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Monday, October 27, 2014

we went to the fair

When it's autumn here on the North Shore, it's time to go to the fair.  And despite the fact that the fair is nearly mandatory attendance if you live in our area, last year was the first time I ever went, and this year was Nathan's turn to be a first-timer.




The girls were super thrilled about going.


No, really.  Contrary to appearances.

{And we got to put our Craigslist-freebie Phil & Ted's double stroller to the test.  The verdict?  Not bad for free.}








Nell got to ride on the Ferris Wheel with her Daddy!



And the merry-go-round with her Mama, too.


No rides for little miss Ree yet, but she didn't seem to mind.



Of course, the main draw of the fair, in Nathan's opinion, is the food.  He opted for corn dogs and such, while Nell and I shared a baked potato.


If you choose the 'healthiest' of the fair food options, that entitles you to ice cream later, right?



In the end, a good time was had by all.


Overall, the Topsfield Fair is more... commercialized, I guess, than I remember my childhood fair experiences being.  But we were glad we went, and as Nathan said, "It's a pretty good way to blow through $100 in a day if that's what you want to do."

If you're in New England while the Topsfield Fair is running, you should definitely go, if you can make it on a weekday morning like we did.  I hear the weekends are waaay too crazy!

***

Oh, and P.S.: A little throwback to last year's fair.  I was a couple months pregnant with Marie {dosed up on Zofran, of course, and having a rare good day!}, and Nell was a 17-month-old.  What a difference a year makes!



Monday, October 06, 2014

Ree at Three Months

Ah, second children.  They don't get baby books, the stereotypes go, they don't get as many photos taken, and you may not even notice them reaching all those little baby milestones.

Of course, I didn't do a baby book for Nell either.  Just thinking ahead, so future children wouldn't feel gypped.

Still, blogging Ree at three months two months late, when she's almost five months old... that's pretty ridiculous even with my track record.

I jotted down all these little memories two months ago, snapped some pictures, and am just now getting around to blogging it... voila!



At three months this little cutie started finding her hands, and usually had her fingers in her mouth - three or four at a time.  And she drooled a lot.  Oh, did she ever drool.

She became quite complacent for diaper changes, clothing changes, and even baths.  Less screaming, more contentedness, her first chortle, and smiles!  SO. MANY. SMILES.  Big, dopey, open-mouthed grins with drool streaming out.  Really, is there anything better in all the world?



{Naturally, she didn't grace my photo shoot with any magnificent smiles, but she did allow this small one to slip in.}

She started sitting in her swing and her bouncy chair pretty happily at times, or would lie on the floor content to watch the chaos unfold around her.

Both my babies always got lots of comments about being strong for their ages, holding their heads up well, and being very alert.  Maybe people say that about all babies?  In any case, by three months Nathan would hold Ree up horizontally, and she would hold her head up high, keeping her body straight, while Nell shrieked with glee, "Baby Wee airplane!  Baby Wee airplane!" and Nathan would oblige with a small and gentle zooming around.

I spent some quality time worrying that Ree would be the underprivileged one, since - due to the tyranny of everyday life - she seemed to get less snuggle time and babywearing time than Nell did at that age.  Oh, she still got her fair share, but since she has shown a preference for being swaddled and in a quiet room for her naps, and that frankly makes my life easier, she has fewer Ergo naps than Nell did.  I wish I had more time to snuggle with her, but I also think we'll both survive.  She even appears well-adjusted so far.

Speaking of sleep, at three months Ree was going to sleep around 7 pm, and sometimes sleeping as long as 9 hrs at night without waking!  I know, don't hate me.  No, really -- don't -- because she's not doing that anymore, anyway.  Sleep and babies is such an ever-changing phenomenon as they grow.  I remember with Nell that she became a more predictable sleep-through-the-nighter around the age of two, sooo... in another year and a half or thereabouts, I should be able to count on getting a good night's sleep again.  Keep your eye on the prize, Sarah.

Also, word to the wise, if you tell someone your baby is a pretty good sleeper, said baby will undoubtedly wake up at least three times the following night.

I started getting the hang of putting Marie down for naps with a big sister in the next room, keeping one ear open for Nell's activities while nursing the baby down on all the times when she wasn't inclined to fall asleep without some mama time.  Yes, it really was all getting easier by three months, and the things that seemed impossibly difficult at one month started to seem downright mundane by three.

Marie was solidly into her 3-6 month clothes by 3 months, with even some of those getting a little small on her.  She's a long one, this girlie.  She gets it from me.  KIDDING.  She gets it from her 6'3" father, not her 5'4" mother.

Want to know what she gets from me?  The world's longest tongue:



From an early age, this babe was a bit burpy and gassy and fussy and had a particular pterodactyl-esque scream she reserved for those moments of extreme discomfort.  I gave up dairy for a while and it seemed to help noticeably, but around three months seemed to be able to have a bit of half-and-half in my coffee without adverse results.  Thank you, God, for coffee and for cream.

And that was Ree at three months.

* * *

Nell wanted to be in some pictures, too.

She was very intent that baby Ree ought to hold her hand:


Success!  And pretty smug about it.


Ree: "Large human, what are you doing to me?!"


Thursday, October 02, 2014

a post of no significance whatsoever

The purpose and meaning of this post may be hard to discern.  I'm not sure I can think of one, myself.  But I've never let a lack of content stop me before, so here goes.

Once upon a time, by which I mean yesterday, I dressed Nell in the following outfit.  I chose it 90% for the cuteness factor, and 10% to get a rise out of Nathan.  Okay, maybe it was 50%/50%.


Nathan thinks that wearing shorts with tights is among the most absurd things a person could possibly do.

So naturally, I took pictures with which to taunt him.


{the above is her "funny face."}


{and that one is her "camera face"}

Then, since it was 10:00 am and I had already started a fresh batch of kefir, started two quarts of yogurt culturing, bathed and dressed myself and both kids, nursed the baby twice, and fed Nell breakfast...

-- in other words, it was an unusually productive morning, in that I wasn't still wearing my sweat pants and rubbing my eyes while Nell ran around in underwear and a pajama top --

...I decided that we shouldn't let a morning with all three of us wearing actual clothes go to waste.

So we went to the mall, for the first time since early August, I think.  We are pretty much keeping that place in business.

Naturally, once we were in the car, it started pouring.  And I had left my umbrella at home.  So, any sense of victory I had been experiencing over my highly productive morning was quickly squelched.

I did witness a flock of geese just hanging out in the parking lot, though, and they were cute.


We were sucked in by the lure of H&M and their surprisingly adorable kids' clothes, freshly marked down with $3 items everyone you looked.  I decided to take the opportunity to fill in some gaps in the girls' wardrobes with a couple of fall sweaters and other such necessities.

Then I felt guilty because everyone knows H&M is probably underpaying their poor workers in Bangladesh and Cambodia and such places.  And that reminded me why I usually shop at thrift stores.

We arrived home looking like drowned rats.


And that reminded me why I like to stay home in the mornings.  In my sweat pants.

The end.

P.S.  If you ever want to get lots of comments / compliments on how cute your kids are, hit up the mall in a weekday morning.  It's prime Elderly People At The Mall Time.  And they will all stop you and admire your children.  Every last one of them.  Totally made the trip worth it.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Nell-isms

One of the things I'm loving about this age for Nell right now is the language development.  Since turning two in May, her language has really taken off, with two-word 'sentences' quickly turning to three- and four-words, and now, she can pretty much say anything she wants to say.

At the same time, some of the sweet little misspoken words and phrases are still lingering, and there's always a tinge of sadness when each one vanishes.  Like the way she used to say "huh" instead of "yes," and then one day there was "yeah" and then "yes," and now that funny little "huh" is virtually a thing of the past.


Just a couple of days ago it was, "I yowwy, Mama," and now it's "I'm sowwy." {And I'm almost missing the "yowwy" version of "sorry."}


A month ago, shoes were - inexplicably, perhaps - "vah."  And now she's saying shoe.

A week ago, banana was "numanuh," and now it's "banumanuh."  What's next, a degree in linguistics from Harvard?  You're getting this whole language thing too fast, girlie.

Her version of "It's okay!" is "Gah-gay!"  This usually comes out in the context of, "Gah-gay, Muh-wee!  Mommy come get you!  Wight heew!  It gah-gay!"  And occasionally, if she thinks I am upset, "It gah-gay, Mommy!"  So sweet.


"Uhbuh one, doo," means "another one, too," and is uttered if she is handed one bite of something but immediately wishes another as well, such as a plantain chip for each hand.

Peanut butter is "peendaduhbuh," the baby monitor is the "momanuh," and turkeys say, "boggle boggle boggle."


When I put my hair up, this bossy little control freak exclaims, "No hair tie!  No hair tie!" and has a breakdown that I can't quite understand.  Same goes for putting on my glasses in the morning instead of putting my contacts in: "No gagiss!  No Mommy gagiss!"

She's always had a curious way of picking the ends of words, where most kids would pick the beginnings, and using them - even if they're the hard part to pronounce.  Noodles are "llll," (yes, just the L sounding part, that's right), cheese used to be "yuh" (as in "chee-suh," we eventually figured out), and the aforementioned "vah" might have been her attempt at "shoo-wuh".

Nell is a great mimicker, and mimics Ree quite expertly in every little gurgle and expression and babble.  And, after mimicking her, Nell exclaims, "Baby Wee do dat!" - usually while laughing hysterically.


Every smile from Ree elicits the proclamation: "Miyul!  Baby Wee miyul!"  And then, when Ree continues to smile {because she adores seeing Nell}, it's "Mo miyul! Mo miyul!"  ("More smiles!")


These days, Nell's sentences are filled out with gibberish babbling, a recent change that makes me think she's aware that she wants to use more than just the words she knows, and that sentences have more than pronouns, nouns, adjectives, verbs, and adverbs.  She'll often repeat me word-for-word, too, including the little words, and she's started using contractions and plurals where applicable.

It's probably worth mentioning that I'm the only person that can understand 99% of what she says.  Auntie Cara and Aunt Hannah get a lot of it, Uncle Andrew gets some, her new babysitter Sami is getting the hang of it, and Nathan is coming in at a strong 25% or thereabouts.

Anyway.

Oh, Nell, we love you so.