Saturday, November 21, 2009

Toe Men in Calgary

Our niece Jamie (almost 3), who lives in Calgary, saw Maggie's toe man video and insisted that her dad--Brian's brother Kevin-- make some of their own.

Are there any other toemen out there? Send us photos!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Looking at the pear and leaf in the picture book, Brian, tired of the usual questions like "what color is it?" and "how many?," asked Magnolia, "Which one do we eat?" Magnolia furrowed her brow and looked back and forth between the book and Papa's uneaten salad on the table.

Is this a trick question?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Happy 4 Month Birthiversary!

A Froggy lesson about Kaleia Shalom at 4 months.

Frogs are characterized by their long legs, short bodies, and big eyes.

Kaleia grew 1.75 inches this month, keeping her in the 90th percentile for length at 25.75 inches but dropped to the 50th percentile for weight at 13 lb 12 oz. Her eyes aren’t especially big but they are very expressive now.

Frogs have long tongues.

We seriously considered dressing Kaleia as Gene Simmons from KISS this Halloween. Her long, pointy tongue is very active, probably feeling her incoming bottom front teeth.

Tree Frogs have toe pads to help them grip vertical surfaces.

Kaleia’s froggy-ness was established early. As an infant she loved to sleep on your chest, legs bunched under her, arm flung around yours, hand gripping your sleeve. And the froggy-ness continues. Now her super grippy hands dart out like frog tongues to snatch whatever you’re holding. They are great for shaking the toys her sister gives her, but bad for Mama’s hair.

Neither of our girls are "cuddly" but Kaleia definitely loves to be touched. She prefers to nap in a sling, holding your hand.

Frogs are exceptional jumpers.

Kaleia is busy! Jump in your arms, jump in her jumper. She loves to roll and loves tummy time, only getting frustrated when she wants to get back to her back.

Frogs are loud and do more than “ribbit.”

Kaleia’s repertoire has expanded from the occasional coo to all sorts of vocal aerobics. She is much more vocal than her sister was at this age.

Frogs are indicators of a healthy environment.

If Kaleia is happy and sleeping well, the rest of us are happy. Luckily, Kaleia is the poster-child for “The Happiest Baby on the Block.” Except when she does her monster farts—I don’t know if frogs do that.

Frogs are symbols of fertility, harmony, joy and luck.

A year ago we were very surprised to find ourselves pregnant with Kaleia. Fertility indeed. We wondered how we were going to handle two little ones, have enough time and love for both of them, how Magnolia would handle it. Maybe God knew we couldn’t handle much more or maybe we’re just lucky. She continues to brighten our days and live up to the meaning of her name: joy.

Needless to say, we chose a frog for Kaleia's lovey. Magnolia has Mona, Kaleia has Rana. Look for Rana to make her blog debut soon.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Our Little Pioneer in Retro Fashion Hybrids

When Magnolia scampered off to her room in her newly changed diaper, I sat down in the living room thinking she was opting to have some play time by herself. A few minutes later she ran out in this, beaming!

We call this style, with its bright colors and backwards pants and shirt, Kris-Kross meets Blossom.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Popcorn: Snack or Entertainment

Standing on a chair, Magnolia (20 months) alternates between a transfixed gaze and ecstatic claps and squeals at the swirling, popping kernels.

Last night, as the popcorn started to build up on one side, I saw out of the corner of my eye, Magnolia gently rotate the bowl. Had she seen me do that? Or did she figure it out by herself?

Unfortunately, her adjustment was out of range for the incoming popcorn for a few seconds. Not wanting to miss any fluffy white treats she carefully moved the bowl back to retrieve the fallen kernels which led to further missed landings.

Popcorn is the preferred after dinner snack and entertainment. 

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Two Little Monkeys Strolling through the Night

When we ask her what she is going to say when she knocks on the door, Magnolia says, "Cold milk." Well, actually, she says "Coe-Meh" but we know what she means. And for someone who doesn't know what candy is you might think this is a reasonable request but what it signals to us, the proud parents of this little monkey, is trick-or-treating is not going to last very long. "Coe-meh," besides being Magnolese for cold milk is, at this time of night, code for "nigh-night time."

Maggie starts strong. Despite being tired, the joy of putting small colored objects in a bag sustains her. Putting small objects in containers is pretty much the coolest and she can do it with the best of them. Doing it at night, at strangers doors, in a monkey suit? Even better!!

She never quite figures out "trick-or-treat" but her knocking definitely improves from almost non-existant to kinda audible as the night progresses. She is never scared and not even all that shy. She musters a few thank-yous and gives one enthusiastic "Bye Man!" After which she just stands staring at the door. She does this at every house as if to say, "Aren't you gonna invite me in?"

We only go to about ten houses--half the time with only her entourage of family and friends, and half with a bumblebee, an astronaut, piglet, eeyore and cinderella--before the other monkey--the sleeping one--needs a better bed than a walking banana, and Magnolia needs her coe-meh.

Our cute monkeys were part of a Halloween photoshoot with Evantide Photography...Check it out!