Sunday, August 31, 2008

Cousins at the Zoo

We always look forward to visits from my brother, his wife Chelsey, and their adorable daughter Audrey. They live in Boston right now until my brother finishes up his schooling in May. On this visit of theirs I think that we managed to pack in a lot of fun stuff to do with the kids. So, here's the first of several posts that will show mostly the cousins. A day at the zoo! My mom & brother Josh were there along with our family, and Chris' family. Here are my cute boys and my darling niece at the beginning of our adventure. Leave 'em in the stroller as long as they're happy, right?

I am not quite confident enough to step away from Noah while he's holding Lincoln yet...he doesn't understand why it's a problem to just move or walk away when he's ready to be done holding him. I like how Noah is patiently waiting for me to take Lincoln away, Lincoln is watching Audrey, and Audrey seems a bit sure about the whole thing altogether...

After lunch there was no coaxing the older two back into strollers, so they walked. We just couldn't help ourselves from snapping a few of Noah and Audrey holding hands, it was sooo cute.

Noah sobbed at first when we got onto the carousel because he had his heart so set on riding the elephant...and someone got to it first. However, once I was able to talk him into how cool it was to ride a gorilla too, things were a lot more fun for both of us!

We tried to get a quick shot of Noah & Audrey on the polar bear that Audrey rode, and all that Noah could think about was that he wanted to go over to say hi to the elephant (on the carousel). Our Noah definitely has his own likes & opinions, and while that can be difficult at times, I love that about him!

Chelsey & Audrey.

This is my favorite picture from the whole day! Maybe it's because it was always tradition to take a picture like this when I came to this zoo as a kid...but I just can not help but smile when I look at this picture! You've got a ways to grow still, squirt :)

Here's Noah checking out the gator. He really thinks alligators are cool (in fact, you probably can't tell, but his shirt even has one on it!). This is a white gator though, it's very rare - in fact one of only 10 known in the world! They've called it the Ghost of the Bayou, and it's on loan from a zoo in New Orleans (who knows, maybe it's good that he's here and not there right now...I guess we'll find out what kind of punch Gustav packs when he hits land tomorrow).

Our little Lincoln. He was such a trooper, he just ate and slept on the go all day. Love you, little buddy. Oh, and the day we went to the zoo was actually the day he turned 9 months old.

And, just before leaving we took a quick ride on the train. Poor Audrey was so tired, look how good she was though just drowsily sucking her thumb.

Didn't See That One Coming

Mark whipped up a delicious Sunday dinner tonight (I'm spoiled, I know). We had a tender pork roast, roasted carrots, nutty-garlic mashed potatoes, and our delicious friend the brussel sprout...
Sounds yummy, huh? Well...maybe not the pork part for our vegetarian friends, but alas - we carnivores enjoyed ourselves. In fact, at first that's all that Noah would eat. Eventually we were able to talk him into eating a carrot, but he made it very clear that he would NOT try the mashed potatoes. Weird, I know. I even tried putting potatoes and meat together on a fork...and he ate off just the meat.

So, when Noah started asking if he could get down and go watch a show (you guessed it...Toy Story) we told him that we'd put it on for him as soon as he took one bite of potato. He got his negotiation face on and told us matter-of-factly that he would eat this (pointing to a brussel sprout) instead. Huh? Okaaaay we said skeptically. We didn't think there was a chance that Noah would even touch his brussel sprouts, but we were doing the "good parent" thing to continue offering a variety of veggies to our kiddo.

Sure enough, Noah popped the little brussel sprout into his mouth and gobbled it down while he watched his show. In fact! He ran back to the table multiple times to grab another one. Not your normal movie snack, but we certainly weren't going to stop him! We got a good chuckle out of it, and like I said...I didn't see that one coming :)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

I Love Cookie Cutters...

...not the type that you pull out at the holidays, but rather the kids' hair salon Cookie Cutters. Noah used to be so scared to get his hair cut, well - no longer! And speaking of longer...check out this hair. We wanted to wait until it was closer to when we'd be getting our family pictures taken before cutting Noah's hair, so it got a bit shaggy. Here's his "before picture":

And here is Noah getting his hair cut. Notice the smile! No crying, squirming, or begging to get down. Amazing what sitting in a race car, watching a favorite movie, and being handed various toys, a sucker, and a balloon (when done) will do for a kid! I want to get my hair done somewhere this fun!

And, while he waited, Dad let Lincoln take a seat in a nearby "barber chair". So, everyone was happy. Did I mention that I love this place?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Everyday cuteness...

Uncle David was nice enough to let Noah play with his "little guitar" and Noah loved it!

Here's a little video clip of Noah rockin' out :)

I found Lincoln crashed out in his jumper the other day. I love the way his lips & cheeks hang like that...

I pulled out some bathtub finger-paints a few weeks ago. Noah was a bit skeptical at first, quick to warm up to the idea, and then progressed immediately to creating his masterpiece. It was serious business.

After a while of watching Noah and Lincoln crawl around & play together, I thought to grab my camera. I love watching them interact, so enjoy this clip of "gator" and "baby gator"...snap!

Just one last quick clip of our littlest sweetie:

Giddy Up!

Just a picture of Noah & Michael from a few weeks ago. Ride 'em, cowboy!
And a quick video clip too. Enjoy!


I have 19 (yes 19) different folders with selected pictures ready and waiting to become blog posts, but those will have to wait because I have to tell someone about this while my adrenaline is still pumping. Some of you may laugh, but oh well - here we go:

I am scared of spiders, not an unusual fear to have of course. If I remember right they say there are only 2 fears that babies are born with...fear of falling & fear of loud noises. So, I must have developed my fear of spiders at a young age because I can never remember NOT being afraid of them. My dad knew if I called for him to come snuff the life out of a spider that dared enter my room, that he better get it before it ran away or I wouldn't be sleeping in my room until it was found and I saw it swirling down with the toilet water.

Even earlier in our marriage I would put the stream spray on our spray 'n' wash (so I didn't have to get close to a spider) and just chase it, while spraying it, until it couldn't move...then I'd cover it with a cup and leave a note next to it for Mark that said "spider here" and he knew what to do. I remember my mom saying once "you know, someday you'll probably have to do that yourself"...and I remember thinking "Yeah, right." Well, once again, Mom was right...

With the proper motivation I have begun doing a fair share of the spider squishing in our household. What is that proper motivation you may ask? That's easy to two beautiful baby boys. All I have to do when I see a spider in our picture it crawling on, or biting, Noah's or Lincoln's soft skin and I am revved up. Of course, if there is a more capable exterminator around (aka Mark) then I quickly call for him to take care of things. Also, I don't at all mean to say that I don't get scared when I get close to the spider - but I don't hesitate to do the dirty work and run the risk of the darn thing getting away...less I lay awake picturing the creepy little thing crawling across one of my babies!

SO! Enough background. Here's my story: Today Noah was having a hard time going to sleep for his nap. I could hear him running around his room acting out various scenes from 'Toy Story'. That happens sometimes though, and he'll eventually tire himself out and climb into bed. So, I continued taking care of Lincoln and getting other things done. Then, Noah started banging on/kicking his door for me to come get him. I ignored it for a while, but he persisted. So, I opened the door and in my stern mommy voice told him to get into bed.

Noah proceeded to tell me that there was a bug in the corner of his room. Now, we've been through this several times before. There is a paint chip on the baseboard near the corner of his room. Noah likes to tell me that it is a "bug" (and I can see how with a bit of imagination one could think that). So, the routine is that I touch it and say - nope, it's not a bug, see? That satisfies him, and then we're done.

So, when I asked Noah to get in bed for his nap and he pointed to the corner of his room and told me there was a bug...I began my routine of "honey, it's not a bug, see..." but I quickly stopped when I realized one of these was really there:
Aaaaagh! I don't know for sure if it was a hobo spider, but it sure looked like it. Super scary (for me). I quickly grabbed toilet paper, took off my shoe, and told Noah to stand back in case it was a fast little bugger. I was nervous & sweating, and trying to gather my gumption to attack this thick-legged beasty spider when I heard from the doorway "Go, Mommy! Go, Mommy! You can do it!!" It was apparently just what I needed, and I was promptly able to slay the creepy little invader. I then quickly marched to the toilet, flushed it, we waved goodbye to it, and I breathed a huge sigh of relief.

I have to say - that was Noah's first time cheering me on about anything, and I found the sweet, unsolicited encouragement to be so refreshingly satisfying. I never thought I would be able to even kill a spider on my own...much less find something sweet to remember during the process of doing so!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Our Chance...

Saturday evening Mark & I had our chance for several things...our chance to accept an invitation to attend, and sit at a paid table for, the annual Ebony & Ivory charity event...our chance to go out together without the kids for an evening...our chance to get all dressed up...our chance to enjoy delicious food & the breathtaking grounds at La Caille...and our chance to relax and enjoy good company and adult conversation. And, even though we enjoyed all of that immensely, our evening was even more special due to another was our chance to sit at a table with each of the parties responsible for helping Lincoln make his way into the world, and into our family. Before Saturday we had never met the generous couple who donated the funds that paid for the in-vitro cycle by which we got pregnant with Lincoln. We also hadn't seen Dr. Peterson, who provided us with such exceptionally skilled and personal care throughout our IVF cycle, since the day he actually transferred our embryos. And then, the people (who we love dearly) who selected & contacted us, about receiving this amazing opportunity were there also.

Words will never be adaquate to thank all the parties involved for such a miraculous gift. However, it was so wonderful to be able to sit at that table with each of them and say thank you in person...and to show them pictures of our beautiful baby, that joined our family because of them.

We have truly been blessed (twice, in two different ways) by the selflessness & generosity of others...and we are reminded of this every day when we look at each of our beautiful boys. So, although saying "thank you" will never be enough, it sure feels good to get to say it...and Saturday it was our chance.

Friday, August 22, 2008

9 Months (& 9 days!) Old

I’m a bit late on getting Lincoln’s 9 month post up, but here we go…

It seems like Lincoln has changed so much over this last month. Perhaps I should start with his most apparent difference first...he's a crawler now, and a pretty fast one already! Lincoln will follow us around the house, put anything he can find in his mouth, and get himself stuck in the strangest places. I thought that I'd include a video clip of the cute little army crawl. Here you go:

Lincoln is also getting quite a head of hair! And, on his left side it is even starting to get some curl to it. Now and then he’ll grab a fist full of his hair and pull on it…followed by a confused expression of “who did that?”…it’s pretty funny. He is almost always such a happy baby. People always comment on how unbelievably happy and content he is. This is the expression that we see most of the time:

Linc is really starting to notice when he does things that people like or think are funny. He’s kind of modified his little raspberry sound (I now call it his “munch-mouth”). Here’s a clip him looking pleased with himself for entertaining us with the munch-mouth:

Here are the most recent stats on our sweet little guy...
  • Weight: 25 pounds (94th percentile)
  • Length: 29.2 inches (73rd percentile)
  • Head Circumference: 50 cm (off the chart big)
  • Happiness Factor: Also off the charts

I’m still learning to understand the difference between “this is a stage that my child is in” and “this is my child’s personality”. Whichever one of those is the case with Lincoln and being so happy…I’m making sure to enjoy and notice it. For example…lots of babies cry or yell to get you to look at them or give them attention. Lincoln will usually squeal or laugh (sometimes it’s a really forced little laugh) until you look at him. At times he seems to get so happy it’s like he’s going to burst…he’ll start doing the “violent head throws” back and forth like in this clip:

Some of the other new things Lincoln’s started doing this month include eating finger foods, jumping so hard in the jumper that I worry he’ll break it, “singing” along with music (and protesting when the music stops), and my very favorite…playing with Noah.

It is so much fun to watch them interact while they play. Usually Lincoln will follow Noah back to the toy room and they'll play with toys, or crawl in circles around the room following each other. Often times Noah will assign Lincoln to be a certain animal (unbeknownst to Lincoln of course) and they will commence games of chasing (crawling after each other), scaring (Noah hiding & jumping out growling…Lincoln shrieking with joy), or tickling. There are times that having these two only about 20 months apart is challenging, but the times that I already can sit back and watch them be buddies already makes it worth it! And, hey…at least they’ve both been wearing the same size diapers (size 4) for some time now!

Let me just wrap up this post with a video clip of something that I think every parent probably sees at some point...the falling asleep in the highchair gig.
Lincoln was fussing and I thought he was hungry, so I gave him his binky and put him in his highchair. While I was getting his food I noticed that he got really quiet, so I walked over to his highchair to find this:

We love you so much, Lincoln. You are such a blessing & we are so lucky to have you in our family!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Family Pictures

Here is a link to the family pictures that we had done a couple of days ago: Just put your cursor over the right side of the big picture, and an arrow will appear to click on (or an arrow on the left to go backward). The arrow under the thumbnails is for going through the pages (there are 4 of them).

In addition to juggling the three kiddos, we had wind, bright sun, and dark shadows to contend with...and limited time before the sun disappeared and left us in a dark valley. Even Lincoln (who is Mr. always-smiley) had a rough time. However! We had a good time & I think we got some good shots. We've been so pleased in working with this photographer, she is great! She did my maternity pictures, was present to photograph Lincoln's birth (yes, they let her in the O.R.!), and she took Lincoln's newborn pics & six month pictures too. So! If you'd like to take a look at more of her work, then take a peek at her blog:

Monday, August 4, 2008

Speak Your Mind!

We have never done the comment thing on our blog before...but we're going to give it a try. So, you'll now see a comment link at the end of each post. Please feel free to leave us a comment, we'd love to hear from you!

Month of Water

Every week this month our playgroup is doing water activities. Last week we let the kiddies run through the Snowflake Fountain at The Gateway. Noah loves to do this & calls the fountain there "the silly water". At this playgroup Noah just followed around Michael at first & copied whatever he did, it was pretty cute. Eventually though, Noah wanted to go off & do his own thing - which is also cute, but a lot more exhausting for me as I had to chase him down and coax him back to the fountain area. Thank goodness there were other moms there so that I could ditch Linc in the stroller and run after Noah. I don't know how you moms with multiple toddlers do it!

Here's a funny video clip of Noah & Michael.

Michael's face cracks me up in this picture. He can be so dramatic - it's super cute. As for Noah, he kept inching his way right up to a stream of shooting water until it sprayed him in the face - and then he'd run away laughing...until he got it up the nose once, then he was a lot less amused.

Now, the girls at playgroup were a little less hands-on with the activity than the boys. I didn't get a picture of everyone, but here are a few of the ladies with their cuties:
Coreen & Kate

Nora & Lila

Stephanie & Kaia, Claire, and Noah (who is getting pretty tired by this point...)

And last, but not least, Lincoln. He just sat in the stroller and grinned the whole time. He is such a sweet natured baby. It's weird for me to think that next summer he'll be running around with Noah at these playgroups!

Uncoordinated Matching

Remember when you were in the 3rd grade and you'd call up your best friend to coordinate matching outfits to wear to school the next day? I do (Jenny). Well, I swear that Claire and I didn't do that with Michael and Noah the other day...

We went to run errands for the PIM welcome picnic that we're planning, and when we got out of our cars we found out that our boys were matching. So, of course, I had to snap a couple of pictures!

And, yes, Noah is clutching a newfound treasure. "Squishy Nemo". Of course it was the only item that made it into our cart that wasn't on the 50 cent sale at the party store.