Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Frog Prince?

Papa found a frog living on our garden hose.

Maggie refused to hold it, but...

was willing to...

kiss it!

Luckily, it wasn't a prince in disguise. We're not ready to marry our daughter off yet.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Maggie Goes to the Dentist

Maggie visited the dentist for the first time last Friday. After playing with all the toys in the waiting room and checking out the fish, they gave us a tour and took us into a room to talk about their procedures. Magnolia received a giant toothbrush to play with while Mama filled out paperwork.
Then they tried to teach her about brushing her teeth with a giant dog puppet and she got to look at her teeth with the mirrors.

Finally, the dentist came in and looked at her teeth. Magnolia did not like having a strange man put his fingers in her mouth. Assessment: Teeth (all 14 of them!) and gums look great, but she is teething and looks like she will be for the next few months as her two year molars come in.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Family Vacation '09 - Priest Lake

Earlier this month, we braved a cross-state road trip and headed to Priest Lake in Northern Idaho for a family vacation. The weather was unseasonably cool, pouring rain off and on. This probably would have disappointed most, but we welcomed the excuse to cozy up and take lots of naps. An added bonus of all the rain was it kept the pesky yellow jackets at bay.

Kaleia used the week to do some good growing and learning how to charm.

Because Magnolia was a bundle of energy, wanting to explore every minute, Brian and I were thankful for the extra hands of Grandpa, Nana, great-Uncle Craig, and great-Aunt Sherri.

Maggie drug her great-Uncle Craig around smelling all the flowers.

She enjoyed a short ride on the four-wheeler.

Great-Aunt Sherri taught her the finer points of berry picking.

She caught right on. Of the pint she picked, about 10 huckleberries ended up in the bag.

Purple-faced and -fingered, she was a happy girl. Diaper changes the next day were not happy.

We did see some bear scat on our trip, but these were the only two bears we saw.

Otis and Trudy love going to the lake! Rain or shine they take full advantage of exploring the forest with its abundance of smells and playing in the water. Otis chased many squirrels at full speed bounding over fallen trees.

Trudy played so hard she could hardly walk.

Our other adventure was riding on the boat. We got to stop in a cove and see a bald eagle.

Maggie loved going fast.

Any time we slowed she signed for more.

All in all is was a great week. We were all a little hesitant to leave -- well, maybe not Brian. He was pumped to get back for soccer.

Summertime in Bellingham

This summer has flown by! For most of it we've been cooped up in our house taking turns eating, sleeping and caring for our girls, but we have gotten out a couple of times. Bellingham is a great place to live. We've enjoyed:
dancing in the park

walking downtown,

eating Mallard Ice Cream,

monkeying around on the playground,

and watching beautiful sunsets.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Happy One Month Birthiversary!

In case you were wondering the cupcake tradition will continue with Kaleia. We were just out of town and lacked Internet access last week.

The cupcake for this month is my attempt at a volcano, to represent one of our nicknames for our little girl: Mount KaleiaLeia. Serious rumblings can be heard and felt in her abdomen, usually resulting in a violent eruption from one end or the other. All this erupting made it difficult for her to gain weight the first month, putting her at only 10 1/2 pounds (half as much as she should have gained). She had an ultrasound to look for pyloric stenosis since it runs in Brian's family, but luckily it came back normal. So now we are trying some acid reflux medicine and changing Mama's diet. Although she definitely lets you know loud and clear when she's in extreme pain from her stomach issues , most of the time she is an even happier baby than her sister was.

In lots of ways she is like her sister at this age: she loves taking a bath, is mesmerized by light, and has amazing head strength. She also started cooing and giggling recently and it can melt your heart.

There are ways in which they are different though. While Magnolia enjoyed time in her swing and bouncy chair, Kaleia much prefers to be held. Magnolia was a "Papa's girl" from day one. He could soothe her when no one else could. But Kaleia and her Mama have the immediate connection this time. One of my--Shannon's--favorite memories from this month, took place one evening when she was ten days old. Kaleia was crying pretty hard and I propped her up facing me and softly said "Kaleia. It's okay." With each utterance she calmed a little more until finally she was almost asleep in my arms. Precious!

Overall, it has been an eventful month, for Kaleia and for us. Kaleia attended her first wedding, first birthday party, and took her first road trip out of state (to Idaho). Also during that first month Brian went to California for a week for school, and Bellingham had it's hottest spell of weather ever.

We're definitely still adjusting to the two-kid dynamic but after only a month we can't imagine our family without Kaleia in it.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Mysterious Reconstitution of the Number 2 (TWO!) and the Subsequent Demise of the Frazzles

Mathematicians in Washington state are beginning to take interest in the seemingly erroneous proclamations of a Bellingham toddler. For the sake of anonymity we shall call her Little-Miss-Hyperactive-Spaghetti-Hands (LMHSH).

One expert remarked, "I'm starting to think maybe [Little-Miss-Hyperactive-Spaghetti-Hands], who's learning to count right now, is on to something. Her arithmetic is a little unconventional--one might even say radical--but I'm starting to suspect that what would seem to be mathematical folly is actually a profound truism that could drastically alter the lives of many everyday people, not just mathematicians."

If you place a group of objects in front of LMHSH and ask her how many there are she'll tell you enthusiastically that there are "TWO!" No matter if there are five or a dozen, she will assure you that there are only two. This is what the mathematicians are so interested in, and what they are beginning to believe is in fact true: the experience of two in real life is drastically different than can be forecast based on equations such as 1+1=2.

Now let me present to you a photograph that illustrates one example of the kind of sad repercussions this radical new math can have on families. As you can see there is a table set for two (But let us be clear about this number two. This table is set for the old number two, the one civilizations have come to know and love over the last several millenia, the two that is only one more than one.) The dinner looks reasonably tasty and is even accompanied by a couple glasses of wine. But that is where the predictable pleasantries and pleasant predictabilities end, for the dinner of this couple (let us call them Mr. Frazzle and his wife Exhaustina) is not occurring at a dining room table or restaurant, nor on a picnic blanket or any other commonly used eating location. The Frazzles are eating their delicious Italian feast on a card table, in a bathroom, next to the toilet.

And the dirty diaper bin.

The Frazzles are adamant that they do not prefer such an arrangement and warn that this sort of thing is a direct result of the radical new mathematical laws professed by the toddler known as Little-Miss-Hyperactive-Spaghetti-Hands. Two is not two. It is five or six or ten. Experts believe that while LMHSH has been a leading proponent of the new mathematics she is not, in fact, the cause of the rupture. After much study it has been proposed that the small being on the right hand side of the image, while extremely cute and seemingly powerless, is the TWO! prophesied by LMHSH and is therefore the primary agent of this mathematical chaos and the attendant demise of the Frazzles.

More research is yet to be done to explain how and why a second child can more than double the demands on parents' time, but until that research is complete the Frazzles will likely need to continue to find innovative solutions for preserving their sanity.

UPDATE: The Frazzles have since vacated the bathroom and resumed more normal eating habits. They are however surprisingly proud of their creative problem solving and coping tactics. They are always on the lookout for other tips and tricks and ask that any readers with insights on how to live with TWO! share them in the comments.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Bathing Beauty

Celebrating Ten and Seven

Yesterday Brian and I returned to the place we first met, Camp Firwood, for a reunion with fellow '99 counselors. Firwood always reminds us of our unfavorable first impressions of each other.
Today, we're celebrating our seventh anniversary. :)