Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pretty little pumpkin

Mary Clare made her first trip to the Klostermann-Landmann family farm this past weekend. My cousin Kris grows these amazing pumpkins and gourds -- seriously, I never knew there were so many varieties -- and she was nice enough to let my mom, Mary Clare and I pop in for a visit. And a photo shoot, of course. There was a torrential downpour moments before we arrived, but never fear, Kris had tucked an entire wagon of pumpkins away in the machine shed so everyone remained dry and happy.

Click here for all the pumpkin shots you can handle.

Comment away, my friends

I've had some friends mention that there were times they wanted to comment on a particular post, but they either didn't have a Google ID or the Open ID process didn't work for them. I'll be honest, I looked into it, but wasn't sure what to do, so I kind of let it drop. And then I saw another friend's fancy customized Wordpress blog, so I was all on board with that. Until I looked into that and quickly realized I was in over my head. So then another week or two passed. And then I decided to look again at the settings on this old blog, and realized there is an "anonymous" option that should let you comment without signing in to anything. So, there you go. Comment away.

The only thing I ask is that if you elect to use the anonymous option, please include your name at the end of the comment. Not only is signing your name the polite thing to do, but it will make it loads easier for me to thank you after you compliment me on my beautiful daughter and/or wicked sense of humor.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Nine months

Mary Clare's monthly updates seem to be coming faster and faster each month. Time has passed at warp speed since her arrival, which means yet another child-related cliche is suddenly ringing true for me. Kids really do grow ridiculously fast. Some mornings we are certain Mary Clare grew overnight.

Our girl is cracking through milestones like nobody's business. To date, she will only make three or four crawling movements on her hands and knees, which means she still travels by pulling her little body across the floor. Upon arrival, she goes into this finger tips-and-toes position before planting her tush where she pleases. I am still clinging to the hope that she might one day crawl, as seeing my sweet girl with a dirt- and dog hair-covered tummy is a serious bummer. Oh, and I'm sure it's an important part of her development as well. But mostly I'm tired of coating her soiled shirts with Fels-Naptha laundry soap. Then again, she might go straight to walking, as she likes to hold our hands and clomp around the house. She's set her sights on loftier heights as well, and will know pull herself to a standing position using our legs, the ottoman or whatever happens to be handy, including Buddy. At yesterday's nine-month check-up, Mary Clare weighed in at 17 lbs., 11 oz. and measured 27 inches, putting her in the 25th and 50th percentiles, respectively. Most importantly, I am pleased to report that she has, indeed, cut a tooth. Chip spotted the tiny little bugger yesterday at the doctor as she voiced her displeasure at getting two shots.

Mary Clare is just as noisy as ever, and we are starting to notice some consonant sounds as well as the vowel-laden noises she loves so much. In fact, the peanut is so noisy, she and another little classmate must now be separated at nap time because they make such a racket squawking back and forth between their respective cribs. As if waking everyone during nap time isn't bad enough, Mary Clare has also taken to mocking kids when they cry by bellowing back at them. Apparently she believes there's no crying at daycare.

Lest you think Mary Clare is shaping up to be an obnoxious brute, she does make little kissing noises, and she waves hello and good-bye to anyone willing to greet her. She claps her hands on occasion, but only after doing something particularly astute, such as making a noise with her wiggly-giggly toy.

Overall, our little girl is just as happy as ever, and well, that makes us happy. Which, in turn, should make you happy as well. So get click happy and go
here to experience the nine month happiness for yourself. And have a happy day.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Pretty, and a good sport

Personally, I found Mary Clare to be most photogenic this weekend. Even when she wasn't wearing a homemade pirate's eye patch.

Despite what my camera's memory card might say, I did not, in fact, spend the entire weekend staging various photo ops of Mary Clare. No, I actually managed to grab a lot of shots during a mere two-hour time span on Saturday. I found that if I cram my photo sessions into short bursts on just one day, Mary Clare forgets the camera is there and Chip is willing to forgive my madness if it means we can enjoy some Mary Clare moments sans camera.

When I wasn't testing Mary Clare's good nature by taking pictures or fashioning pirate eye patches out of card stock and ribbon, we managed to have a jolly good weekend. Friday night found us at Onesto, a cute little pizza spot that's fairly close to the house and offers just the right amount of kid friendliness. Saturday was, of course, International Talk Like A Pirate Day, so Mary Clare donned her eye patch after a marathon three-hour nap, making her not only the friendliest, but the most well rested pirate I've ever met. We hit Emma Lackey's third birthday party Saturday afternoon, and let me just say that it's never a good thing when you walk into a circus-themed party and the first thing the hostess says to you is, "Oh my gosh! Thanks for dressing to go with the theme!" What can I say, I like primary colors. That evening my parents and a family friend joined us for a leisurely dinner at Mangia Italiano. Sunday found us working on various house projects, including the great built-in bookshelf project of 2009, which is coming along quite nicely thanks to the Georges II and III.

Want more photos and less talky-talky? Click here to see Mary Clare sproting not only a pirate eye patch, but a red clown nose as well. Like I said, she's a good sport.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Ahoy, me mates

Captain MC Lindh would like to wish all her Team Botanical scalawags a very merry International Talk Like A Pirate Day! Arrr!

Monday, September 14, 2009

So, tell me more about this sharing thing

We're now reaching the point where the cousins have to share on occasion. They still don't interact all that much -- unless you count Brennan blatantly ignoring Mary Clare as a form of interaction -- but at one point over the Labor Day weekend Mary Clare sidled over to Brennan and started playing with one of his toys. His very favorite toy, no less. It went about as well as you would expect.

You have got to be kidding me.

Whoops! How'd this toy get in my hand? Son of a gun.

Sorry, Mary Clare. Maybe you can play with the barn toy when I'm not here. Or, you know, when hell freezes over.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

It's electric

As I mentioned last week, Mary Clare went mobile on us a few weeks ago. It sent me into full-on cleaning mode and Chip into full-on safety mode. He dropped her crib mattress to the lowest setting, and then placed socket covers in every single electrical outlet. And I'm not exaggerating when I say every single outlet. Even the ones behind doors and large, heavy objects got hit. No outlet was left unplugged. This, to say the least, put a serious cramp into my marathon vacuuming sessions, as those buggers are hard to remove.

Anyway, I thought Chip was being a little overzealous, as Mary Clare isn't really doing all that much upward exploring yet, but then well, the little stinker went ahead and proved her dad right. I swear he bribed her with a new binkie.

Electrical socket? What electrical socket? Is this the face of someone who would mess with an electrical socket?

Fine, fine. I'll stop. Besides, who needs electrical sockets when there are cords and dust bunnies waiting for me under the desk?

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Friday, September 4, 2009

Crawl already

So, Mary Clare is mobile, and has been for a few weeks now. This is great and all, and everyone, even Buddy, has adjusted to the new threat that is a mobile baby. However, I have but one request. If the child insists on being mobile, it would be ever so nice if she would crawl on all fours, as opposed to this army belly crawl/slithering thing she's been doing of late. Because, seriously, when I pick Mary Clare up, her sweet little Buddha belly is covered in dog hair. And that is after I vacuum. Which I now do daily. With a Dyson. (A Dyson that is quickly making me grow disillusioned with its once almighty power, but a Dyson nonetheless.)

So, come on, Mary Clare. Get up on all fours. You're breaking my heart here.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Let's hope she didn't get my finance skills

I finally set up a 529 college savings account for Mary Clare last Friday, and well, I have two things to say about that.

First, I can't believe how much it bothered me that we hadn't saved anything for her college yet and hello, she can't even crawl. Secondly, in case anyone thought otherwise, I am not a financial wizard. In the two days since activating her account, my investment selections lost us $10. So apparently there's more to this financial advisor thing than just, "Vanguard! I've heard of that. Yes, let's invest aggressively, shall we?"

Clearly, it's time to call in the experts. This is Mary Clare's future, people, and I can't be responsible for shattering all of her hopes and dreams. At least not with my poor investment skills, anyway.

Bob Fleming, you can expect to hear from me.