Saturday, March 31, 2012

Two and counting

Two teeth, that is.

Chip is certain that he sees two more on the top, but let's just say he's been "seeing" those for awhile.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Miss Pronounciation

I will admit it: I mispronounce words all the time. I say that it's because I am a great speller, and therefore pronounce things the way they are spelled, but this, unfortunately, does not stop Chip from making fun of me. Especially when I routinely call U2's Bono "Boe-no" and refuse to say the name of Chip's parents' friends the Putzes, preferring instead to call them "Your parents' friends and neighbors, Bob and Cathy, from Royal Village."

Thankfully, Mary Clare has taken to teaching us how to pronounce our words.


I don't know what we would do without her. Probably go around asking for pancakes and sausage instead of pancakes and sausish. Now that would just be downright embarrassing.

*You'll note that Charlie is snoozing away during this tutorial. We shot this video the same night as the one of him sleeping during dinner. Someone—and I'm not naming any names here—had a bad case of the green eyed monster that night. 

**You also undoubtedly noticed the bruise on Mary Clare's forehead. She had a run-in with a cabinet corner at my parents' house that resulted in a three-dimensional bump enhanced by a glorious array greens and purples.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Parking it

This weather. Oh, this weather! It's glorious. Never mind that it is March. In St. Louis. We're not asking questions. We are, however, taking full advantage of Mother Nature's kindness and going on all sorts of walks and park visits of late.

I must say, I am becoming quite the park connoisseur. With two kids and sometimes the Lab along for the ride, you have to take into account all sorts of things. Is there a Starbucks nearby? Are there bathrooms? Are the bathrooms nearby? Are they open this early? Is the park enclosed? Do they allow leashes on headstrong toddlers? Does it have a surface that Charlie won't eat? And once again, tell me about the bathrooms! Are there bathrooms and how fast can I get Mary Clare to them? (Seriously, there is something to be said for having your kid in diapers. Well worth the money, if you ask me.)

Thankfully, Tilles delivers on all counts. Totally worth the drive. And once they turn on the pop jets, you can find us there. We'll be the ones by the bathrooms.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Asleep at the meal

Asleep at the wheel would be appropriate if we were talking about me, and the lack of posting around here for the last week or so. But thankfully, we're not talking about my slacker ways. We're talking about sleepy little Charlie and how he nodded off last week during dinner. 

It was the sweetest and saddest thing you ever did see. The poor guy was so very tired, but he was fighting it it until the bitter end. Charlie would nod off, startle awake, grab a puff and then nod back off before he could even get it in his mouth. Hence, the puff that is stuck to his hand.

This went on for awhile before I finally wised up and grabbed the camera. So what you see was taken/filmed at the bitter end of his fight to stay awake and feed.

Charlie slept away while we finished dinner, cleared the table and lifted him out of his seat. He rallied a bit after we changed him into his pajamas, and then conked out for good.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Blue eyes

Just look at those eyes. And those lashes.

Oh, my. Please don't change.

Charlie's hair is definitely lighter than Mary Clare's was at nine months, but according to my precise record keeping (thank you, TB archives), her eyes were, in fact, still blue at nine months. So Charlie's could change to brown. But oh, I hope not. Because I would be okay with a blonde haired, blue eyed bouncing baby boy.

As would his Nana Thole. For all of her talk about wanting brown eyed grandchildren—you always want what you don't have—she now says, "Well, I didn't say I wanted all of them to have brown eyes."

Do you hear that, Charlie bird? Don't go changing.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Magically exhausting

Two weekends ago, we did the unthinkable: We took the kids to the Magic House. We did, however, wimp out and go after afternoon naps, so grand total, we were probably there for all of 90 minutes. And it was enough. For all of us.

The place is amazing. Overwhelming, but amazing. More than twice as big as the Magic House of our childhood, but with the space comes the crowds. I would consider the late afternoon time to be non-peak hours, but it was still plenty packed for our tastes. Mary Clare didn't really have to wait to do anything, though, so I shouldn't complain. She had a ball trying out everything and was especially keen on the mini grocery store. And sweet, patient Charlie, well, he just loved taking in all the action.

And since Chip and I insist on having just as much as the kids, afterwards we went to Dewey's Pizza. The pizza and beer(s) were truly delightful. And well deserved.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Charlie, nine months

Nine months! And just as handsome as ever.

Charlie's motto for the past month has definitely been onward, upward. He is crawling around like a crazy man, usually with one leg kicked out to the side. Extra points for flair, I say. He pulls himself up on everything and everyone, and is particularly fond of standing tubside while I shower. This morning he squawked when I tried closing the curtain, so he went to school with freshly washed hair.

And, hold onto your hats, but we have a tooth! Last Tuesday a tiny little tooth finally cut through on his bottom gum. He is likely cutting more, as he's back to waking me up at least once a night. At least I hope it's teeth.

Other than the crawling, climbing and teeth cutting, not much else is new with our Charlie bird. But I guess that's enough, for one month, isn't it?

Slowly but surely, I'm getting back into the photo taking game. Check out the February set and March set (to date) for more photos of the kiddos.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Under the wire

Charlie turns nine months tomorrow (nine months!) so of course I am just now taking and posting the pictures of him in his eight month onesie. But I made it. Technically, I made it.

And it was no easy task, mind you. Mr. Mobility is not one to sit still these days, and he so wanted to tear that eight right off of his shirt.

He does put on quite the show, though. Chip would plop him in the middle of the pillows, and he would have a ball flapping his arms and clapping until suddenly he worked himself down among the pillows.


And if he didn't do that, he would launch himself forward and tumble down onto the bed, laughing the whole time. Clearly, we're all about safety with the second child. Which is why I may or may not have done my darnedest to remove the latest bruise on his forehead.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

I'll be polite, but I won't share


If you read this post about the "no thank you bite," then you may remember that Mary Clare's willingness to acquiesce so readily to this new rule had something to do with the fact that there was a Girl Scout cookie on the line.

Chip had a cookie as well, and since he finished his well before Mary Clare, he asked if he could have hers. Rather than say no, she tried to come up with a solution for dear old dad. You could see the wheels turning. And oh, the look of concern on her face!

C: Mary Clare, can I have your cookie?
MC: Where's your cookie?
C: I ate it. Can I have yours?
MC: Do you want mommy's cookie?
C: She doesn't have one.
MC: You want some broccoli?
C: No, I'd like a cookie.
MC: You drink your water?
C: I will, but can I still have your cookie?

I'm honestly surprised she didn't shove the whole thing in her mouth at this point. I made Chip stop before she was forced to suggest that he eat his place mat. Poor thing. She just needs to tell him to bug off next time.
Please don't make me share with him.

I better eat this as fast as I can.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The no thank you bite

Mary Clare is a good eater. She not only eats well, but she readily tries new dishes and is crazy about her fruits and vegetables. I cannot complain.

However, this latest birthday of hers came with a boatload of new opinions. Suddenly Mary Clare won't try things based on appearance, she tells us things she liked before are now yucky and so on and so forth. Dinnertime is still business as usual at our house—no separate meals, no dessert without finishing dinner*—but I was a bit concerned about how to handle the "yucks" and her increasing negative opinions.

Growing up, the rule in our family was if you said "yuck," you got seconds. (Mom and Dad Thole were hard core.) I thought that might be a little early for Mary Clare, so when I read about the "no thank you bite" concept from one of the moms behind Prudent Baby, I decided to give it a go. We put it to the test last night when Mary Clare turned her nose up at her side dish of Stove Top stuffing. Since she scarfed down her meatloaf, steamed broccoli and fresh carrots, I felt a little bad about pushing the carbs, but I decided to try it for the politeness factor alone.

She balked a bit at first, but since the concept was so simple and the food in question was so tame, she eventually gave it a go.

I would love to tell you that Mary Clare declared her love for stuffing and that the promise of a Girl Scout cookie for dessert had nothing to do with her embracing this new concept, but hey, she ate the bite. And when we asked her if she wanted more, she said, "No, thank you." Several times. With increasing intensity. Baby steps, right?

Now if we could just get her to embrace her utensils.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Self-feeding superstar

As you can see, Alexandra is close to going pro in the self-feeding department. 

Good thing Sherri got that snazzy new washer and dryer when she did. I have a feeling Alexandra is going to put those puppies to the test.  

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Snug swinger

Look at that little guy, swinging and smiling away, not caring a bit that his parents mom shoved him into a just-big-enough snowsuit. It took some doing to get that little bear hood over his square head, but it was well worth it. Because of the warmth it provided, obviously. The potential cuteness factor had nothing to do it.

Swing on, my little bear. Swing on.