Tuesday, June 28, 2011


It dawned on me that I haven't posted many pictures of E's nursery.  This is probably because 1) it's still not finished and 2) It's largely the same as Abby's was, as we're using all the same furniture.  And yes, I realize that #2, makes #1 kinda sad. But, anyway - I snapped a few pics yesterday.  Because I can't find my other camera lens - I only had my close up one...which makes it hard to get full room shots.  But, nevertheless, you'll get the idea. 

E's room, from the door.

changing table

we made this for over the changing table.  I had hoped to add more to it in regard of the decorations, but, alas, no time.

look, details. 

Oh, and of course, the baby. :)

When we moved the changing table out of Abby's room and into E's room, I needed something to replace it.  So, a trip to the fabric store, a glue gun, and an hour or two later - we had a stage curtain for Abby.  She loves it.  She likes to hide behind it, to read, to just jump out and say "suh-pwise!"  We're going to add to it, and to the space, but for now -she's happy with it.

Eating "oatmeal" with her chopstick...out of a green bowler hat.

reading to bunny

K, gotta run now.  I missed E's 2-month appointment yesterday, and had it rescheduled for 30 mins from now.  I'd best not miss it again. :)

Monday, June 27, 2011


A co-worker and friend of mine had her first child, a little girl, two weeks ago.  She graciously let me come take pictures so that I could get some experience with a newborn.  I had a lot of fun.  Little Eve didn't want to miss any action and stayed awake the whole time I was there (she nodded off the second I packed everything up).  So, we didn't get some of the cute sleeping-baby-posed shots that I had imagined, but we got a few that I like.  Here are just a few. 

It was definitely a learning experience - but a great one.  I certainly walked away feeling more confident as well as with several "ok, I won't try that again" notes in my head. :)  I could shoot take pictures of kids and babies all day.

Friday, June 24, 2011

a quick note

I don't have the time or energy to get into specifics, but I was made aware of three different stories today - all unrelated - where a family lost a loved one.  In two of the stories, a little baby-the same age as E,  was lost.  In the third, the mother was lost.

And, I know this is no newsflash to anyone, but when you have a baby - and you hear of someone else losing their baby - the empathy/fear/sadness that you feel is so thick.  Because you can't imagine.

Say a prayer for these families if you will.  And hug your babies.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


Well, I think it's about time for a little post on Elizabeth - don't you?  I've been meaning to write one since, ohidunno, she was BORN.

I actually really have been trying to write an E-post for a few weeks now, kinda sad.  In my defense, newborns don't do a whole lot.  It reality, 2 month olds don't really do much either actually - but she is changing.

Overall, we've been very lucky.  Elizabeth has, so far, been an easy baby.  She is laid back about life in general.  Let's talk sleep first, since that makes up most of her day.  She sleeps a lot.  I know enough moms now to know that having a baby who sleeps vs. having a baby who won't sleep has not so much to do with anything the moms are or aren't doing, and more to do with that baby's nature.  Now, we've been following "the rules" best we can too of course and helping E develop good sleep habits and all of that, but really?  I think we just lucked out.

We've had a few nights where E has slept 10 hours straight, which is pretty awesome.  Most of the time, however, we put her down for bed around 7:30 or 8, she wakes around 2, and around 5, then up for the day around 7.  Sometimes she only wakes once.  I can't complain.  In addition to her night sleep - she is sleeping a lot during the day...which I very much believe is directly correlated to her good night sleep (and vice versa).  She can tolerate being awake for about 2-hours at a time, well, 2 hours is her max - a lot of the time she can only stay awake for an hour before she needs to nap again.  Her nap lengths vary because, unlike with Abby, I can't just stay home all day and work on her sleep.  Nope.  E gets to tag along to playgroups, errands, parks and the like.  In general though, she sleeps while we're out running errands.  She goes down for an afternoon nap when we get home and will sleep 3-4 hours.  She wakes up for a little bit and then naps an hour or two until dinner.  Then she's up while we eat, and down right after.  I think she's probably awake for 6 hours a day?  maybe?

So.  Given that.  My repertoire of E stories are limited. :)

But - she is smiley.  Oh so smiley.  She started smiling around 4 weeks old.  She started cooing around 6 weeks - and on Father's Day, we got our first attempts at giggling.  I'm not sure there is anything better than baby coos and giggles with those big gummy smiles.  Melts me.  E is totally ticklish.  Her hips and collarbone make her squint and wiggle and laugh.

Sleeping & smiling...that's pretty much it.

Oh, well, sure -she cries too.  But she only cries when she needs to.  I know her cries now - her hungry cry, her bored cry, her hey-you-I've-been-awake-too-long-and-I-need-a-swaddle-STAT cry...

The swaddle.  We loooooove the swaddle.  So does E.  Seriously - she can be in the middle of a scream fest and as soon as I strap that first arm down - silence.  We always feed her after we swaddle her, so I'm positive that she now associates the two.  She knows that getting wrapped up = food. This is good.  We're still double swaddling her - meaning, we swaddle her nice and tight in a lightweight cloth, and then we wrap her up in a baby blanket (used to be mine) over the other.  She can't really move, but she likes it that way.

She is sleeping in her crib full time now.  Moving her out of our room was a fabulous decision.  I can now sleep a little easier without worrying that I'm going to wake her up every time I roll over or flip my pillow.  E took the transition fine, which was a relief.  We moved her out of our room when she was 6 or 7 weeks old, but we really could have done it before then.

What else?  Nursing?  It's going.  We got off to such a rough start, but things are getting better.  I'm still mostly pumping, but over the past week or two, I've been able to nurse E at least once a day, sometimes twice.  It's a work in progress, but it is improving. E doesn't seem to care where she gets her food, just as long as she gets some.

Nicknames.  Most of the time, we call her "E" (as you can tell by my typing I'm sure)  When we don't call her E, she is usually Elizabeth or "baby wizzabeff"  On occasion, I'll throw out Lizzie Mae, which I'm sure will catch on as she grows.  Our other nickname that just "happened" is E-train.  It sort of grew out of a library book we got for Abs....I'm too tired to go into the whole story, but it suffices to say that the nickname comes with a little chant (like in the book).  We always change the words, but usually we chant a few lines about what E-train is doing at that moment.

Hey Misses E-Train
Red, White, and Green Train
Hey Misses E-Train
What are you doing?

I'm going "wha-wha-wha"
all the day day day
cause my milk milk milk
is too far away.

....something like that.  This is one of those things that is impossible to convey properly through the blog, but maybe I'll read this years from now and remember it.

So - there's an update.  She'll have her 2- month appointment soon (there's a chance it was today and I missed it...) and I'll have number stats as well.

Until then- know that things are good and we are enjoying both of these little girls.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

my dad

My earliest memories are of my dad.  The first was when I was about two and dad spilled a glass of milk at the dinner table.  I couldn't believe he, a grown up, spilled milk.  I was sure that was something that only 2-year old girls did.  I laughed and laughed. The second memory, from around the same time frame was of dad blowing bubbles inside the house.  I remember wanting a turn (and if I was anything like Abby - I was probably not so good at actually blowing bubbles) and dad telling me that only grown-ups blew bubbles inside.  Those two memories, with a few others, predate all other memories in my brain.

me and dad- around bubble memory time.

I remember being 5 and dad teaching me how to gut a fish...and being fascinated, not disgusted.  I also remember him teaching me how to pronounce "napkin"  He said "It's "nap" like when you take a nap, and "Kin" like....your Ken doll"  It's funny the things you remember isn't it?

I remember my dad working a lot.  That never bothered me, but I also remember when I was in Jr. High and he came up behind me while I was downloading music off Napster and said that he was going to be around more often because he wanted to spend more time with me and my brother.  And he did.  It's almost cliche how well I remember that shift.  I'm not 100% sure what made him make that conscious decision to spend more time at home, less time at the office...but I'm glad he did.

I remember, in high school, when dad came home with a half a dozen wal-mart sacks of red velvet, needles, and thread and said "Laura, we need to make a Santa suit tonight"  He and I stayed up all night long sewing (and I did not know how to sew) and we somehow put a suit together that he used in those early Santa days.

And then there are the things dad has taught me that aren't attached to a specific memory.  One time he told me that, "If it won't matter to you on your death bed, it's probably not worth worrying about"  That one really stuck with me.  He also taught me how to be diplomatic - and that it was just as important to know the opposing side's point of view as it was your own.

And of course, there are the things - so many things- that I learned by watching...as children are wont to do.  How to be polite and civil when people say things you don't agree with.  How to be generous when you don't have any money.  How to, as previously mentioned, balance work and home.  How to cook pot roast.  How to be kind and empathetic without being cliche when people are grieving.  How to appreciate music - and how to tell stories.  I learned how to be a good person by watching my dad (and Mom of course! :)

Is he perfect? No, of course not.  That would be annoying.  Is he the best dad I could ask for?  Absolutely, without question, yes.

I'm very proud of him.

I love you lots.  And times like these, when I've missed so many important events (retirement, your birthday, moving day, fathers day...) in such a short time frame, I really wish I were closer...so I could help, so I could treat you to dinner, so I could give you a real hug.  But, for now,  I'm sending you bear hugs and back scratches through the interwebs here.  Mostly though, I'm sending you the knowledge that you mean a lot to me.

Happy Father's Day,

Saturday, June 18, 2011


She's gathered a handful of rocks this afternoon and is caring for them all with great care.

They all got a bath in this driveway puddle with rhetoric like "are you all done now? I think that's enough soap for you. Any longer and you're gonna get all wrinkly. Let's go dry off now little buddy. C'mon, here we go, that's the way, now we're niiiice and clean..."

Then she took them all,one by one, to their mommy, who is an imaginary red bird that lives under the steps.

Love her.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, June 16, 2011

your world


I love the world you live in.  It delights me to watch.

I love that, when we're out in the stroller, you wave to every single person as if you were the queen of England, cupped hand and all,  and say "hi!" or "good morning!" to everyone.

I love that you also wave to the trains - all of them, real or on tv - and say "nice to see you again Mr. Train!"  You even wave to my iPhone when you're watching Thomas videos on youtube.

I love that your stuffed animals and dolls are your "fwiends" and that they are as real to you as your dad and I are.

I love that you talk to birds.

I love that you ask ants "Hey there little fella! Where are you going today?"

I love how excited you get about going outside to play.

I love listening to you play with your toys and watching you mimic our daily interactions with them.

Yesterday, I thought I'd introduce you to bugs bunny and daffy duck since they were on TV at that moment.  I told you their names and we watched them for about 20 seconds before I changed the channel.  In that 20 seconds, Daffy threw a temper tantrum and pushed Bugs Bunny into a swimming pool.  The first thing you said to me this morning was "The duck was not very nice to bugs bunny.  He not being a good listener. Is he still in time out?"
...I love that you wondered if Daffy was in time out all night.

I love seeing you laugh at things that are funny - or things that you think are funny.

I love listening to you sing, which you do constantly.  Sometimes you sing actual songs, and sometimes you sing nonsense words, and sometimes you just hum.  I love that you love music.

I love that treasure hunts involve finding the best sticks and rocks we can find.  Sometimes we even find special treasure like acorns and clover flowers.

I love it when you remind me of the rules.  "Mommy.  Stop at the corner.  Hold my hand."

I love that you feel so freely.  You are unafraid to show your unrestrained joy and love... as well as your complete despair, of course.

I love that you jump up and down and wave a rope in the air and say "Look! I'm jump-a-roping"

I love that you laughed at a squirrel the other day because you thought he was playing hopscotch.

I really love how much you love Elizabeth.  You are always so so so sweet to her and you want to be the first one to say hi to her every morning...which you do, in a very high exaggerated "HeeeelllllLLOOOOoooooooo!"

I love that you talk to Elizabeth in a high pitched baby voice, too.

I love that you believe me, without question, when I tell you the moon is made of cheese, and you laugh and tell me I'm silly if I try to tell you it's made of rocks.

I love that you tell me "good job mommy! you made lots of milks for baby wizzabeff!"

I love that you share with me, and daddy, and your dolls all the same.

I love how intrinsically happy you are.

I love that you help me remember why it's so fun to be a kid - and you help me re-live childhood all over again.  This has to be one of the best parts about parenting.  All too soon, you'll realize that the birds don't understand what you're saying and that the moon really is just a big rock.  But, I hope that day is far far far away.  It's much more fun in your world.  May you always harbor a piece of the magic that comes with being a child in you somewhere- regardless of how old you are.

Love you.
- mommy

Monday, June 13, 2011

first tricycle

Pedals? check. 

Bell? check.

Friend? Check.

A very pleased little girl?


two and a half

** For the record, I started writing this blog at 8:30am Sunday morning.  I uploaded the pictures, then got distracted, then got busy.  Every time I tried to sit down to write - something came up.  So, now it's 11pm and I'm finally getting back to this regardless of how tired I am.  This is why blogging has been slow lately. **

Happy 2.5 years Abigail!

**Second update.  I typed that last sentence and fell asleep.  It is now 9am on Monday morning and I'm going to try - once more - to write this blog.**

Ok.  So, Abby turned two and a half years old yesterday (y'know, when I started this post...)  She is very much two and a half years old.  And, most of the time, it's pretty great. 

I think this may be easier to write as a list.  So, here we go.  At two and a half years old:

- Abby weighs in around 28 lbs.  I'm not sure how tall she is, I'll need to update her height chart in her room.  People often comment that she seems tall for her age.  I don't think she does, but maybe we just have short friends?  I think she's probably right about where she should be for this age.

- Favorite foods include: hummus (usually on a wheat tortilla), olives, onions (yeah, she just likes them raw), pretty much any fruit - but watermelon, blueberries, and cuties are special favorites.  She really does eat pretty well for the most part.  She's still not real big on meats like grilled chicken or beef - but she's getting a lot better.  She loves pasta (who doesn't??) and really most carbs in general.

- Regarding food, she's become much more indepenent in getting it.  She opens the fridge and gets apples (or whatever else she's decided she neeeeeeds) for herself.  She'll use her step to get things out of the pantry, anything left on the island is fair game.  We definitely have to keep a closer eye on her now.  She has a really annoying habit of getting an apple out of the fridge, taking a few bites, and discarding it somewhere.  I'll find the apple, 3 days later, sitting in her toybox or in her bag of paint supplies or something.

- As most 2 year olds are, Abby is imaginative.  This always makes me so happy.  She talks to herself while she plays, and I love evesdropping on her self-narriative.  She plays a lot with her baby dolls and takes care of them just as she sees me taking care of Elizabeth.  I think Abby's favorite thing ever is changing diapers on all her toys....and bathing them in her wooden sink.  Lately, she's really upped the train play as well.  Usually, after she washes the train in the chugwash (thank you disney channel), she pulls them around her room and out onto the landing into the designated "school" corner.  She likes coming to tell me that train went to school.  But, she has a hundred games and scenarios she plays - she treats her toys as if they were as real as any of us (and, of course, they probably are....)

- Abby looooooves Elizabeth.  She gets so excited when E wake up and she gets to come say hi.  She has nothing but hugs and kisses and smiles for her.  And, honestly? E smiles more for Abby than anyone else too.  Abs has proven to be such a good helper.  She'll bring me things I need, give E her paci or bottle, clean up spit ups, throw away diapers, etc etc.  She really shines in this department.

- Of course, our days are only 90% sunshine and rainbows.  Abby is constantly struggling with balancing her two worlds.  The world where she still needs help doing things and the world in which she's completely capable and independent in all tasks.  It's a hard thing to reconcile at her age, and I do understand why she gets so frustrated.  Abby confuses the phrases "I can't do it" with "I don't want to do it"  So, we often get something like this

Abs: "I can't sit on the couch right now"
Me: "Yes, you can"

So, I'm trying to remember to watch for that.  We've also started teaching her the difference between her "nice voice" and her "whining voice"  It does no good to tell a kid to stop whining when that word has no meaning for them.  So, we're working on that as well.

I will say, though, for all the frustrations and tantrums we deal with - the kid is good about time outs.  If I tell her to go to timeout, she just goes.  I'm going to enjoy that for as long as it will last.  One day, it will dawn on her that she can walk out of that corner...but, hopefully not for a while.  After time outs are over - she nearly always corrects the behavior.  So, I can't complain about that.

**I just took an hour break to go play with and feed Elizabeth - who is now (trying) to sleep again upstairs.  I say trying because Abby is kinda loud when she plays sometimes.**

Where were we?

Other things that Abby likes.

- Dancing
- running
- Parks
- jumping/hopping
- climbing
- sliding
- did I say dancing?
- all animals
- going on treasure hunts (ie: picking up rocks and sticks)
-anything that involves being outside.

goodness me, this post is disorganized - but I suppose, in a way, that's pretty appropriate.  Abby just got an apple out of the fridge and is trying to color it with markers.  So, you know what?  I'm just gonna wrap this up.

Abby, you are truly wonderful.  You amaze me everyday and I am not only in love with you - but I am in love with watching you grow and change from baby to little person.  You are so much fun!  Thank you for bringing so much good into our lives.  I, once again, find myself saying I can't wait to see what comes next.  And yet, I kinda want to stop time again too. Love you endlessly. - mommy

(it only took me 26 hours to write this.  #lifewithtwo)

Thursday, June 9, 2011



So, the good news is that my brother is up here hanging out with us this week! (crowds cheering)  But, the bad news is that I'm spending my blogging time doing things like visiting with him.  Well, that's not bad news - but it is detrimental to blogging, which is unfortunate because there is SO much to blog about.  So, here's a bit of a catch all post. 

Let's start with soccer.  Last Saturday, Kyle and I took Elizabeth and drove down to Foxboro to watch the US Men's National Team play Spain (aka: the best team in the world)  Kyle likes soccer a little (read: understatement) and so he splurged and got us some great seats with access to the nice club level amenities...the most appreciated of which was air conditioning. :)  We didn't expect to win, but despite our 0-4 loss, we all had a great time.  

Beer? Check. Baby? Check. 

Happy Happy Hubby

After the game, Kyle had passes to go out on the field.  It's kinda fun cause you get to take pics and roll around in the grass and pretend you're being cheered on by tens of thousands of fans etc etc.  But, because the Spain team requested and after game practice session (really?) - our access was delayed from 15 mins post game, to an hour after the game.  But, of course, we waited.  Elizabeth did great all day - she spent a good bit of time in her sling of course, but also enjoyed being out and about getting comments and attention from the passers by.

Cuddled up with daddy

of course she had to be festive, too

 stadium at sunset

So, it was a great time.  We both enjoyed ourselves, and it was nice to get out of the house and treat ourselves to an event like that.  We left Abs at home (with her nanny of course) because we would have had to buy her a ticket and she would have been too restless and tired.  She had a great time at home though.

The next day, my brother got in to town.  He missed his first flight, which had a domino effect for the rest of the day, but he got here just before midnight.  Abby is very much enjoying having her uncle around and we've spent our days doing a combo of normal-everyday-stuf like grocery shopping, errands, the park, and playing at home as well as a few special things.

The other day, we went on a "treasure hunt"with Michael.  We walked around the reservoir and looked for things like rocks and acorns and sticks.  Great stuff.  Abby had fun wearing Michael's hat and I had fun capturing a few pictures of her in it.

We eventually found a big tree that was just begging to be climbed.  If you know my brother - it won't surprise you at all to know that he was up there pretty quickly.  It was an appropriate backdrop for some pictures of him for sure.

Later that evening, Kyle stayed home with the girls while Michael and I went to see the Boston Pops.  It was great.  The concert was a lot of fun, and it made me miss my french horn and it made me all nostalgic for concert season and such.
waiting on the show to start

during intermission, we took a bunch of silly pictures - this one makes me laugh.

After the concert, we strolled around the city a little bit and made our way to the cheesecake factory for apps and, um, cheesecake.  Michael hadn't been to one before, so it was extra fun introducing him to the peanut butter reeses cup chocolate cake cheesecake that we shared.

Michael in the city

Ok, so that's the really short version of a lot that's been going on here this week.

In addition - my dad officially retired this week!  He's still going to be working as a part time pastor for a church, but he will be spending more time on keeping busy with all of his other activities now.  I'm sad that we couldn't be there to hear him give his retirement speech at annual conference, but I'm super proud of him and wanted to give him a public shout out for all the amazingness he's brought to the table the past 35 years.  Love you dad.

There's still a lot to write about.  My sister and her husband had birthdays earlier this week, my dad's birthday is tomorrow, and did you know that we accidentally let Elizabeth get to be 6 weeks old??


Sunday, June 5, 2011


Saturday was a busy day around here!  I'll get to the afternoon portion in another post, but for the morning, I got to go to a birthday party.  :)

One of my co-worker friends invited me to come take pictures at her daughter's first birthday.  I was pretty excited about the opportunity to shoot.  The day was beautiful and the party was fabulous.  I mean, there was a baby petting zoo - with all kinds of baby animals!  How cool is that?  And seriously, a beautiful June day, babies, and baby animals?  Yeah, those pictures pretty much take themselves.  :)

I took a ton of pictures of baby Lily, of course.  I eventually narrowed them down to my favorite 70ish to share with the family.  Here are a few of my faves from that bunch.  

It was an honor to capture some memories for my friend and her beautiful family. Thanks for inviting me!