Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Trick or Treat

We're still struggling with the skill of getting both kids looking at the camera and smiling at the same time, but here's our best shot of them in their Halloween costumes tonight. They both had a great time at our neighbor's Halloween party, and Chris took Josh trick or treating afterward. Here are some highlights from our evening. By the way, Molly is a Dalmatian, not a cow. Someone at the party made a joke about giving her some hay!

Chris and Josh vs. a bunch of kids in tug-of-war. Chris and Josh actually held their own.

Here are me, Josh, Molly and Siri, one of our favorite neighborhood friends, on a hayride. Siri's dad hooked a riding lawn mower to a trailer full of hay and pulled everyone around the neighborhood.

Chris and a very happy Dalmatian.

This is one of the highlights of the party that has become an annual tradition. It's called the "Ball Game," and it involves the adults getting a good laugh at their kids' expense. All of the kids who want to participate go in the house, and they are told they're going to play a game where they will look under each towel on a table and call out the name of the kind of ball they find underneath. They are brought out one at a time and timed with a stopwatch. They hurry down the table yelling "basketball, soccer ball" and then they lift up the next towel and there's a guy underneath who scares them. Believe me, it's hilarious.

Josh tried out the role of "scarer" after the Ball Game ended.

I Couldn't Resist

You longtimers may remember this Kodak moment from Josh's first birthday party where he reached into the drink tub and came out with a Miller Lite. Well, now we've gotten our companion picture. Here's Molly at the Halloween party going for our neighbor's Corona.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Say Cheese, Balloons!

Today we took Josh to what we thought would be a life highlight: the Carolina Balloonfest in Statesville. It didn't disappoint. This is the second largest hot air balloon festival in the United States, and we tried to time our arrival for the 4:30 p.m. mass ascension, where about 50 balloons were scheduled to take off. We sat in a large traffic jam near the launch site for about an hour and missed the first take off, but we could see the balloons floating by. When we got the camera out, Josh leaned out the window and yelled: "Say cheese, balloons. Please!"

When the sun began to set, some of the balloons returned to the field for "Balloons Aglow," where the balloon pilots lit up the balloons with their propane flames. Here is Josh and Molly's reaction to the first one that lit up:

The festival was gorgeous--lots of balloons and bright colors, and there were plenty of people toting around fancy cameras to capture it. Josh loved it, and he thought his life had gotten even better when we drove through downtown Charlotte on the way home and he asked if we had gone back to Disney World!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Taking His Shots

Josh earned himself an ice cream cone this evening after surviving a particularly harrowing trip to the pediatrician. His school had asked that we go ahead and get his kindergarten vaccinations, which we thought was fine, but we were shocked when Nurse Ann walked in with SIX shots on a tray for Josh. Chris held him tight as he took three shots in each arm, and we were all cringing and looking away. Even Molly was crying by the end of it, and then Chris had to hold her while she got a shot. Chris and I felt sort of wimpy when afterward we got our single flu shot each. Hopefully some cool Band-aids and Ben and Jerry helped ease Josh's pain tonight.

Our Girls

Today was one of the sweetest days in my longtime friendship with Emily. We got to pose for a picture with "our girls," Molly and Vivian, who was born last night. We have walked through many phases of life together, and now we plan to watch our girls become the best of friends, too. Welcome, Vivian!

So cute!

Molly is following in her brother's footsteps--there's never an electrical cord she can't find.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Molly at 9 months

Molly had her nine-month checkup today, and she's now officially a stringbean. She is now 29 inches long and 16 pounds, 15 ounces, which puts her in the 90th percentile for height and 25th percentile for weight. At six months, she was 27 inches long and 15 pounds, 8 ounces. This is why all of her pants are falling off!

The doctor assured me that children don't gain much weight at this stage because they are moving around so much, which would explain Molly's situation. She is now a crawling expert and pulls up on everything. I think Molly would like nothing more than to be able to run and play with Josh, and hopefully that day will come soon.

Sunday, October 21, 2007


We have been waiting for the day when Josh would meet his match, and tonight it finally happened! I wouldn't call Josh a bully, but he's certainly pushed/shoved/etc. his share of kids over the years. This is Nathan, who is a full year younger than Josh. Josh and Nathan had an all-out wrestling smackdown tonight at a party, and Nathan emerged victorious. Nathan's superior tactics beat out Josh's strength, and he had Josh yelling for help more than once!

On a more serious note, we said good-bye to our dear Tim and Hannah tonight. They are leaving at the end of the month for their 2 1/2 year mission trip to Peru. We're excited about what the future holds for them, but so sad that they won't be part of our lives in Charlotte for awhile.

Friday, October 19, 2007

We've Seen Better Days

This wasn't our best year for school pictures. I'm not sure how the photographer at Molly's school managed to take a picture without her smiling. According to Josh's teacher, he freaked out on picture day and the photographer got him to sit still for a nanosecond, resulting in this lovely shot. From the looks of it, you'd think we have two very sad and serious kids.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

This is how you get the girls

Here's Josh looking cool in his rain boots with his shorts on backwards. Hopefully his fashion sense will improve with age. The rain boots are not any indication that it was actually raining. He just likes to wear them.

Here's Molly in the yard tonight. If you look closely in this picture, you can see that she actually does have a little hair. However, our mantra continues to be "bald is beautiful."

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A Lap Full of Kids

We have finally gotten a break from the 90+ degree heat and have enjoyed some cooler weather this weekend. We've been hanging out in the front yard playing Frisbee and helping Josh ride his bike in the cul-de-sac. Here's my attempt this afternoon to get everyone looking at the camera at the same time. Notice our parched and dying grass--we are in desperate need of rain here!
Here's Molly doing the three-legged crawl to keep her knees from touching the grass.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

A Grand Time

We returned from Halifax last night happy and exhausted from a super-fun (our favorite superlative) trip. Here are some of the highlights:
Elke and Hance's wedding
Elke is one of my most longstanding friends, as we have known each other and kept in touch since we were children living in Indonesia. Elke, her brother Richard, my brother Jon and I have had many adventures together in many cities over the years, and this trip was no exception. Elke's wedding was held in a movie theater, complete with popcorn and Coke for the guests and a special showing of "When Harry Met Sally" while the wedding party took pictures. We had a great time getting to know Elke and Hance's fellow Canadian journalists at our table at the reception and then reliving our teenage years on the dance floor.

Richard, Elke and me

Elke and Hance outside the movie theater just after the wedding. Inside the theater, they had hung a special movie poster advertising "When Hance Met Elke." When Elke's parents and my parents lived in Dallas at the same time, Elke, Richard, Jon and I would get together every night over Christmas break and go to a movie. I think our record was six movies over one vacation. Elke's wedding felt very appropriate!

Hike to Cape Split
Elke directed us to this amazing 16 km round-trip hike to a small spit of land on the northern coast of Nova Scotia. We hiked for four miles through the woods and emerged at the end to a stunning view of the Bay of Fundy and New Brunswick.

Whale watching
Alas, no whales, as they have mostly migrated south for the winter, but we thoroughly enjoyed the 2.5 hour boat ride around the Halifax harbor.

Peggy's Cove
We took a drive one morning to nearby Peggy's Cove, a small fishing village that is one of the most photographed locations in Canada.

As we have no vacations planned in the immediate future, this blog will now return to its regular stars, Josh and Molly.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

At last, a vacation!

In our family, we've decided that "vacation" only is possible without kids. After 18 months of all kids, all the time, we're finally on a real vacation. We landed in Halifax, Nova Scotia, today to spend five days here and attend my childhood friend Elke's wedding. My parents are kindly staying in Charlotte with Josh and Molly so Chris and I can be here.

We had dinner at Opa!, a really fun Greek restaurant, and it dawned on me that for the next four days, we can go to a restaurant EVERY NIGHT! We can sleep past 6:30 a.m., read our books, go for walks and pretty much live life on our own schedule. It's crazy how the things we used to take for granted are such a luxury now.

We're looking forward to whale watching, hiking, walking around the Halifax harbor and catching up with old friends at the wedding. And the best part is that Halifax is enjoying some "unusually warm" weather, so we'll be doing it all without the sweaters and coats we packed.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Molly and the Door Stop

Molly has made her Internet debut! My longtime friend Corinne needed some footage of a baby to use for a graduate school paper on babies' motor skills development, and Molly is going to be the subject. The video is not that exciting because Corinne needed footage of her motor skills, not her entertainment skills, but if you want to see what Molly's up to in her daily life, here it is.

Many thanks to Emily and Randy for letting us borrow their very cool video camera!