Tuesday, June 30, 2009

A plug

Our good friend Anne Fleming just launched a site promoting her freelance design business, the aptly named Anne Fleming Design. Woo-hoo!

I know that most of you reading this know Anne and are well aware of her many talents, but in case you aren't and you oh, say, work for a company in need of some updated marketing materials, or you want to send out some swank invitations to your next shindig, well, then, you should check her out at www.anneflemingdesign.com.

Be sure to look for the Anne-preferred version of Mary Clare's birth announcement, as well as the Thole-Lindh wedding invite in the samples section of the site.

Seriously, she's the best.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Six months

For those of you keeping track at home, it has, in fact, been six months since Christmas. I know. Six months since little Mary Clare decided to make her appearance, surprising all of us with her head of dark hair and well, the fact that she was, in fact, a she.

Mary Clare made this past month especially entertaining for us. She grabs at everything, and loves nothing more than to really dig her hands into our cheeks and pull at our hair. She means it in the nicest way, I'm sure. Everything goes directly to her mouth, including sweet potatoes, which she then so kindly sprays back at us. Mary Clare went for her first outdoor swing ride on her very own swing and even gave swimming a try. Neither experience was received as well as we had hoped. She flaps her arms and kicks her leg like crazy, blows raspberries and gives us big belly laughs when the mood strikes her. She loves it when we mimic her sounds, and does what appears to be a complete 360-degree rotation with her head. That one still freaks us out. And, of course, she made her big Catholic debut this month as well.

All of her firsts and little achievements sound a tad silly when I list them out like that, but combined they make life awfully darned interesting. We wouldn't trade it for the world.

Click here for the complete six month set.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Stop me if you've heard this one

A mom walks into a liquor super store on a busy Friday, baby carrier in tow, and the girl handing out the Patron tequila samples makes eye contact and then quickly looks away. Without offering a sample.

I know!

I mean, for all she knew, everyone else sampling away could have had a baby waiting out in the car. But no, because I'm the good mom who brings my baby into the liquor store with me so we can share this special experience, I don't get offered a sample. But I did probably get judged.

Oh, cringe if you must, but when it comes down to bringing your baby to a liquor store or leaving her at daycare for an extra 45 minutes, most moms will opt to bring the baby booze shopping. Okay, maybe not most moms, and definitely not my mom, but this mom thought hitting Randall's instead of staying at daycare was the lesser of two evils.

Besides, it was to get Chip's father's day gift. So that makes it okay.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy father's day

Here's to all the wonderful dads in the world. The first-timers, who are so good, it's like they've been doing this for years:

And the pros, who are not only great fathers, but exceptional grandfathers:

We're lucky to have both varieties. Love you, dads.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Pool boy

Yesterday Sherri picked up Hunter and Holly's new pool for the summer. Yes, they get a new wading pool every summer. It pays to be a purebred.

Being the efficient multitasking mother that she is, Sherri decided to let Brennan man the hose so she could fill the pool and knock out B's evening bath in one fell swoop. I kid. What did, happen, however, was endlessly entertaining. Brennan was delighted that he could get everything wet, and the dogs were thrilled that their new pool had finally arrived. Sherri said it got really good when Hunter and Holly finally deigned the pool worthy of their attention, as Brennan would squeal and laugh every time they shook or dug at the bottom of the pool. Sigh. It's so good to see the kids getting along so well.

A video of the madness is below, and you can click here for more photos of the pool boy and pups in action.

Monday, June 15, 2009

It was a good weekend, I swear

This past weekend we hit Chicago for a few days in the city and a visit with Chip's grandma Lindh. We thought it high time that Mary Clare meet the 98-year-old firecracker who is one of the three Marys after whom she's named. Overall, everything was great. The drive up on Thursday was a breeze, we had fun tooling around Grant Park, ate some delicious food and watched Mary Clare charm perfect strangers.

There were, however, a few hiccups. All manageable, of course, but when you see everything together, it's kind of funny. Without further ado, it is my pleasure to present you our Chicago calamities:

Water Baby
The Hilton Chicago reopened its pool the day after we checked in, so we were excited to take Mary Clare for her first official dip. I packed her swimming suit and a towel, but what I forgot were the swim diapers. That was an easy enough fix, as there is a Walgreens, CVS or Osco on almost every other corner. Having procured the diapers, we donned our suits and headed down to the pool with everything we could possibly need. It was all very elaborate and well thought out. Mary Clare, however, didn't think much of our plan or the pool, and proceeded to cry whenever anything more than her toes got wet. Thirty minutes later, we were back in the room.

My Eye, My Eye
When Chip and I woke up Saturday morning, he asked how I slept. "Great," I repliced. "But I have pink eye." One quick google search for a Walgreens in Wheeling and a call to my doctor's office, and bingo, I had a prescription waiting for me in Grandma Lindh's town. Oh, and the pink eye cleared up quickly and never spread to my right eye. Thank heavens.

Here's a Little Something for You, Dear Housekeeper
After procuring the prescription and packing up, we left the hotel around 11 a.m. and made our way to Wheeling. We were sitting in traffic on the Ryan expressway when I reached up and realized that my diamond studs were not in my ears, but rather still on the shelf at the hotel. I called the Hilton and Chip turned around the car. A security guard took me up to the room, only to find it had been cleaned. Luckily, the housekeeper found the earrings and had them bagged in her cart. Within 30 minutes of discovering the loss, the earrings were back in my ears, the housekeeper and guard were tipped (with cash this time), and we were back on the road. Best of all, we were still happily married.

Babies Don't Travel Light
Sadly, Chip learned this lesson the hard way. As we packed up to leave Grandma Lindh's place on Sunday, Chip twisted his back on his first trip out to the car. It bothered him, but it was manageable, so we ate breakfast and then set off on our merry way. When we were still 90 minutes away from St. Louis, we stopped to feed Mary Clare. As we walked back to the car, Chip thrust Mary Clare at me and said, "Take her!" His back started spasming and he couldn't catch his breath. Scared the daylights out of me. We finally got in the car, and I quickly convinced Chip to go to urgent care in St. Louis. We called my parents, selected a rendezvous point and passed off Mary Clare so she didn't have to sit at the urgent care clinic with us. Moments after we parted ways, my mom called and informed me that my wallet and glasses were in the diaper bag, so I should drive carefully. Of course. The plus side of this little scenario was that there was no wait at the urgent care center, so we were in and out within 30 minutes, with prescriptions in hand. (Seriously, they have a vending machine that dispenses prescriptions. How cool is that?) Oh, and Chip is feeling much better.

Like I said, it really was a good trip. I think our favorite part was the time we spent with Grandma Lindh. Good Lord, I love that woman. We are eerily similar in some ways, which delights me and scares Chip. She is, after all, what Dos would call a Fem Dem. More on Grandma Lindh and Mary Clare later. I think I've taken up enough of your time for now.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Yeah, we're on a first-name basis

My sweet little Brennan is talking more and more every day, and when he does, watch out. He has what I like to call a tone. And that tone can best be described as demanding.

Take, for instance, this video of Brennan calling "Bri" into the house. Yes, why use the generic "dad" and worry about getting the wrong dad to respond to you when you can simply call him by his first name? It looks like Sherri, however, will remain "mom" for the time being.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Our baptized beauty

Last Sunday we celebrated Mary Clare's baptism. It was a wonderful day. The weather was beautiful, all of our family and friends were gathered together, and Mary Clare was resplendent in a gorgeous gown my mom made for her.

(I know. I'm gushing. Sadly, it doesn't end here.)

Mary Clare's baptism followed the mass, but Fr. Tom was kind enough to incorporate her baptism into his homily and the petitions, among other things. Fr. Tom married Chip and I, and he made a point of saying that we are the first couple at St. Margaret's that he has married, and then baptized their child. She's truly an SMOS kid! I admit it, I teared up.
Chip and I are lucky to have a parish where we feel so comfortable and welcomed. Both Deacon Joe and Fr. Tom did a spectacular job of making Mary Clare's special day even more special.

It was a long day, but Mary Clare was a champ. A binkie was firmly in place during the baptism itself, but she didn't cry one bit. She did, however, drop her binkie into the baptismal font. Good stuff. Following the baptism, everyone came over to our house for lunch. My mom outdid herself once again, making a good chunk of the side dishes and all of the desserts. Amanda, ever the travel director and perfect hostess, came over to our house early to get everything set up so things were ready to go when the first guest crossed our threshold. She's too good for words. And the star of the day? She slept through the entire lunch. It was a well-deserved nap, indeed.

Click here for more pictures of the newest Catholic on the block.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

She's very bendy

The feet. They are always in the mouth. Actually, everything goes in the mouth these days, and she is constantly working herself into the craziest pretzel formations. Oh, and I haven't broken the news to Chip yet, but Mary Clare is one happy little girl when the clothes come off. Let the fretting begin.

Click here to view "Mary Clare: A Tribute to Gumby in Black and White."