Friday, August 31, 2007

Photo Friday

It's good to be home for a while. I get to do things like clean the house, wash 7 loads of laundry, and actually post pictures for Photo Friday on a Friday! It doesn't get much more exciting than that...

Unfortunately, the only pictures I have to share are from last week in Tahoe. I have nothing more recent because the short lens on my camera broke which makes it difficult to take pictures in the house. I still have the long lens, but it's not great for those kind of shots. I tried to take a picture of Joel's new iPod the other day (it's RED!) but the camera refused to focus on an object that close and that small.

So, here are some more shots of our super fabulous 3 days in Tahoe last week...
Auntie taking her own picture with KatelynKate "driving" the boatPadyn clearly enjoying the ride. Doesn't it look like those red toes belong to her?Katelyn feeding BonBon. She's really been into that lately. Look how she opens her own mouth when she's trying to get you to eat something.Katelyn "swimming"Padyn figuring out how to swim with a life jacket onKilling time at the beach

Padyn reacting to the COLD lake water
Happy Labor Day Weekend!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

More Utterances

Kate's language is just exploding these days. She usually has at least one new word per day, and that's the words I can understand. Some words I pick up right away because she uses them in context, but others take a while to figure out. For instance, it took me about a week to figure out she was telling me she was poopy. She'll grab her diaper and utter a few syllables that have the "p" and "ee" sound in them. But I think she is misinterpreting the meaning. Whenever I go to change her diaper, whether it's poopy or not, she tells me it's poopy. At least she doesn't fight me to change it like used to. Though she does try to wipe herself, which can be a problem...

Another word that took me a while to get was "potty." (Funny, how both these examples have to do with bathroom activities. Not sure if there is a connection or not.) Not only does she say some variation of "potty" when she walks in the bathroom with you (because no mom gets to go to the bathroom by herself), she'll sit on the stool while you sit on the toilet, say "Potty," then as soon as you are done, she stands up on the stool, sticks her hands in the sink and says, "Wah" for "wash." Excellent.

But here's what I really wanted to post. Yesterday she had two new words and I figured them both out immediately. The first was in the car. Padyn and I were talking about what music to listen to and Kate said, "I-pah." You guessed it...iPod.

Then last night in the bathtub, she stood up. Before I could say anything, she said, "Si dow, si dow." And she sat right down. Glad to know she's listening, if not obeying.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Ever Increasing Vocabulary

Kate is going to be 17 months old on Monday and I can't keep track of all the new words she is saying. She now has a word for milk, doggie, pool, wash (for "wash hands"), and fish. But these three new ones are my absolute favorites:

ets oh! let's go!

wahwer water (it's always accompanied by her sign for "water")

ya! ya! (no "yes", just ya)

I'm sure there are more. I've got to write this stuff down.

Are You Ready for This?

We didn't believe her. She said she would, but I was sure she wouldn't. I was POSTIVE she wouldn't even get in the thing, let alone be pulled in it.

Boy, were we ever wrong.

Riding in the tube behind the boat was her favorite Tahoe activity. Of course, I don't think she would have done it without Auntie. Thanks, Auntie.

And here's two others to enjoy...

Happy Monday

Thursday, August 23, 2007

10 Years Baby!

Happy Anniversary, baby. Hard to believe it's been 10 years, eh? Some days it feels like there was never a time we weren't married and some days it feels like we are just getting started. I guess that's how it's supposed to feel. I'd be worried if it was different.

Sorry we aren't together today, but it's not the first time and I'm sure it won't be the last.

I love you more today than that beautiful day ten years ago when we said, "I will" under the redwoods. Looking forward to spending the next 10 years with you. And the ten after that, and the ten after that, and the ten after that...

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

We're At the Lake!

Due to an extremely crude satellite wireless connection here at the lake, I was only able to upload two pictures from my camera of the girls this afternoon. We arrive in Tahoe at about 4pm and Padyn made a beeline for the water. It's amazing how she can turn from whiney brat to cheerfully delightful preschooler when water is involved. (She was not very happy when we first arrived, but as soon as I asked, "Do you want to put on your suit and go in the boat?" she became a different child.)

Kate took her first boat ride today. Padyn, an old pro at the ski boat thing, sat calmly in the front with Auntie and cheered for the "big waves." I don't think she even held on. Kate liked the boat, but she wanted to move around all the time which is really not appropriate in a moving object traveling across cold, deep water. She did got to "drive" at one point. That was very exciting for everyone. She was extremely proud of herself, as you can imagine.

We'll be here until Saturday morning, so I'll try to post more later. Maybe the satellite will like me better in the morning and I can show you more.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

We're Back...But Not Really

We returned home tonight from Chicago, but instead of resting and getting my house back in order, the girls and I are getting in the car tomorrow and driving up to Tahoe for a few days. (Will the madness ever end? If you know me well, you know the answer is, "NO!") Papa and BonBon are up there for the week, and once Padyn found out Papa's boat was there, she was all about that. It will be interesting to see what Kate's reaction to a ski boat is. Judging from her current daredevil ways, I think she'll take to it pretty quickly.

So, in the 15 hours I have at home to sleep, do laundry, repack, and eat a couple meals, I decided I also needed to post so you could see a few more pictures of Chicago since I may not be posting again until Sunday. Hopefully I'll write more about our trip later, but knowing me, I'll probably forget, so I'll try to get some photos of the highlights up now.

We had a great time. Not only did Chicago have a ton of stuff to do (which we didn't do half of), we had such a wonderful time with the McReynolds. We haven't seen them since they moved to St. Louis over a year ago and it was so nice to catch up and just hang out with them again. Their attitude about traveling is very similar to ours, so it was quite easy to plan and do stuff together, even if it was aimless wandering looking for somewhere to eat. Unfortunately, our time together also serves as a reminder of how much I miss them. Can't have everything, I guess.

Here are a few highlights from Saturday through Monday. It's not everything, but it's a lot of it.

The hotel didn't have a bathtub, so the girls had to shower everyday. This was Kate's favorite game. Unfortunately, she liked the shower so much, she kept trying to go in with her clothes when one of us was in there. And because it had no door, she managed to sneak in a few times.On Saturday our purposeful walk to the Field Museum turned into an aimless stroll through the park. We found these incredibly random, slightly disturbing metal legs. Just torso. Kate was a bit scared of them. Oh, and we never did make it to the museum...
...but we found Buckingham Fountain.

Our time at the Shedd Aquarium was Kate's first visit to the fishies. Man, did she LOVE it. I think her hands got tired from her constantly signing "fish." She repeated it over and over, also...feesh, feesh, feesh.You'd think Padyn and Liam still see each other every day. It only took about 12 seconds for them to get readjusted to each other. Although, upon leaving today, they refused to give each other hugs. I think it was more of not wanting to say good-bye than not wanting to hug. As soon as we walked out from our farewells, Padyn said, "Liam has really changed alot!" Funny, I just thought his hair was longer.
On Monday we spent most of the day at the Museum of Science and Industry. Now, you wouldn't know it from the title, but this place is AWESOME. And old! It's been around for a long long time, so there was way too much for us to see. Plus, Kate wasn't as into it as the rest of us were, so we had to stick to things that would hold her attention and visit the other places while she was sleeping. Padyn loved the model trains. Here's a shot of us standing in front of one of them.She also got a kick out of the crazy mirrors in the Circus Hall. Here's Daddy and Padyn building their "flying brick." Kate just wanted to push the buttons. Actually, that's probably what Padyn wanted to do, too. Who do you think was really interested in designing the flying brick?

Thanks Heather, Matt, Liam and Emery Anne for inviting us on your Chicago adventure. Next year, we'll host a West Coast vacation!

Friday, August 17, 2007

The Beach? In Chicago?

It is Photo Friday, and here I thought I wouldn't be posting for a while. And here it is, my second post from Chicago in less than 24 hours. Once an addict, always an addict, I guess.

So here at the Hotel Blake it is nap time. Padyn's really just reading on her Dora bed, but I'll take that as long as she is quiet and stays there. Kate's asleep in the bathroom. I know, I know...but it's a huge bathroom. She's really sleeping in luxury in there. Anyway, it being nap time, and I am stuck in the hotel room for a bit, I figured I'd tolerate the extremely cruddy wireless connection and show you what we did today...

We went to the beach.
That's right...the beach. In Chicago. And you couldn't have asked for a better day. The sky was completely blue, there was a slight breeze, and Lake Michigan really looked like an ocean. It took a while to get there as we took the EL and then walked a number of blocks. We weren't exactly sure where we were going, but we figured if we followed the large crowd of people and the sound of screaming jets, eventually we'd find it...

Wait. Large crowds? Screaming jets?

What we did not know was that today was the rehearsal for the Chicago Air Show that is this weekend. We did know there was an airshow this weekend. We even talked about going to it. But we didn't know where it was, or that there would be a cool rehearsal today. We totally, accidentally stumbled upon it. How cool is that? We saw bombers, fighters, cargo, radial, and finally...the Thunderbirds. The kids loved it, the grown-ups loved it...a great time was had by all.
Kate is so sweet. She kept wanted to hold Emery Anne's hand while Emery Anne was nursing.
And I'll leave you with a final farewell from Padyn. Highly appropriate for our beach day...Hang Loose, Dude.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Travel Tips from Padyn, Part I

We made it to Chicago with tremendous ease today. Kate was a bit of a pill on the plane due to her lack of desire to nap, but otherwise, the girls did well, and we arrived all in one piece and in good spirits.

Here's one of Liam and Padyn on the bus heading to Navy Pier. These former best friends reconnected very quickly today. By the end of the night they were walking along the city streets, holding hands and having a grand ol' time.
I don't have much to share right now, but I just had to tell you one gem Padyn said when we were getting out of the shower tonight. I'm sure there is some hotel etiquette magazine I could send this in to. Although, no hotel would be willing to have us as customers if I did...

"Mommy, if the hotel doesn't have a toilet, you can just go potty in the shower."

I think she was just talking about peeing. At least, I hope so.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Windy City, Here We Come

Tomorrow we are heading off to another adventure. What, does that make it like, 13 for the summer? It feels like it. This trip was supposed to be our ONLY traveling this summer. Funny how when you leave your schedule open, many things come in to fill it up.

But I digress. Tomorrow, we are all going to Chicago to meet up with the McReynolds family for an extended weekend. J and I have never been to Chicago, so it will be a brand new experience for us all. I already have an itinerary all planned out, so as not to have a moment of free time, but it includes many many kid-friendly activities. I think the girls are going to have a great time. And Padyn is so excited to be seeing her friend, Liam, again! She keeps talking about when we will get to Liam's house and how he will share his toys with her. I have to remind her that we aren't going to Liam's house; that we are staying in a hotel in Chicago and Liam will be staying in the same hotel. Then she gets all excited that she gets to sleep in the same room as Mommy and Daddy. I'll tell you, Mommy and Daddy aren't super thrilled about that, but we are staying positive. At least we have the time change to our advantage. Going to bed late won't really be late for the girlies.

Anyways, we won't be posting for a while, probably, though we are bringing the laptop and the hotel has wireless, so you never know. But I didn't want to disappoint anyone on Friday when it was quiet around here, so I'll post some Photo Friday pictures early.
These are all from this past weekend when the W girls were staying with us. There weren't too many pictures taken this weekend, but The Girls' Moma may have more an her Flickr account. Enjoy!

Kate wearing the tiara. Unfortunately, it broke shortly after this.Kate and Jalyn playing around on Padyn's bed. Painting time for Padyn...notice the progression. Here she is clothed...And here she is not.And now Coley and Padyn both have no shirts on. They aren't painting anymore, but shirts were deemed unnecessary to the task of watering the geraniums.

Lastly, here's Kate enjoying the slide. She has finally figured out how to go down by herself. Notice her snack cup in her right hand. Can't do anything without a snack, this girl.

Friday, August 10, 2007

For the Love of a Bear

When Kate saw this photo of herself, she got very excited and started babbling incoherently. I guess that means she recognized herself.
Actually, it probably means she recognized BearBear. That creature always makes her happy.

Photo Friday

Our photos from this week aren't very exciting, but I'll share some anyway.
I got a package that had a bunch of fabulous bubble wrap in it. (Thanks, Suz.) Padyn loves bubble wrap and immediately set out to destroy it all. The tunnels came out again this week. Kate LOVED them. More so than the previous times. This time she figured out she could see out them in a variety of ways.

Coley and Jalyn are here for a few days. so I'm sure we'll have a few more pictures to post in the coming days.

Happy Friday!

Sentences and other Utterances

Kate is starting to put words together. Mostly, it's still mimicking, rather than her knowing how to combine words to make meaning, but it's a start into more sophisticated communication.

The two word sentence she's been doing for a couple weeks now is, "ByeBye Daddy." Now, I know she thinks this is one word, because she doesn't call Daddy by that name. She calls him Dadda. Also, she now says this to me when I am leaving (or she's pretending I'm leaving). Today she said it to Papa. So, I think she thinks it's the appropriate good-bye for a parental figure, not necessarily Daddy.

Today, she produced two one phrases. Again, I don't think she realized they are separate words and her knowing they go together is a product of mimicking her parents and sibling. But she does use them correctly.

When I gave her BearBear this morning, she grabbed him, hugged him tight and said, "Iruvroo." Translation: I love you.

Just now I as I looking at pictures to post for Photo Friday, I was holding her. She pat my shoulder and said, 'Mama, are you?"
Translation: Mama, where are you?" It's what we say when we play peek-a-boo or other hiding games.

On a side note, Kate's new favorite word seems to be, "My!" or "Ah My!" Both mean "Mine...Stay away!"

And the word she started saying this week? Yes, I know I'm very fortunate that she waited this long, but still...


Must be heading into that fun defiance stage.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Bad Nights Stink

I should start by saying that both my girls are great sleepers. Kate took a bit more work than Padyn, as I have eluded to in previous posts, but really, I know I'm blessed with two wonderful sleepers. They go to bed without a fight, they sleep throughout the night, and they are happy and content to play by themselves in the morning until I can get my lazy you-know-what out of bed in the morning.

But last night? Last night was bad. And what's worse is we have no idea why. Double worse that it's not normal, so it really throws you for a loop because you are never sure how to fix it.

I got home late because I was at a concert with my sister. (And just so all you country music fans know, it was quite fun. Especially Faith. She's just awesome. Talk about a voice.) Anyway, Joel had put the girls down with no incident and hadn't heard from them at all. But as we were crawling into bed at 12:45am, Kate started to cry. Now, our general policy is to let them cry for a bit and see what happens. If we know there's gas or teeth issues, we'll go in and administer the appropriate meds. (Who am I kidding. Even if we don't know, we give a little Baby Tylenol to make sure it isn't something like teeth or a fever.) So, we let her cry off and on for a bit, then I went in to rock her. I was pretty sure she'd go back to sleep if I rocked her.

So, I went in, rocked her, put her down...all went according to plan, until 10 minutes later she started crying again. I waited again, then went back and gave her some Tylenol. I rocked her again for a couple minutes, but not as long as before. When I put her down, she started screaming...AGAIN. I left and figured that was it. She'd be screaming herself to sleep. Eventually she'll tire herself out, right?

Well, about 1:30 or so, Daddy got up to try. I guess he couldn't stand the crying anymore. And wasn't constant crying. She'd cry for two minutes, stop, and just about the time you start drifting off to sleep, she'd start again. Not very fun.

So, Daddy's attempt was successful for about 5 minutes. At that point we agreed to just let her cry it out. But at 2:45am when she was STILL crying, and I hadn't gone to sleep yet, I decided 2 hours of intermittent crying was long enough, especially when I knew how to make it stop. I went in, got her, and went into the office to sleep on the couch. Kate immediately fell asleep on me. I can't say that my sleep came immediately, but somehow through the discomfort, sleep eventually got the better of me.

When I awoke at 4:30am with stiff neck and a pinch nerve in my shoulder blade, I decided to attempt to return sleeping beauty to her room. Sleeping well for at least 2 hours was worth the risk of transferring her back to her crib.

She was certainly a tired girl, because she slept until 10am. When Padyn woke up at 7, J quickly got her out of their room and sent her to the playroom. When I eventually woke up again at 9am, Padyn was happily playing and Kate was still sleeping.

She seemed happy when she woke up at 10. I have no idea what that was all about. But if it happens again tonight, one of us may be sleeping outside.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

She's a Natural

Padyn has reached a new era in swimming. She has figured out how to pick her head up, take a breath, put her face back in the water and continue swimming. She swam half the length of the pool today and back. By herself!

I didn't even have to get in the pool with her this afternoon. She jumped in off the side and swam to the steps herself. Repeatedly. She swam away from the steps, turned around, and swam back. She tried to do a back flip under water. She was not successful, but she tried...

Yesterday when she first demonstrated these new skills, I was on the edge of panic the entire time. But I kept checking with her, and she kept reassuring me that she could hold her breath that long and kept going.

Today she tried even more new tricks, but it was easier to sit on the side of the pool and watch.

She's so proud of herself. I'm so proud of her, too.

The End of an Epic

Well, I finished the final Harry Potter book on Sunday. I loved it. Absolutely loved it. I'm still digesting it. I think about it off and on throughout the day. I'm extremely please and impressed with how J.K. Rowling decided to end it all. I am a bit sad, though, about it being the last book and all. I feel like I've said farewell to friends who are moving far away and I don't know if I'll ever see them again. I know I'll re-read it more than once, but it won't ever be the same as the first read.

So, now you can talk to me if you've also read it. In fact, I want you to talk to me about it. I'm dying for someone to debrief with. I'm sure the Girls' Moma and I will have many conversations about it this weekend when she and the girls get here. I can't talk to J because he just started it. I really don't want to spoil it for him. But if he asks me straight out...

Not Terribly Recent, but Still Cute

Here's another picture I took a week ago at my dad's house. My cousin's daughter, Claire, and her mommy were with us having dinner. Claire is exactly one month older than Kate. It was so fun to see them play together. They seem to take very well to each other.
Actually, Anne took this picture. You can see my foot is right there. I was very much within grabbing distance in case the splashing of the water progressed to trying to get into the water.

Monday, August 06, 2007

This is Why I Should Write Things Down

I don't know what is happening to my brain. It refuses to hold onto trivial information like it used to.

Dates, for example. I was pretty solidly sure that today, August 6th, was Ella's birthday. Why the 6th? I have no idea. But that's the date that I've had in my head for the last couple weeks.

While catching up on blogs tonight, I saw this one. Turns out, Ella's birthday was last Wednesday, the 1st. I'm off by almost a week. What they heck?

So, my dear, sweet Ella...happy 1st birthday, even if it is a few days late. Get used to that, kiddo. Auntie A can't seem to keep it together anymore.

Sean, buddy? I'm writing yours on the calendar RIGHT NOW.

I've Got Nothing

A whole 5 days at my sister's house and no pictures to show for it. Colleen has some pictures, plus a really cute video of the girls playing "Tag." Kate actually understood how it worked. Padyn would tag her and Kate would hit her back and say, "TAH!" Highly adorable. But me? I got nothing. My camera remained safely inside its bag the entire time.

I could have shot great photos of Kate and Padyn in the inflatable pool in Auntie's backyard, or in the big resort-like pool at The Club of Natomas, or playing baseball with the new Dora bat and ball my sister bought them. But no.

When Kate turned 16 months on Friday, I thought about taking a picture to record the date. Didn't happen.

It probably would not have been appropriate to take a picture when my sister's German Shepard, Taya, somehow managed to open up the door to the girls' bedroom TWICE in one night and cause Padyn to cry out in terror. Good thing I didn't.

And I really should have gotten a picture of the two girls sitting on the new purple stool in the bathroom brushing their teeth together. Or of Corinne and Padyn having a dance party in Corinne's living room last night. Or of Katelyn pushing Elliot's push bike around.

You'll just have to picture them all in your mind.

I'll try to do better this week.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Perfect Child

Kate may very well be the most perfect child I ever met.

Why, you ask?

Because tonight she said a new word...