Wednesday, April 30, 2008

All we need now are Dirndls

My friend Christine came over yesterday to give me a hands-on tutorial with my Mei tai baby carrier. She brought her two little girls with her: Julia, age 3, and Amalie, age 9 months. (Julia and Amalie's big brother Jakob was in preschool that day. We missed you, Jakob!) Like Tom and I, Christine and her hubby Mike--both of strong German heritage as well--produce absolutely beautiful, blond, blue-eyed cherubs. All that was missing were the bobs and pigtails (though Julia made a worthy effort.) Their older brother is no exception--platinum-blond beauties, all of them.

Both babies had snoozed in their slings on their respective mommies during the visit. Liesl dearly loved the company as well, and was very sad to see them go. Come back soon, guys! And bring Jakob with you, please. :-)

(PS Christine, the Baby Hawk arrived on Thursday, and Ava and I both love it. It's a huge improvement over the Kozy. I will post pictures of Ava and I with the Baby Hawk as soon as I can get them. Thank you! :-) Now I feel like I can take both girls virtually anywhere!)
Amalie (9 months) and Ava (6 months)

"Save meeeee....."

Talk about a girlie-girl pink fest! Liesl holding Amalie, Julia (3 years) holding Ava
Everybody's got their goofy on.
You've heard of "Trading Spouses," here we have "Trading Baby Sisters."
(Don't you just want to eat them all up???)

Julia and Ava
She does such a nice job of holding Ava up...her baby sister
Amalie sits by herself, but Ava does not yet. Julia is a great big sister!

Liesl and Amalie

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Beautiful Ava is 6 Months Old Today

I cannot believe it has been 6 whole months since the midwife first placed this beautiful baby on my chest.

When Liesl was born, I heard "the time goes by so fast" a million and a half times, and dismissed it. Next thing I know, I'm kissing her hair at 1:00 a.m., with one foot out the door to the birthing center to give birth once again. As many people with more than one child told me would happen, Ava's birth and babyhood have made me really stop, think, and savor every moment I possibly can with both of my beautiful daughters. Suddenly, Ava's still-toothless smiles and throaty chuckles are dearer. Liesl's insatiable curiosity and toddler chatter are more amusing. With another baby edging closer to milestones, I now understand much more clearly how fleeting the passing of time is...and we have yet to really enter the "preschool" stage that I keep hearing about. When will I truly learn how fast the time really does pass?

Daddy, Liesl, and Mommy love you so much, beautiful Dumpling, my Funny Bunny, my Wee Little Rossie. Your smiles and chuckles delight us. Mommy so loves to hold your warm, soft little body close to my own, to stare into your bright, clear eyes, to cover your soft neck, chubby cheeks, and pudgy feet with kisses. As much as I can't wait to see the little girl you will become, I am savoring your baby moments as much as I possibly can. You and your sister have taken over my heart completely. We are so very, very blessed to have you both in our lives.
Before you were conceived, I wanted you;
Before you were born, I loved you;
Before you were here an hour,
I would give my life for you;
This is the miracle of life.
- Maureen Hawkins

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


I felt like doing something different with Liesl today. When Ava was down for her nap, Liesl and I went outside and made goop out of cornstarch and water. I've also heard it called Oobleck. It was the first time I've made it, and it was way fun. (Now, this is really only for Liesl's amusement. I was participating only to make her feel like it was safe. Yeah, that's it...I was only involved to make Liesl feel safe. Honestly. Really.)

Needless to say, we girls had a ball making a mess on the picnic table. And cleanup was simple: Daddy got the garden hose out, and I tossed the watered-down goop into the compost pile. (I meant to see if I could seal it in a container and keep it, but Liesl got a hold of the pitcher of extra water I had and drowned it. So instead of goop, in the end we had soup. And while it's non-toxic, I wouldn't recommend tasting it.)

Fun activity, I highly recommend it...especially now that we have nice warm weather and cleanup outside is a breeze. Happy goop-making!

It really is half-solid, half-liquid. You can't possibly imagine it until you stick your hands in it
It is really cool! ('s cool for the kids. Yes, it's a great learning and sensory
experience for the kids. Honestly, it's for the kids. Just the kids. Really.)

Just try stirring the's impossible to stir it!

Friday, April 18, 2008

That's my baby!

I just can't get enough of her. I am so in love. Her smiles light my life.

Ms. Cheeks

Looking Moose Munch in the eye before she devours him...

...and, he's toast.

"Moose Munch is my bestest friend. Don't knock him 'till you've tried him."

Just smiles. :-)
(While simultaneously annihilating Moose Munch.)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Peace + Chaos = Room Time

"Room time" is something Tom and I implemented when Liesl started only needing one nap per day. It was originally meant to give Liesl the opportunity to play by herself and learn to entertain herself. The side benefit of room time became incredibly clear about one week into the experiment: Room time gives Mommy a chance to catch up on chores, housework, bills, (and blogs....)
Ava's napping routine has fallen in sync with room time, so Ava usually has her morning nap while Liesl has room time. I usually just pop my head in once or twice and listen in on Liesl's monitor to supervise. That is the "Peace" part of the title of this post. At the end of each room time, there is the mandatory cleanup. That is where the "Chaos" part comes in. Have you SEEN what a toddler can do to her bedroom in half an hour's time? I limit the number of toys that Liesl has access to (which you may find hard to believe upon seeing these photos) and Liesl is not allowed to open her dresser drawers or closet doors. Still...the kid's got talent.

Naturally, Mommy expects Liesl to take part in the cleanup routine after each room time. It happens....s-l-o-w-l-y, but it does happen.
Usually Ava wakes up towards the end of Liesl's room time, and then Mommy and Ava come in at the end to nurse and play and hang out, just us 3 girls. This is a sample of the kind of conversation we usually have:

What can I say. My kids are silly and goofy, but the acorn doesn't fall too far from the oak.
(Ava was in my lap, nursing, while this video was being taken.)

Cleaned! (Someone get Mom some vodka. What, it's only 10:30 a.m., you say? So what?)

A cuddle between sisters after cleanup

The decorative letters on Liesl's wall. She got these for Christmas from my parents.
'Bout time they got hung up!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Man, that was some wild party

It was 4:30 and no sound from Liesl's bedroom. Her nap was
obviously raging out of control, so Ava and I went to wake her.
This is how we found her in her crib:

If only I could have captured the SNORING that was going on. She was out cold.

This is about as intelligent as her mom looks too, having just been woken up.
(The boo-boo is a result of a fall on the driveway a few days ago. Poor wittle pumpkin.)


Of course we must primp to look our best for Daddy. :-)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Putt-ering around

I picked up a set of toy golf clubs for Liesl at a Mom2Mom sale a few weeks ago. Best $1.50 I ever spent. I've never golfed anything tougher than the pinwheel hole at Putt Putt, but Liesl is showing a knack for it. My father loves to golf, as do many of his brothers, sisters-in-law, nephews, and nieces. I'm told the golf goofiness skips a generation. I lucked out. Liesl did not.

Alright, who swiped my 9 iron?

Hurry up and take the dang picture, woman, you're messing up my game.

The caddy is fired, I'm not waiting for him anymore. Meet me on the green.

Boy, when you love golf... really LOVE golf.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Happy Birthday, Amy!

My dearest and oldest friend, Amy, turns 33 today. On her birthday, she received the most amazing gift: A teaching job. She finished her student teaching in a high school biology class last Friday, and returned to the same high school today, this time as a long-term substitute biology teacher. The teacher she is replacing for the rest of the year is leaving at the end of the summer, creating an opening for next year. This means Amy's chances of landing that job permanently are higher. Teaching jobs in Michigan are coveted by many, so having her foot in the door makes her chances that much better.

For those who don't know Amy personally, her life has been pretty chaotic these last 7 or 8 months. During the fall term she was in college full-time and working full-time, 2nd shift, for the USDA, with a nasty commute as well. She almost never saw her husband for about 4 months except when he was sleeping. She did not have one day off all week, she was either working all day (sometimes with overtime) or she was in class all day, combined with doing homework and labs. She ran herself ragged but she came out of it completely victorious. She deserves every ounce of happiness she can get!
Congratulations, Amy, and good luck! You deserve it, and those kids are lucky to have you. You are an inspiration to me!
Amy at my house playing cards with me and and petting my cat, Whinnie

It should be noted that a) Amy is very allergic to cats, which is why Whinnie loves her, b) Amy is still very kind and loving to my cat even though she is so highly allergic, c) Whinnie was helping me cheat at cards when I took this picture, and d) Whinnie is almost 19; Amy and I have been friends for 18 years. I have had Whinnie only 4 months longer than I have, well, had Amy; so Whinnie trumps Amy. Naturally.

Just thought I'd set all that info straight.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008