Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Yum, yum eat 'em up

While her brother focuses on his studies, Alexandra is focusing on her food.

I can't decide which one makes me more proud. But I do know that the Thole blood runs strong in these two. Especially Alex. 

Get after it, baby girl. Leg rolls are only aesthetically pleasing for a short window of time, so make the most of it, I say.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Preschool pro

Brennan started full-day three-year-old preschool last week. To say that he likes it is an understatement. Not only was he pumped to officially start his school career, but he has taken his education quite seriously.

This means, of course, that he's come up with some real dandies. Sherri sent me his greatest comments to date, which I've compiled here for your enjoyment. Keep in mind that everything is said with the most serious, earnest delivery that only a three-year-old can do.

  • Mom, preschool really wears me out.

  • I have a lot of work to do at preschool. There are a lot of papers and stuff I have to do.

  • I have some more work to do tonight on my computer (his LeapFrog).

  • Mom, I have to go to preschool tomorrow, I really have a lot of work to do there.

  • Don't pick me up until I am done with preschool today. I have to finish my papers.

Despite the fact that it is clearly a lot of work, and that a lot of trees are being killed in the name of educating the wee children of St. Joseph's, it's safe to say that Brennan is a big fan of preschool. More entertaining anecdotes to come, I'm sure.

Monday, August 29, 2011

She's had it with the helmet head

Happy Monday, friends. Today kicks off my final week of maternity leave. But let's not talk about that. Let's just focus on how this picture makes me laugh.

Seriously. Don't mention work. One more week, people. One more week.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Charlie and I did a baptism gown photo shoot this morning and I snagged one of him playing accidental peek-a-boo with the fabric. Not only do those hands fly, but now they are grabbing onto anything and everything and holding on for dear life.

I still intend to post more photos from the official shoot and the actual baptism, but like every photo I take these days, I deemed this one too cute not to immediately share.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Scooter safety

We bought Mary Clare a starter scooter a few months ago, but because of the oppressive heat and plethora of presents she received following Charlie's arrival, we held back on giving it to her. Since the weather this weekend was pretty nice -- and we were in need of a bribe -- we busted it out on Saturday and let her have at it. But not before suiting her up in all manner of safety gear. You can call us those parents, but if you saw this kid's elbows, knees and hands, you would understand. And, of course, there is that whole broken leg thing hanging over our heads. (Basically, after having one kid with a broken leg and another with a hospital stay under his young belt, we'll do anything we can to delay the inevitable DCFS call.)

After watching her ride it for awhile, we realized that the knee pads were restricting her movement too much, so off they went, followed shortly thereafter by the elbow pads. The helmet was non-negotiable, but luckily she liked wearing it. As in she didn't take it off well after she finished playing with her scooter. She wore it to ride her trike, swing, blow bubbles and yes, play croquet. Actually, we probably should make the helmet mandatory for croquet. I mean, she is playing with a mallet, for heaven's sake.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Suson farm smooch

We went to Suson Park Sunday morning after church and breakfast. In addition to seeing a cow being milked and checking out a variety of other farm animals, I was lucky enough to score some camera time with Miss Mary Clare.


I tried to get a photo of Chip and Mary Clare in front of the longhorn doing the signature Parkway West "hook 'em, horns" hand gesture, but the longhorn had the audacity to moo as they got into position, and, as you can see, Mary Clare deemed him "too loud." (I tried, loyal PWHS readers. I tried.)

Luckily, the pig wallowing in the mud was the quiet sort. In fact, Mary Clare was rather captivated by him. As long as he kept his distance.

And we're still working on the whole "put your face through the hole" photo board thing. But her face is in the general vicinity and she is looking at the camera. Progress.

Oh, and while Charlie doesn't appear in any of the photos, he did join us on our outing. He just elected to see the sights from the comfort of his car seat (read: he slept). That fresh country air works like a charm.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Sitting tall

The pictures of Charlie in his special two month sticker were so cute I decided they deserved a post of their own. So here you go. Enjoy the little stinker and his sticker.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The big bang

Okay, so I like champagne. Like a lot. Let's just say I once saw the following quote and took it to heart:

"My only regret in life is that I did not drink more champagne." 
 -- John Meynard Keynes

Yes, I have no idea who Keynes is or was (until I Googled him, natch), but I like the way the man thinks. The fact that he was a famed economist only further validates the personal pledge I made that when in doubt about what to drink, drink champagne. (Or cava or prosecco or whatever is bubbly and on hand.)

So I've opened a few bottles in my day. And yet I've had very few of those popping cork/explosive bubbles moments. Most likely due to the caliber of bubbly I consume. But that's neither here nor there. Tonight when I opened a bottle (happy hump day!), it made a thundering pop and the cork rocketed up to the ceiling. Mary Clare came running in from the other room and said, "Mommy! You okay?"

Yes, baby girl, I am okay. Thanks to Mr. Bubbles and this blessed thing they call maternity leave.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Charlie, two months

Mr. Smiles is two months old. And what a difference that month makes -- in a mere 30 days he went from lying down for his monthly photo to kicking back in his favorite chair for the old photo shoot. Sure, he's propped precariously in the corner and I may have dropped the camera at one point to save him from face planting in the chair seat, but that's neither here nor there.

In addition to smiling up a storm, Charlie is charming us with his coos and gurgles. Ever the wiggle worm, he can rotate himself a full 360 degrees in under 30 minutes, and it's not uncommon to find him wedged beneath furniture. I wish I was kidding. While I hesitate to say anything for fear of jinxing us, Charlie is a good little sleeper. The two nights after his baptism he slept through the night, which was quite humorous, as my Grandma Klostermann used to swear that babies sleep better after they are baptized.

Now that we have confirmed there are, in fact, two dimples, the family is now guessing whether or not he will keep his blue eyes. He certainly has lighter hair than Mary Clare, so it's a possibility. I checked Mary Clare's two month photo set, though, and her eyes were still blue at that time. So the waiting game continues.

As far as the official stats go, at his two month appointment Charlie weighed in at 10 pounds, nine ounces, and measured 23.5 inches. So we're up a little over a pound since last month, and he's grown just under an inch. The poor guy had his first big round of shots, which was of course traumatic for both of us. Silent scream, I did not miss you at all.

I am way behind on photos, but I can now offer you the complete July set (here), and a partial August set (here). Check them out and see why I'm so smitten with the little lad.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Let's hope it works

Brennan has been in Highland this whole week for some quality time with Nana and Papa Thole and adoring cousin Mary Clare. Yesterday Brennan and my mom were looking at TB, and when they got to the latest picture of Charlie, B pointed out that Charlie doesn't have much hair. He then asked my mom, "Is Charlie getting baptized so he gets more hair?"

I guess we'll see how holy that holy water is.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Selective hearing

All in all, Mary Clare has taken to her big sister status swimmingly. There have, of course, been a few hiccups along the way. Case in point, this morning's exchange:

What I said:

"Mary Clare, please try to be quiet. Charlie is sleeping."

What she heard:

"Mary Clare, please go stand by Charlie's bedroom door and scream. Then start banging on the door as I approach you with a combined look of fear and anger in my eyes."

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Keeping tabs

Our beloved Fr. Tom left St. Margaret of Scotland for another post a few days after Charlie was born. While we were excited for him to have this new opportunity, Fr. Tom's leaving SMOS was bittersweet. In addition to marrying Chip and I and baptizing Mary Clare, we had formed a good friendship with Fr. Tom. And to say that Mary Clare loves him would be an understatement. If she was ever squirming in church, all we had to say was, "Where's Fr. Tom?" or "Listen to Fr. Tom read!" and she would immediately zero in on him. After mass, she would charge down the aisle and give Fr. Tom a huge hug, never mind the other parishioners waiting to speak with him.

Our new priest is Fr. O'Toole, and since he's so new to the parish, we asked him to join us for dinner last week so we could get to know one another a bit better before Charlie's baptism this Sunday. Thankfully, Fr. O'Toole is just as patient and kind as his predecessor, because let me tell you, the kids put on a show. Actually, Mary Clare was excellent -- it was her brother who fussed for all he was worth. As we wrapped up dinner and were packing up to leave, Chip said, "Mary Clare, tell Fr. O'Toole, 'See you at church!'" After dutifully repeating Chip, she cocked her head to the side, pointed at Fr. O'Toole and said, "You go to church?" He just laughed and said, "Sometimes."

Ah, there's nothing cuter than a toddler keeping tabs on the parish priest. That's our girl.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011


In case you didn't catch it in the hospital wrap-up post, Chip and his buddies Matt, Tyler and Jeff won that ridiculous charity golf tournament again. This makes three out of four years that they won the tournament. The first year was the Show for Tro, followed by the unfounded accusations that they might, in fact, be golf hustlers working the charity circuit. And yet they still can't clearly tell me what the charity supports. I just get "something with football scholarships" and "they need to shorten the name." 

The tournament prizes keep going down, but thankfully, the quality of Tyler's photoshop work keeps going up. Jeff (center) has never looked better. Or more natural. Always helpful, Tyler also suggested that I set up a special blog label in order to document their golf successes. The term "golf dynasty" was thrown around, as well as offers to provide interviews and notarized autographs (hey, we know a guy).

So if you want to learn more, or receive a commemorative golf ball autographed by Jeff Brasier, Matt Megargel, Tyler Oleksy and Chip Lindh, let me know. I have connections.

Monday, August 1, 2011

One month, part two

With the hubbub that started on Charlie's official one-month birthday, I didn't get a chance to take a picture of him in one of the fancy schmancy onesie stickers our friend Kara gave us. So, yes, I'm a good two weeks overdue with this photo, but at least I got it taken while Charlie's still technically one month old.

And he's a handsome devil of a six-week-old lad, isn't he? Here he is contemplating if he's going to let me capture his dimple(s) -- oh yes, I think there are two -- on camera. Of course, Charlie ultimately decided that no, no we simply can't have that, so I had to settle for some super cute coos instead. I forgot how gurgly and perfectly adorable those first few coos and squeaks can be.

Damn, I'm in love again.