Monday, October 25, 2010

The Pumpkin Patch

This past weekend we went to the pumpkin patch.  Last year when we went to the pumpkin patch, the kids were barely walking, it was really cloudy (great for photos), and there was hardly anyone there.  We ended up getting a ton of amazing photos – so many that I did a main pumpkin patch blog post, then one each for Piper, Henry, and Rosemary.  I was sort of expecting the same thing this year.  Not so much.  This year the kids are FAST, the sun was out and bright, and the pumpkin patch was super-crowded!  Regardless, we had a good time.  Auntie Ann joined us this time.  And of course this year we had another new addition – Penelope!   

The kids were really funny.  Piper was full of energy and it was a little hard to keep up with her.  She flirted with everyone and even climbed onto someone’s lap during the hayride.  Henry was very serious, and took his pumpkin-picking and pumpkin-carrying responsibilities very seriously.  Rosemary was excited about the pumpkin patch – but then she also gets excited about cameras these days.  At one point we turned around and saw a family sitting on a hay bale for a photo . . . with Rosemary sitting next to them smiling.  Oops. 

Here are the photos:

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Last Few Weeks

I’m not even going to promise when the next blog post will be up!  Things just keep happening that keep me from regularly posting, so this will be a catch-up post, and hopefully the posts will be more regular.  In the interest of time, I didn’t even try to edit the photos I’m posting.

Penelope is now a little over 2 months old.  Back a few weeks ago, she had her 6-week check-up.  Here are her stats:

Weight:  10 pounds 6 ounces
Length:  22 inches
Head Circumference:  14.25 inches

That puts Penelope well over the 50th percentile for all of her measurements, which means that she’s moving right up the chart!!

At the end of September, we learned that we could put the girls’ hair in pigtails!  I think that Gary and I like the pigtails more than the girls liked the pigtails, but they were so cute!


On September 25, 2010, we decided to have a big outing to the Greek Festival.  Auntie Ann came along with us, and we all got packed up and headed out.  Of course, the girls were in their new pigtails.


Penelope’s hair is way too short for pigtails, but she was looking mighty cute as well:


Henry was very helpful and helped pull the girls in the wagon.


And that is all the photos I have of that outing.  Not because my camera battery went dead.  And not because I ran out of room on my memory card.  Those are all the photos I have because the kids had an absolute MELTDOWN and we had to leave.  In retrospect, we should have brought TWO wagons.  Henry wanted to pull the wagon, which worked just fine until Henry wanted to pull it into the street.  So, we put him in the wagon and pulled Piper out.  She ALSO wanted to pull the wagon, and wanted to pull it into the street.  So, we pulled Rosemary out and strapped in Piper and Henry, screaming.  Rosemary, however, wanted to be IN the wagon.  We ended up with three screaming toddlers and one sleeping baby.  By the time everyone calmed down and we made it to the food, it was hot and the lines way too long.  So, we left and picked up some boring food elsewhere.  That was the first, but probably not the last, time that we will have to do that.

The next weekend we went to one of our favorite spots, Aldridge Gardens.  Instead of taking the triple stroller, we brought along the “monkeys” (a/k/a safety harnesses or leashes).  I hate the monkeys.  They look horrible.  I hate the idea of having my kids on leashes.  But, it gets them out of the stroller but keeps everyone safe.  I really don’t know of any other safe option with three 2-year-olds because it’s not like we can trust them to mind us and not run off – and if three kids run off in three different directions, well then we have a situation.  Anyway, the kids had a great time.  And of course I took a few photos of everyone. . . .

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Piper thinks that she is ready to start learning how to drive.  Maybe next year.

After that trip to Aldridge Gardens, the Great Stomach Virus of 2010 hit our house.  That was our first stomach bug.  It lasted for almost a week.  And it got all SIX of us.  I hope that nothing like that ever, ever, ever happens again.  We did nine loads of laundry in one 24-hour period then I stopped keeping count.  I’ll leave it at that. 

What amazes me is that a stomach bug that absolutely knocks me and Gary out, doesn’t really slow the kids down.  They were tired, sure, but they just took a longer nap and slept longer at night.  They still wanted to play and run around and all that during the day.  So, we spent many of our mornings in the backyard.  And, when I could manage to lift the camera, I took a few photos. 

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Ironically, the first night of the stomach bug coincided with Penelope’s first night to sleep through the night.  She had been sleeping pretty well, but that night she went 10 straight hours.  Since then, for about the past two weeks, she has been regularly sleeping from about 9:30 or 10:00 p.m. until 7:30 or 8:00 a.m. the next morning.  I’m sure I’ll catch up on my sleep soon! 

Thankfully, the stomach bug ended in time for us to have a photo session with Heather Swanner.  The photo session was for all of Nana and Papa’s grandkids, which is my four, my brother Seth’s 4-year-old Sydney, and my brother Zac’s 1-year-old Laramy.  It was insane.  I have no idea how Heather Swanner kept her cool during that session.  I was a nervous wreck and I wasn’t taking any photos.  BUT, if you want to see the most awesome slideshow ever of some gorgeous kids, please click here for the slideshow.  Amazing.  I love each and every one of those photos.

This past Sunday, we had Penelope’s baptism at Prince of Peace Catholic Church, during the 11:00 a.m. mass.  We are honored Auntie Ann is Penelope’s godmother.  Here are a few photos.  (Gary’s mom (Grandma) also took some photos during the baptism, but I’m having a hard time getting those photos off my e-mail, and in the interest of time I’m just hurrying up and posting what I have.  I’ll post those as soon as I can move them.)

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In the meantime, we have a new nanny who will be taking care of the kids so that I can fully return back to work.  I’ve been working from home a bit pretty much ever since a couple of weeks after Penelope came home, and I’ve had a few days in the office, but next week I should be back to work in the office every day. 

Penelope is still nursing mostly, but gets a bottle of breastmilk every night from Gary, and of course bottles during the day when I’m at work.  I’ll be pumping at work.  I have no idea how long I will pump and nurse.  I pumped for the kids for 9 months, and I hope to go the full first year with Penelope, but I’m just going to take things one day at a time.

The improvement in the kids’ speech over the last few weeks is nothing short of amazing.  They’ve been getting speech therapy from Children’s Hospital’s Early Intervention program, and that combined with playschool has really caused a huge increase in speech.  Unfortunately, Piper’s new favorite word is “no.”  Actually, it’s more like, “nnnnnoooooo, no no no, noooo, no no NO!”  But now they are able to tell us what they want to eat (typically goldfish or cookies), when they want to eat (now), where they want to go (usually the zoo or school), and all other kinds of things.  I know that one day we will probably hope that they will stop talking, but for now every word is music to our ears. 

Speaking of the zoo, this morning we went to the zoo.  I didn’t take any photos, but we rode the train for the first time.  The kids LOVED it.  Rosemary especially.  She sat there with this sweet little grin on her face the whole time.  She did not, however, like it when we got to the end of the train ride.  We told her it was time to get off the train, and she told us no.  So then we put her off the train, and then she climbed back up on the train.  Eventually, Gary carried her off the train kicking and screaming.  Literally.  Oh well.

So, that is our last few weeks in review.  Hopefully it won’t be so long until the next blog post!!