Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Because Caspian is taking a very long nap, I had time to write a very long post.

K. and I have had a lot of moments lately where we look at each other and say-- this is really hard. We have a new mattress, for instance, that would be really fab to take a nap together on, and on a rainy Sunday afternoon, it's rather infuriating when the kids wake up after 45 minutes.

But. They've had colds and ear infections ALL MONTH and Caspian has busted out something like FIVE teeth in the last four weeks. He literally chews on his pacifier and scrapes it across his gums so that it squeaks. I have tried teething rings, Oragel, homeopathic drops, teething tablets, and cold things to chew on, but the only thing that really helps when he's sitting there crying is Motrin. Which he can't stay on for more than 10 days, a fact that his teeth are not respecting.

It's been kind of rough. But the last two nights have been half-way decent: one wake-up per night for each-- so let's hope that the worst is behind us and I will no longer have to hold my children down to squirt saline spray up their noses.

For New Year's Eve, K. and I are having our regular sitter, a very kind and competent lady who also teaches at Annaliese's nursery school, arrive at 5:30pm and stay until 10am. We are going to spend the night in Oxford-- see a film, grab some food, SLEEP, eat a leisurely breakfast, and then come home.

Her fee for this is $75. Which I regard as ridiculously cheap, and she seems to feel is a fortune; it makes me a little sad that a woman our parents' age, who has grown children of her own, is thrilled to babysit for us at the drop of a hat because we pay $10 an hour for evenings and this new rate for overnight. This woman spends literally ten hours a day, five days a week with 4-7 toddlers and she never loses her cool. She SHOULD get paid a king's ransom.

Anyhow. I'm excited for us; this will literally be night #2 sans children since Annaliese's birth.

We discussed about what to do for the first day of 2010, and decided we'll start laying out the vegetable garden-- building beds and such, weather permitting.

This is thrilling. I want to move to France, and New Zealand, and find our forever house, but the thought of just staying here and NOT having a baby or moving or renovating a primary residence is just so... heartwarmingly peaceful. So here's to a year of being here!

Yesterday I took the truck and put both kids at school (they let Caspian drop in for the occasional day) and drove out to Yocona where I met up with Billy Ray, my favorite dairy farmer, to load up on some sweet manure. We shoveled and talked about kids and pigs and other totally engrossing subjects and then I drove into Oxford, got my truck inspected, showed proof of inspection to the judicial court (had gotten a ticket), and then took myself out to lunch, very much enjoying the fact that I had poop in the back of the truck and on my nice green wellies. I hate feeling so CITY all the time, it's good to get dirty and be out under the sky without a kid on my hip. Got my fruit trees manured before I picked them up, which made me feel like a million dollars.

By the by, the new formula-- milk, cream, water, three powders, and four oils, is going down a treat. Caspian loves it. And despite the fact that it's got cod liver oil in it, I don't blame him; took a sip and it's pretty good, what with all the milk sugar and coconut oil. I feel 100% better about it since I know the milk is as unadulterated as it gets (grass-fed, slow pasteurized, unhomogenized, no antibiotics or steroids or hormones), and so we're both happy campers.

So cross your fingers, we are all well, and making peace with our new lives as a family of four. Nuts! K, weren't you just the tall guy who made my heart beat fast?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas, the Album

So click here if you want the whole bonanza....

Really a great Christmas.

Of course, Annaliese now asks for presents whenever she walks into the living room, and I've had to explain about 18times that Nonni and Dotter (aka Mom and Eliza) had to go bye-bye on a plane, and she is coming down from three days of high-pitched excitement, but...

so nice. We missed those not with us (VT contingent!) but the velcro sushi box made up for it.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

There has been gingerbread, and a church service where both children really behaved quite well, and our second year of fondue on Christmas Eve. There has been a passable amount of sleep and a new front tooth (I think) and two-year-old kisses.

(There has ALSO been a checkers game that almost sent my sister into insanity, a toddler meltdown, and 2 days of rain.)

We're loving Christmas with our two babies and a nonni and an aunt. There are five pies on the counter and plans for a roast and bacon-wrapped quail.

Be merry and well!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

teeny weeny update

Children update:

Caspian's on a strict schedule approved by his pediatrician and I'm hoping the night wakings will decrease soon (we're already down to 1!). Since we are also down to one nurse a day, I'm also going to start making him homemade formula as according to the Weston A. Price FOundation, which will save us zero dollars and cost us mucho but I trust the ingredients much more than Nestle. He's also got six teeth!

Annaliese is talking, talking, and we're letting her stay up until almost 8, after the usual dinner-bathtime routine, and she loves it. Our favorite time of day with her.


K's on vacay and growing out his beard. We're enjoying our super-comfy new mattress and wishing we had more time to cuddle together on it. There's a lot of teasing, we both have books we're into, and tonight we're going to his company's Christmas party.

Bigger thoughts later.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Winter weekend

Really pleasant, even though we didn't do anything all that thrilling. Didn't hire a babysitter. Pretty sure I got in bed at 8 or so on Friday. It's been raining.


Before church... on time for once, and Caspian's first time in nursery! They both did great.

This afternoon, researching cookie recipes.

And at some point these two young uns end up close to eachother, somehow, someway. Even if Annaliese steals all his toys.

Good night all.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

There are times -- read every night, or in the late afternoon when both children are wailing -- that I sometimes think "this is ridiculous. Two children under the age of two = ridiculous."

What makes you ready to have a second child?

Annaliese, as we all know, was not an easy baby. And yet we just didn't feel... done, not even for a few years, and so when she was eight months old... we made another. (And yeah, he was planned. Just it took about five minutes instead of the few months we expected.)

And two children 17 months apart IS ridiculous. I was pregnant two New Year's Eves in a row! I had a baby when I was 25 AND 26! The first time Annaliese ever said baby is when I had one!

But the entire time, it has seemed like the right road to take. Not the easy road or the logical road, but simply the one fated for me. And now Caspian is here and it feels entirely right, like "oh, here you are at last. Now Mama can take a break."

We have decided not to talk about having more children for a few years. Mainly because I get semi-hysterical whenever the topic comes up and say NEVER AGAIN, WE'RE DONE, WE'RE FINITO, I HATE BABIES. And K's all like, you know what? Don't get pregnant. And I'm all like ROGER FRICKING THAT.

But I am so glad Caspian is with us. And that the first six months.... those boring, the baby can't do anything months, are over. He's just about sitting up by himself now, and this-- THIS-- is when it starts getting interesting. In another six months, if he tracks anything like his sister, it's probable that he will

learn to move and maybe walk (Annaliese walked at 11 months)

learn to feed himself solid food and get weaned

and maybe even say Mama. Though Annaliese's first word was definitely Dog.


Now, for a quick series of Annaliese stories:

Last night in the bathroom K called me by my name. And Annaliese was all like "Lex-ie!"

And I said, "child, I did not bring you into this world to call me my name. I'm Mommy."

And she said, "Lex-ie!" again with great delight.

We now have a Time Out chair. It is not working. This morning, Annaliese woke up and asked to sit in it.

I asked Annaliese what she wanted for Christmas and she said "Christmas tree!" So K put one up in the living room and one on the porch and they are both "Daddy trees!" with "lights!"

When Caspian and Annaliese grin like maniacs and giggle at each other, which they do about every day, I am not allowed to look. Today I was reading and looked up to beam at my cute children. Annaliese picked up a finger, ointed it at me, and said, "NO, Mommy, NO. READ BOOK." And as soon as I looked away, she was back making googly eyes with Caspian.

Alright. Can't believe I'm awake after ten. Night all.
Posted by Picasa

Winter Is Here

Fair enough, it is December. But I am not super excited about the high of 45 and low of 25 tomorrow. My trees have lost all their leaves, and are once again sticks, albeit this year in need of pruning. I have a whole schedule that I hope to stick to... dormant oil in late winter, pruning, manuring, weed clean-up, etc. I do love my trees.

The chickens are keeping us in eggs-- 3-5 per day from 6 laying hens, so that's pretty fab.

And the children... ah, the children.

Annaliese is all better. Caspian started coughing and snotting this weekend though, and his front tooth is trying so hard to break through...his whole gum is purple and swollen, incredibly painful-looking. Then when we took him for his check-up yesterday we discovered...

1. He's a hair under 20 lbs, 85% weight.
2. He's grown an inch every month he's been alive, making him 95% height.
3. And the poor little guy has infections in BOTH ears, along with the cold and the teeth. And still he's relatively cheerful!

What a champ!

We have our Christmas tree up. Annaliese loves it, and every time she walks into the living room, she says "Christmas tree!" with complete delight. Kagan put another tree up on the porch as decoration, kitted out with lights, and that's "Papa's tree!"

My mother and sister arrive in 2 weeks. I've got a chapter goal so I can take the last two weeks of Dec off, and so blogging might be sparse.

But all is well. I love this time of the, presents, food, rinse and repeat.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Ear infection, folks. Things are on the up-and-up.

Caspian turned 6 months today. Which I will wax over at a later point. Right now... I am going to go feed him and crawl into bed, hoping to sleep until at least 2am thereafter.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Annaliese is sick :(

Which, apart from the fact that whenever she is ill I worry that she may die, is really crappy for 2 reasons:

1-- she can't go to school, meaning I can't do anything all day except wipe her nose and make her meals that she won't eat and will smear on the floor.

2-- she can't sleep. I hear tale tell of these kids who zonk out when ill, watching movies and taking long naps, but Annaliese is more like the cough, cry, stand, scream, toss, turn, rinse and repeat every fifteen minutes, all night long.

And of course Caspian's teething has died down and he's gone to bed at 6:30, gotten fed by K at 10 and me at 2:30, for the last three nights, meaning we actually have a shot at 5+ hours of uninterrupted sleep if Annaliese was well.


What I do feel blessed about is that I can generally juggle whatever commitments I have when Annaliese falls ill without any professional repercussions. That is very nice, and I don't know what two parents with high-powered careers do when they've both got deadlines and meetings and a kid gets the flu.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


There was some kissing. Of Cheeks McCoy here.

And a little more.

A family walk, to burn off some of the...

family pie!

(Not pictured: a bonfire at our good friends' farmhouse, with our toddler and theirs warring over a kiddie motorcycle. He pushed her off; she kicked the back of the motorbike, on and on. Sharing, it seems, is not an innate talent.)

K's off tomorrow, and then real life begins once again... sigh. It's nice to all be at home together.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I Am Thankful

For my two beautiful children who love each other so.

For the newest member of our family, who's more and more essential each and every day.

And even though I can't figure out how to get Picasa to let me BlogThis! more than 4 pics at once...

for my sweetiepie husband. And our 5-day vacation!

Love to those near and far. Fam, I miss you.

Just remember.... eat the PIE!

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Memory Lane

Last night, while K read Larry Niven frantically across the room (poor man doesn't get enough downtime), Annaliese and I opened her baby book. It's not really a baby book. It's a big gorgeous and YES, turquoise blue album with orange and butterflies and big creamy pages that I bought before she was born. And so every four months or so, I order pictures off Shutterfly, fiddle with those little photo corner things, and once a year I go back and write in it. The quarterly ritual happened recently, so we're all the way up to Halloween.


We opened it, and she snuggled into my side, and I pointed to pictures of myself less than two years ago, standing in our old house with long hair and a big ole belly, and then there was ten-day old Annaliese, eyes open and already afire with attitude. "Baby!" she would say as we moved through the pictures, looking at her with her godparents and grandparents and aunties. "Baby Annaliese," I said back, trying to show her that that was indeed her.

I don't think she got it. And I don't blame her. Because I can't even understand it-- in the photos, she is most emphatically a BABY in February, in the picture where we're sitting on the porch of the unpainted house, and then in April, sitting on her Papa's lap on Easter morning, she's a little girl.

I hesitated on whether to start a separate book for Caspian, and I decided against it-- so many of our pictures now are the two of them. And so there's a shot of me with another big ole belly, this time in spring, and then there's a picture of K holding a very small and red Caspian against his chest. And from then on it's a mixture of them both.

It was very sweet, looking through photos with my little girl while her brother slept peacefully in the nursery.

Even though the album made me realize I was back in a bikini six months after Annaliese's birth, and Caspian's six-month birthday is in about 2 weeks, and that wasn't so fun.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

So, I was going to be all slick and have a link for y'all to a PARENTING site that was going to PAY ME for an essay about traveling with the kids. LIKE A LOT OF MONEY YO.

On Monday it was accepted. On Tuesday they wanted an author bio and a photo. And on Thursday I got a note saying a whole bunches of accepted pieces had been cut because the new editor started this week and wants to "go in a new direction."

Which I have to say REALLY IRRITATES ME. As does the whole lack-of-making money thing. I want to know I could live on more than pocket lint if I had to support myself and PARENTAL INTERVENTIONS do NOT COUNT (not that I am complaining, mind you.)


Here it is. The odds of me finding another outlet for this piece are slim, and anyhow, only like eight people read this blog anyhow (Hi, Mom!) so screw 'em.

Pay me in comments.

I Am That Woman
by APvB

Once upon a time, my husband of one day and I got on a plane, giddy with our new marriage, and toasted each other with champagne on our way to Capri. Giggles and bubbles--at least until the nightmare of every traveler materialized in the seat next to me: a sticky, screaming toddler began tugging at my arm, climbing up and jumping down, over and over and over again.

His mother was pregnant-- very pregnant. I did my best to ignore her and her child (at the time, it seemed like the polite thing to do). At some point over the Atlantic, she crouched on the floor, rocking back and forth, trying to coax her son to sleep, saying "Mommy needs to sleep too, Mommy needs to sleep too," over and over again. She sounded near tears.

Despite my giddiness, I saw. And I swore to myself that that would never be me.

Four years later, my husband works a corporate job where he gets ten days of vacation a year. We live a thousand miles from my family. We have two children under two: Annaliese, twenty-one months, and Caspian, four months. And my grandfather is ninety-two and anxious to meet his great-grandson, the first male of the family since 1919.

"I can't go," my husband says.

"No problem," I say. "I'll take them."

So the plans are made: two non-stop flights (with lengthy car trips on either side, since no one actually lives near a major airport.) A week at the house of my childhood, where my daughter will feed sheep with my mother and Caspian will bob along in the Bjorn as relative upon relative descends to see the children, the first children of the new generation.

And it goes well.

Sure, I'm the only one to wake up with children for a week, so I'm more tired than usual. And Annaliese clogs my mother's toilet by flushing mounds of toilet paper, and I forget the all-essential Bjorn at my father's house, and Annaliese falls and scrapes her chin open-- but it goes well. Annaliese pulls on her new boots and goes out with her grandmother every day to feed the sheep and pet the donkeys. Caspian manages to go to sleep without his missing pacifier. And we spend a precious half-hour with my grandfather in a hospital, where he dandles his new great-grandson on his knee.

The week has passed, and all I have to do is get me and my brood home.

I prepare like a general. The car is packed the night before. The diaper bag contains a new coloring book, diapers, wipes, a bottle since Caspian refuses to nurse on plane rides, three new pacifiers, snacks, and clean outfits for both the children. I stick my cell phone and my wallet in the outside pocket, since I'll be holding Annaliese's hand and carrying Caspian in the airport, which means I have the mobility of an overburdened mule.

"All I have to do is get home," I tell myself.

We rise early. I don my new Anthropologie boatneck shirt and the dark jeans that make me look skinny. I strap the children in their carseats, convince my mother to drive, and then we brave the nation's traffic; it takes us over two hours to arrive at the airport, but arrive we do, in plenty of time, with no one crying.

A good start.

My mother hands a porter some bills and he helps us load a cart with the mountains of luggage and the two carseats. I strap Caspian into the Bjorn that my father had driven fifty miles to return and ask my mother to hand me the diaper bag.

"I love you," she says, and kisses my cheek. "You have your cellphone?"

It's in the outside pocket of the bag, which I am wearing. "Yes," I say in a of-course kind of voice. And then I am grabbing Annaliese's hand and walking in front of traffic after the porter. I am sweating. I am nervous. All I have to do is get on the plane. I don't see my wallet sticking out of the diaper bag's pocket, but I hardly have a complete view, laden like a packhorse with a baby blanket draped over the diaper bag, and so I tell myself not to panic.

But then I can't stand it anymore.

"Sir!" I call to the porter, and he stops. I kneel, Caspian's head bobbing in front of me, and remove the blanket. To see my wallet is not in any of the pockets. And neither is my cell phone.

"No, no, no," I say under my breath, and the sweating picks up. Caspian doesn't like being suspended upside down, so he begins to wail. Annaliese wants to go see the baggage claim. "Just wait!" I tell my children, and I check all the pockets once, two, three more times.

Pacifier, granola bar, crayons; check. Wallet, cell phone, all forms of identification... no.

It's then that I panic.

It turns out that, if you happen to have a few twenties tucked away to pay the checking fees, you can actually board a flight without any forms of identification. You have to go through increased security, of course, answering questions about in which county your car is registered while holding a squirming toddler on one hip and the baby hanging from your front. No one will offer to hold your child while you fill out a form with one hand, but the official does say he'll excuse your chicken-scratch handwriting.

We get on the plane. It is eleven o'clock in the morning and I feel as if I have been run-over. We sit in the back, where we always sit now that we have children, as if the smell of the toilets is all we deserve. We sit on the entirely full flight, Annaliese in the middle, Caspian and I on the aisle, and an elderly man in the window seat. There are three teenage boys behind me, and I hope, I hope, I hope that I don't have to nurse Caspian on the flight.

Raisins and Cheerios are dispensed. Annaliese gets busy sticking her new stickers on every available surface, most enjoyably on the headrest of her seat (she's standing, of course) and flirting with the teenage boys behind us. Caspian sits peaceably enough on my lap.

I think, just for a moment-- "this is the children's nap time. Wonder if they'll fall asleep."

And then I am getting Annaliese strapped in for the ascent. It's not easy-- she cries, writhes in protest, but I say things like "You listen to me, Missy," and then I give her new stickers. She sits. The plane takes off.

It doesn't take long to go entirely to hell.

Caspian screams. He refuses the bottle. I offer him breast, his feet hanging into Annaliese's lap; he accepts, but she can't stand to have her brother's feet touching her, and so she squeals in protest. Then she spills her Cheerios. I switch sides; she smacks his head. The drinks cart comes wheeling up the aisle, I move Caspian, his head slips, and the retiree sees my nipple. A smell arises; Annaliese has pooped. There is no room to change her diaper. I look around for someone to hold the baby-- maybe we could do it somehow in the bathroom-- but no one will meet my eyes. Caspian has fallen asleep; Annaliese wants to read her A-B-C book. I read with her for awhile but then the baby wakes up and I am rocking him, patting him, dropping the pacifier which the teenage boys retrieve for me. I wipe it on my Anthropologie shirt and see Annaliese has left boogers on my shoulder. She asks the retiree to read, saying "read pease?" but he tells her he doesn't have his glasses. It really smells. I am letting my daughter sit in her own waste. I am a bad mother. In penance, I let Annaliese put stickers on my face, anointed by the touch of her small fingers placing a calculator on my cheek, does anyone see how patient and kind I am being? The baby is crying again. He too has pooped. It has spread against all the laws of gravity up his back and through his outfit: onto the right hip of my booger-shouldered Anthropologie shirt.

It doesn't get better from there. More crying, one then the other, then both at the same time. A downright temper tantrum when I try to get Annaliese to sit down and strapped in for the descent; the stewardess yells at me; the retiree pretends to fall asleep. No one tells me how precious my children are. Caspian's Born-Free bottle rolls somewhere and the teenage boys behind me can't find it.

This is how my husband finds me at the baggage claim: I am the one with boogers and poop on my shirt, with a wailing child on my hip and a baby hanging from my front, with a heap of luggage next to me because he was late and I had to take it off the carousel myself. The children smell. Annaliese's boot has fallen off.

The moment he appears, I burst into tears.

Much, much later, the children are changed and fed and loaded in their installed car seats and we are heading south on the interstate. "I was that woman," I tell my husband as we speed south in the sound of blessed silence, for my children, my precious children, have fallen asleep. "I AM that woman," I say.

Nearly two years into motherhood, I still find it hard to believe.

The kids

From Nov 16 2009

From Nov 16 2009

From Nov 16 2009

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Year

Last November...

(Can you beleive how much my girl has grown?)

This November...

Sometimes I feel overwhelmed. Sometimes I feel like it's easy. But almost always, I feel blessed.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

So, K is at the building, and the kids are asleep, and I took a bath last night. So I'm watching the Office on Hulu and chillin' out. Verra nice indeed.

More chicken notes: the wee one is back with the others! Yay! Somehow survived two nights out and after much ado, I caught it this morning and dropped it back in the fold.

Yah, didn't go with this group. But they were sitting in the remains of the herb bed in the courtyard and I took a picture.

This one, however...

LAID AN EGG! She is a big bossy Barred Rock who laid as a great big brown egg on Sunday and we hope she'll do it again soon and her three peers will follow. Farmers tell me that young laying hens take awhile to start up-- especially in winter-- and it'll probably be spring before she's regular.

Still very exciting though.

We've been having some nice family times lately. K got our woodstove in, which means there's been a few evenings of crackling fires... not at all cost effective, considering it's an outside chimney and the bedrooms are on the other side of the house, but SO worth it. A fire just makes a house feel like a home.

And we were supposed to go to the rodeo last Saturday, but our sitter came down sick and our other one was out of town. So we're going out this Saturday instead, though alas... the rodeo has left town. I'm sure we'll find something fun to do anyhow.

In gardening news... the digging continues (I'm putting in a very long flower bed very slowly). I also planted some rose bushes, some more hydrangeas, and two dogwood trees. About twenty trees to go before I can rest easy, knowing everything I want to have growing is going.

And I'm freelancing quite a bit, which is nice as well. Tricky to fit in around everything, especially since I'm back at work on the novel, but... nice.

AND-- BIG NEWS HERE-- a mattress, fire-retardant-free, 6'' longer than a regular queen but the same width, and reversible, is being handmade by a family company in Texas and soon the air mattress will be thrown in the trash! (Since it really doesn't work anymore. We have to pump it up about every other hour or we wake up on wood.) YAY! Three weeks away and counting.

Hope everyone out there is well.
Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 08, 2009

And the chickens

The baby Dominicks went into the pen for the first time today.

They had a good time, but... we lost one. Got out somehow and then dissapeared as I was ferrying the remaining 25 into the house.

Posted by Picasa

A Weekend At Home

A beautiful weekend with some beautiful kids.
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Between the time change and the refusing to take an afternoon namp, Caspian has gone to bed at 5 and 5:30 respectively for the last two days.

Which means:

1. He really smelled bad until this morning, when I made K give him a bath before breakfast, because he was asleep for bathtime.

2. He wakes up at the crack-- and I mean crack-- of dawn. And gurgles and chortles until Annaliese wakes up. Which means AFTER the dogs have been let out and we've played 14 games of Fort and read 3 books and sung 8 songs and given the baby a bath and finally filed into the kitchen for breakfast, it's.... 6:56.

It's kinda cool.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

The Adults' Halloween

I was a 1950s socialite in heels and pearls with my wee little poodle. K. was my fedora-and-suspender-wearing photographer.

Unfortunately, the one picture we got the babysitter to take of the two of us shows neither the fedora nor the suspenders, and his eyes are shut. Trust me that he looked awesome.

Several drinks and hours later, after hanging out with a robot and a zombie and a Catholic priest and a Black Forest hag, among others, we came home to find a wee little baseball player hungry for a feed. So still in costume, but feeling entirely like us... we fed him.

I have to say that leaving two kids (neither of whom were asleep when we left the house) and walking out the door holding hands is pretty much one of the best feelings ever. The hours away make coming home very sweet indeed.

(And I have to say... Annaliese, at nearly 2 years in, is awesome with sitters. She loves Miss Margaret and Miss Grace. This morning over breakfast, I asked her if she had a good time with Miss M. last night, and she nodded and said "yeah." Big blessing, this.)
Posted by Picasa

The Kid Halloween

Caspian, aka Li'l C.

The Fam... Annaliese was a googly green monster, eyes not visible on top of her head. And she was indeed quite solemn until she had the march-to-the-door, say-trick-or-treat, place-cady-in-pumpkin ritual down. It took about three houses.

And a lollipop or two.

When we got home and I was trying to force some rice and broccoli into her before the babysitter came and K and I got dolled up for OUR Halloween, I asked her if she had a good time.

She looked up and said, "Yeah."

We all did. Went around the two blocks with friends ( not pictured because it seems impolite to post a pic without permission), Caspian bobbing along in the Bjorn as a baseball player, Annaliese as a wee monster, and it was cool and crisp and entirely lovely.
Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Big Girl

It's our first Halloween as a family. Annaliese is going as a wee green monster in a zip-up suit that looks like shaggy green carpet with monster eyes on top, and Caspian's going to wear a blue cap, a baseball longsleeved onseie, and my eyeliner on his cheeks. Total cost: $6, and I can't wait for the pictures. We are going to walk up and down a few blocks and I am looking forward to it.

My kids have been heart-breakingly beautiful lately. Caspian increases in chubby-cheek-kissiness every day (and my goodness, he is such a SMILEY baby), and as for Annaliese, well... she's not a baby anymore. Which is nuts! Two Halloweens ago Annaliese wasn't even here, and now look:

She's started taking US for walks, imperially beckoning with her small hand and throwing hissy fits when we try to turn around for home.

It's a fun time. Ever since she turned about twelve months... it's been pretty fantastic.
Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 30, 2009

unexpected parental perk: confiscating 95% of your toddler's candy.

not that she knows, naturally. she is quite thrilled with her non-edible spider rings and the occasional drumstick lollipop.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I am tired. 150+ straight nights and counting of being awoken multiple times by baby, child, and dogs will do that to you.

But who wants to hear about that?

Annaliese has learned to play pretend. She pretends to go to sleep-- night-night! she yells, then shuts her eyes so hard that they crease-- and she pretends to be the baby.

It's pretty funny.

The chickens have taken to roaming the yard. All of the yard.

And as well as playing, Annaliese has also developed the habit of shedding her clothes as soon as she comes home from school. Which --as I am a stern mama--is limited to the house! No playing naked in the yard!

Oh, I am so tough.

Lastly, it brings me great joy to announce that Annaliese and Caspian Officially Like Each Other. They make googly-eyes at each other. He watches her every move. They smile, they coo, she straddles him and rocks him back and forth while I look on, fearing crushing: he chortles and reaches for her hair.

My two little monkeys.

They're falling asleep in the same room these days. Maybe someday they'll wake up in it too.