Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas wishes

I love Christmas. But I really love Christmas with kids.

Here's hoping your holiday celebrations are equally entertaining. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 23, 2011

A legit photo session

We had our family pictures taken in October by the kind and patient Nancy Williams, and well, it was not one of those sessions where the stars aligned. We did them outdoors, and it was windy, cooler than I thought and both of the kids were tired. And had runny noses. And the Kleenex were in the car.

Despite all of these hurdles, Nancy still managed to get some adorable pictures, including the one we used on our Christmas card. However, we didn't really get a great picture of the two kiddos together, much less one of all four of us.

Because she is kind, patient and maybe a bit of a perfectionist (love that!), Nancy and her wedding photography partner, Pam, offered to come back to our house for round two. And I'm so glad they did. It was one of those days where the stars aligned. There was light in our dark house, both kids were in good moods, and even though Mary Clare was over it by the end of the hour, they were able to capture her personality, sass and all.

And, oh, my baby boy. Those eyes. Those lashes. He's a beaut.

Chip and I didn't intend to have our photos taken, but Nancy and Pam insisted, and now I'm glad that we jumped into a few shots. We may not all be perfectly coordinated, and of course that kills me, but we have so few opportunities to have our photo taken together that I can look past the casual wear.

Of course, all of these great photos of the kids in their holiday attire (made by Nana Thole, natch) threw me into a tailspin. I had already ordered and received my Christmas cards, but my love for these photos had me seriously contemplating scrapping all 150 cards and starting over. Even Chip was on board, and that was after I told him the associated costs. It was only a lack of time and knowing that I would make myself crazy trying to design, order and address new cards that kept me from pulling the trigger. It still makes me a little sad. But sharing them with you makes me happy.

So plan on seeing more photos from this session pop up in the next few days. They deserve their due.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas card

Here it is, in all its glory. The 2011 Lindh family Christmas card. Now with more baby. But no Lab. We can only ask so much of our photographer.

Oh, and yes. This is most certainly a picture of a card. I'm far too lazy to do a screen shot of the actual card and then crop it. I am, after all, the person who has been wearing a pink sparkly snowflake hair clip for the past two hours because I can't be bothered to get a bobby pin out of my bathroom drawer.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The baby blog, now with more dog!

Chip has been giving me a hard time for the past few months about how TB is a full-fledged baby blog. If we're being honest, that's all it ever really has been, even before we had babies of our own. Nevertheless, from time to time I did manage to slot in the occasional list, rant or commentary. Or dog story.

Those posts, I'm afraid, are harder and harder to come by these days. Like it or not, our life revolves around the kiddos right now. And I like it for the most part. I think Chip is just ribbing me that TB's blissfully child-free readers might be getting a bit bored of looking at photos of our kids. And to that I say, if Andy has a problem with the blog content, he will most certainly not hesitate to let me know. Duh. Uncle Andy is not one to suffer silently, after all.

So, there. I have addressed the fact that we are, in fact, a baby blog. Not a mommy blog, even, but a baby blog. With a dog. A dog who is clearly bored not just by the content of TB, but life at TB.

Well, you can't please everyone.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The boys

Here are two more from the latest photo session. I could try and justify it by saying that it's totally different because Chip is in this round of pictures. But really, I just can't help myself. Good light in our house is fast and fleeting.

Last time, I promise.

But damn, I wish you could see how good Chip is at making Charlie laugh. And that laugh! Priceless. I really must do more videos.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

More of the munchkin

The stars aligned—good light, happy baby, a helping hand from Chip—and I was able to get a lot of great shots of Charlie wearing his six month onesie. I was so pleased with them that I decided they deserved their own post.

Enjoy his handsomeness at your own risk.

Honestly. I could spend all day kissing him.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Charlie, six months

Well, we've reached the halfway point of Charlie's first year, and the developmental milestones are coming at us all too fast.

In addition to being quite the rolling maestro, Charlie scoots himself all over creation and will usually wedge himself in some less than desirable spots. I may or may not have found him partially under the coffee table, couch and vacuum cleaner in the past three days alone. He is becoming steadier when it comes to sitting, and his grip is incredibly strong. So much so that I find it hard not to yelp in pain when he pulls my hair or digs his fingers into my cheek or neck.

Like his sister, Charlie doesn't know a stranger, and he had no problems whatsoever sitting on Santa's lap when we saw him this past week. He is generous with the smiles and even more generous with the drool. Still no teeth, though. Charlie is a raspberry-blowing son of a gun, and he's taken to singing—well, the baby version of singing—while I nurse him in the morning. But only in the morning. I suspect he takes after Chip and will be a morning person as well.

Much to his teachers' relief, we finally started him on solids. And while I know he is still getting the hang of the process, I am fearful that he may be a bit harder to please than Mary Clare when it comes to trying new things. His teacher Miss Neisha said he did not take kindly to the green beans she offered him. And offered. And offered some more. We'll get there, though. I am anything if not determined when it comes to getting my family to try new foods or like the things I like. Just ask Chip.

As far as the official stats go, at his six month visit Charlie weighed 15 lbs., 8 oz., and measured 26.75 inches, which puts him in about the 25th and 50th percentiles, respectively. His beautiful c-section head is 17.5 inches in circumference, which is the 75th for all you percentilers out there.

For more photos of our little man, you can check out the full November set or the December set to date.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

His mother's son

My sister Sherri and I share a lot of similarities. A sense of humor, similar parenting styles and, of course, stunningly good looks. Where we aren't similar is in our organizational styles. My organizational style borders on OCD, and Sherri's is, well, let's just say she lacks a style altogether. It is a running joke in our family, with Sherri having the last laugh because hey, the girl makes more money than I do. So she's doing something right. 

However, now that Sherri is a parent, we are all enjoying the fact that she is now dealing with someone who isn't very particular about the location of his belongings either. 

Take, for example, Sherri's recent conversation with Brennan:

S: Brennan, do you have any idea where your shoes are?
B: Probably somewhere.

Brennan may not have his shoes, but the does have an answer for everything. 

The Christmas camel

The holiday events are happening fast and furious around here, and I am falling behind in editing photos and posting about the festivities.

Two weekends ago we went with my parents to the Shrine to see the Christmas lights, the indoor tree display and the petting zoo. In the days leading up to our visit, Mary Clare told anyone who would listen that she was going to ride a camel. This, despite Nana Thole telling her that camels are mean (you have one bad experience on a camel in Africa, and suddenly you want to ruin it for everyone).

The day of our Shrine visit arrived, and after sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic for close to an hour and then enduring a 30-minute wait for dinner, it was close to closing time and well beyond bedtime when we finally made it to the tented area with the camels, ponies and petting zoo.

We thought for sure Mary Clare would chicken out the moment she saw the camels, but she patiently waited in line, climbed atop the camel and then held on to the metal bar for dear life. She emitted a squeal of delight as the camel lurched forward, but was otherwise silent as we made two laps around the sawdust-covered corral. Speaking as the person who got to ride on the hump, it was a painful two laps. But Mary Clare loved it.

After the camel ride we checked out the various goats, sheep and alpacas, and she confidently fed each of them carrots and small pellets of feed as well.

So, yeah, we rode a camel around inside a tent in Belleville, Illinois. It may not be the most conventional of Christmas traditions, but it was certainly one of the more entertaining.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Reason for the season

Since Mary Clare is just now getting Christmas and the idea of Santa Claus, I have refrained from throwing out a lot of information about Jesus. You know, the whole reason for the season. 

Admittedly, my priorities aren't in order, but since she's inundated with far more images of Santa than Jesus, I took the easy way out and led with the big jolly guy. 

This is not to say that we're not talking about Jesus, Mary and Joseph over at Casa TB. Mary Clare has free reign with both the Fisher Price and Fontanini nativity sets, and we make it a point to talk about all of the figures, who they are and what they are doing. Baby steps. 

And so it was a baby step I took last week when, after talking about her birthday (yet again) on the way to school, I told Mary Clare, "You know, baby Jesus' birthday is the same day as yours. His birthday is on Christmas, too." She was quiet for a moment and then said, "Is he going to be three, too?"

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Really, come over any time

Chip was out of town for a few days earlier this week* so he missed a lot. Luckily, modern technology enabled him to stay up to speed via a series of emails text messages, the highlights of which I've included here:  
  • There is a princess magnet in the toaster. I left it for you.
  • Mary Clare had a big poop at school today.
  • Your son was up all night. I am not his biggest fan right now.
  • Both kids had big poops at school today. Both need new back up outfits.
  • Mary Clare just wet her pants. For no reason.
As you can see, our world pretty much revolves around bodily fluids. Really, come over any time. I swear we meticulously clean up every time. 

*Okay, by days, I mean one. But since he left at 7 a.m. on Tuesday and returned at midnight on Wednesday, I rounded it up to two days because, hello, that is two drop offs, two pick ups and two dinners/baths/bedtimes. Or, as we tell Mary Clare "two big sleeps."

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Broadway bound

This is the boy who doesn't like to dress up for Halloween. This is the boy who hates to have his picture taken. This is the boy who hates to be the center of attention.

So it makes sense that after beaming his way through last night's school Christmas pageant, he declared, "Mom, I loved being on the stage."

Told you, Brian.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

St. Nick surprise

As you may remember, St. Nick's day is a big deal in our family.

This is the first year that Mary Clare is old enough to somewhat understand the concept. Does she get that St. Nick is a Catholic saint and different from Santa Claus? Definitely not. She did, however, seem to understand that if she set out a pair of her shoes by the door, St. Nick would leave a gift for her. So last night she carefully picked out a pair of her shoes and a pair for Charlie, and we placed them by the front door (which I immediately regretted because ugh, the lighting).

This morning we walked downstairs and a big smile crossed her face when she saw the goodies in each of their pairs of shoes. And then she just looked at it. And looked some more.

Chip and I had to tell her that it was okay to touch everything because it was for her and Charlie. And then she went for it.

Mary Clare just started watching children's movies on TV, so she was excited to see the "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" DVD. Being a child, though, her favorite gift was the pair of Santa socks from the Target $1 bin. Of course. (My first Christmas, I played with a metal Band-aid box and a deck of cards while a mound of toys sat untouched behind me. So my parents will undoubtedly be pleased to see that the cycle continues.)

Since Charlie isn't sitting up yet it was a little hard to get him in on the action, but Mary Clare made sure to show him all of his gifts. She's thoughtful like that. But likely she was also eyeing them to determine which item she would most like to steal from him.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Bridal bouquets on a budget

Brennan, as you all know, is funny

This past Friday, Sherri picked up some flowers at Trader Joe's. When Brennan saw them, he had quite the reaction.

"Oh, wow, mom! Flowers! Are those in case you are going to get married?" 

Clearly, Brian needs to step it up in the floral department. Or Sherri needs to hang up some of their wedding portraits. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Counting the days

I always love Christmas. But this year I really love Christmas. And it's all because of Mary Clare, our Christmas babe.

This is the first year that Mary Clare really gets it. She may not fully grasp the Santa concept, but oh, does she love to see "Ho Ho," as he was known last year. The same goes for Christmas lights, reindeer, trees, wreaths, presents and anything else that sparkles and shines.

We introduced her to her first Advent calendar last night. It was a rousing success. And with miniature S'mores sandwich cookies in the first box she opened, how could it not be? 

I must admit, I had way too much fun stashing goodies in each little compartment. I was a smidge overzealous in my shopping and came home with way too many items, including several that weren't even close to fitting in each 2"x1" compartment. Such as socks. And large sheets of stickers. Oh, well. Those will just have to be from St. Nick.

In the meantime, if you need Mary Clare, she will be dreaming about what is contained in the rest of those little boxes. She is seriously enchanted by the prospect of daily treats contained in a Santa-shaped box. This is living.  


Chip was off the week before Thanksgiving, so he gave the old razor a rest. This is my very own hairy monster with about four days worth of facial hair. Cute, isn't he? The sweet baby in his arms certainly doesn't hurt matters. 

I like the beard. I think it might have to make a return over Christmas, holiday photos be damned.

*Sorry about the freaky glow around Charlie's head. Photo editing on the Mac is great, but it can only do so much. After seeing the magic the photo instructor does with Photoshop, I am intrigued. But maybe I should focus on improving things on the front end first.