Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving trip

We had a ton of fun visiting family for Thanksgiving, and that's saying a lot considering Kate hardly slept at night and we were kind of stumbling through each day.

There were all sorts of fun things to play with at Oma and Grandpa's house.

Molly looking at the Christmas tree with special snowman glasses.

Kate scooting toward the tree. Mmmm, fragile objects.

Molly dressed up for Easter  Christmas

Molly and Beppe

Silliness with Beppe

Two princesses and their grandparents

Cute picture if Molly wasn't giving us the devil child look.

Going for a walk at my mom's house, to pass the time waiting for Thanksgiving dinner. We saw chickens!

Playing on the rope swing at Grandma's house.

Molly's really into hide and seek. Here she is hiding under a bush.

Found her!

Beautiful Thanksgiving sunset as we arrived at Ganny and Papa's house.

Snuggling Oma.
 We took Kate and Henry with us Black Friday shopping. They did great for their first Trolly Day. We thought it was a great success ... until we realized we hadn't actually got much shopping done.

Babies heading out on Black Friday

Meet-up at the mall.

Back home for lunch and naps, Daddy gets some snuggle time with the babies.

Kate and Freddy

The older kids stayed at Oma's house and played on Trolly Day.

Lucy and Kate

Molly and Henry

Our little ladies

Freddy and Kate

The boys play with trains

Grandpa and Kate finally hit it off. She sat in his lap so long she almost fell asleep.

Look how big Henry is already!! They're 4 months apart and already wearing the same size clothes.

Katie with her grandma

Cousins cuddling.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Happy baby

Along with learning to crawl, Kate has discovered how to pull herself up onto her knees. We quickly lowered her crib mattress yesterday to prevent escapes.

She also figured out this weekend how to get herself back up into a sitting position from being on her belly or back.

What else? Hmmm ... she likes food now. Here she is this morning making a sweet potato mess.

We had a slow, quiet weekend in preparation for holiday travel. The big excitement yesterday morning was when we realized that Molly and Kate had worn very similar PJ's the night before, just by chance. Molly LOVES being matchy with somebody, especially Kate. However she does NOT love being photographed.

It was 60 degrees and lovely yesterday so we went for a walk. I put Kate in a wrap and Molly wanted Baby Doll in a carrier, too. She got a lot of attention pedaling her bicycle down the street with Baby Doll strapped to her front. The best was when she stopped for a minute because Baby Doll was fussing and bounced her knees for a little while to settle her, then got back on the bike.

And this is so Molly. She's been waiting for Christmas all year. Now that it's almost time to get the decorations out and really celebrate, she did this drawing. It's Easter eggs (with jump ropes over their heads with Easter eggs in them).

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Ear infection

Every time Kate's up for an hour or two in the middle of the night I vow to call the doctor the moment the office opens in the morning. Then the sun comes up, she seems fine and I feel silly bothering the doctor for something so minor. Then I kick myself the next night when I'm up rocking the baby again.

Yesterday I finally made an appointment and made the kids wait through an excruciating hour in the overheated, crowded doctors office. I'm glad I did, though.

The doctor didn't think much of my reflux theory but he did discover that Kate has an ear infection. He also asked a lot of questions about her stuffy nose, which seems to be a chronic problem for her, especially at night. We're going to go back in a couple weeks so he can check her again.

It occurs to me that she might just be getting one cold after the next, which is why the stuffiness never goes away. Molly's got yet another cold (she was sniffling and planting kisses all over Kate in the exam room -- no doubt about where the germs come from). I'm sure I'll have it soon, too. Ick!!

At least neither kid seems to be slowed down by any of this. Yesterday Kate started a little bit of real crawling along with her scooting. She may really crawl after all!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Better photos

I know a lot of you read Tessa's blog anyway, but if you missed it she got some great photos of the weekend here.


A big THANKS for all the birthday wishes today!!!! They really, really made my day.

We got off to a rough start this morning, actually last night when I went to bed and realized my pillow was missing. All the others were accounted for, including Molly's, and I KNEW she had one in her bedroom. This morning I shook a confession out of her -- she took it on purpose!!! Why? It's soft and she likes it. Grrrrr.

It turned out it didn't matter that I had to make due with a strange foreign pillow all night. We weren't sleeping anyway!!! Kate started squawking around 11 and was crying and uncomfortable (translation, no sleep for grown-ups) from about 12:30 to after 2. At some point as I was rocking her in the dark the clues added up to a revelation -- her reflux is back! She has had a stuffy nose at night for at least a month with no cold symptoms during the day, she's been fussy (especially after long rides in her car seat -- maybe that's what was going on in Rockport?) and screaming when I put her in the car seat, screaming when I lay her on her back for a diaper change or to put jammies on, spitting up all over me and the floors, etc., etc.

Needless to say, we were all a little cranky this morning. Kate screamed whenever I set her down, which meant Molly got the shaft because Kate had to be in my arms, and Molly isn't one to let a slight like that pass without revenge tantrums. I actually missed a birthday phone call because I didn't even hear the phone ring over the dual screams while I was trying to change Kate's diaper.

HOWEVER, we managed to turn it all around somehow and by dinner Kate was catching up on sleep, Molly and I were making salads together and sneaking tastes of cake and ice cream. Harmony was restored.

And there's no sweeter birthday gift two cuddly girls at bedtime. Molly gave me lots of hugs and snuggles and sang lullabies in her sweet little girl voice in the rocking chair before bed. Kate fell asleep all snuggled in my arms. Can't ask for better than that. :)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Pool party

It's so nice to share a birthday weekend with someone, especially someone who makes cake. :)
We went to Vermont Saturday and ate this. YUM!!!

We also took the kids to the aquatic center where Lex and Eve take swim lessons. It's a very cool place -- splash park, current pool, even a water slide that goes outside and back in again. The water was bath-water warm. Lex and Eve are amazing swimmers! Molly had a great time splashing around. We all did.

Jim walked around with Kate in the carrier and even got her to nap for a while. I like his surly self-portrait. :)

Molly had such a good time playing with the kids and eating good food. We left right on time and would have almost been a normal day except that instead of falling asleep in the car at bedtime Molly talked non-stop for an hour. She told us about a boy named Badger who has short hair on one side of his head and long hair on the other who can only say words that start with B, then engaged us in a game of "think of words that start with B." It must be a sign of how tired we all are that that was actually entertaining and somewhat challenging.

So yesterday Molly was exhausted. At dinner I told her she looked sleepy and she broke into tears and whimpered, "When do the clocks change back?" I almost didn't have the heart to tell her that it wouldn't be until we were all quite used to this new time that the evil people who invented daylight savings would make us switch again. It's a cruel world.

Fortunately she slept well last night and we've all been in a good mood today. I think it's fantastic to have a day when most of the neighborhood kids are in school and my little girls are home with me to rest, just us. (Especially after yesterday when we realized our entire family's plan for the afternoon hinged on whether Teddy was actually going to stay in our yard to play with Molly or snub our child and play across the street with some 9-year-old girl who just moved in)

Molly, on the other hand, has been complaining all day that there are no kids to play with. She just can't get enough!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Lantern walk

Some preschools go apple picking, make construction paper turkeys, give out Halloween candy to celebrate fall. Ours does a lantern walk. According to the e-mail from the teacher, it's a way to recognize the diminishing light at this time of year and kindle our own inner light to carry us through. The kids scooped out pumpkins at school and the teachers tied ropes on them. We carved them at home and then brought them to a field at the teacher's farm last night just as it was getting dark (aka, dinner time).

Molly was very excited. I didn't even have to go down the stairs at Teddy's house to get her away from the neighborhood kids and ready to go. She came up on her own.

We got all bundled up in winter clothes and rubber boots. It was cold and muddy out there. The kids sat on hay bails while the kindergarten teacher told a story (I missed the details because I was walking around with Kate trying to keep her settled). Then we lit the lanterns and everybody walked in a long, curvy path through the field marked by lit candles on the ground.

It looked pretty cool but the kids didn't seem to get it. It was dark so they couldn't really play with (or even recognize) their friends. The teachers explained the point of it with a lot of metaphor and story, which seemed to fly right over the kids' heads. And it was at dinner time!! I'm sure it's fun for some kids to mix up the routine but in our house it's not pretty. Not right now, anyway. Kate fell asleep in the car in the 5-minute drive there, so I woke her up to put her in a carrier. She finally went back to sleep in the carrier as we were walking to the car, so I had to wake her up to put her in the car seat. Ack! And Molly was a mess on the drive home, upset about Kate's crying and saying she just wanted to go to sleep, then upset that we missed dinner (apparently stuffing her full of peanut butter and jelly at 4 p.m. was not a sufficient substitute).

Oh, well. Lesson learned. Strange candle-lit festivals out in fields in cold, muddy nights at dinner time? Bad idea.

In other news, Kate has learned her first baby sign ... "milk," of course. She doesn't always use it to request milk, more often to describe it. She likes to roll away from me while nursing and make the sign toward Molly. Rubbing it in, perhaps?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Completely disoriented

Between the power outage, Halloween in November, Jim staying home from work two days last week (not consecutive) because of a nasty cold, Kate waking up every two hours at night, daylight savings time and the nearly 70-degree weather today, I have no idea what day or time or planet this is.

Here's Molly playing outside barefoot this afternoon near some unmelted snow. This is all very confusing.

I am pretty sure my mom was here visiting this weekend. There are at least some photos that suggest that was true.
We hadn't done any touristy stuff with her in a while because of the baby and whatnot but we decided to go a little wild yesterday and head to Gloucester and Rockport. The best part was when both girls fell asleep in the car on the ride there, making up a tiny bit for their lack of sleep due to moving the clocks back.

We ended up doing a tour of beaches (not all planned, but when you have to pull over to stop the baby from crying you might as well do it in a beach parking lot and get out and walk around a little). We ended up with quite a variety.

Rocky shore in Gloucester

Sand dunes in Gloucester (those two tiny marks in the middle are my mom and Molly)

We got out at the sandy beach eventually, too.

Smooth rocks and sand in Rockport.

Molly made a bunny in the sand here, then lost it. We had to look around a bit to figure out what she was talking about.

Gazebo in Rockport

Molly choreographing a gazebo dance, Grandma following orders to participate. ;)
A friendly local chatted us up at the gazebo and told us that the Sandra Bullock movie "The Proposal" was filmed in Rockport (with CGI mountains to make it look like Alaska). So we rented it after the kids were in bed. Yup, that's Rockport.

I'm sure other things have happened but I don't know what they are. Seriously. What day is this again?

Saturday, November 5, 2011


We finally had trick or treating last night. It was cold (but better than doing it in a snow storm, ack!)

Molly decided last summer that she wanted to be a snowman for Halloween. I thought that was an odd choice and figured she'd change her mind as we got closer but she never did. And look how appropriate that turned out to be. :)

We started with face paint. (Molly loves face painting, so that was really fun).

Then we bundled her up in sweats and a coat and put a white sweatshirt and sweatpants on outside it all. Add scarf, mittens, top hat (with sequins, don't ask) and boots, stick on some black felt "buttons" with duct tape and voila....

Heading out with Daddy to get the CANDY!!!!
Happy (belated) Halloween!!!!