Thursday, May 28, 2009

And one for the mommy

Sure enough, that little stinker had a surprise waiting for me when I took her out of her car seat at school this morning.

Chip and I blame the potholes on Vandeventer.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Take cover

As we packed up to leave this morning, Chip was convinced that Mary Clare had done some business. So I checked. And checked again. Despite passing both my sniff and peek tests, Chip insisted something was amiss down under. I finally just told him to change her, which he did.

I can't blame him for being paranoid. Changing a dirty at school is a bit of a pain, as you have to clean the changing pad with three different solutions, and even though the bottles are numbered, you still feel like you're doing something wrong and if everyone else in the class gets sick, it will be all your fault. Did you hear me? ALL YOUR FAULT!

So ... fast forward to this afternoon.

Me: How was the drop off this morning?

Chip: Fine, other than the fact that she was a dirty dog.

Me: Dirty dog? Oh, did she end up filling her drawers?

Chip: Yeah, I guess those were just some warning shots she fired over the bow before mounting the full assault in the car.

Coming to a field near you

Since Brennan can't get into enough precarious situations on his own, he now needs a motorized toy to ride into harm's way.

I must admit, I scoffed when Brian declared Brennan's motorized four-wheeler no longer "powerful enough," but upon seeing Brennan drive his new John Deere tractor around my parents' yard, I bit. It's pretty stinking cute. Yes, it's potentially worrisome that he sometimes drives the tractor while standing on the sideboard with one foot on the gas, and sure, he can't really steer, but when it comes to the entertainment factor, he has this gig down pat.

On Sunday we spent a good hour just watching Brennan tool around the yard. He would get on, drive for a bit, hop off, circle around and then get back on and ride some more. The only time we intervened was when he headed for the neighbor's house and we all realized, hey, he doesn't know how to stop, does he? My favorite part, of course, is that Sherri refers to the scoop on the front as a dog-pusher. Look out, Hunter and Holly. There's a new farmer in town, and he doesn't have a care in the world.

Click here for more of farmer Brennan in action.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Five months

Forgive Mary Clare if she looks a bit smug, but if you had a month like she did, you would feel pretty proud of yourself as well. This past month brought another new batch of developments, all of which we find endlessly fascinating, of course. She stands with our help, sits in her bumbo chair, grabs at everything in sight, gnaws on her hands and toys, rotates herself 360 degrees when laid on her back, yammers up a storm and even eats rice cereal. I use the term "eat" loosely, mind you.

Last week Mary Clare started rolling from her back to her front, and she'll go back and forth between the two, but we've yet to see her take off rolling down the carpet. All in good time, I'm sure. She is constantly reaching for things, and once she gets ahold of something, look out. She really likes to dig into cheeks and go after hair -- and fur. Just ask Buddy.

Being the suckers that we are, we are entertained and enchanted by everything Mary Clare does. I have no problem making a complete and utter fool of myself if it will make her laugh. Just ask the people in Sam's last Thursday who saw me saying "Schicken! Schicken!" as I walked throughout the store.

Click here for all of the photos from Mary Clare's fifth month.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Straight to the cheeks

The first cereal attempt was a success. Well, as successful as any such thing can be. Click here for additional photos of the first-time feeding frenzy, and here for the video (just added).

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Hooded in the hood

For whatever reason, Chip is highly entertained whenever I put Mary Clare in some sort of jogging outfit. I realize that yes, she's not going be doing anything to work up a sweat, but hey, that doesn't stop me from putting on sweatpants the second I get home each night.

Anyways ... I thought Miss Mary Clare looked so cute this morning that I had to snap a picture before she and Chip left the house. She was a little sleepy, having spent 30 solid minutes batting the hell out of the butterflies on her play mat, but she rose to the occasion. That's my girl.

As I wrapped up the shoot and put her in her car seat, Chip asked if she had anything on under her jacket in case she got warm. "Of course," I confidently replied. "Her Wednesday onesie." Silence. "Oh, crap. It's Thursday, isn't it?"

Oh well, two hump days never hurt anyone.

Click here for a few more of our little thug's Thursday morning photo session.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Move along now

Dear Aramark Lady,

Please take your cart of cookies and chips and park it somewhere else. Seeing these items every afternoon makes me dissatisfied with my otherwise delightful cup of yogurt.

Your assistance in this matter is greatly appreciated.

Kind regards,
Debbie "Thou Shalt Not Buy Anymore Next-Size-Up Clothes" Thole

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I swore this wouldn't happen

The middle room is infested with baby gear. Laugh if you must, but this was probably the one thing I most dreaded about having a baby -- plastic gear lined up on a wall in our home.

There are only so many places to stash three-foot wide plastic entertainment centers, and Chip would kill me if he had to retrieve something from the basement every time Mary Clare wanted to exer-sauce her pants off, so here we are. Surrounded by gear. I also have baskets of toys tucked in various corners, and well, they're starting to creep out of their respective homes. Clearly, a new solution is in order. I'm thinking I might clear the television out of the armoire and load it up with toys. Who am I kidding, though? Even that behemoth piece of furniture isn't big enough for all of Mary Clare's rattles, seats and blankets. And that's just what we've acquired in the past four months.

Sigh. Only eighteen more years to go, and we'll have our house back.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Happy marriage, happy family

Happy anniversary to my wonderful parents. They met 40 years ago last month, and today they celebrate 37 years of wedded bliss.

Just yesterday I read a parenting column that says a happy marriage makes for a happy child. While I know Sherri and I both have our moments -- or so our parents and husbands say -- I like to think that overall we're both fairly good natured. I'm sure you can chalk that up to a lot of things, but I'd say our parents' stable, loving marriage probably had a lot to do with it. Nice work, mom and dad.

All my love to you on this special day.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Giving grandma what she wants

We spent this past weekend in Kansas City celebrating Chip's sister's 40th birthday. In between the big bash and brunch the following day, we managed to squeeze in some time with the Jones family, who were nice enough to host us while we were in town.

While my mom loves that Sherri and I get along so well (and that Brian and Chip get along a little too well at times), I'm sure it killed her to miss out on quality family and grandchild time. So there were a lot of calls between Kansas City and Highland, most of which ended with a request to get a picture of Brennan and Mary Clare together. Okay, we've tried this three times, and I have to tell you, each attempt gets worse. Our first attempt was over a month ago, and I think that one worked because Brennan wasn't walking yet and Mary Clare was propped up in a boppy. The second attempt was over Easter at my parents house. By then Brennan could walk, so he kept trying to get out of the chair. We finally got him settled next to Mary Clare, and then my mom made the ill-fated decision to hand Brennan a ceramic bunny "because it would be cute." Brennan promptly took that cute bunny and knocked cute Mary Clare in the cute head. So that ended that photo session.

That brings us to this past weekend. While Sherri and I had our misgivings, we still decided to give it a whirl. As Sherri held Mary Clare, I went outside to get Brennan, only to find him taking fistfuls of dirt from a flower pot and throwing it in the driveway. He was really getting after it, with his arm cocked all the way behind his head. Unfortunately, while his intentions were great, his grip was not, and most of the dirt ended up on his head. Mean aunt that I am, I promptly removed him from the potful of dirt and took him inside for a quick clean-up. As I went to work on his hands and face, Sherri decided to wet his hair in an attempt to get it to lay down. Oh, it laid down, alright. Dirt + water = mud, the most organic hair gel of them all.

After getting Brennan reasonably presentable, we put the two of them together and hoped for the best. Sadly, what you see above is the best. Seriously. If you don't believe me, check out the rest of the photos here.

Maybe after seeing this, my mom will realize that in order to get this mythical grandchild shot, we either have to (a) wait until they're both sleeping or (b) give them some booze and hope for the best. Either way, I will definitely be seeking refuge in the bottle the next time we give this a go.