Friday, February 26, 2010

It's the Climb!

As Marin is growing up (tear) her critical thinking skills are really developing. It is so fun to watch her discover how things work. She has recently expressed an interest in climbing up on furniture. Normally, she walks over to the couch or chair, taps it with both hands, smiles at us and makes an "eh, eh" sound, in an effort to charm us into lifting her onto the furniture so she can run around and try to jump off the back. We have been discouraging her from getting up, because obviously the likelihood of her falling off and hurting herself is about 98%.

Yesterday Marin decided to take matters into her own hands. She drug her little stool all the way around the corner, into the family room space, and pushed it over to the couch. Then she climbed up on the stool and onto the couch. VICTORY! She was quite proud of herself and let out a proud, big smiled, "HEEEEEE!" From there, she climbed onto the coffee table.

We watched half in horror of her fearlessness, and half in pride of her ability to problem solve. Then we encouraged her to do it again so I could get photographic evidence for this blog post. I'm positive I'll rue that day.

It is times like these that confirm that Marin is not a baby anymore. And that that little stinker is going to be one heck of a teenager.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Breaking News...

We interrupt your regularly scheduled program to relay this very important announcement:

AND- I can see a few close to popping through on the top! If we keep this up she'll be dentically (made up word) on par before you can say pediatric dentures.
We now return to "The Price Is Right", already in progress.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Last night, Marin and I decided to make the most of the snow and headed out to make a snowman. Except that, our intentions were greater than Marin's willingness to stay partially immobile in her marshmallow snowsuit, or mine to get my designer jeans soaked and muddy- so we ended up mostly just making a snowbaby. She's a girl, of course. We named her Suzy Snowgirl, and she is just Marin's size.

When I handed Marin the carrot for Suzy's nose, Marin put it in her mouth to eat it. Really it makes sense; how is she supposed to know that it was for the nose? In the song, they use a button.

After we built Suzy, it snowed about 6 more inches, so now poor Suzy Snowgirl is blind because her mud/leaf mixture eyes are covered in heavy snow. We had a good time, and have grown quite fond of our pint size snowbaby, Suzy. Still, as much as we enjoy visiting her in our front yard, I can't say I would be too terribly upset if a warm front came through and melted little Suzy away until next year. Bonus points for Suzy if she left budding daffodils in her place.

Suzy was the perfect end to a great weekend we spent together, with our friends the Minick's who visited us for the weekend. We had a great time with them, and loved when the Kucharski's joined us on Saturday! I love when our house is full and buzzing with laughter. And 6 adults, 4 children, one dog, and a healthy dose of wine (for the adults) and candy (for the kids) was just the way to make that happen!

We are so blessed. Thank you, God, for good friends with great kids, weekends, wine and snowbabies!

Friday, February 19, 2010

La Leche!

All the parenting books warn of the major disaster that is weaning from the bottle (cue horror music sequence)! They say you should do it slowing and integrate milk in a little at a time. They say to expect the child to wake at 3am, and to have a harder time falling asleep at night. Heidi Murkoff from "What to Expect the First Year" warns that timing is everything and that "you'll do your baby (and yourself) a big favor by choosing the weaning moment wisely."

To whom I would like to reply: "Whachu talkin' 'bout, Heidi?!"

Call me an unfit mother, but here's what we did in our house. One day at breakfast, instead of a bottle, a pink sippy cup appeared. And instead of formula, organic whole milk filled the container. Not only did Marin drink it, she enjoyed it. She didn't fuss, didn't cry, didn't wake at night; nada. And, added bonus- no messy powder or public nakedness for mom! Oh, and did I mention that it is $6 versus $35 for formula? Milk might be my new best friend!

"I'm going to call all my friends and tell them that milk isn't so bad! Bottles are for babies!"

Later that day, at lunch, Norah decides to see what all the fuss is about. "Hey, Marin. Can you throw me down some of that milk?"

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

There's No Place Like Home (Depot)...

You may have noticed Marin's miniature version of Home Depot's signature orange apron in this picture from her birthday party post. The apron was a gift from my dad and is a fair reflection on how much of her young life has been dedicated to home improvement.

It is true, that in any given weekend we split our time between Home Depot and Ace Hardware. It is no wonder then, that at Home Depot they know us by name, and at the Ace Hardware by our house they pull up our customer account as soon as Jason walks in the door.

With Jason's va va voom plans this past weekend (a luxurious and very romantic evening of drinks, dinner, after dinner drinks, overnight at a swanky hotel on Michigan Ave.) we took a breather from the florescent glamour that is the Home Depot. But we didn't stay away too long. On Monday night, we were right back there, making up for lost time.

As Jason and I were meeting with the deck designer, Marin was getting a little antsy. It must have been all the talk about 2 X 12's and post placement. I myself was getting a little fuzzy headed at the seventieth mention of the joists. So, Marin and I took off down the aisles to work off some steam. I think this video (taken with my camera- you know I am rarely without it) of her navigating the aisles is a pretty good indication of how at home she feels.
(okay I guess it's sideways- woops. Just tilt your head to the side and you get the idea. :))

Friday, February 12, 2010

Ooo La La!

Happy Valentine's Day!

We have spent a year celebrating Marin's "firsts", but Valentine's Day marks Marin's first official holiday that she has already celebrated. (Translation- it's her second Valentine's Day.) I am so used to buying "baby's first" greeting cards, that when I went to buy a "baby's first Valentine's Day" card last week, I stopped myself just short of the checkout line when I realized I was wrong.

Today is pajama day at Miss Kathy's! Everyone (Miss Kathy included) is wearing valentine pj's, having a snuggle day, and story time day. Um, yes please! I would have loved to have gone to work today in my pajamas and then snuggled up with a good book and a teddy bear all day. To top it off, they are having breakfast for lunch (pancakes and eggs- the older children are really excited about this) and are celebrating Valentine's Day all day long in a sea of red and pink.

Jason surprised me last night by telling me to pack an overnight bag, and plan on not coming home tonight. A little forward, I know, but we are married after all. :) I have no idea where we are going, and what we are doing, but I definitely decided I'd better shave my legs.

Jason arranged everything for Marin while we are away. I know that my mom is picking Marin up at daycare, and that Aunt Lindsay is going to my parent's house to pick up Marin, bring her back to our house, and staying with her overnight. I also know that Lindsay was secretly shown all the ins and outs last week during Marin's party, and that I didn't have to plan a thing! That is a Valentine present in and of itself. I swear, sometimes "getting away" seems like more work than just bringing Marin along, after you plan, explain, organize, pack, etc. for her while you are gone. What a treat not to have to worry a bit!

To top this all off, the man at the coffee shop at the train station today gave me two candy kisses this morning. Gotta love chocolate for breakfast!

I know a lot of people don't like Valentine's day, and I agree that we should really take the time to tell the people we love how we feel everyday. But it sure is nice to have one day dedicated to the heart's flutter. Whether your sweetheart is your spouse, or your kids, or your dog, or the guy at the coffee counter; I hope that you all enjoy a day of extra lovin' and chocolate!
Since Mr. Valentine (her Valentine bear) got to go to Ms. Kathy's for snuggle and pajama day, Marin had to get him snug in the car seat this morning.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Party Girl!

My Uncle John said it best; I think Marin had more fun at her first birthday party than anyone else!

We had a music and dancing theme for the party, and Marin spent most of the day doing just that! When she wasn't dancing to the playlist of 114 dance songs (kids and adult alike) that Auntie Mika made and sent us just for her party, or dancing with her blow up guitars, blow up saxophones, or shaking the mini party maracas, she was walking around the party smiling and greeting guests at the door with hugs and kisses. This girl knows how to party!

We had about 60 friends and family members at our house. Even considering that Marin is very social, I kept thinking she might reach a point where she'd freak out, or maybe just want to hang with Jason or me. Nope and nope. She was happy as a clam to just bounce from room to room in her little Burberry dress (also a gift from Auntie Mika) as if she were waiting for her birthday party more than anyone there.

We brought an old TV into the living room and borrowed Dance, Dance, Revolution from Uncle Jake and Aunt Katy. Marin was a little confused by the mats, but played along all the same. She was very happy to see some of her favorite food was served, and that her little picture was posted everywhere (table confetti, on the sweet potato fry cups, and even as stickers people wore) thanks to Auntie Molly making it all for her.

She was absolutely delighted when the whole party stopped to sing "Happy Birthday" to her. This was my favorite part. She sat in her highchair looking out at all her friends, smiling.

And then came the cake. Boy, did she LOVE the cake! Her cake had hand made chocolate letters and music notes on them, that if played out, played "Happy Birthday". She had her own individual cake that she tore into very systematically, and with great pleasure. She started with the top, and swept off all the icing. Then she did the sides, with both hands. Then, she dug into the cake- with a little coaching from my Goddaughter, Skylar, yelling, "Dig into it! Dig! Dig! Dig!" I think Marin kept waiting for someone to tell her "no, no" and every once in a while she'd look around like, "this is really okay? no one's going to stop me?". When she was near done, she spotted me, and reached out for me. She had very, very messy goopy hands, but I wasn't about to turn away a hug and a kiss from the birthday girl. As a result, I had cake in my hair, on my top and all over my face for the remainder of the party. I loved it.

After the cake, we needed an outfit change. Marin changed into her tutu so she could dance some more. After face painting, presents, a great Illini victory, more dancing at 9pm, and snuggles from her family, she had a major sugar crash at 10pm and fell asleep before I could even get her up the stairs to her room. Turns out she's just like her mom, and never wants a party to end!

It was a great day! At the end of the night Jason and I took a few hours together with just the two of us to recap the party and the day. We feel very blessed to have such great family and friends and a sweet baby girl- all who love a good party.

On Monday, Marin's actual birthday, Miss Kathy had a party for Marin at her house, for Marin's friends from daycare. Aunt Lindsay drove all the way out from Chicago to be there, and Grandma came too! It was great fun. Marin had cake again, this time with ice cream, too! It came just in time, because after we arrived Hayden (2 yrs. old) said, "Kathy, my stomach is growling! Time to have cake!" We danced to the hokey pokey, the itsy bitsy spider, and then everyone got balloons and they threw them up in the air and danced around the room with them. Reiss declared that if it is your birthday (hers is next) you get the pink balloon. So, Marin got the apparently coveted pink balloon. She tried to throw it up in the air like the big kids, but she didn't quite grasp the concept of letting go. So, she just ran around the room with her arm up in the air, happy as could be.

After all the sugar was danced off at Miss Kathy's, we went home and Grandma, Grandpa and Aunt Lindsay stayed for Marin's birthday dinner. In the middle of eating her chicken, brown rice and broccoli, Marin took my finger and put it in her mouth where I.... drum roll.... felt a tooth!!!!!!!!!!! Hooray! We don't have to go the pediatric dentist!! Sure enough, Missy Marin's bottom right tooth is coming in. We applauded this effort as if she had grown it herself, and then passed poor Marin around the table so everyone could peer inside and have a look for themselves.

Later that night, Marin uncharacteristically woke up crying. When we went in to check on her, she was burning up! She slept the whole next day, and last night at our one year well visit check up, it was confirmed that she has a double ear infection. Poor thing. She's doing better today, and is getting plenty of rest. Just goes to show you, all good things come to an end.

But what a weekend it was! Our little social butterfly partied and danced her little heart out. And boy oh boy... does that girl like sweets. Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday, dear Marin; Happy Birthday, to you!