and watched her.)

Here's Bree with a big ol' AAARRGH! Noah was duly impressed.

Brianna's still in character, but, somehow I don't think Noah makes a very intimidating pirate.

"All right, you look for the buried treasure that way, and I'll look for it this way."

"Did you find anything?"
"Nope, did you?"


Wednesday, February 13, 2008


"Making the decision to have a child - it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body." -Elizabeth Stone
(An awesome quote I stole off one of my friend's blogs.)

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day and so I find myself sitting here thinking about love. Ahh, love, that intangible emotion that all humans crave. We look for it, we sing innumerable songs about it, we obsess over it as a collective species. Recently, Time magazine even ran a 50 page spread on pretty much every aspect of love, right down to the biochemical reasons we crave it. So yep, we're all hardwired to flirt and sigh and want security and comfort from other human beings. And there's no doubt, romantic love is great. BUT, I submit to you that you can't really and truly know all aspects of love until you love a child in your life. That kind of vulnerability gives it a whole new twist and it's a whole other ball game than the romantic variety. Poems, songs, (and quotes for that matter), about love tend to emphasize the fluttery, fireworks, chemistry aspect of the emotion and kind of ignore the tougher parts that you really get to explore more in depth during parenting than anywhere else. You know, the parts that actually make true love unconditional, like wiping stinky rear ends, or telling someone no because you know it's the right thing to do, even when they really really want you to say yes and are looking at you with such hope in their face. Like waking up in the middle of the night to screaming and smiling benevolently and lovingly into the face of the screamer or managing not to loose your cool when someone small colors in your favorite novel, that kind of stuff. But whether talking about romantic love, or love for your children, it's when you realize that love is actually not idealized and perfect but is a down and dirty, hands on, messy process, when you move beyond the easy parts of love and get to the parts where you do what's best and not what's easy, THAT's when you KNOW it's real love for sure . (That's also when you start to understand your own parents a little more.)

So, to wrap up these musings, since I started this entry out with a quote, I leave you with a few more quotes about love that you may be familiar with already, except this time I want you to read them keeping in mind the child or children that you love...

"Love is always patient and kind; it is never jealous, love is never boastful or conceited; it is never rude or selfish; it does not take offense, and is not resentful. Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins but delights in the truth; it is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope, and to endure whatever comes. Love does not come to an end." - 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

"I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me. I love you for the part of me that you bring out." - Roy Croft

"Our love must not be a thing of words and fine talk. It must be a thing of action and sincerity." - 1 John 3:18

“We come to love not by finding a perfect person, but by learning to see an imperfect person perfectly” - Sam Keen

So, make sure to kiss your Valentine and hug the kids you love, even when it's not Valentine's Day!

Monday, February 11, 2008


A couple more words in "Briannese" and their English translations:
  • "chest"= chess "Let's play chest! I like that game."
  • "with about"= without "Mom, I can't eat this with about a fork!"
  • "am I" = aren't I Something she's been saying a lot lately, wanting Mom or Dad to validate her statements. (She likes getting proved right.) Like this, "I'm a big sister, Mom, am I." "Yes, that's right."

And, a few notable one liners and silly antics recently:
  • "Mom, people like me because I'm cute!" - Uh-oh, we're gonna have to talk about this one. I guess, since she's a reasonably attractive kid, she hears herself being referred to as cute a lot. And I don't have any problem with her thinking she's cute, but I for sure don't want her to think that's the only reason other people like her. (Because that could lead to "pretty girl" syndrome. You know the girls who skate by in life not really trying but thinking their looks will get them whatever they want.) So I'm going to have to be telling her that people also like her because she's nice, she's funny, she's smart...
  • "I love myself!" - All right, a kid with self esteem is wonderful. I'm okay with this one.
  • punch bad guys in the face - something Brianna has threatened to do, so any bad guys thinking of coming to our house, watch out! I bet she could take them on too, a mad 3 year old in full tantrum mode is a frightening thing to make even the baddest of bad guys quake in their boots!
  • "I'm a dancing fool huh Mom?" - said to me while dancing madly to a song. We have music playing in the background a lot at our house and she loves to dance to it. This particular phrase though, I think is something her daddy must have said to her, it sounds like a Travis thing to say.
  • "You're good at fixing things right Mom?" - I got asked casually the other day. To which I replied. "Yes I am. Why? Did you break something?" "Nnnoooo..." "Brianna! Did you break something? Because if you did you better tell me. It's no big deal if it was an accident and you tell me but I'll get mad if you don't tell me." "All right. I broke Noah's music thing in his crib." (His mobile.) I guess when you're 3 your sense of self preservation wins over your need to tell the truth every time. :)
  • jokes - I think I mentioned before that Bree is into telling "jokes" right now which are actually, at this point, just random questions with nonsensical answers that only she finds funny. But, I forgot to mention the most amusing part! Which is her source material. Nine times out of ten when she's telling these jokes she's carrying a small book opened in front of her. I bet you can't guess which's her little tiny New Testament! Apparently, there's all kinds of funny stuff in there that I've missed somehow because that's her joke book.
Never a dull moment with that one. (Truly, not one and sometimes I long for a dull moment around here!)

Friday, February 08, 2008

Snake Wrangler

Aack! A snake! The baby's got a snake!

Well actually, it's an odd choice, but it seems Noah's preferred toy to teeth on is a rubber snake. Bree randomly picked it out of the dollar bins at the store one day and it's been one of her favorite toys ever since, who knew? Now Noah has decided he also loves the snake as well, he can spend quite some time wrestling around with it and gumming it to death, pretending he's a snake charmer I guess. Sometimes there's even a bit of a scuffle at our house over who gets the snake... "MOM! Noah's slobbering all over my snake!"

Here's the slobbering in action, look at that mouth! I would be very afraid if I were that snake.

Mmm...nothing like a good old gnaw on a snake to ease the aching gums!

Besides gumming on it, Noah also spends quite of alot of time staring the snake down...

Or, stretching it out...

He gets really wild with that snake, even swings it all around like a lasso over his head.
Yep, I highly recommend a rubber snake to anyone who's got a kid feeling crabby about teething. Although, I do have to admit that it does look a little odd and has caused me to do a double take more than once to see the baby happily cooing at and chewing away on a snake.

When he's not snake wrangling Noah's other favorite game right now is peek a boo. The great part though, is that he can play it all by himself. If you lay him on the floor within 10 feet of a blanket he'll roll his way over there and immediately pull the blanket over his head. He apparently finds this highly amusing because he'll just sit there for a long time, the blanket loosely over his head and the rest of himself sticking out, kicking his legs vigorously and giggling. Every couple minutes he'll yank the blanket off and peek around hoping to catch someone looking at him, and when he meets your eye he laughs, quickly covers his head again, and goes back to kicking.