2013 Project 52

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Baby Doll

Nonna and Zaidy got Tessa this Amish-made cradle for her (future) baby dolls. I couldn't resist plopping her in for a quick photo op, since she actually fits!

Bikini Babe and Water Bug

Summer is here! Our pool opened for the season on Monday! It was a gorgeous weekend here, so we spent time at the pool yesterday and today. Check out our sweet girl modeling her first bikini:

Calder is a true water bug! He squealed with excitement the entire time we were at the pool. We can't wait to sign him up for the neighborhood swim team, the Tidal Waves, when he's old enough!

Tessa tested out the waters too. We think she liked it...but she honestly had no reaction when we dipped her legs in. Miss Serious! At least we can be pretty sure she didn't dislike it!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend -- Part 4

This final installment of our Memorial Day weekend highlights features photos from our two stops in Pittsburgh!Nonna and Zaidy pose with the two newest family members: Tessa & Olivia

Calder and Madison

Honing those soccer skills!

Zaidy & Tessa

Abigail & Julia

Memorial Day Weekend -- Part 3

On Sunday morning, we visited with my friend Marla and her family in their awesome new house!
Sam and Calder "sharing" trains...

Marla giving Tessa some love!

And, on Sunday afternoon, we got to hang out with Lindsay and her family. Lindsay was one of my college roommates. We hadn't seen each other in almost 4 years! It was great to see her, and I hope we don't wait another 4 years before the next visit!!

Lindsay's husband, Dan, getting his baby fix.

Calder polishing off all of Lindsay's watermelon. This child LOVES watermelon!

Memorial Day Weekend -- Part 2

On Saturday we had a big gathering with my mom's side of the family. 5 of the 6 grandchildren were there, and 9 of the 13 great-grandchildren (little did we know that great-grandchild #14 would be born the next day!! We can't wait to meet you, Blake!)

The weather was great, and the kids had a blast running all over the yard chasing bubbles. Thanks, Mom, for all your hard work in putting the party together! We had so much fun seeing everyone.

Tessa with her Great-Grandma (my Grandma).

My lame attempt at getting all 9 kids together in one shot. Guess who wasn't interested!? From L-R: Tessa, Sandhya, Ella, Reese, Jaiden, Ethan, Chase and Jacob (with Calder in background). All of them are age 6 or younger!

Tessa models her watermelon picnic dress. (What else??)

Reese, the happy happy birthday girl.

Ella chases giant bubbles!

Serious bubble discussions.

Chase and Ethan

Ethan almost gets a mouthful!

By the end of the night, Calder, Reese and Sandhya had discovered a pile of dirt and rocks that occupied them for well over an hour. Calder kept running over to the adults and declaring "I'm so dirty!" then running back to the pile to rub more dirt all over his body. It was cute, but I really hope it doesn't become a trend!

Memorial Day Weekend -- Part 1

We took a roadtrip to MI for Memorial Day Weekend, bookended by stops in Pittsburgh. It's a great way to break up the drive since it's pretty much exactly at the half-way point. Both kids did FANTASTIC in the car! I was shocked. Tessa mostly slept for 4 hour stretches and Calder kept busy by watching movie after movie. Thank God for the travel DVD player!

We spent Friday at my Dad and Peggy's house where we enjoyed great weather and a yummy dinner!
Dad and Peg with the two newest grandchildren (aka the ones who will sit still long enough to have their picture taken...)

Calder and Sandhya had a great time playing 'kitchen' on the front porch. They served me up everything from raisins to ice cream!

Looks like they dropped something!

Thursday, May 28, 2009


Over the past week, Tessa has experienced several firsts! On Thursday, she took her first road trip to Pittsburgh, followed by her first trip to Michigan the next day. On Thursday night she graced us with her first big belly laugh (prompted by Mommy's funny faces and noises). And, upon returning home from our weekend away, she decided that Tuesday was the prime time to start rolling over (from back to belly).

Oh, and she also held her first big bubble wand. Very seriously, I might add.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Regrets, I Have A Few...

We just returned from a whirlwind weekend trip to Michigan/Pittsburgh. (Lots of pictures to come!!) Since Dave usually does most of the driving, I decided to take the opportunity to catch up on some of my magazines that have been sitting around collecting dust for the last few months. I found the following article in "Parents" magazine. It's titled "Regrets, I have a few" (pages 82-84 of the June issue, written by Merrin Dungey). I laughed so hard I nearly peed my pants. I could totally relate to so much of what was written here! So, if you are a new mommy or even a not-so-new mommy I hope you enjoy this as much as I did. It's actually an excerpt from the collection "Afterbirth: Stories You Won't Read in a Parenting Magazine" which I am going to order from Amazon as soon as I finish this post. I could use some more laughs like this! (And no, I did not take the time to type this all out -- I copied it from some other poor soul who did!)

Since I had my first child three months ago I've dealt with an endless string of sleepless nights, the relentless cycle of feeding and pumping and changing and comforting, and the slow realization that my life will never be the same again. Now that I've emerged from the fog of being a new mommy, I have a few things I need to say.I want to start by apologizing to my vagina. I just... I just didn't know what was going to happen. I thought it would be easy. All my life I'd been told I have "child-birthing hips." That turned out to be a dirty lie. I pushed for three hours, and I put you, dear vagina, through hell. I did my best to protect you, and I apologize. I can only hope that the bad feelings between us can be healed. This relationship has gotten really painful, and it's been weeks now. Please let the healing begin.

I'd also like to say I'm sorry to my husband for all my inappropriate name-calling in the delivery room and the resentment I felt because I had to carry our child for nine months and you didn't.I will have sex with you again someday, don't hold your breath or anything, but we'll get there. I'll wear attractive lingerie again as well. These grandma underpants aren't forever!And honey... about my boobs. While I appreciate your attempts to touch them, try to understand that they are not for you at this time. These are working breasts, they are under construction at the moment, and we appreciate your patience. It's funny: I can see a mixture of fear and delight in your eyes at the size of them. And trust me, they are something to fear. I never thought a boob could dwarf the size of my baby's head, but it is true. Little Emma's bravery in attacking them day after day is impressive. I must apologize to her as well. I had no idea they would operate in a sprinkler fashion, and I have sprayed her in the face many, many times. But the way she fights through it is quite something.

I apologize to every woman whose baby shower I attended before I became a mom. All those useless stuffed animals and baby booties I bought... well, I'm sure they might have come in handy at some point, but I should have stuck to the registry and gotten things you truly needed.I apologize once again to my husband, this time for criticizing you about the way you dress our daughter. I know she's my very own personal doll come to life, and I like to play dress-up. But you make such weird choices. Why would you put her in a sweater when it is 85 degrees outside? It's the middle of the day-a night-gown really? It's bedtime, sweetheart, why is she wearing a hat? I recognize this is not America's Next Top Model, but I do ask you to think about what makes sense sometimes. That's all.

I must apologize to every new mom I ever bumped into before I had a baby for judging your appearance. I mentally criticized your old sweatpants, your over sized T-shirts, and your haphazard ponytails. I figured you just hadn't taken the time to get ready before you went out or were in dire need of a makeover. Now I understand those precious minutes you savor when the baby goes down for a nap- the desperation to make the most of them. I could shower! I could eat! I could sleep! Check my e-mail! Work-out! Do laundry! Have sex! (Well, maybe not just yet, but...) I could do so much if she would just sleep a little longer. Then, inevitably, there's that sound through the baby monitor. (Stop.Wait.Listen.) Was it for real?... That was just a sneeze, right? ... She's not up,right?... Oh, please, I'm almost done eating, the coffee's finally ready, I thought I could shower. Just five more minutes please. Just... nope. She's up. She's hungry. She's wet. She's something. And once you've got her fed and changed and played with her, you're on the clock to get that errand done before it all unravels again. I get it now: There is absolutely no time for a blowout or blusher, I was a complete jerk, and I am sorry.

I see how people look at me- with that mixture of pity and disgust- in my old nursing tank covered in spit-up and the same maternity shorts I wear every day. I'm like the Elephant Man. I put my daughter in fancy clothes to compensate for the monster pushing her around. I see the stares. I know what you're saying. Well to heck with you, you small-pants wearing Miley Cyrus fan. I just had a baby. I am not always this fat!I guess I should apologize for my anger but in solidarity with new moms everywhere, I'm not going to.

But I would definitely like to apologize to my former self, I always thought I had a few pounds to lose and could look better. I never knew how great I had it. What I wouldn't give to fit into my old clothes again! I look at them longingly day after day. Hi, jeans. Hello, Diane von Furstenberg wrap dress. You were all so good to me. (sniff)I should have slowed down and enjoyed my freedom more when I had the chance. I used to beat myself up if I slept past eight or stayed out too late. I was a fool. A fool. What did I know? Oh, to do anything at all at a leisurely pace- shop, eat, read a newspaper- and anything without having to wear a monitor. Waiting. Listening. For her.While I'm sending regrets I should apologize to my pre-baby boobs for not appreciating them enough. They were a great pair of boobs- not to big, just enough decolletage. And now... sigh... who knows what will be left of them once I stop nursing? I'm sorry, former boobs. I truly am.I'll never be sorry about deciding to become a mother, though. There may be no going back to my old body or my old lifestyle, but having Emma is worth everything I've had to give up and then some. But you already know that. :)

Monday, May 18, 2009

A Rainbow Of Colors!!!

This afternoon, Calder was playing downstairs while I was upstairs putting away some laundry. Suddenly, he bolted up the stairs yelling "A rainbow of colors, Mommy! A rainbow of colors!!!" We frequently see a rainbow prism on our kitchen floor as a result of the way the light shines in the window, so I was pretty sure that was what he was talking about. Nope. He very excitedly pulled me down the stairs and over to where he was playing, exclaiming "I made a rainbow, Mommy!" He was so proud. And I was too. :)

What happens when your husband dresses your daughter...

I guess boy clothes were never this complicated... :)

Sorry, honey -- I couldn't resist!


So, I'm the first to admit that I'm not the most patient person around. But I will say that I have improved tremendously in this area since having children. Although, anyone who's ever had a 2-year old knows that it's not really an option - you HAVE to practice some patience. Calder has definitely been putting my patience (and sanity) to the test lately with his endless questions. It's really not so much the questions...it's the constant repetition of the same questions. Here's a snapshot of this morning's car ride:

Calder: "Where are we going?"
Mommy: "To the library and the park!"
Calder : "Where are we going, Mommy?"
Mommy: "We're going to the library and then to the park."
Calder: "Are we going to the library?"
Mommy: "Yes."
Calder: "And then are we going to the park?"
Mommy: "Yes"
Calder: "What are you doing, Mommy?"
Mommy: "I'm driving."
Calder: "So we can go to the library and to the park?"
Mommy: "Yep."
Calder: "Where are we going, Mommy?"
Mommy: "Where do you think we are going, Calder?"
Calder: "To the library and the park!"
Mommy: "That's right."
Calder: "Where are we going? Where do you think we are going, Mommy?"
Mommy: Silence.
Calder: "Where's Daddy?"
Mommy: "He went to work."
Calder: "Did Daddy go to work?"
Mommy: "Yes, honey."
Calder: "Where's my Daddy?"
Mommy: "He's at work, honey."
Calder: "Where are we going, Mommy?"

It didn't end there, but I'll spare you the rest. I think you get the idea!

Friday, May 15, 2009

4 Months Old

Our baby girl turned 4 months old this week! She is truly a joy to all of us and just such a good baby. She easily goes with the flow, whether tagging along to Calder's various activities or just out shopping with mommy. Some of her favorite things to do are to watch the ceiling fan in our bedroom or the mobile over her crib. She loves getting her diaper changed and her bath. She adores faces and will give you the biggest smile when you get real close to her face and talk to her.
She's starting to enjoy the jumperoo, but is still a bit too small for the exersaucer. She's paying more attention to her surroundings, and it's getting increasingly harder to nurse her when there is any kind of activity going on -- she gets very distracted!Last week she officially graduated from the bassinet in our room to the crib in her room. Dave likes to tease me because I still get up and check on her several times a night -- but, seriously, she is the quietest sleeper ever!!! She doesn't make a peep! She consistently sleeps 8 hours at night (except for this week, when she was battling a cold) but she doesn't have a solid nap pattern yet.

Here are her 4 month stats:

Weight: 15 lbs, 12 oz. (90th percentile)
Height: 24 3/4 in. (70th percentile)
Head Circumference: 41 1/2 cm (66th percentile)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Interview with Calder

Just for fun, Dave and I "interviewed" Calder yesterday. Granted, we could ask him the same questions tonight and I'd be willing to bet that at least half of the answers would be different...but it's still fun. :)

What makes you happy? -- "Tessa"
Are you scared of anything? -- "No"
What was the last thing that made you sad? -- "I bumped my head at the library." (This happened well over a month ago!)
What is your favorite toy? -- "A rocketship!" (Not even his toy. It's his friend Aislinn's...but he did play with it yesterday, so it was fresh on his mind.)
Who was the last person you kissed? -- "Mommy and Daddy and Tessa"
What is your favorite book? -- "It's called The 3 Little Pigs!"
What is your favorite thing to eat? -- "Apples"
What is your favorite thing to drink? -- "Juice"
What is your favorite color? -- "Purple. Purple and Pink."
Who is your favorite friend? -- "Tessa. I love Tessa."
What is your favorite thing to do? -- "Fire Trucks!"
What is your favorite animal? -- ROARRRR! A DRAGON!"

Big Box

So, I ordered some diapers and wipes online and they were delivered in the hugest box ever. I couldn't even lift it to bring it inside! Calder has enjoyed playing in it though...and I have enjoyed that it keeps the markers in a contained place (because somebody never remembers to put the caps back on!!)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Storytelling from courtney on Vimeo.

Calder chatters on and on nonstop these days...so I have to admit I sometimes tune him out. So, as I was cleaning up after breakfast on Friday, I had done exactly that. When I tuned back in, I heard some very familiar words, and looked over to see that Calder was standing next to Tessa reciting "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" to her. It was so cute. He really has memorized an impressive portion of the book!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Diggers and Backhoes and Dump Trucks, Oh My!

One of the local towns hosted "Big Truck Days" this week, so of course we had to check it out. It was actually really quite cool -- they had all kinds of trucks and equipment on display for kids to explore. They were actually allowed to climb all over and in them -- shift gears, honk horns, you name it. Calder's favorite thing to do? Put on the seat belts. Ha! That's my boy. As we say in our household quite often -- "Safety first!" :) Tessa tagged along too, and although I wouldn't say she enjoyed it, she tolerated the incessant horn-honking very well!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Tales of Poo

You read it right -- I said poo. Not Pooh. So, you've had your fair warning in case you don't want to read on.

Lately I've been lamenting to Dave that Tessa only poos when he's not around. And since she saves them up for days -- handling such a diaper change is no easy task. I'm talking serious BOMBS, people. Like the kind where you must respond in 2.2 seconds or it's too late. Well finally, on Saturday, Dave got what was coming to him. I had just handed her off to him when we heard the massive explosion. Dave went running off to the changing table yelling "I think it's leaking!" Sure enough, she had made an impressive shot right down one of her pantlegs. I mean the entire pantleg was covered. (I was pretty convinced that outfit had seen it's last days, but it's truly amazing what a little Baby OxyClean can do!) Anyway, a half-container of wipes later, Dave recovered nicely and we decided the only thing to do was to give her a bath immediately. Just as he prepared to hoist her into the bath seat, she simultaneously spit up and peed on him. Talk about adding insult to injury!

In other poo news... a few weeks ago, I signed up for an all-day photography class. This was Dave's first time alone with both kids for a whole day, and he did a great job. However, about an hour after getting up from his nap, Calder revealed to Dave that he had taken poop out of his diaper. When Dave asked where he put it, he said "On the floor, in my room." So, Dave ran upstairs to discover...that this child does not lie. Finally, except for rare occasions, Calder still refuses to sit on the potty. Instead, he has twice decided that bathtime is an opportune time to *ahem* go #2. Specifically, when Daddy is bathing him and Mommy is either not around or not available to help with prevention or recovery efforts.

Ok honey, I admit it. In the grand poo scheme of things, you've definitely gotten the raw end of the deal!