Friday, November 30, 2007

High speeds and fast horses

We headed back to the local shopping center tonight for our third annual "sleigh ride" around the parking lot. Bob the horse pulls the wheeled sleigh at a top speed of about 1/2 mile per hour. Josh finds this thrilling, especially when Bob pulls the sleigh over the speed bumps.

I tried to get Josh to pet Bob's nose afterward, but when I let go of his hand he took off and stood in a nearby flowerbed while Molly and I thanked Bob for the ride.

Pics and Sticks

We headed out for another attempt at Christmas photos today, this time amongst the new crop of leaves in our yard. I was better prepared this time with matching outfits and rested children, but the net result was about 70 really bad pictures. Here's one of Molly that I thought was pretty cute until I realized there was a stick touching her head, as if she was being anointed by the Christmas fairy.

The sticks and leaves were just more fun than saying cheese for the camera. Here are some other winning shots:

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A New World II

Family holidays certainly have changed for us in a year! Last year about this time, my sister-in-law Amy and I were pregnant, and Josh was the only grandchild on my side of the family. Here's a picture from this year's Thanksgiving celebration, which now includes Molly and her twin cousins, Abbey and Elizabeth. My mom joked that when arrived at the party, we doubled the attendance.

We spent Thanksgiving Day at my grandmother's, and then we all caravaned to my parents' house on Friday. It's unfortunately too cold to swim, but Josh and Molly enjoyed the next best thing: my parents' giant bathtub.

Here's Molly playing with her cousin Abbey.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Wild clapping and more prayers for our food

On Monday, Molly suddenly started clapping. We're not sure when and how she acquired this skill, but we're so proud that we're showing her off to our friends and neighbors like she's a trained seal. She claps on command to the delight of anyone we ask her to clap for.

Molly also has adapted her clapping to her moods. Today when Chris picked her up from the church nursery school, she began her "happy clapping" when she saw him. When she gets angry or upset, she cries and claps at the same time. I'm not sure if I'm even that coordinated!

We have also been very happy about Josh's recent progress with his talking, thanks to school and the hours of therapy he receives every week. It seems that the better he talks, the more confident he becomes. Last night we were very surprised when he not only wanted to say the prayer before we ate, but he uttered a long and almost completely understandable blessing. It unfortunately did not mention food, but he did thank God for Christmas tree lights and for "window" starting with the letter W. That meant the big piece of broccoli we made him eat did not go down blessed.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Leaves

Here's Molly playing in the leaves the weekend as we headed out for our least favorite fall activity: the leaf raking that will go on for months. We love our wooded neighborhood, but we hate raking up the thousands (millions?) of leaves that fall every year.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Christmas Outtakes I

The ever-elusive Christmas picture was difficult with just one child, and I imagine it will be all but impossible this year with two. We've pretty much given up on studio pictures, so we made our first attempt at a candid picture to send out with our Christmas cards at a (very early) Christmas party on Friday at a local shopping center.

Here are some of the disastrous results. Throwing in two balloons and some reindeer horns didn't help anyone's concentration, unfortunately.

First, we tried staging Josh and Molly in front of the tree with their balloons.

Josh's shoes and antlers and the balloons were much more interesting to Molly than the camera.

We next tried having Chris sit with the kids, but he was the only one looking at the camera.

We gave up because it was getting cold and I thought other people might want to actually enjoy the view of the Christmas tree that we were blocking with our antics. Luckily it's early, and there will be many other opportunities for Christmas pictures. We then headed to the pet store, where Josh spent some time gazing longingly at the clown fish, which he believes are Nemo and Nemo's father.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

'Tis the Season

Finally, football season is waning and college basketball is underway. Molly is celebrating UNC's opener tonight with a T-shirt supplied by Corinne. I'm thrilled with the Tar Heel's #1 pre-season ranking, and while I can still do some trash talking, I'm going to do it!

Other relevant pre-season basketball ranking information:
#10 Dookies
#29 Florida
#53 George Mason

Unfortunately Josh is still struggling with team loyalty. He was playing with orange and blue kitchen sponges today.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

On a More Positive Note

We are still getting used to the weirdness of our Maggie-less house, and I decided the blog needed to feature happier times at the top. Here are some pictures from the weekend:

The first meeting of Josh and Vivy. Vivy slept through her first Josh hug, but he has been schooled on how to say and spell Vivy and he was ready to meet her.

Josh helps Auntie Em blow out her birthday candle. We celebrated Emily's birthday on Saturday night with Randy, Em, Steph and our combined three kids.

Josh enjoying his first-ever Dairy Queen chocolate dipped cone at the mall today. I couldn't stand it after a few minutes and had to play the Mommy card and demand that he let me have some. He reminded me that I needed to say, "Thank you, Josh, for sharing."

Here's a picture of Molly, who has been left out of this photo fun, playing with the leftover Halloween pumpkins.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Goodbye, Old Friend

Today was a very sad day, as we had to put my cat Maggie to sleep. She stopped eating about two days ago, and today she was diagnosed with renal failure that was essentially beyond help. I was thankful that it was a clear choice to end her suffering, but I'm still sad to lose a longtime pet. Chris took Maggie to the vet and held her while she received the injection.

Corinne and I picked out Maggie from the animal shelter in Wilmington weeks after we graduated from college, which makes her about 12.5 years old--geriatric for a cat. Maggie has been with me for pretty much my whole adult life, and I know I will miss her, even though she could be a bitter and contentious old cat. I said my goodbyes before she and Chris left for the vet this morning, and I'm glad that she now is finally at peace.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


We are certainly not ashamed to be members of the Bald Baby Club, but I am increasingly perplexed as to why people do not equate babies (regardless of the amount of hair they have or don't have) wearing pink with girls. This is what Molly was wearing yesterday, and a man walked up to us at the grocery store (Molly was sitting in the cart) and said, "Hi, Mr. Blue Eyes." Did he really think I would dress my baby boy in a pink shirt and pink shoes with flowers on them in a day and age when there are a bazillion choices of children's clothing? I know I'm not the only mom with this issue, but it makes me so mad! Molly's wardrobe is 95 percent pink to offset any gender questions her baldness might entail, but with some people it just doesn't matter. I may have to start strapping a big bow to her head.

Sister Josh and Other Bathtime Fun

One of our latest parenting efforts is making Josh dress himself. He's doing a good job overall, but tonight he unearthed a t-shirt that's two sizes too small and had some trouble getting it over his head. The result was somewhat nunnish.

Bath and bed time are always an adventure around here, and I thought I would share one of the most amusing parts of it all: Molly's new bathtub face. She only does this during her bath, and it involves her sucking her top lip in and sticking her bottom lip out.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Not an Apple on a Tree

We headed up to the mountains today to Sky Top Apple Orchard in hopes of a repeat of last year's fun outing. We grabbed a wagon and two buckets and made it about 50 yards into the orchard before we realized there was not an apple in sight. We neglected to read the sign at the top of the hill that said this year's severe drought has depleted the apple crop.

Josh still had a good time carrying around the empty buckets and trying to pet the farm animals. Molly enjoyed riding around in the backpack. We bought a few bags of prepicked apples from the end of the season, and hopefully next year will bring plenty of rain and lots of trees full of apples!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Molly Meets the Remote Control

Here's Molly communing with the remote control. She really liked the red light that comes on when you push the buttons.