In the Garden

We share a raised bed garden with our neighbor and this is the first year we haven't manned the gardening helm.  It feels strange to not be as involved with it, but we just didn't have the time.  We're still reaping the benefits, nevertheless.  Here's daddy and his girl picking some strawberries earlier this summer.


He Made My Day

We're all coming down with a cold... baby included.  Which means when I hit the wall at nearly midnight last night, my little one still needed some extra TLC.  Thank goodness for her daddy's arms.  When I don't cut it any longer, that's exactly what soothes her.  Anyway, I guess what I'm trying to say is that I'm tired.  I've been burning the candle at both ends and I'm really, really beyond so, so tired.  But when Bug came bouncing into our room at 6 a.m. this morning, full of smiles and "Happy Birthday, Mommy!", my heart melted and the cobwebs on my eyes cleared (albeit slowly).  Then, because his dad read him "Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day" last night, and because Alexander wishes to move to Australia in the book, his dad taught him to say "G'day mate!" in the most perfect accent! 

"Happy Birthday, Mommy! G'Day Mate!!" 

Then he handed me a present, which I now know he slept with under his pillow.  He picked it out himself on a shopping trip for me with his dad.  I can't recall the title, but it's a teen-read along the lines of Twilight (awesome!) 

Then he brought each of my birthday gifts from his room (where he and the aunties wrapped everything) to my bedside, one by one. 

Then he pointed to a boxy one and said "That one's a game!"

Then he went downstairs to unwrap the box himself and brought it back up to me.  It's Chutes and Ladders.  He picked it out for us to play.

Even though I may be mistaken for the walking dead today, they make everything worthwhile.

I'm the luckiest mom in the world.

Ain't that the truth?

Here's a conversation between Bug and his Aunt Ashley that I just can't stop laughing about.

Ashley: I'm going to take Button home with me.

Bug: No, she's our baby!

Ashley: But I want to keep her.

Bug: You can't!

Ashley: Why?

Bug: Because you don't have any milk in your boobs!


Dabbling With Baby-Led Weaning

As Button gets closer to eating solid foods, I've been reading up a lot on Baby-Led Weaning (BLW).  The concept is quite simple, actually.  Baby eats what we eat.  I wouldn't puree everything like I did when Bug was little.  I would offer large chunks of whatever we're eating (with the exception of nuts, honey, and dairy at this point) for her to gnaw, gum and smoosh.  At the earliest stages, the idea is about exploring the food rather than actually making a meal of mealtime.  (Yes, I'm prepared for the mess... )

I'm not sure why this is so intriguing to me because I actually had fun with all of my homemade purees for Bug, but it is nonetheless.  Button's first and only food so far has been banana.  I plan to start adding more variety to her diet soon.  In the meantime, I'll be reading these sites:


Fire Company Parade

This was our first time at the local Fire Company Parade (held in May).  Bug was so infatuated.  Then he tried a moon bounce for the first time.  It was a big day for the little man.


Father's Day Treats

I made Chocolate Covered Frozen Bananas for Fathers Day.  They were so easy.  Bug loved them.  His dad said "best dessert EVER."  Baby girl went to town on them, too (no, not the chocolate, silly... )  

Five Months Old

Okay, so she'll be 6 months old on Friday.  I've been so behind on going through photos... shame on me.  Here she is at five months old (only 4 weeks late!)

She is Joy.  She's our little puppy dog, the way she lunges forward to mouth anything within reach (an arm, chin, or toy) and rubs her gums on it by shaking her head back and forth.  She has abs of steel and is quick to pull herself up if laying on a pillow, only to plop face-first.  She screeches like nothing I've ever heard before. It's such a happy sound, though, not ear-piercing.  She has eyes for daddy and lights up when she hears his voice, then scans the room with her eyes to find him, a gigantic open-mouthed smile on her face. Why oh why do babies ever stop doing the open-mouthed smile??

It. Is. Awesome. 

No one can make her laugh quite like her brother.  She thinks he's here on Earth to entertain her.  They had their first bath together this month.  They both thought it was pretty cool.  She loved splashing, he loved getting splashed on.  She uses the Bumbo chair now and she's proud of herself to be sitting up, looking around.  We put her on the table to join us for meals.  She's a great nurser and I cherish the quiet moments we share amongst the chaos.  She has the yummiest chubby thighs.  What is it about babies that turn us into cannibals?  I could just chew on her.  Truly.  Eat her up.

Other monthly photos: Four Months, Three Months, Two Months


St. Anthony's Italian Festival

Jill rode all the rides with him on Saturday night.

He had the time of his life.


He won a Dalmatian playing one of the midway games.  Its name is Fireman Sam. 


Macro-Study: Pele

I have a new baby... a macro lens.  It's a Nikon Micro-Nikkor 60mm f/2.8G ED AF-S.  I think I'm in love.  I have a lot to learn, but here are a few of my first shots: a study of our cat, Pele (like the soccer player "pay-lay").  He was quite annoyed with me... I was interrupting his third mid-afternoon nap.


Summer, Summer, Summertime!

Wow... It seems like so long since I've posted anything!  Would you believe I have over 1200 photos to go through from the past few weeks?  Get ready for some serious photo-sharing (as soon I dig myself out!)  Life's been crazy, but in the best way.  We've caught up (nearly) from our time away in SC the first week of June and have had my younger sisters, Jill and Ashley, with us since then.  They're watching the kids for us during the day, giving us a month-long break from childcare expenses (yay!) and doing projects for us while at home to earn some extra cash this summer.  It's great to have them here.  We're cooking a lot and having so much fun doing it. We made P.W.'s Cinnamon Rolls, gazpacho, fresh veggie spring rolls, and homemade waffles while Kim and Andrew were visiting last weekend and Jill wants to make the cinnamon rolls again before they leave! 

They love P.W.'s cookbook (and I love my signed copy - thanks, Kim!!)

We made her Mac 'N Cheese last night.  That girl does not go light on the butter!!  Not diet food...  Anyway, we're just enjoying summer!  I'll be sharing more of our adventures soon!



Graduation Day

Today my younger sister, Jillian, graduates from high school.  It seems surreal to me.  I was there when she was born.  I was fifteen.  I remember seeing her birth and vowing to never put myself through such torture (who knew I’d do it twice – drug free with midwifes!)  I remember her as a baby, but vaguely since I was at the age of self-absorption, wrapped up in my friends and other high school things – boyfriend, football games, prom, and stuff like that.  It was strange... I had to be home at an earlier curfew than other kids my age so I “wouldn’t wake the baby.”  

When I was in the dorms at Michigan State, she and our youngest sister, Ashley, came to visit quite a few times.  It was such a unique situation to be the college kid with toddler sisters (Ashley arrived when I was a high school senior.)  I remember going to the natural history museum.  The stuffed elephant was so scary to them.  When I met my husband, the girls were just three and five. They called me “Audoo” back then.  We have no idea how Melissa became Audoo, but it was adorable.  It seems like forever ago and yesterday.  And today she graduates.  I’m proud of the unique, beautiful young woman Jill has become and I celebrate her!  
 Congratulations, Jilly Bean!  We love you so.