Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The Many Faces of...

It amazes me how many expressions the human face is capable of. And I think about it a lot since, having dramatic children, I see many emotions and the faces they come with, quite frequently in rapid succession and Travis is there to catch it all on film. So, I know I've posted something similar to this before (I've had this blog long enough now that it's hard NOT to repeat things, all sequels and remakes) but I just had to do it again after seeing some of the recent pix Trav's gotten over the past two weeks or so. Actually, his pictures are quite often an inspiration for my posts. Also, this works well since I've had less time to write posts with actual words in them...easy cop out. I feel good that I posted and you get some cute pix. Hope you enjoy, the many faces of my children...

The wink, a Brianna classic.



Incredulous/Resentful (a look you seem to get a lot as a parent)





Blowing a kiss


Of course, Bree isn't the only one around here to make a bunch of silly faces, Noah's old enough now that he's just as expressive:



See Food


Loud again!
(Remember, they're both recreational shriekers. Noise for noise sake is the norm at our house.)

Serious, as in, you better do what I want!

Friday, April 25, 2008

One Sick Little Dude

Just a quick update since it's Friday and therefore, a blog day. It's crazy around here since this is the last week before one of my little pursuits goes into full gear (still not gonna formally tell you about it just yet, finalizing a few details but I will in next week for sure) so I've been super busy working my buns off to get ready. And to top it all off my poor little man is sick, has been for the last few days. Poor Noah, he's finally caught the crud that's been going around. Actually though, I think this is the first time he's EVER been sick. Not bad that he managed to go his whole first 9 months healthy. But when he did decide to get sick he got sick with the mother of all head colds. He's got a nice big wet cough, a runny nose, and the saddest part of all are his little red watery eyes. He's just pretty miserable and I think he spent all day today either crying or sleeping. And with the recent FDA warnings about babies and cold medicines, there's really nothing to do for him but give him lots of rest and liquids, rub baby Vicks all over him and run the humidifier non stop. I guess the good news though is that so far, his cough hasn't been keeping him up all night and he's not running a fever so... Now you've got a complete rundown of all his symptoms, soon to be everyone else in the family's symptoms as well I'm sure. Ah well such is life and parenting in particular, always wiping butts and noses. :)

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Tales out of School

Well, today was Bree's second week and 4th day in preschool and so far so good. She seems to like it and I've even gotten to use it as parenting fodder on those nights before "school," saying, "All right. Better go to sleep right away and get some good sleep now. Tomorrow's preschool and you don't want to be tired while you're there, so better rest." Surprisingly, this seems to work and cuts down on the number of times we see Bree popping back out of her room with some questionable excuse as to why she needs to come back out after she's been tucked in. (Usually something like, "I need a drink." "I have to go potty." Even though she just went. "Um, um, will you read me another book?" and so on.)

Yep, it's been pretty amusing to me to watch how little time it took her to jump right into the whole preschool thing and act like she's always gone. Today, when she got there, before her coat was even off she was waving to the other kids and a little boy waved back, then a little girl with long braids and glasses ran up and said, "Hi! You're here today! Want to play?" Then when I picked her up it was, "Mom, Paige wasn't there today but Clare was. Paige and Clare are my friends." As usual I asked her, "What did you talk about in school today?" And as usual I was told, "I don't know...stuff." (Must be a universal kid code to tell your parents that, even at 3 years old!) So we seemed to have slid right into a regular routine about it. And I do mean routine. For some reason preschool brings out Brianna's regimented side. So far, every day she requests to have the same hairdo as the first day, 2 pig tails in her hair (maybe because it keeps it out of her face?). I've found it kind of funny though because school has made her aware of some things she wasn't before regarding people's appearances. Like for instance, the fact that Paige wears glasses and Bree doesn't or as she told me, "I wear sunshades though." The biggest thing on Bree's mind in this regard however is hair. Unfortunately for her, she got my hair, which means, although she has a lot of it, it's rather fine and flyaway and slow-growing. Of course, that didn't bother her and she didn't know that...until school. She came home one day and said, "Other girls have pig tails too. Mom, mine are small! They're kind of short!" Poor kid, destined to have hair envy...

But back to the school routine, it's rather strict. She seems to want to have those days all go the same, not only how she does her hair, but right down to what she eats for lunch. Every day on the ride home she informs me "Mom, for lunch I want a turkey sandwich with cheese and mayonaise." (Which was the lunch I made for her that first day after school.)

Oh well, they say kids like to know what to expect and that doing the same things helps them have a sense of control over their life. And you know Bree, she does like to feel like she's in control... :)

(See, and here you thought I'd skip the Wednesday post again didn't you? But I gave myself a talking to.)

Monday, April 21, 2008


Time for an update about Noah:
  • statistics - Well, Noah went in for his 9 month well baby check last week. He now weighs 18 lbs. 12 oz. and is 29 inches "tall." That means bye bye baby car seat and hello big boy seat. Although, he still has to face backwards in the car.
  • spaghetti - Being into table food like he is, Noah tried out his first spaghetti the other day. And man, did he like it! He had it all over. It was hilarious, because by the end of dinner he was slurping them down like a pro, sucking them down one at a time. How is it that kids seem to figure that out in about 5 minutes all on their own? Here's Mr. Spaghetti Face himself...
Slurping it down.

What a goof!

I think he likes it!

Of course, this only reminded me of another young spaghetti eater from a few years back.

  • rolling stone - Noah continues to get more and more mobile, zipping around here like nobody's business. And now he's been getting up on hands and knees alot as well, working on the traditional version of crawling vs. his current army crawl. I've even seen him do a bear crawl for a few seconds, you know with his arms and legs both straight. Well, all this mobility is allowing him to pick up a few fun new habits. One of his favorite things to do is just plain odd if you ask me, which is that he really enjoys kicking all the walls. Yep, he's always thought kicking both legs at the same time really hard, like a bucking bronco, was a great activity but now he crawls around kicking all the walls. Maybe to test how sound they are? Not sure but... His other new favorite thing is not a hit with me. He's into messing with all the doors. He loves to crawl into a room and push on the door till it's almost closed, then stick one little finger in the crack and pry it back open. And quite often he manages to slam the door and then there he is, stuck on whichever side with no way of going through whereupon he usually yells to let me know he's stuck again. I'm already not a fan of closed doors or playing with the doors when it comes to the kids and it's a bit weird, hearing a door close in this house and having to yell out already, "Kids! Which one of you was that!"
Kicking the wall with nudist Bree joining in as well.

  • drama king - I have often called Noah my "easy baby" because in lots of ways he's been easier so far than his sister was at this age. She was just more fussy and less content. But, as Noah gets older I am less convinced of his "easiness." I mean, he's fairly laid back in lots of ways, but then, he definitely already has strong opinions about things and tends to get upset if things aren't going exactly the way he thinks they should be. And I think he's on pace to rival, if not surpass Brianna in the obstinate, I know who I am and what I want, my way or the highway areas. I know what you're thinking. Surely not, that quiet sweet baby? Well I tell you, he's a bit of a tyrant in getting you to do exactly what he wants, especially when it comes to his food. The kid acts like we never feed him. When he was eating more baby food, we would feed him a whole container of the stuff, then after he finished that, we'd use the same container, now empty, and fill it back up with rice cereal. Well, it took us a minute to mix the rice cereal and sit back down in front of him. Meanwhile the whole time he would be bawling his eyes out like he was still just starving and he was sure you were denying him more food. Then there was the pink milk incident the other day. See, Noah is starting to be able to use a sippy cup. He's figuring it out pretty well actually. So the other day he was rolling around on the floor and got a hold of one of his sister's sippy cups, actually managing to hold onto it, get it into his mouth, and start sucking noisily and making little happy sounds. I figure, oh well, what's germs between siblings right? And I let him go for it. It was only a few seconds later that I could tell the cup was empty, you could hear the air sucking noise they make when the liquid is gone. I didn't think it was a great idea to let the kid suck a bunch of air down, in case it would give him a tummy ache. So, I say, "Here, let me fill that up for you," and I take the cup into the kitchen. Naturally, this made Noah burst into immediate angry tears that I had taken his cup. In the kitchen, when I opened up the cup I realized WHY Noah was so happy to have that particular cup, it had just a little bit of strawberry milk left in it. It was no big deal really, 'cause it was just a little bit. But the doc says no cow's milk until Noah is 1 year old and he doesn't really need the extra sugar in the strawberry syrup either. So, I filled the cup up with water instead and tried to hand it off to the little screaming kid and calm him down. But, what do you think happened? He took one big swig, his eyes got all big because he realized it was water and he started bawling even harder! He even tried it again and took another sip just to make sure and that just made him more mad. Poor baby, Mom won't let him drink his sweetened pink milk.
This one's gonna give me a run for my money in toddlerhood, I can see it coming already. :)

Spoke Too Soon

Well, I thought it was pretty safe declaring it to be spring since it's the latter half of April already. But alas, this is what we had over the weekend.

Poor little sad plastic garden, the flowers are shivering! What a difference in just one week huh?

Friday, April 18, 2008

Excuses, Excuses...

Hello! Just wanted to drop a line here to anybody out there who may be considered a "regular reader" of this blog. Here's the thing, as you know, I'm usually pretty good about keeping a M,W,F publishing schedule, or on a crazy week I sometimes switch to T, TH. But, even that's been a bit sketchy lately with some posts being a day or two late. I mean, it hasn't been that bad really, and I'm still posting fairly regularly. But still..not at my usual pace. So, you know, just want to say apologies to anyone who may have checked in expecting something on, say a Wednesday (the day that seems to have suffered the most in posting lately), only to find it missing. My only explanation is that it's been crazy around here lately. We've had quite a few visitors over the past few weeks and on top of that I have several projects I've been working on, they tend to suck up huge amounts of my "free" time and then those darn kids take up the rest! :) Alas, it's been my poor blog that's suffered. So, not only have I had less time to write, but I've actually had less time to notice the little things about the kids and get them in writing before I forget what it was I found cute or funny or aggravating even, as the case may be.

Well, that's the long and short of it. Just wanted to get it out there and let you know what's up. Have patience with me, dear family and friends, as I figure out my time management and juggling a few extra balls in this circus act over here.

Finally Spring! Well, Sort of...

I don't know what it is this year, maybe the fact the Easter came abnormally early, but spring sure does seem to be taking a long time to firmly arrive. I think the actual calendar date came and went some time back, but tell that to the weather. Around here it's still been cold and windy enough to mostly keep everyone inside with fairly raging cases of cabin fever. Finally though, just this week we've had a few balmier days. Nice enough to actually go outside and enjoy for a few minutes. Of course, it's just been a tease. A nice day here, followed by spits of snow the next day, but still, nice to get out for a bit. So, here's some shots of all of us enjoying some time outdoors this week.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Well, today was officially Bree's first day of preschool! Yep, after me being quite indecisive and hemming and hawing on the subject, I finally found a place and a program I'm comfortable with and we took the plunge! Actually, Bree's been pretty ready for some time now, it was me who was dragging my feet. In fact, some time back we actually did some "test days" at a few places but I chickened out at the last minute both times. I just wasn't comfortable with it at the time. But now, for a variety of reasons, the timing is just right. For awhile there, we couldn't even think about preschool because most of them won't take kids who aren't potty trained. So, since Bree was on the later side of that spectrum, not being fully trained until almost 3 and a 1/2, it was just out of the picture. Really though that hasn't been the issue for awhile now though, that being firmly under control for about 6 months. What made me really take another look at the option was Brianna herself. She has a little friend, Nick, who's 5 this year and has started kindergarten, a subject of much fascination and excitement for Bree. Ever since the beginning of the school year it's been this "Mom, when I turn 5 can I go to kindergarten too? How long until I'm 5 Mom? Is kindergarten far away? Will I ride the bus to get there?" and so forth. The kid just can't wait to be 5 already and get to kindergarten! Our school district though, is in the process of switching to an all day kindergarten format and I keep thinking to myself that will be quite some transition, going from all day at home to ALL day at school suddenly. So, seeing her anticipation in the area, and my desire to ease her into it a little less abruptly, I asked her if she wanted to go to school sooner than 5 and did she think she would like preschool. You can guess her response, she was all for it! I did a little more research this time and found a place I thought might work and we tried it out last Monday, where I stayed all day with Bree to observe the class and see what the environment was like and how she did. And it was wonderful! Being only about 8 weeks from turning 4 (!), because Bree does well with older children, and since the 2 and 3 year old class was full, Brianna is in the 4 and 5 year old class which is taught by Miss Jo. Miss Jo is a grandma, a wonderful lady who is very kind but also very firm. In fact, she has such impressive control over her young class, insisting on manners and good decorum, with so little sternness required that I felt like I should attend her class regularly, if only to figure out how on earth she does it! They fall in line like little lambs. She has the kids doing all kinds of great educational things that will reinforce some of the things we've been working on at home with Bree, and even has them starting on their letters if they want to and seem ready. But aside from that aspect, I think it's great if only because it gives Brianna a chance to be active, do some artwork, and play with other kids and know she can do all that away from Mom just as much as she can at home. Although, Bree has never been one to have separation anxiety. From the very first time I ever had to leave her she's just waved happily and yelled "Bye Mom!"

Anyways, as I said, we tried the class out together last week, but today was Bree's first day there solo. She was pretty excited about it, and so was I but I still had the tiniest bit of anxiety, what if she didn't like it or got hurt or cried the whole time or something? Just in case, since I couldn't be there, I insisted that Ginger the stuffed dog go along in the event Brianna needed some comforting. Alas, my worrying, so very small as it was, was all for naught. True to form Bree bounded inside and even as I signed her in she quickly forgot I even existed, and 2 and a half hours later, when I returned to pick her up she said, "Mooom, I want to stay a little longer!" Miss Jo informed me she did very well and when I asked Bree all about it on the way home it was the typical conversation. "So, did you learn something today?" "Yep!" "Well, what was it?" "Well, we played and talked about stuff. And Mom, our snack was a cookie. It was somebody's burtsday today!" (Notice the cookie gets more air time than the "stuff" they learned.) Then she made me laugh by informing me, "Mom, today I was their student. Last time I was their guest." She told me repeatedly and I think this must have been something directly from Miss Jo, who last time, didn't make Bree follow all the rules since she was new.

The experience was good for me too. For my part I got 2 and a half hours with half the kids I normally have! It was weird and totally liberating! I'd forgotten how easy it is to go grocery shopping with only a baby in tow. Then we came home, Noah napped and I had some free time to pursue a few work at home ventures I've got in the works, that if you don't already know about, I'm sure you'll be hearing about in the next few weeks.

So, it seems like it will be a good thing all the way around. Bree and I can have just the slightest breathing room from 9 to 11:30 am on Mondays and Wednesdays and maybe appreciate and enjoy each other more the rest of the time.

Too cool for school:
Here she is, ready for her first big day at school, lookin' like such a big girl! She doesn't look that excited, but that's because she's striking a cool pose. Don't you love the outfit and the sunglasses! She picked it out herself. She's had those sunglasses forever and they're still her favorite fashion accessory.

What I got when I asked her to smile.

Her first ever "homework." :)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Such a Big Boy!

I can't believe it already, but Noah will be 9 months old next week! That means he'll have lived just as long outside the womb as he spent incubating in there. :) He's sure growing up fast! He's very interactive and aware these days.

He's really into table food for one thing. He just drools and smacks his lips and feels like he just has to have whatever it is that's on your plate. And there's no fooling him either. He has to have EXACTLY what you're eating or he kicks up a fuss. He looks all around to make sure everyone has the same thing he's eating. He's very observant in this area. In fact, he surprised me the other day... after heating him up some noodles to eat, I started blowing on them to cool them down. He was being very impatient and letting me know about it vocally but he stopped his howling when he saw me blowing on his food. I think it was something new for him that he hadn't seen before. After a minute, when I finally dumped some noodles onto his tray for him to pick up and eat himself (something else he's very insistent about, self feeding) he proceeded to pick the first few noodles up, stare at them carefully and "blow" on them in his own way (make rasperry tongue at them.) I guess he figured, well, this is what we do when we eat food!

Noah's also getting more coordinated with his physical movements. He's been clapping for awhile now, but recently he's started clapping sometimes in response to music. (Bree and him are both big music fans.) He's also streamlined his army crawl into what I would call a "super" army crawl. He's now super speedy and gets around the house like lightening! And today, for the first time he actually pulled himself up to a shaky stand! That boy's ready to go places!

The last big thing with Noah I'll let you see for yourself:

It's in this picture, notice anything different?

Besides this silly, happy scrunchy face he makes? (One of my favorites!) I'll give you a hint...look at the top of his head.

Yep, it's a new haircut! I finally caved in and did a little home trim on his crazy bangs. They were getting a bit too long and a bit too silly for me. And I think it looks very nice and makes him look all grown up. What do you think?

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Preschool Photography

Well, it's not the first time we've done this, but the other day we handed Bree the camera and let her snap away to her heart's content. I always think it's interesting to see what pictures we end up with because you can really tell what's important to the person behind the camera. In this case, it's a roll call of the people and things that are meaningful to Bree:

Like Daddy. And also Buzz, I think they're on the same level in Bree's ranking system. :) She actually posed her daddy for this shot, telling him to hold Buzz before she took the shot.

There's Noah, (and Bree's finger and foot). She climbed into his crib to get this shot.

And there' caboose. Wow, not sure what that says about me!? Hoping only that in this moment, that's what was at eye level for her.

Naturally, there had to be a picture of Ginger in there, as the all important comfort object of choice.

And some of her other toys she's fond of...

One of the computer keyboard...she does love her computer time on Starfall and Noggin.

And here's her study of herself, Brianna in bits and pieces.

That's her hair at the top, leaning over the camera.

She must like Noah pretty good too. Because there were a lot of shots of him as well. If you took all of them together, you could almost lay them out to make a collage of Noah's whole self.

There you have it! Photography by Bree.