Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Snow days

The weather has gotten very cold and snowy here, so it's perfect to spend indoors.

Callan spent yesterday with daddy building a gingerbread house.

The finished product looked suspiciously well put together and Huge confirmed that Callan wanted to place the candy, but not the frosting. 

We'll have to think of some other good crafts to do because it's a long time until Spring!

Although if you do need to venture out, it's best to bundle up!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

My little gymnast

We try to sign Callan up for at least 1 class a season and the last few sessions have been gymnastics. There's a great program through the Park District and Callan loves it. Unfortunately we were wait listed for the next session (seriously, sign up started at 9 am and I tried signing up at 9:01!), so we might try soccer or swimming for the winter. Here are some pictures of Callan from class -clearly the Olympics are in his future.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thanksgiving is coming

And someone is very excited...

She heard there was turkey, stuffing and pie involved!

Hope everyone has a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

p.s. How much do they look alike? Here's Callan 2 years ago wearing the same outfit...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Dear Callan and Nora: the VERY overdue newsletter

Dear Callan and Nora:
At this point I can't even keep up with the passing of time. Days and weeks fly by and before I know it, another amazing month passes by. I can't keep up with it and I find myself having to count on my fingers trying to figure out exactly how old you are. We've had a lot going on recently and it's been hard to keep track of it all. I also know with the holidays coming up, the rest of this year is probably going to be a blur and soon we'll be celebrating birthdays (gah!).

You are now officially two and a half. I am no longer counting exact months because it's too hard for me to keep up with, so you will be two and a half for a while (or until next year when I'll probably start referring to you as "almost three"). Your vocabulary and speech is growing in leaps and bounds and it's so fun to be able to "talk" to you. Your stories still require a little bit of interpretation and sometimes we make you repeat words (which I think annoys you at times since you so clearly are trying to tell us something!), but it's really remarkable to have these conversations with you. You have started the toddler "why" phase, which is both exciting and at times frustrating as you really want an answer to your questions that I sometimes don't have. I mean you want to know why it's windy outside or why it's raining. It's a good thing that we can ask Miss Frizzle some of these questions!  You're the only 2.5 year old I know that watches the Magic School Bus (kids from the 80s, remember this show? So great), but I can't blame you since you've got your father's nerdy science genes. The other shows in rotation currently are Word World, Curious George and Super Why. Thankfully, we got out of the Caillou rotation (although occasionally you do ask for it) and Mater Tales (from Cars). Since Nora's arrival, you've gotten to watch more tv since I need a few minutes in the morning to get ready for work and a few quiet moments to put Nora to bed, but I figure we held out for awhile and your tv time is still pretty limited in the grand scheme of things, so I can't feel too badly.

You also LOVE singing and you're getting much better at it. Your favorite songs to sing are A-B-Cs, twinkle, twinkle, Rock-a-bye-baby and wheels on the bus. Sometimes I try to sing along with you and you'll stop your song and tell me, "no sing mommy". I understand this -my singing voice has never been great.

You're also a great big brother. You love making your sister laugh and you'll sometimes get upset when Nora gets bored of your game and stops laughing. You'll tell me with a concerned voice that "Nora not laughing at me", which is so cute and melts my heart. You will go give her hugs and kisses unprompted and although we're still working on making sure you're not grabbing toys from her, you do seem (for the most part) concerned with her well-being and will at least try to "trade" her a toy.
You aren't the greatest sleeper and you are still unusually attached to your mommy, but I figure this phase will eventually pass (and when it does it'll seem too fast), so I'm trying to enjoy it as much as I can. You're almost fully potty trained (during the day -we haven't quite mastered the overnight thing yet) and you are getting to be more and more like a big kid every day and it's sometimes hard to remember you as a baby, even though it wasn't that long ago.
(This is you with the pumpkin eating dinosaur at the pumpkin farm. You reference this dinosaur a lot, which confuses most people since they were not there with you.)

And Nora bug,
You are 6/7 months old (?) and just great. I don't know what I have to say about you, but you're just so amazing and fun. You've got the best smile and with your giant cheeks, there's something really satisfying about getting a giant gummy grin from you. Your whole face lights up when you're happy and I won't lie, you're pretty happy most of the time.

You started moving this month and although you're not quite officially crawling on all fours (that might take a while, your belly kind of drags on the ground), you've got the army crawl down pat. And you're fast -especially when you set your sights on something (like Callan's toy).

You were just like Callan and a great sleeper, but something has been throwing you off (probably your teeth) and you've been waking up at night. It's not too terrible though. You're also the opposite of your brother and go to bed really early. I don't know if it's because of the time change, but your 7/7:30 bedtime has gotten bumped up. It means I don't get to play too much with you after work during the week, but I do usually get an extra snuggle or two from you during the middle of the night wake up.

We started you on solids around 6 months via the baby led weaning approach we used with your brother and you L-O-V-E it. You love feeding yourself and even though you don't have any teeth, you're eating like you've known how to do it your whole life. Unfortunately the introduction of solids has impacted your bowels, so we've been giving you some pureed prunes/pears/etc. So far it seems like you don't have any aversions or allergies, but we've mostly been sticking to the green veggies and fruits. You've had yogurt and a little bit of meat/fish and so far you're loving it all.

Anyway, Nora bug, you're awesome and although you might not have as much of your life documented as your brother, you're no less loved.


(seriously, look at those cheeks!)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Brr... It's chilly out there!

It has suddenly turned to winter around here so it's time to pull out the winter gear!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween! 2013

I am so behind on posting, but I thought I'd take a pause to wish everyone a Happy Halloween!

Don't be alarmed... Nora may not look too happy about being a cow, but really it's just because her nap got interrupted. I'll try to get a happier version of this picture posted.

Howdy partner! (costume complete with horse!)

And a look back at Halloweens of yesteryear:


Friday, October 4, 2013

Excuse me...

Um, excuse me, flight attendant, are there snacks served on this flight?

Oh no? That's fine, I brought my own.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

August family vacation

** So I started this post back in August when we got back... now it's almost October. Yikes.**

Back in January/February (? a long time ago, back when we only had 1 kid each) we discussed with our good friends starting some new family traditions and going on a family vacation together. After lots of searching we found the perfect house in Maine. The only problem was that it was an almost 4 hour drive from Boston and flights to Portland were $2-300 more expensive. But, we all decided that we could hack the drive and booked the house and flights. Fast forward a few months and our August family vacation finally arrived.

Off to the airport. Callan thought he was a bigshot with his rolling backpack (and we got a lot of "oh, how adorable!").

Then the flight there was great. Callan had his own seat (and of course, a lollipop for his "ears")

The house was amazing and just as advertised. I don't have any pictures (of course). There was some good family time.
There was a fair amount of napping (although I wish I did more of it personally).

And relaxing.

Of course lots of eating (lobster).
Callan making this New England mama proud eating "steamers" with gusto.

And ice cream!

Lots of ice cream!
The week flew by and before we knew it we were heading back to Chicago.

Good news. They're still friends after a week together.

And hey, look, clouds!

It was a long day of travel, but totally worth it to hang out on vacation with friends and family.

Can't wait to do it again next year!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Fun with play-do

Huge has been away a fair amount this year, travelling with work and the kids and I have relied on the kindness of friends to fill up those weekends.  One of Callan's favorite visitors (although, let's be honest, he loves everyone) is Sabrina (and I love her because she always comes and cooks me dinner). He's gotten to cook with her, play silly games and his favorite, do funny things with Play-do. Watch out Tom Selleck, Callan can rock a 'stache!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Dear Callan & Nora: 28 & 5

Dear Callan and Nora-
I'm not sure why I'm still trying to eek these out every month... maybe it's to prove to myself that 2nd children aren't as forgotten as "they" say they are... or it's a good excuse to sit down every month and talk about what's happening... but either way, I'm kind of failing at it.

This past month (August) was a great month for us all. We finally went on our first family vacation to Maine with our good friends the Permans. Callan you loved having your best friend around all day to play with and because you're such a water baby, you loved the pool and beach. Nora, this vacation was the first time you went on a plane and as usual, you were a champ. I would claim the vacation a success and hopefully we'll get to do it again next year.

What else... Callan, there's nothing really new to report, but yet, so much is new. You're talking so much more and it's so fun to hear the expressions you've picked up. You have your moments -fake tears, foot stomping and "no, right now", but for the most part, you're a really great kid. You've got an imagination on you and it's fun to hear you use it and you've got a sense of humor too. You're kind of a ham and when you do certain things, you'll look for a reaction from us. Sometimes your dad and I work hard to keep a straight face since we don't want to encourage certain things.

You also are pretty good with your sister. There are obviously times you're not (since you're not perfect), but for the most part, I can't complain. The best part is when I catch you being sweet to Nora and you'll be showing her something or will give her random hugs and kisses or will just tell her "I lub you Nora" without prompting. I hope your relationship with her grows and that you'll eventually be best friends.

This past month we also took a big step in your potty training. Adelia really did most (ok 90%) of the work on this one, but we finally ripped off the band-aid and have been putting you in undies during the day. We haven't gotten overnights down yet since you still LOVE to chug a glass of milk/water before bed, but that will be the next step. I'm so proud of you and most days are accident free.

The only complaint I'd have is your inability to stay the night in your bed. You start off there, but sometime between 1-5am you come creeping into ours.  I keep hoping this will be a phase that you'll eventually get over yourself, but we're definitely months into this habit. I don't necessarily hate it, but I would like just a little bit more room on the bed. 

And Nora buggy, what can I say. You're still a giant roly-poly baby, but you're so happy and lovable. You seem serious at times, but you'll break out into giggles and smiles for pretty much anyone. You especially love your brother (and seem to tolerate a great deal of abuse from him). But whenever you're playing near each other, you'll always try to find him and follow his voice. It'll be interesting to see how it'll be once you start becoming mobile. You are rolling a lot and you aren't quite sitting, but you don't love being left on your back or stomach since you can't see everything. You're pretty happy in your swing or seat and your exersaucer can keep you entertained for a long time. I think you're working on some teeth, but none have popped up yet. Your sleep is pretty solid (although recently you're back to waking up at night to eat), but we were spoiled and it could be a lot worse.

This next month will be your half birthday and I'm still pretty incredulous of how the time has flown by. My maternity leave with you was over in an instant and now it seems like your first year will be too. You're already wearing 9 month clothes and so much will change in the next few months that you'll be like a whole new person. We're going to start solids with you in the next little bit and I think you'll be like Callan and really excited for it. We gave you a piece of steamed broccoli the other day to play with and you were pretty content to hang out and gum at it for awhile. 

Callan and Nora, I want to freeze time to be able to soak in everything, but I'm also so excited to see what the future holds for you.

I love you immensely.



Friday, September 6, 2013

Blast from the past

I was just looking through some drafts and I came accross this picture. Look how little they are! This was taken over 2 years ago (July 2011)

This is what they look like now (May 2013).

Crazy how time flies.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Last days of summer

Hope everyone is enjoying the last few days of summer. I'm still not sure how it came to be Labor Day weekend already, but the kids kicked it off the right way with a trip to the beach. Seriously, these kids have the life!

Enjoy the last days of summer! I know we will be. See you in September!

Thursday, August 29, 2013


There are lots of updates to be made -from our vacation last week and the kids' newsletter, but for now, here's a picture to get you through. I'm not sure how they both fit on the swing, but she was loving it.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

One man band

Who can say no to those soulful eyes.