Monday, October 31, 2011

Lost: one sheep

Happy Halloween from Little Bo Peep and her handsome devil of a sheep. Once again, we have Nana Thole to thank for another round of awesome costumes.

After the costumes were made, there was a momentary panic when Mary Clare declared that she wanted to be a "pincess" for Halloween, but after describing her hat and dress, we realized she was talking about her Little Bo Peep costume. Whew. Crisis averted.

Then, of course, Charlie grew another chin this past week, so the sheep hat just fits. As my mom likes to say, when sewing for our kids, she always has to remember to go down one pants size and up one head size. We're  not sure how we feel about that. The truth hurts, I guess. 

The next hurdle, of course, was getting a photo of Little Bo Peep and her sheep together. And that went about as well as can be expected. When we weren't straightening Charlie in his bumbo seat, we were trying to protect him from his staff-wielding sister. 

Little Bo Peep was eventually relieved of her staff. At which point she decided to take a load off and join Charlie on the bumbo seat because the grass, as she put it, was "too spicy."

Yeah, I really don't know what to say, either. And they're my kids.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

In search of the seven

Yesterday HRH Mary Clare had the pleasure of attending a princess themed birthday party for Meredith and Allison Maher at the Faust Park carousel. Seeing as little Snow White was going on all of a 10-minute nap, it's no surprise that she wasn't up for taking photos. She did, however, thoroughly enjoy the carousel and went for a whopping four rides. Four very long rides, if you ask Chip.


While Mary Clare may not know who Snow White is, she knows for damn sure that she is a princess. She made that abundantly clear to Chip after he called her Snow White.  "I not Snow White, daddy," she said. "I a pincess!"

Trou-ble. And we're totally aiding and abetting.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


As I somewhat bitterly mentioned last week, Charlie is no longer sleeping through the night and now requests my presence every three to four hours. This, as you can imagine, sucks.

After almost two weeks of this nonsense, I decided something had to be done. The extra bottle of formula at bedtime wasn't cutting it, so we decided to give cereal a go. While I wasn't keen on ignoring Dr. O'Neil's medically sound suggestion to hold off on solids until six months, I also wasn't keen on carrying on this way for the next two months. So we decided to defer to the mothers and grandmothers in our lives and give it a go. 

The first round with cereal, pictured here, went about as well as could be expected. I would like to tell you that the teaspoon he managed to get down held him through the night, but alas, he beckoned me at midnight, 2:30 a.m. and 6 a.m. 

Maybe it was revenge for force feeding him that runny mess of food. Maybe he wants to let me know that he's not a quitter. Well, buddy boy, I'm not a quitter either. You'll be seeing the cereal again tonight.

Let the battle of wills begin. 

Friday, October 28, 2011

That's one great grandma right there

This past weekend we threw caution to the wind and took the kiddos on a road trip to Chicago to visit Grandma Lindh. (That's Great Grandma Lindh to Charlie and Mary Clare. And some 40+ other children, for that matter.)

Despite having a four-month-old who seems to like car rides less and less with each passing day, and a nearly potty trained two-and-a-half-year-old, the drive went pretty well. We had two stops on the way up, and one on the way back. Bless you, children. And bless you, iPad.

But enough about the car ride. The highlight, of course, was spending time with Grandma Lindh. Who, I must mention is 101 years old. Yes. You read that right. She's 101. Look at the woman. Sure, she may only come up to my elbow, but she motors around just fine and is sharp as a tack. She is a Democrat through and through and opinionated as all get out. Naturally, I love her.

Since Grandma Lindh lives with Chip's Aunt Mary and Uncle Jim, we also got the chance to spend some quality time with them as well. Mary and Jim have a few grandchildren of their own, so Mary Clare was in hog heaven with all of the new toys. And when Uncle Jim put on "Finding Nemo" for her, well, I'm surprised she actually left with us that night.

Our kiddos are beyond fortunate to have not just one, but two great grandmothers -- Chip's Grandma Lindh and my Grandma Thole. My great grandparents were long gone by the time I entered this world, so this is truly special. Let's hear it for longevity on both sides of the family!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Fall finery

Naturally, Nana Thole cranked out some adorable Halloween shirts for Charlie and Mary Clare.

As you can see, Mary Clare was quite delighted to see that Charlie had a pumpkin on his shirt, too. It's the little things.

That Nana. She does good work.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I take it back

This is what we get for bragging on Charlie's stellar sleeping skills: 1 a.m. and 4 a.m. wake-up calls for the past week. I think baby boy might be in the middle of a growth spurt, because after I finally stumble into his room and turn on the light, Charlie makes it quite clear that he is ready to eat. Like 10 minutes ago.

After I nurse him and change his diaper, he is all smiles and wants to chat. For real, it's 1:30 a.m., and he's cooing up a storm and turning on the charm. Worst of all, I've gotten sucked in a few times. Well, no more, mister. It's all business from this point forward.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hair today, gone tomorrow

One of my favorite parts of pregnancy -- besides the kind smiles from strangers and the free pass to eat your weight in pastries -- is how thick and awesome my hair gets. As my hair is usually thin and prone to going flat at the first sign of precipitation, I found pregnancy hair to be utterly fantastic.

Alas, my time with a somewhat thick head of hair is rapidly drawing to a close. I am, I fear, going through the dreaded postpartum hair loss. Ugh. The same thing happened after Mary Clare's birth, and while I have yet to sprout a brand new set of bangs, it's not any more fun this time around the block.

As if dealing with a post-pregnancy body isn't already a barrel of laughs, I'm now shedding 100+ hairs a day. God is so a man.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pretty boy

The other morning, as Brian got ready for work, Brennan paid him the highest compliment any man can receive:

Brennan: Dad! You look really pretty today.
Brian: Thanks, buddy.
Brennan: Are you going to church?
Brian: No, I'm going to work.
Brennan: Oh. Well, you look really pretty. It must be picture day.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Charlie, four months


Hey, hey, look who is four months old today!

Ever the happy little guy, Charlie is continuing to sleep well at night (we'll just forget about the 4:30 wake up calls the past two nights) and eat like a champ. He's slowly becoming a fan of tummy time, especially now that he can flip himself over onto his back. Which he does. With alarming regularity. It's only a matter of time before he starts going from back to front, I'm sure. And since he now has a good handle on that neck control thing, we busted out the bumbo seat.

Charlie continues to charm his teachers, and he's taken a shine to one of the little girls in his classroom. Apparently there is a lot of cooing and accidental hand holding when he and Harper are on the play mat together. The only thing Charlie isn't a fan of at school is the occasional bursts of noise. Miss Anita told us that if it starts getting loud in the room -- usually when they have play time with the toddlers -- Charlie sticks out his lower lip, frowns and then proceeds to contribute to the racket. That a boy. As his sister would say, "I don't like it!"

As for the official stats, at his doctor's appointment Charlie weighed 12 pounds, 10 ounces and measured 25 inches, which puts him in the 25th and 50th percentiles, respectively. No matter the numbers, he's tops with us.

Want more photo fun? Click here for the complete September set, and here for the October set to date.

Friday, October 14, 2011

More pumpkin photos coming at you

The Jones family also went pumpkin patching this past weekend. They are lucky enough to live just a few miles from the same delightful pumpkin patch we visited last year. Ah, the benefits of living in the wilds of Kansas.

Alexandra is at that delightful stage where she'll stay -- for a short while, at least -- where you put her. It seems like only yesterday that you could plop Brennan and Mary Clare amid some pumpkins and take photos to your heart's content.

But enough about the long-gone days of perfect pumpkin photo sessions. While Alexandra was content to kick back by some pumpkins, Brennan was eager to show off his zip line skills to the admiring crowds.

The expression on his face in the last show is priceless. Triumph!

Best of all, she snagged a good family photo, to boot.

That's the way you pumpkin patch, my friends.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Under the wire

During Saturday's blanket photo session, I took the opportunity to slap this three month sticker on Charlie's onesie. And just in the nick of time. Baby boy will be four months old this week. Four months!

But technically, he's still three months in this photo. So we're totally legit.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Pumpkin patch prima donna

We went to Eckert's this past Sunday morning for our buddy Grayson Yank's fourth birthday party. Mary Clare was all over the tractor ride, but once we disembarked from the wagon, she was a smidge ambivalent about the patch itself. The pesky vines and mounds kept getting in her way, and she was more intent on keeping up with her friend Jack than she was on finding a pumpkin.

When we did get her to focus on the pumpkins, she declared every one we presented to be "too dirty" or "dat messy." Our pal Laura Megargel finally came through with a pumpkin clean enough to please Miss Priss.

And once we had our pumpkins in hand, I was able to snag a picture of the kiddos kicking back in the pumpkin patch. Just like God intended. 

After the cake and pinata, the kids set off to try out some of the rides. Chip and I were certain there was no way Mary Clare would set foot on one, but she surprised us by contentedly riding the first one she saw.  She was very serious about the whole matter. And she most definitely couldn't be bothered by our loud cheers and energetic waves.

I then went on the miniature buccaneer ride with Mary Clare and little Meredith and Allison Maher. The kids did fine, but well, just looking at the pictures makes me nauseous.

Clearly, the first one was taken before the ride started. You can tell this not only from the smile on my face, but from the way Mary Clare is clutching the center bar. Because let me tell you, by the end of the ride, I was feeling sicker than all get out and Mary Clare was clutching me. But those Maher girls, they were champs. In fact, I think I may have heard Allison tell me to suck it up at one point. (Okay, Allison isn't even two years old, so she didn't really say that. But her eyes did.)

All in all, it was another great Yank birthday party, and the perfect kick off to the pumpkin patch season.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

On babes and blankets

Your first reaction to this photo is "Oh my gosh, could Charlie be any more perfect?"

The answer, of course, is no.

Your second reaction to this photo is, "Holy hell, look at that blanket!"

It's freaking amazing, isn't it?

Here, have another look.

And another.

Even Charlie is dumbstruck by its greatness.

While I can take credit for Charlie -- partial credit, at least -- I cannot take credit for the beauty that is that blanket. That hand-knit goodness is all Anne Fleming. It's something, isn't it? Let me tell you, once you get past the feelings of ineptitude, it is pretty awesome having such a talented friend. Especially when that friend takes that talent and turns it into spectacular gifts for your children.

Still think we're not in this for the gifts?

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Be brave

Brian started a new job this week. Hooray! No more weekly stints in Tokahoma*.

His first day on the job was Monday. As Brian made his way to the door, Brennan told him, "Don't cry, okay, dad?"

*That's how Brennan used to say Oklahoma. 
**Yes, my sister posted this on Facebook the other day. Yes, I'm not above stealing her material. 

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I hug you?

In the mornings, Chip and I divide and conquer. I feed and change Charlie while he awakens and responds to Mary Clare's list of morning demands. Then we each lock a kid in the bathroom with us while we shower. Charlie chills in the papasan during this time, which means that showering for me is a fairly peaceful, albeit hurried, event. The same cannot be said for Chip, who spends most of his shower time fielding questions from Mary Clare as she sits on the potty reading her books, with the occasional break for rummaging under the sink.

As I was drying off this morning, there was a knock on my bathroom door, followed by, "Mommy! Mommy! I nake-y. I nake-y. Open the door, pease!" I opened the door, and in trots a pants-less Mary Clare (welcome to the glamorous world of potty training, my friends).

After Mary Clare, her books, her milk and her Cheerios are safely ensconced in my bathroom, I continued to get ready. As I'm drying my hair, I heard the following:

"Charlie, I hug you? I hug you? Say yes, Charlie Lindh. Say yes."

So, after the wave of love washed over me, I reminded Mary Clare that Charlie can't talk yet (and likely will never be given the chance) and told her I was sure he would love a hug. And hugs he received, as well as a few kisses and the pleasure of having his socks removed and put back on multiple times. You're welcome, little buddy.