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Tiaras and Trucks

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Roly Poly

No camera, so no new pictures.  Yet, even without a camera, life marches on, so I figured I could update anyway.

Dylan has added rolling to his arsenal of tricks.  (He can also hold his own toys and blow spit bubbles - Harvard should be calling us up any day now.)  He's been working so hard on this.  Any time he was on his back, he would try so hard to get to his tummy.  His little legs would be over, and he would press his head and shoulders into the ground, but his body just wouldn't cooperate.  There's a lot of body there, not to mention that pesky arm getting in the way.  Yesterday, though, he managed to complete a roll!  We were playing in Abbey's room in the morning, and he flipped all the way onto his tummy.  Abbey was so excited and giggling, which was almost as cute as the rolling.

Of course, he immediately remembered that he is not a big fan of hanging out on his stomach and started protesting the new position.  Unfortunately, he can't roll from his tummy to his back yet.  Fortunately, I was right there to roll him back to his back and give him a few comfort snuggles to calm him down.  I hope that's the kind of mommy I can always be.  When my kids get in an uncomfortable position, I want them to know that I am there to help them out and wipe their tears but that I want them to eventually be strong enough to figure out the solution themselves. 


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Picture This

Sigh.  There is something wrong with our camera, and I don't know if it is fixable.  To be honest, I haven't even looked at the manual yet to discern if I should be freaking out or not.  I know that I sometimes reach for the camera more than I should, but I love capturing some of the little moments I share with A & D to sprinkle around to the people that aren't able to be with them hours upon hours at a time.  There were several moments today that I would have loved to snap at.

- Abbey "got her shoes on" this morning to go to playgroup.  By that, I mean she found my lovely (in my opinion) maroon, patent leather, super high pumps and slid her little feet into them.  And walked across the house to the kitchen, where she sweetly asked, "I wear these to playgroup?"  She then wanted me to wear them there, but I decided not to poke little stilletto holes into the circle time mats we use there.  I so wanted to take a picture and send it immediately to my Aunt Carolyn, because my cousins and I used to love wearing her beautiful, dressy, work heels around the house.

- Prior to putting on her shoes, she decided to color her own hair.  The intention was actually to draw her ABCs (a favorite thing to do, as you can see by the scribbled pieces of paper all over our house).  Today, however, she found the forbidden fruit hiding in a desk drawer somewhere - one of Mommy's favorite Flair pens.  (For those of you not familiar with the Flair, they are super skinny Bic markers and absolutely perfect for grading papers.)  She managed to get the marker all over her hands, a little bit on her face, and somehow in a perfect streak in her hair.  This was all accomplished in the few minutes it took to pack up the diaper bag to leave the house.  Baby wipes, soap, and water got most of the marker off her skin, but she is still rocking a bright red stripe in her hair.  Two years old and already taking risks with hair color.

- Dylan was absolutely loving a musical toy my mom has that plays "Itsy Bitsy Spider".  He loves music and talking, and I fall more in love with his giant grin and silly giggle each day.  In all the chaos that comes with a high-spirited toddler, his sweet, simple disposition is a breath of calm and peace during each day.  He is always ready to smile, laugh, and hold the hand of anyone that snuggles and engages him, and he is too, too precious for words.

A couple of pictures from a few days ago, for the people who would much rather see the kids than read my goofy stories!
Dylan holding onto Sophie.  He's learning to put her in his mouth, which makes him happy.
Some of Abbey's creations.  They're a mixture of poster paints and finger paints, and thank the heavens that Crayola makes both kinds in extremely washable formulas, because I think we get just as much on ourselves and the floor as we do on the paper!


Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Lately, Abbey's imaginative play has been increasing in absolute leaps and bounds.  She is constantly singing and talking to anyone around, including dolls, stuffed animals, and imaginary pets and friends.  As someone who had a pretty active imagination as a child, I get excited watching this part of her personality develop. 

Like a lot of other things she undertakes, she is pretty serious even about her silliness.  This is one of the only things that she will do for any real amount of time on her own (she is not a big fan of independent play with blocks or toys or even crafts; she likes companionship,) so I definitely don't want to ever discourage it.  This is one of my main concerns about considering a Montessori preschool for the kids.  Most of the philosophy gels with what I believe about children and their learning, but I am not on board with their lack of encouragement when it comes to imaginative/pretend play.  We have time to hammer out those choices, though!
(One of Abbey's favorites)  "If you're happy and you know it
clap your hands!"  He's not a good clapper, but he adores Abbey, so I think that counts as happy.
Making some mac and cheese for Dylan while Mommy is cooking dinner.  He looks like he kind of wants to be rescued, but he tolerated the game for a while.
Here you go Dylan!
Open wide!

Maybe I should have discouraged this game a little.  The next day Abbey actually fed Dylan a cheerio.  It was dissolved/swallowed before I could fish it out, and doesn't seem any worse for the wear.  In her defense, I did tell her that when Dylan got a little older, she could help me feed him his cereal.  I guess she doesn't remember the tasteless mush that is rice cereal!

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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sitting Pretty

Dylan is a pretty social little guy.  He loves being part of any action happening around him.  We have been using his little seat to give him a chance to sit right in the middle of things when Abbey and I are playing on the floor or making dinner.  My big boy is getting pretty strong and sitting up pretty well.

One of the funniest things about the chair is that Abbey loves sitting in it, too.  She wasn't the biggest fan when she was a baby, but lately she loves it.  She started playing with it before Dylan was born, so it's not even like it's just a matter of wanting to have what he is using.

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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

We're Baaaaaack...

The Zoo!  Abbey was pretty excited to go to the zoo today, especially since we were going with Aunt Jessica, Katelyn, and Katelyn's Mommy (the rest of us call her Jill).  Even though she is a little shy around Katelyn, she talks about her all the time.  In fact, after the zoo today, she kept asking where Katelyn was and got mad when I told her that Katelyn had to go to her house.  She kept insisting, "Katelyn will eat dinner at Abbey's house!" 

Katelyn is probably thanking her lucky stars that she ate dinner at her own house.  Ryan was at work late tonight, so I let Abbey pick dinner.  We had eggs and toast.  I added oranges to try to get some extra nutrition in there!

The fountain
Dylan during his diaper change next to the fountain.  He was kind of bummed to put on pants, so I left his socks off.  That made him pretty happy.
The chimps - we saw the baby chimp, too, but I didn't get a picture of her. 
Dylan found his thumb a lot today.
The seals were swimming around, but the polar bear wasn't in the water.  He was actually doing some sort of strange dance outside.  We're thinking he might be practicing for Dancing with the Stars.
She can be such a goofball when the camera comes out!
So serious
Movie star in Mommy's glasses
Loved playing by the polar bears
Still playing by the exhibit
Aunt Jessica!!
This peacock tried to attack us at the giraffe exhibit.  Maybe not exactly attack, but it scared all of us by flying in our direction to leave the exhibit.
We saw this giraffe go from standing to sitting.  It was really a cool thing to see.  Their legs are so thin and long and bend in crazy ways.
Dylan slept at various points throughout the day, but of course he was awake (and hungry!!) when the girls finally fell asleep at the end.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Press Pause

Recently, I had an accident – a stupid, clumsy thing that happened in an instant. I’ve been leaving Dylan’s infant seat in the car, since he is a brute of a baby and getting nearly impossible to carry without stretching some tendons in my arm. So, I was carrying him in my arms into the garage, and instead of moving a box that was in my way, I tried to sidestep it. Fail. Fail. Fail.

Instinctually, I pulled him closer to me and threw out my elbows to try to balance, falling sideways into the wall. Except the “wall” in question was the side door to my garage, and I crashed through the window with my elbow. Glass shattered and rained down, scratching and pinning my arm to the door frame. Trying to stay calm, I pulled my arm free and walked him over to the other side of the car, where Abbey was waiting. Freak-outs ensued, mostly by Abbey when she saw the blood, but I gently placed Dylan in Abbey’s car seat and let Abbey climb into the front seat to “drive” (her newest obsession.)

I called Ryan in a panic, and he was home in minutes. He found me, still in the garage, clamping one of Dylan’s diapers to my dripping arm. A little soapy water, some peroxide, a boat load of Neosporin, and a shirt change later, and I was back in saddle, herding the kids to Target for some last minute Easter shopping. My arm looks ugly, but the wound was much more frightening than it was damaging.

The whole thing made me really think about all of those times I cut corners to squeeze a little something extra into my day. Carrying too much down the stairs, trying to juggle a mug of coffee when my hands are already full, countless little things that I get away with on a daily basis. Yet, my heart stops when I think about how unbelievably lucky I was that only MY ELBOW went through that glass and not something more fragile and infinitely more precious, like even a single hair on Dylan’s little head.

I need to slow down. So forgive me if I am running late or forget something at home. Please know that I am not blowing you off but making a conscious effort to take even better care of these little people God has entrusted to me. And I will give you the same consideration, so that you can take care of that which is precious to you as well.

That's my little girl - pink sparkly shoes, even without any other clothes.  Accessories rule.


Monday, April 12, 2010

Leavin' on a Jet Plane

Nan left today, and my heart feels a little empty today. She slid right into our lives here in Michigan, and it was almost like she had always been here. Abbey talks about Grandma a lot, but she has started to talk about “Grandma and Nan” as though they are an indivisible team. We spent a lot of time gallivanting around town and just talking and playing at my mom’s house. We went to the zoo, where Nan was present for a record-breaking attendance day. Seriously, Good Friday saw a decade-long attendance record!

There’s something special about spending time with her on a day-to-day basis. I will miss the way she could make Dylan giggle and laugh. I will miss the way she tirelessly played with Abbey and the way that Abbey said her name. I will miss the way she can make me feel special and beautiful, as only a grandma can. I mean, we’re talking about someone who told me I would look too thin if I lost fifteen pounds!

She was here almost a month, and I am incredibly grateful that we were able to have such a long visit with her. I know that the kids and I were lucky to spend the amount of time with her that we did, in such a large chunk. However, sometimes my heart can be selfish, even when my head knows I have a lot for which to be thankful. So I wish she could have stayed longer. We will see her again in June, but two months seems a long way off today!

Nan made us all look bad with her animal pictures that actually look like the animals she is drawing.  (Let's just say that I get jealous when Abbey asks Ryan to draw a snake, because she asks me to draw things like hippos!)

Four generations


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Happy Birthday Jessica!

This weekend, I ran a 5K and didn't keel over doing it.  I give some credit to myself and some credit to Jessica, who closed out her 20s with her first 5K run.  We did much better than anticipated (31 minutes, 38 seconds, go us!) and had a ton of fun.  Doing the run with Jessica made it less intimidating, and I love her for that.  I don't have a sister, but I feel so lucky to have the sister-in-law that I do.  She is absolutely the best. 

This morning, I was getting dressed, and Abbey was playing by herself in her room.  She was singing (as usual), and I heard her little voice chirping "Happy birthday Aunt Jessica, happy birthday Aunt Jessica".  So Happy 30th Birthday, we love you!

This is the sign that Jill (Jessica's sister) made for me for the race this weekend.  Our signs honestly helped so much, because they were there at about 2.5 miles, when it started to seem like a good idea to stop running! (We didn't stop.)  Donnie & Jess have some pictures of us all at the run, so maybe I will post those later.  I hear I look abnormally short next to Jessica's (very tall) brother, though, so I'm not sure!

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Caffeine, Oh Caffeine

On Easter, I had a cup of coffee, and my dad seemed a little surprised. I have never really been a consistent drinker of coffee, although I like it and have always enjoyed an occasional coffee beverage. However, I never liked the idea of needing a cup of anything to make it through my day.

Of course, I also never liked the idea of wearing someone's meal regurgitated onto my shoulder (and down my back, thanks a lot reflux).

Having kids has changed my perspective on some countless things, and surviving on caffeine is just one of those things. Seriously, I used to tell people that an apple can wake you up just as well as a cup of coffee. (I swear, I read that somewhere.) Ha! I now look at the coffeemaker each morning with a combination of desperation and gratefulness and take whatever help I can find in the bottom of each wonderful cup of instant energy.

Why do I need the extra energy?  Well, these are my kids after the craziness of Easter, at 6:45 in the evening.  Please notice that neither of them look the slightest bit tired.  (I will admit that Abbey was in bed by 8:00, but I can't say the same for our little man!)

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Friday, April 9, 2010

Hippity Hippity Hop

Hooray!  The Easter Bunny has hopped through our house.
Elmo eggs!
My first Easter basket
Bubbles are always a hit with Abbey
Dylan is right to look worried and hold his toys tightly.  Abbey loves playing with his toys, especially when he is playing with them.
All dressed up and on the way to our annual Polish breakfast.  Every year, Grandma Rose puts together a basket of artery clogging food, like Polish kielbasa, rye bread with real butter, bacon, eggs, and oranges and has it all blessed at church on Saturday.  It's a tradition in our family, and I love that another generation is now partaking.  Of course, I am also glad that we only eat those things for breakfast once a year!
Dylan fell asleep in the car on the way over and didn't wake up until after we were done with breakfast.
Look at my bunny basket!
The kids & me.  Too blonde?  I can't decide.
It is nearly impossible to get a good  picture of four people when two of them are so young.
Abbey loves Aunt Jessica and Honey Bear.  I am pretty sure she asks for Honey Bear every time we go to my parents' house.
Beginning to open Easter gifts from Grandma & Grandpa, Nan, and Grandma Sue & Grandpa Ray
In the midst of her treasures (and Dylan's, since he is too young to care that she opens his gifts for him)
Playing with Nan and the vintage Little People Farm at the end of the day

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