Sunday, December 26, 2010

The start of the Christmas photos

Almost as good as the screaming/laughing one of two years ago.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Friday, December 3, 2010

25 days of Christmas

We are doing our 25 days of Christmas again this year, and this time Kate is much more excited. She was a bit young last year to really get it. But this year - woo boy - is she into it. We have done the first three days, but I have failed to take photos. I will try to do better.

On Day 1 we made a wreath for her door. I made a wreath out of cardboard during her nap, and then she decorated it. She's still working on it actually, so it hasn't been hung up yet. That will happen tomorrow, I hope.

On Day 2, we went to the library to get some Christmas books. Big hit. We've been reading them constantly. We may need to do that activity again when G and I are totally tired of these ones.

Today, Day 3, we went out for hot chocolate. It was really fun. The girl gave her HEAPS of whipped cream and Kate loved it. She ordered herself and then carried it to the table.

I've started with easy activities to ease into it, but we'll have some bigger events coming up - going to get a tree, a bike ride to see the lights, family movie night. I think I'm having at least as much fun as Kate!

9 months

Owen turned nine months old about two weeks ago. I'm a bit deliquent, although I'm sure no one is surprised. In the last month (and a half) Owen has turned from a baby into a little boy. He's crawling and leaving a swath of destruction behind him. He goes from room to room and just pulls everything apart. He loves his new mobility. He also wants to stand up, so he crawls to a chair or table and pulls himself up. But he hasn't quite figured out how to gracefully sit down.

He got a new tooth (number six) which caused a few bad nights of sleep. He is eating like a champ. His current favourites are smoke salmon and pureed peas. He can also now get small bits of food into his mouth, which is a lovely development since he will happily sit with a few snacks and feed himself.

He's babbling and exploring and generally making everyone smile. He's a flirt and the sweetest boy you'll ever meet.

Here is our not-baby-anymore boy and his sister having a snack:

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The kids

Photos from California

Some photos of our California trip (from Oma)

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Yesterday Owen started crawling. On Tuesday he pulled his knee forward for the first time, but only once. Yesterday morning he went about two 'steps' and by afternoon he was crawling across the room. He doesn't have speed yet, but give him a week or so. He definitely has the motivation. And he really just wants to stand up. He crawls to the table or a chair and tries to stand. Might we have a baby who is crawling at 9 months but walks by a year? Yikes.

(I have video, but the card reader has gone missing. I will put up a video as soon as I find it.)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010


(Please forgive the early morning bright sun and the finger smudged camera lens)

Pumpkin patch

On Monday we went to a little pumpkin patch at a local church. A lot of churches around here use pumpkin patches as fundraisers for their youth groups. Who knew? I still remember when I was 17 and moved to a city after growing up in a little rural town and having no idea at all where people got their pumpkins. Where do you get a pumpkin if there isn't a farm near by. Where I grew up, grocery stores did not sell pumpkins. I'd never seen a pumpkin in a grocery store, ever. And now, we go to a church fundraiser to get them. Weird.

Anyway, we got some pumpkins. (Sorry about the crappy picture quality. Turns out there were finger prints all over the camera lens. I can't imagine why.)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Date night reports

We haven't stopped date nights, although G ha been away for a few. We have tried a few new places (and went back to Sago because it was so good the first time.)

Two weeks ago we went to DK Sushi, which is a little hole in the wall on Lamar just south of 2222. I've been wanting to try it for awhile and the stars aligned since we were at the DMV office across the street. It was refreshingly casual and mellow. And the food was good. Nothing fancy, just pretty straight up nigiri and rolls. But it was fresh and delicious.

Yesterday, we went to Foreign and Domestic, which I kept hearing about. It's just around the corner from us, so we decided to try it. If you look at the menu at that link, you'll see they are doing the trendy thing of just listing the ingredients but not telling you the preparation method. And, unfortunately, every entree had one thing that didn't sound good to us. We did get a couple of items from the happy hour menu and they were delicious, as was the white wine sangria. But, we didn't see anything else we wanted to try. So, we did what any Austinite would do. We headed from the upscale trendy restaurant to the taco place.

Torchy's just opened a new location near us. It was perfect. Trailer park, trashy. That's more our speed. Great date night.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

8 months

Owen turned eight months old yesterday. It's been a big month for development. His personality is really starting to show and he's a happy, flirty, funny, mellow kid. He's learned to bum scoot so now he can get to where he wants to go, although slowly and with a lot of frustration. I predict he will be crawling in some fashion by the next monthly update. He also got a new tooth, which brings him up to five.

He still adores his sister but now that he can get to her and to her stuff, she is slightly less enamoured with him. He also adores food and may soon be eating us out of house and home. He loves the bath, gravel, being outside and eating leaves and his dad.

He's not sleeping through the night - we are usually up twice. We've done some sleep training which has helped, but it may almost be time to make a concerted effort to drop the 2 am feeding. He certainly doesn't need it, since the boy is wearing 18 month clothes.

Friday, September 24, 2010

My life list

I've been working on this for a little while and I have to give up making it perfect or complete. Because that is not the point of a life list. It is also not a to do list. It's a list of things I want to do someday somehow. Things will be added and erased and crossed off. Here is it:

1. Sail in the Greek Islands
2. Learn how to can fruits and veggies
3. Successfully grow vegetables
4. Learn to hula hoop
5. Visit the Grand Canyon
6. Visit all the National Parks in Utah
7. Learn to meditate
8. Take the kids on a canoe trip
9. Do another adventure race
10. Have a plot at a community garden
11. Take a multiday bike trip with the kids
12. Cook dinner every night for a week
13. Decide on a Monday to take a fabulous vacation on Friday
14. Go back to Paris
15. Go to Spain
16. Rent a house in Italy for at least two weeks
17.Go to the full moon swim at Barton Creek pool again
18. Own a piano and learn to play again
19. Restore an old house
20. Own (and wear) cowboy boots
21. Cook at camp with my sister
22. Take my nieces on a trip
23. Go to Africa
24. Wax
25. Pose nude
26. Go on a trip with Ada, Mel, Tasha and Sara
27. Get a massage once a month for a year
28. Run an off road half marathon
29. Have a family portrait taken
30. Visit Stonehenge
31. Try stand up paddleboarding
32. Host an over-the-top dinner party
33. Eat at all the (non-mexican) food trailers in Austin (This is not to be food-ist. It's just that there are hundreds of taco trucks. I don't want to try all of them.)

Things that I've already done that were on my (not written down yet) list:
Run a marathon
Do an expedition adventure race
Make cheese
Go to NYC
Knit myself a sweater
Do a multiday sailing trip
Own a beautiful house
Have a dog
Take a french cooking class
Take a painting class

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Seven months

Owen turned seven months old two days ago, but it took me awhile to get around to writing. Graeme has been away for over a week so my chances to sit and write are very few.

It's been a month of big changes, as all months are at this point. New teeth (he now has four. The first top one came in on the 11th and the second one yesterday. The bottom two arrived four days after he turned five months old.), new sounds, food.

He loves food. He mostly has pureed fruits and veggies but also enjoys Cheerios and small pieces of fruit and meat. He hasn't tried a food that he doesn't like. He eats a lot and enthusiastically. It's very fun. I think it's more fun that when we did it with Kate because the first time we were a bit worried about it. Now it's just fun and no stress at all.

Owen has also started to express frustration and anger if he loses a toy (usually because *someone* takes it). He has developed an intense love of the bath. He is 95% of the time a happy, smiling baby. He makes everyone else smile too. He loves loves loves his sister. She thinks he's ok.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Date nights

We decided that this fall we would start having weekly date nights. We haven't done this before and now that we have two kids, it seems really necessary. We arranged to have a sitter every Tuesday from 5-7:30. That means we can have an early dinner (at happy hour prices), Ashley will feed the kids and we will be home for bedtime. Today was our second week, and it's been great.

We have also decided to try a new place each week since we intend to go back to our favourite places. I'll be posting about where we go here, mostly so that I can remember.

Last week we went to Sago which is very near by in the Triangle development. We actually got takeout from there once, but that was awhile ago. They have apparently recently changed the menu, although since we didn't know the old menu, that didn't mean much to us. We had a selection of appetizers, which were all really good. Our favourites were the mexican chicken wings and something I've forgotten the name of (the website doesn't have the new menu) but it was seafood in a lemon-grass/coconut broth. Vaguely thai and delicious.

Tonight we went to Simplicity Wine and Eats. It is a new place where the schick is that it is an unpretentious wine bar and it produces less non-compostable, non-recyclable garbage than a family of four. Their menu is tapas and we had a few good things. The samosas were great (although not Spanish by any stretch). The food wasn't as good as Sago, but the happy hour special of $4 glasses of Malbec made up for it.

The next two weeks G will be out of town, so no date night. I will still get a sitter and go run or bike, but no reports of new restaurants for a few weeks.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The best sound in the world

Sorry, I shouldn't have held the camera sideways. But the laugh is worth it.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Three years

My baby girl is three years old today. I know all parents say it - but it's amazing how quickly it goes. Three years of this amazing person sharing our lives. It still, after three years, amazes me that we made her. That she once didn't exist. Because she certainly exists now.

She is in the 'I can do it myself' stage. She can talk for days (which she did during our drive to Canada last month). She can write her own name and likes to figure out rhyming words. She loves her brother although she's starting to realize that he will soon be interested in her things and she isn't quite as sure about that. She is funny and smart and caring and stubborn and emotional. Toddlerhood must be very hard. She wants so much to do things herself but she is still so little and needs cuddles and she just can't control the huge emotions she feels.

It's an honour to be her parent. She teaches me things and shows me the world through her amazing eyes.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Six months

Owen had his first half birthday today. Six months. Someone needs to just stop time for a day or two so I can just breathe my kids in. So I can feel like I'm not missing anything, which is how most days feel.

In the past month, Owen has gotten two teeth, is sitting up on his own, has started eating solid food, has developed a temper, continues to be madly in love with his sister, rolls over sporadically, laughs freely and continues to be an easy baby who makes everyone around him smile. In other words, he's perfect.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Monday, July 5, 2010

New posts soon!

I have video of Kate 'reading' a book, swimming and Owen just doing his thing. And photos. And posts being crafted in my head about happiness and the vulnerability that comes with having kids. And our upcoming travel plans.

Soon, I promise.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Four months and neglected

The last post I did was Owen's three month post. Well, he turned four months old today and I don't even have a (very) recent photo. I haven't taken any photos of Kate recently either, so it's not that he's being neglected compared to here right now. Just compared to her at four months. He's been pretty cranky the past few days. A few nights ago he had a fever (not sure how high, I didn't pull out the thermometer in the middle of the night) and yesterday he developed a rash all over. Ah, roseola. That explains the fever and crankiness. Now that the rash is here, it's over although he's still a bit cranky. I'm hoping he's feeling better (and looking less spotty) tomorrow.

We are heading off to Colorado tomorrow for a week in Telluride. I'm very excited. I'm a mountain person (I think people are either mountain or ocean people. I don't know if which one you are means anything, but I do think you are one or the other.) and it's been a very long time since I've been in the mountains. We are taking my MIL with us, which means a real vacation for me - or at least time off. Graeme has a conference, so he'll be busy in the mornings while we are riding the gondola up and down and up and down and up and down. (Fortunately, it's free.)

As we were getting ready today and pulled the suitcase down from the shelf, I noticed a discolouration on the ceiling that had been out of sight. Oops. The roof is leaking. Graeme went up into the attic and found the spot, put a bucket under it for now (at least we're entering the dry time of year) and while he was up there gave a glance at the AC unit, since we haven't checked it since we started running it about four weeks ago. And there was a giant leak in the duct. We've been cooling our attic for the last month. He got that fixed with some duct tape. (How often do you actually use duct tape on ducts? I think that was only his second time. I don't think I've even had a first time.) So, it was a unexpectedly busy day leading up to our departure early tomorrow morning.

No pictures today, but there will be plenty this week and I will try to post some as we go. This is our first time travelling with both kids, so expect a report on how that goes and wish us luck.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Owen at three months

I was looking back at the entry I wrote when Kate was three months old. It could, word for word, be about Owen. He's smiling all the time, starting to laugh and enjoys the saucer and playmat. And especially naked time. And most of all, his sister. He loves to watch her and she is the main source of his laughter. It's awesome to watch.

Some photos from the last week or so. Including a couple of Kate, of course.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A nephew!

My awesome sister, Karen, had her baby yesterday. A boy! I'm ridiculously excited.

(She has some photos up on her blog. He's a cute one.)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Friday, May 7, 2010

My babies

From today:

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Update on Kate

Owen got his update, and so the big sister gets one too. Kate is all kinds of awesome these days, but is also a typical 2.5 year old. Pushing boundaries, slightly defiant and asking 'Why?' about a million times a day. Bullet points for her too? Why the hell not.

- She is still doing great with Owen and loves to hold him and kiss him.
- Swimming lessons started three weeks ago and she loves them. She talks about it all week. Part of the excitement is the two new swimsuits, if I'm being totally honest. But she confidently jumps into the pool (sometimes without letting me know she is about to) and is working on blowing bubbles. Lessons will segue right into the neighbourhood pools opening, so we will be all set for the summer.
- She is pretty much potty trained and only wears diapers for night sleep and nap. We're even diaper free for preschool and errands around town.
- She had her first hair cut this week, although you can't tell. I just trimmed one side of the back where about ten hairs were inches longer than all the rest. Still, big excitement about it.

A photo of our big girl:

Update on Owen

Owen turned eight weeks old yesterday and will be two months old on Monday. It's one of those weird time lapse things where it seems impossible that it's been eight weeks already, but it's also only been eight weeks? Here is a bullet point update on the little guy:

- At our six week check up (which happened at 7.5 weeks) he weighed 14 lbs! Not quite as chunky as his sister was at this age, but he's getting there.
- The last four nights he has slept from about 10:30 or 11 until about 7. Eight hours of sleep in a row is heavenly.
- He's starting to smile, which is totally awesome. The feedback from a newborn in the first six weeks (or so) is all negative. Just crying or not crying. To get some positive feedback makes a huge difference.
- He will take a bottle of breast milk if the source is not available. We'll try to keep that working, since at some point Kate decided that she would rather starve than drink from an evil bottle.
- He is an easier baby than Kate was. We can put him down for the night while he is still awake and after a bit of fussing he will fall asleep. Kate had to be nursed to sleep for months and months. He's also easier during the day. A big part of it is that Kate had reflux so I think she was just uncomfortable a lot of the time. It's very refreshing to have a baby that doesn't constantly barf.

On that lovely note, some photos of our little boy: