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Sunday, 30 December 2012

Christmas Elf

I have to admit, I was leery over this outfit when my mother-in-law brought this home. You know, leery in the way that I thought this outfit was cute, like, 100 years ago. But Adrienne wanted to wear it and there is no stopping a 3 year old who knows what she wants. Ta da! Clearly I was wrong. Seriously, have you ever seen a cuter Christmas Elf?!


Does anyone else find it impossible to take a decent picture of their little ones?? Well, here's to trying and many more attempts in 2013.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012


Adrienne turned 3 a couple of weeks ago. It was a monumentous birthday and one that came with much anticipation for her. Unfortunately for Adrienne, her birthday comes following a long string of family birthdays in the summer/fall and I think she was beginning to think her birthday was never going to come. We would tell her that her birthday is in November and she could repeat that if you asked her, but of course she had no idea what that meant in real time. 

A: Is it my birthday today? 
Me: No, honey. 
A: Awwwwwwww, mooooooom....... 

And thus it went quite often until, then, it was her birthday.

This year she was lucky because Grandma and Granddad could be here for both Thanksgiving and Adrienne's birthday. The more attention the better. As soon she woke up, she was out of bed and excited about her birthday. We congratulated her on turning 3 years old. "No, I'm not 3 yet." She informed us. "I haven't blown out my candles yet". I don't know why, but somehow she had put the pieces together that blowing out the candles directly correlates with turning another year older. This seemed like a simple enough problem, so I offered to put candles on her breakfast waffle so she could blow them out and be three already. This upset her. Candles DO NOT go on waffles, Mommy. They go on cakes. With singing and friends and blowing out the candles and turning another year older. It would be so silly (i.e. distressing) to do it another way. 

So we waited until Adrienne's friends arrived. She could hardly wait to turn 3, so we turned straight to loading up her cupcake with candles. Finally they lit (it was a bit windy) and we were ready to sing Happy Birthday. Unfortunately the pictures don't do it justice. Adrienne just drank it all in during the singing, standing there looking so proud and happy. And finally--poof! The candles were out and Adrienne was 3. She loves being 3 and is happy to tell anyone who will listen. And she is a big girl now, she says. I can't believe my little big girl is 3 already!?

Later that night, we were going to open her birthday presents. She had enjoyed blowing out the candles so much earlier in the day that I asked if she wanted us to sing and blow out the candles one more time on her birthday. "No, Mom," she said, "I am not ready to be 4 yet." You and me both kid. Happy 3rd Birthday, Adrienne!

Friday, 26 October 2012


Last weekend we celebrated Nate's first birthday. In many way--well, most ways, really--I can't believe it has only been a year since Nate was born. Not in the bad way, like 'it has ONLY been a year?! How are we going to make it through the next 17 years?!' It just seems like so much has happened since then.  Since Nate was born, we've had hospital stints for both of the kids, 2 long flights from Singapore to the USA, a death in the family, a move back to the US of A, a new city, a new job...ok ya, a lot has happened. So there is that. But also, it just feels like Nate has been around longer than a year. Like he has been a part of our family for longer than 12 months. It is hard to even imagine what it was like before he was with us.

Nonetheless, we wanted to mark the occasion with the proper celebration that one's first trip around the sun warrants. Planning birthday parties is not my forte, however. Especially for a one year old where too much excitement and sugar may very likely ruin the day, if not the entire week. As luck would have it, last weekend was family weekend at the University of St. Thomas and Saturday (Nate's birthday) happened to coincide with the annual birthday bash for St Augustine. So we (I) figured that St. Augustine wouldn't mind sharing his birthday celebration with an adorable one year old who bears a large and saintly name. Right?!

Big sister was a big help for most of the day, seeing as Nate's birthday is the next best thing to having her own birthday, replete with even a few presents thrown her way. We started the day by decorating the birthday cupcakes. I'm sorry to say that these don't look amazing. But they did have lots of chocolate frosting! Adrienne was particularly helpful in monitoring and disposing of (by way of her mouth) errant sprinkles or M&Ms that were not up to birthday cake standards. As such, about one out of every four M&Ms made it to the cupcakes and often even those got removed later in further quality control tests. Oh well, everybody ought to eat chocolate for breakfast every once in awhile.

Following that, we walked over to St. Augustine's/Nate's birthday party. This was perfect for the kids--toys, games, train rides, bounce houses, face painting, balloons, a giant pinata, and, of course, birthday cake! The kids loved it. I probably should have put more thought on that part. I think Adrienne may think this is what birthday parties should look like. She may even expect something similar for her birthday next month. You know, 'Nate got bounce houses and a train ride and all I got was this lousy cake?!' Luckily, Adrienne will get Grandma and Granddad's undivided attention for her birthday so that will be extra special. We followed up Nate's big day with presents, birthday cupcakes, and a few friends. It was a fun day for all of us to celebrate the passing of a big year with many changes, the best of which is, hands down, our little guy. Happy birthday, Nate, we love you very much!

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Fall weather

I haven't been around here lately. We have been out enjoying the lovely fall weather. And by 'fall', I mean 'upper 80s'. The only reason we are in long sleeves in these photos is because of the mosquitos. After five years near the equator, I am anxious for some cooler weather! But in the meantime, we are trying to make the most of what we got. And what we have got, as you can clearly see from these photos, is an adorable almost one-year old who really wants to walk! We still haven't seen those first unassisted and wobbly first steps but I know they they will be making their appearance soon. Then again, don't hold your breath. Nate seems to barrel around just fine on his hands and knees.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Return to Chaos

Since I left you, my dearly neglected blog, with the calm and tidiness that comes with just managing one small baby for a well-enjoyed five days, I should mention that we have officially returned to chaos around here. Adrienne and Dad had a wonderful trip to Chicago. I suppose we should have expected as much, but Adrienne definitely has the travel gene. The night before they were leaving, we let her 'pack' her own suitcase. She finished in minutes, dumping several buckets of toys in her suitcase and securely stowing it by the front door for the early morning taxi ride to the airport. When 3am arrived too quickly, as it always does when you have to head out the door at that unforsaken hour of the morning, I went to wake Adrienne up. Before I could finish the sentence "It's time to go to the air.....", she was out of bed and on her way to the front door, happy and excited. Too bad I can't say the same for her dad at that hour of the day! Apparently she was a good traveler and, predictably, was spoiled rotten the entire time. No wonder she didn't feel like talking to Mom the entire trip! Of course since I wasn't there, I don't have much in the way of pictures or details about the trip. However, my hubby did text me this picture and I think it pretty much sums up the what the whole trip was probably like: mid-day cotton candy for no apparent reason.

But alas, all good things must come to an end. Ever since she has been home, she has been claiming that she was "so happy to see me when she got back from Chicago!". Now I know this is a lie. She simply couldn't find the time to talk to me while she was there because she was so busy eating cotton candy and basking in the attention of her cousins. Also, she literally was crying when she returned to our front step where I was waiting for her. And she tried to hit me for not letting her eat more candy, which promptly got her sent to the naughty corner. So while I am partially swayed by this belated sentiment, I think she is actually trying to butter me up so she can take another trip. She is already talking about wanting to go to New York City to see Uncle Ryan and Aunt Lilly. Either New York City or the moon, she says. Sigh. I'm sure this kid is going to grow up and want to go see the world.

In other news, Regis and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary on the 17th of September. I was planning to post something to commemorate it. You know, something funny and sweet and endearing in all the right ways. But that never happened, as you can tell. Oh well, maybe for our 8th anniversary. On the plus side, we did manage to celebrate with a night out--an evening very much enjoyed with the man I am still deeply in love with. Happy Anniversary, Hubby!

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The Prince and I

I have gotten to spend some quality time with the little Prince over the past 5 days. The hubby took Adrienne to Chicago for a big birthday party and family time. Nate and I were responsible for holding down the fort here, which was unfortunate because we love big birthday parties too. But looking on the bright side, it meant five days of undivided Nate-y time! The timing worked out well because recently I have been coming to the not-so-subtle realization that this little guy is growing up and growing up fast. Every day brings changes with him. He does more things and has less clothes that fit him. Some mornings I swear he is bigger than when I but him in his crib the night before. He is on the go, crawling and climbing, scouting and discovering, babbling and goofing off. And he EATS. Big boy dinners. And sleeps big boy sleeps. And cuddles the best little baby cuddles ever.

Don't get me wrong, I am excited to be discovering who he is, to see his personality emerge, to witness him developing ideas of his own. I like that he has a sense of humor and laughs when I'm goofy. I admire his determination, especially for hidden toys and getting in those darn baby-proofed cabinets. I see that he is a bit more cautious around strangers than his big sister ever was. And definitely more of a climber. Yet, I find that I can't bring myself to clean out his drawers for clothes that he has clearly outgrown. I'll do it later, I keep telling myself. Or maybe he is still little enough to squeeeeeeeze into that 6M onsie. It was just so cute and he barely wore it! How can my baby be beyond that baby phase already?!  

I remember when I found out I was pregnant with Nate, I worried about how we would have enough time for him. Because, of course, with your first baby, you can utilize every spare minute to lavish love and affection on that child. But with the second, would there be time? And energy, for that matter? As a second child, would he feel as loved and as important as the first? Of course, you quickly realize that there isn't as much time, certainly, but there is just as much love. Still, I was looking forward to the five days of undivided Nate time for the extra lavishing of attention. And we did enjoy ourselves--peaceful walks in the stroller, errands with mommy, playing 'chase' around the house, messy dinners, and long baths. It was great. But I can tell you that we are both excited for the chaos and craziness brought back into the house by the almost 3 year old and her father. Because undivided attention is great, but being a family is better.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Hands and Feet

Earlier this week, my husband sent me this picture of my adorable children sitting on the couch holding hands. It totally made my day. In other news, we may have made the most of Nate's 6M and Adrienne's 2T pajamas.

Monday, 10 September 2012

Butterflies, spiders, and bees--Oh my!

I mentioned in my last post that Adrienne wasn't crazy about some of the bugs we saw at the Natural History Museum on our labor day outing. This was a great place for the kids. There were some crazy bugs on exhibit. Hissing 6-inch cockroaches, hairy tarantulas, snake-like millipedes, large scorpions, foot-long stick bugs. The scientist in me thought they were awesome--they rest of me was grateful for the glass cages that they were securely confined in. Following this exhibit, you go exploring in the 'butterfly zoo', as Adrienne has been calling it. This was a beautiful 4 story glass atrium filled with tropical plants, flowers, and, of course, lots of butterflies fluttering by. This was good fun for both of the kiddos, who are a bit young to get a real appreciation of all the learning aspects they had but young enough to be totally entertained by each new butterfly that went by. Nate spent most of his time exploring with his tongue hanging out, probably hoping that he might get lucky enough to have one land on there. Adrienne really, really tried to master the 'sit still and they might land on you' approach. However, do you know how hard it is for a two-almost-three year old to sit still?! Its almost impossible. Especially when there are beautiful butterflies flying around you! Adrienne was worse than a bobble head at that point. But it was good fun by all. And also made the best of list for the hubby: Best part of the day--sitting contentedly with Nate while butterflies landed on them.