Sunday, March 31, 2013


An evening spent at the McKenna household most certainly always involves some game playing. Friday evening, the girls and I headed stopped in for dinner and catching up and obviously ended up playing Taboo. Every time I play games with the McKenna family I wonder why I don't do make time for this daily, or at the very least, weekly, because I always end up laughing until my sides hurt. On this particular night, Mr. McKenna had me busting at the seams.

Mr. McKenna: Ok, we're down by ten. The only way we can catch up is to play defense. Use that buzzer!
(the round immediately following Mr. McKenna is giving clues to his team, it is at this time that Aubrey decides she is going to "help" Caton work the buzzer. She then proceeds to buzz it fairly consistently through all of Mr. McKenna's clues.)
Caton: (laughing about Aubrey's buzzing antics)
Mr. McKenna: It's okay, she's just playing defense.


Mr. Mckenna: (His word is anniversary) HapPYYYYYYY......(silence while he waits for his team to guess the (apparently) obvious word which should follow happy.)

Mr. McKenna: (His word is Easter) HapPYYYYY..... (silence while he waits for his team to guess the (apparently) obvious word which should follow happy.)

See a trend?

Saturday, March 30, 2013

The Playroom

During my maternity leave, which is all too quickly drawing to a close, one of my goals was to spruce up Aubrey's playroom. When we moved into the house I immediately claimed the room in the back corner of the downstairs as Aubrey's playroom. The sun shines in the room and warms it up during the day and the pocket doors make it a perfect way to tuck everything out of sight.

When we moved in at the end of October, we basically threw everything Aubrey owns into the room and left the walls bare. As you can see in the picture above, it wasn't a very magical playroom. Really just a large place to throw a lot of things (my mom saved all of our toys from when we were children and went through a few week stretch when we first moved in the house where she would routinely drop off a few items.)

At some point, I decided I wanted Aubrey to have a solar system on the wall. I wanted the girls to be able to learn about the planets. My poor artistic skills also played a large factor in the decision making process (if I can handle anything, it's circles.) And then I decided that the solar system should be to scale. I don't know why this seemed to be an absolute in my mind, but it definitely was. So I found this website where you can type in the diameter of your sun and then it spits out the appropriate planet diameters and distances. Wow! This was a shocker for me too. I started with a sun that was 10 inches in diameter and my largest planet was well under an inch! I ended up with a sun that was 60 inches in diameter.'s the finished wall! I was really happy with the outcome. I painted the bottom three feet with chalkboard paint which has become an amazingly fun drawing space. To make the solar system, I started with the sun. I placed a tack in what I wanted to be the center of my circle in the wall. I tied a 2.5 foot piece of string to the tack with a pencil on the end and then outlined the circle that way. To make the planets I got styrofoam balls of the appropriate diameter and cut them in half. Then I painted them to look like planets and attached them to the wall with those Command picture hanging strips. Both Mercury and Mars were about .2 inches in diameter, so for those two I just painted a round dot on the wall.

Then I wrote some statistics about each planet under the planets. I still need to put some sort of ring around Saturn (I forgot I still had that lingering detail).

My grandpa made me the bookshelf when I was a girl and the rocking chair was Aubrey's christmas present in 2011 and I got it from an antique store for $13! I put some book jackets on the wall next to the bookshelf, Good Night Moon is a long time favorite of Aubrey's and she loves to detail all the crazy things the caterpillar eats in The Very Hungry Caterpillar.

And then on the opposite side of the room I made a dress-up area. The trunk housing all the clothes is one that my grandmother filled with all her life belongings when she came to America many years ago. The pictures are from a fashion photo book I bought at a museum in Nashville a few years ago and have just been waiting for the opportunity to hang up some of my favorite black and whites! I didn't actually frame the photos, just glued them onto black cardstock paper. And when I hung them, they looked really straight to me eye, I've since noticed they are all perfectly crooked. Whoops! Both the baby cradle and the puppet stage were from my childhood and the doggy laundry basket my brother brought home from college and then left for Aubrey along with an Ohio State pillow pet (he says is subliminal encouragement).

The room is still a work in progress (there's a fourth, not pictured, corner with an old kitchen play set we found on the side of the road that is in desperate need of some sprucing), but for now - it's a huge improvement!

Friday, March 29, 2013

That's Gross, Mom

Sitting on the couch with my two lovely daughters, Aubrey hands me some sort of indistinguishable "dirt". I take the dirt, say ew, and throw it in the kitchen garbage. I return and watch as Aubrey picks her nose and hands me the booger.

Me: Aubrey, are you picking your nose and giving me the boogers?
Aubrey: Yeah. That's gross, mom.

You are correct. That is gross.

Thursday, March 28, 2013


On our way home from visiting Ingrid, we took a drive through Illinois. We decided to get off the main highway and take some state routes through some of the small towns. And we went off some of the state routes and drove around on the country roads through field after field with almost no houses. We saw one pig farm and one dairy farm. Other than that we saw thousands and thousands of acres of corn land.

We stopped at the Caterpillar museum in Peoria, Il. That is Aubrey next to a tire of the largest dump truck in the world. Which is used mostly in mining oil sands. It is so big they actually has a movie theater inside the dump bucket and it is the start of the tour.

For some reason, Aubrey was especially excited about the excavator and wanted me to scoop her up.

And then kept shouting things like I want to drive the excavator!

There is Martin and Aubrey in front of the giant dump truck.

And then we stopped at a HUGE auction lot. Both Martin and Aubrey had way too much fun sitting in combines and tractors. I don't know what excited Martin more - the fact that we were on the huge auction lot or Aubrey's intense excitement over farm equipment.

There was enough open space on the lot that Martin let Aubrey have full control of the wheel. She was a scarily good driver, doing hand over hand to turn the wheel and everything!

By the time we left the auction lot it was close to eight and Aubrey promptly fell asleep in the backseat. So we drove through the night and arrived in our driveway just as Aubrey was waking up.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Shrimp, Rice and Spinach with Onion


On Saturday evening, Martin had a bachelor party to attend. I had been stuck in the house since Wednesday on an intensive potty training schedule (more on that later) and was dying for some human interaction. And then Martin left. I wasn't mad at him for going to a bachelor party, but I decided if he was going to go have fun, I was going to do something fun too. So I decided to be super rebellious and make myself shrimp just for myself. I know, I know....I am a rebel. For some reason cooking shrimp without Martin being home seemed like a really mean thing to do and I actually debated if I should for a good five minutes. I finally decided if Martin was out drinking and partying with friends, the least I could do was eat shrimp.

I ended up throwing together an insanely delicious dinner with just a few ingredients, and some leftovers.

Throw approximately two tablespoons of butter in a skillet and turn skillet on low-ish.
When butter is just starting to melt swish it around the pan so it covers the entire pan
Slice an onion and carmelize it in the pan. The best way to do this is to let it cook on low for a long time - like 45 minutes.
Once the onion is fairly well carmelized throw a few handfuls of spinach with the stems cut off into the pan. Let them cook down.
Put a little garlic in the pan
Then take a handful of rice (mine was leftover from dinner the night before) and toss that in the pan to warm it up.
Finally, throw some shrimp on top and mix it all together.
Remove from heat when the shrimp is warm.

Sidenote: I had precooked shrimp in the house. If I was using raw shrimp, I would have thrown it on the skillet before the rice so it could cook through.

And if you're feeling really rebellious about eating shrimp without your husband, go all out and set a placemat on the table and mix yourself a gin and tonic. It will make you feel deliriously giddy.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Saturday: The Arch and Hockey

After the zoo on Saturday we decided it was finally time to head up the arch! Like most things in life, if you don't plan ahead - you have to wait. The arch is no exception so when we arrived to purchase our tickets, the earliest available time slot wasn't for an hour and forty-five minutes. Luckily, there was an arch museum we could wander around to occupy our time. And then when we had seen all we really cared to see in the arch museum, we settle down to watch Aubrey run off some steam in a small open area lined with benches. She had a lot of fun telling a cute couple in the corner she was going to save me and then running to me and hugging me and then repeating the whole process all over again. Luckily, they seemed pretty amused with her antics. Of course, that game got immediately old when another little girl walked through the area with her parents. The two girls imediately sat down on the steps together and started babbling and then ran around hopping together for a good five to ten minutes before the girl's parents finally ushered her away.

Actually, all the waiting really took a turn for the worst after we had lined up with our appropriate ticketed time slot. From the time they admitted the ticketholders to the time we were actually in a car and going up the arch was about 45 minutes. This was 45 minutes that Aubrey was not interested in partaking and I have no desire to repeat. She did really well for the first 35 to 40 minutes and then fell apart in a complete puddle of despairation at the very end. As were were standing on the steps, waiting to board our cars to shuttle to the top of the arch, with no exit in sight, Aubrey just couldn't take the waiting anymore and did not want to stand still. She collapsed onto the floor in a crying fit and did not come up or cheer up until we were on our way up, at which point our bipolar daughter was completely happy - her face was covered with dirt from the soles of all of St. Louis, but she was happy.

She loved being up in the arch and looking at the city, and especially the river below. She didn't want to leave.

After the arch we made a quick stop at the hotel to make sure the girls were ready for the hockey game that evening. I was convinced that hockey games were really cold. You know, because they're an ICE sport. Turns out they aren't that cold. They actually aren't really cold at all and we may have been a little overdressed in our winter coats.

On the way to the hockey game we made the mistake of walking down Washington St. This is the main bar strip in St. Louis and Saturday was the designated celebration day for Sunday's St. Patrick's Day. Needless to say, the street was crowded with very sloppy drunk people, which was fine. But I'm pretty sure our adorable family probably caused some bad decisions that evening.

Martin: I know so many people are going to get back to their house and just make a family after seeing us today!

Aubrey absolutely loved the hockey game. Like, EVERY SINGLE PART. She is still talking about hockey a week and a half later and just this morning told me Uncle Andy with extreme excitement about the hockey game she attended. She repeatedly shouted Go Hockey! and Go Blues! and has become obsessed with rolling her arms. After two periods she was tired out from all the cheering and slept through the third period and overtime but then woke up at the hotel and got right back into the arm rolling. On Sunday morning when she awoke the first thing she said was I gotta tell grandma about the hockey game!

And Sylvia slept through all the noise and the entire game! Ingrid's friend, Joe, whom I wish I had a picture of, held her through the entire second and third period and overtime! I am officially calling him the baby whisperer as I have no idea how he kept her asleep for so long without screaming for milk. By the end of the second period I was telling Martin how Sylvia was a ticking time bomb at this point, but Joe somehow kept her cuddled up and sleeping for another hour.

Monday, March 25, 2013

5 or 15 or 25

Yesterday, my niece Kendyll spent the afternoon at our house. Eventually her mom and sister joined us and stayed for dinner, but for the majority of the afternoon it was just Kendyll. Hanging out with Kendyll kind of makes you want to become an anthropologist because she is so halarious, ridiculous and decidedly not her age. She's five. And there are a few occasions when she acts like a five year old, but for the most part she's fifteen or twenty-five and even in one instance fifty-five.

Kendyll arrived and almost immediately went to inspect Aubrey's playroom for inappropriate toys and inadequate baby-proofing on my part. She came back with a few objects in hand, demanding to know if Aubrey was allowed to play with said toys (ie. an old calf pill bottle I had filled with rocks and a picture of myself with a friend from college). If you haven't guessed, this was the instance where I really thought she was my mother and not actually my five year old niece.

She then refused to participate with Aubrey in playing chase as Aubrey repeatedly attempted to coerce her into playing.

Kendyll: Why does she want to play chase?
Me: Because she likes that game.
Aubrey: Kendyll, come get me!
Me: Are you going to chase Aubrey?
Kendyll: Um.....No. (rolls her eyes)

Fifteen. All the way.

And she has the bored indifference of a fifteen year old.

Kendyll: I have that game.
Me: Candyland? Do you want to play it?
Kendyll: Um. I don't care.
Me: Well it's up to you. We can play it if you want.
Kendyll: I don't care.
Me: Well, it's up to you.
Kendyll: I just don't want to play it right now.
Me: Ok. What do you want to do? Do you want to make something?
Kendyll: Maybe I'll make a card for my dad.
Me: Ok. I have some crayons. You want to do that.?
Kendyll: I just don't want to do it right now.

And then moments later she's spilling all the kindergarten gossip to me in such detail and with such flair that if there had been a bottle of wine between us she could easily pass for any one of my friends from college.

Then there was the moment as it began to grow dark and Martin turned on the recessed lighting in the kitchen.

Kendyll: Oh my gosh! I didn't know you had lights like that!
Martin: Yeah, they're recessed lights.
Kendyll: I know! I've seen them on the internet but I've never seen them in real life! They are so awesome!
Martin: Yeah, I guess.
Kendyll: Martin, you can NEVER paint this kitchen! I LOVE this color!

The girl has an appreciation for home decor that only someone of at least their mid-twenties can appreciate.

And finally, the solitary moment when she actually acted like a five year old - the departure. When Megan was gathering up the girls and their things and hustling them out the door to head home for the night, Kendyll burst into tears.

Me: It's okay Kendyll, you can come back again.
Kendyll: I know! But I can't come back tomorrow or the next night. And it's going to be a really long time. I just want to stay here!

There you go - five. I knew you had it in you.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Breakfast and the Zoo

I was planning on incorporating all of the events from Saturday in St. Louis into one post, but then I found myself committing to way too many I decided to split the day in half.

I had mentioned to Ingrid before our trip that a vacation for me is basically a reason to eat delicious food in a place that is not your home. For some reason I almost always remember most of the meals that mark a vacation, like our family vacation to Lancaster, PA when I was in second grade will always come with fond memories of an amishman waving a thank you to my parents' as her spread manure in a field for not taking pictures and also of a trip to KFC to get coleslaw and biscuits to bring back to the hotel for our family. And my roadtrip with Caton, while epic in many ways, is poignantly marked with the memory of the delicious fried okra I tried for the first time in Memphis. On a school trip to Poland, while everything about the trip was amazing, I will never forget the periogis at a restaurant in Krakow square or the raw fish platters served to us during a meeting with a farmer. I will probably always maintain that England is only an okay country for no reason other than I didn't have any really incredible meals during my trip. You get the point and I just got a little carried away with vacation memories. What I'm really getting to here is that Ingrid really took this statement to heart and delivered a weekend full of delicious food. This breakfast at Soulard Coffee Garden is no exception and the breakfast burrito I had there will forever be in my vacation memory file.

After breakfast, we spent the remainder of the morning methodically perusing the St. Louis Zoo and taking in all the animals. Aubrey LOVES animals, but surprised us all by taking each animal in stride and just looking forward to the next sighting rather than becoming consumed with the animal in front of her. One animal she really did get excited about was the hippo. I think this is because it kept swimming in a circle and coming back up in the exact same spot.

She also really enjoyed the butterflies.

Ingrid warned us in the beginning of our adventure that she LOVED sea lions and that became very obvious when we actually came across the sea lions. As soon as their habitat came into sight it literally took every fiber in Ingrid's body to stay on the path to get to the exhibit and NOT cut straight across the grass Once inside the very awesome exhibit (you are actually surrounded by water and sea lions on every side except the floor) she watched the sea lions and exclaimed, I love EVERYTHING about this exhibit.

There were a lot of penguins, but this one in particular looked a little worse for the wear. Martin affectionately named him Scragglepuff.

And by the time we left, Aubrey was truly tired - falling asleep on Martin's shoulders before we even made it to the car.

Saturday, March 23, 2013


About twenty-five seconds after we settled into our hotel with pizza and beer on Friday evening, Ingrid busted out her computer to show us this halarious video on youtube. This is seriously the best way I can think to spend a spare thirty-six seconds.

Martin: I'm worried about you Ingrid. A cat video?
Ingrid: But that is halarious. You laughed!
Martin: It's pretty funny. I'm just a little worried about you looking up cat videos.
Ingrid: I didn't even find it! Someone showed it to me!


Back in New York watching the latest episode of Parks and Recreation on Hulu with Martin. During the obligatory Choose Your Ad Experience, Martin selects an ad for Fancy Feast.

Me: (groan) Fancy Feast, really?? I would have chosen Travelocity.
Martin: It's for Ingrid. She's really into cats lately.

Also in Ingrid's honor and in honor of cats everywhere, I think we all owe it to ourselves to read this article about cats at play, while rather lengthy, I think it's pretty halarious.

"A popular choice either as solo entertainment or two-player deathmatch, Holy Shit I Have a Tail is an age-old favorite for all feline games players.
Needless to say, the game is best played when you have totally forgotten that you have a tail. Or even that you are a cat.
It is also one of the few games that can be played at any time, in any location, and for any reason whatsoever. Including reasons related to hunting and catching prey, rather than simply playing a game for the sake of playing a game.
The game begins with what’s known as the Discovery, when the player discovers that they (a) have a tail, (b) that it appears to be attached to their body, and (c) that they are in fact a cat (this last discovery is optional)."

Friday, March 22, 2013


On Friday afternoon in St. Louis the city was infiltrated with midwestern teenager girls playing volleyball. They were high on the freedom of being away from their parents for a weekend and super excited about being in a city. And after driving through the the Missouri back roads on Sunday, I can't say I neccesarily blame them for being giddy. As teenage girls tend to be, they were extremely excited about EVERYTHING. Martin proclaimed we are not letting our daughters play volleyball. I told him I think it's just a teenage girl thing and NOT specifically a volleyball girl thing. I didn't bother to inform him that they were basically acting exactly as I would have as a teen. Needless to say, tickets to go up the arch were sold out that day.

It didn't matter because it was 70 degrees outside and the river was calling Aubrey's name! If the teenage girls were excited about everything else, Aubrey was just thrilled to see the Mississippi River.  And I told the story at least twice about how monumental it was for me to see the Mississippi River for the first time (in 2010) because I devoted so many hours to playing Oregon Trail as a youth.

Ingrid is ready to pose for this picture, but Aubrey is intently staring at the water as she is in every picture taken near the water. Scroll back up, you'll see.

And anything with grates needs to be walked over immediately.

After spending sometime playing in Arch Park, we went to the restaurant Pi (like the math symbol which I don't know how to type) for pizza (pretty clever name, huh?) It was early in the evening so we ordered two appetizers and settled in to try a few different kinds of beer.

We eventually decided we had overstayed our welcome at the restaurant as it was starting to fill up with the dinner crowd and the corner we had commandeered for Aubrey to run around in was starting to fill up with guests. So we got pizza to go and returned to hotel room to enjoy the amazing view and catch up for the evening. This is the part of the night where Martin and I really put our best foot forward to show Ingrid how cool we still are, even with two children. And when I say we really showed her what I actually mean is we fell asleep at eight o'clock while Ingrid was on the phone. I'd say Ingrid is at least five percent to blame. Leave us to our own devices for more than a minute after the sun goes down and you really shouldn't expect any better.

First Stop: Columbus

Our first stop on our family vacation was Columbus, Ohio where my brother, Alex is an engineering student at The Ohio State. Aubrey was very excited to see her uncle and was undetered by his very collegiate getup of a Polo sweater, khaki pants, boat shoes and a mustache(who is this kid??) She prompted started climbing all over his bed and asking him a million and one questions. Then, after Martin and Alex investigated all the Columbus restaurants that have been featured on Man vs. Food, it was deteremined that we would dine in Germantown that evening.

The German part of Columbus ended up being super cute with brick streets (that were actually well-maintained....ahem.....ITHACA) and cute little bookshops and restaurants. It was a section of town that I would gladly wander about in the daytime. And the German food was amazing! I'm not a huge fan of sausages. I eat sausage. I like sausage. But I never really crave sausage. But the German Potato Salad was AMAZING. And the German Meatloaf......Just like my Grandma's! I am now determined to find her recipe. It's melt in your mouth meatloaf!

Alex downloaded a memory game on his phone to keep Aubrey entertained during the wait for our table. She was so excited about playing it she also made him keep it out throughout the entire meal and completely ignored the crayons brought to her by our server. She was so entralled in the game, I briefly contemplated downloading it on my own phone, but then quickly decided my patience would be better served if I didn't have to spend the rest of my life telling her she can't play my phone at this minute.Then we dropped Alex back off at his house so we could keep moving while the girls slept in the back and Alex could meet up with his friends to drink and discuss a bottle of wine otherwise known as the Fancy Fellows (seriously, who is this kid and where is my brother??)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

How Traveling with Two Children Kicked our Butts

Last Thursday we set out on our first family vacation of four! While the vacation as a whole was spectacular and the girls were, in general, fantastic, there were definitely a few trying moments that made it seem like we possibly weren't really ready to vacation with a toddler and an infant. when we were 12.5 miles into the trip and Aubrey started throwing up in the backseat. And not just throwing up, but throwing up in epic proportions. Throwing up in such huge quantities that there was no way the mess would be cleaned up on the side of the thruway (we had to quickly disband this plan as Martin shouted to me Get back in the car before we become a stastic! ) and she had to sit in her puke clothes until we could rush to the nearest rest stop and strip her down, wash her in the sink, and change her clothes while Martin did his best to clean the car and sacrificed his shirt as a barrier between the (now wet) carseat and Aubrey.

....and when after visiting my brother in Columbus we decided to make some time while both the girls were sleeping only to arrive at a hotel in Indiana at midnight and find Aubrey's pants soaked through with pee.

...and then just a few hours later as we were intensely cleaning the carseat in the hotel room and giving both the girls a bath, Aubrey refused to get dressed and then peed on the bathroom counter and Sylvia peed all over the bed while Martin tried to dress her.

...and then just a few hours after that when we pulled over to feed Syvlia and change Aubrey only to find that her third of four pairs of jeans were completely soaked! But the upswing to that one was we quickly found out it was just water from a leaky sippy cup.

Yes, if you haven't figured it out yet....getting to St. Louis was very similar to Oregon Trail.

At one point Martin turned to me and said, There is no way we can do this with three kids, ever!

Of course, after arriving in St. Louis things got much, much easier. There were a few hiccups. Like when Aubrey puked over a plate of crepes or when Sylvia cried through an entire dinner. But by that point we were pretty much numb to any issues and looking at every situation with rose colored glasses. Like...Aubrey puked over a plate of crepes, but hey! we caught it all in a plate! and hey! the waitress didn't even notice it was puke in the plate! And...Syvlia screamed through an entire dinner, but hey! the restaurant had a comfy chair for me to feed her in! And it was pretty empty so we only ruined a handful of people's dinner!

Coming soon.....the highlights of our trip

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Banana Bread

Two weeks ago I bought a bunch on bananas for Aubrey to snack on throughout the week. Then, she went through some sort of no bananas phase and wasn't really interested in eating bananas for breakfast (or lunch, or dinner). So, I decided to try my hand at banana bread. I turned to one of my go-to recipe blogs, Annie's Eats, in search of a banana bread recipe. And, Annie did not dissapoint! I made a few revisions to the original recipe which you can find here, but these revisions were mostly out of neccesity or sheer laziness. In Annie's recipe she highly recommends squeezing the water from the bananas and then cooking it down to a more concentrated liquid. As soon as I read that, I knew I was probably too lazy to do this step and then when the first comment mentioned that the smell of the bananas cooking in the microwave almost made her throw up, my laziness was suddenly justified. I was also out of vanilla, so added in a little more granulated sugar AND I have difficulty reading completely through instructions so I added the sugar into bread. My only real comment on the recipe is I wish I had tried this sooner! It was completely delicious.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Combine the following dry ingredients in a bowl.
1 and 3/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 teaspoons of sugar (this part I accidentally combined in here because I didn't read the instructions thoroughly. The granulated sugar is supposed to only be sprinkled on top and it's supposed to be 2 teaspoons. I increased to five due to being out of vanilla. The bread turned out so delicious I think I'll keep this recipe when I make it again)

Melt in the microwave
8 tablespoons (1 stick) of unsalted butter

In a large bowl mash with a potatoe masher
5 ripe bananas until smooth

Into the banana bowl whisk in
2 large eggs
The melted butter
3/4 cup or brown sugar (I had a scant 3/4 cup due to being almost out).

Mix in dry ingredients
Pour batter into 9 inch loaf pan (make sure you spray the pan with some cooking spray first)
Bake for 55-75 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

One Month

Sylia turns one month old today! I saw a collage on Pinterest (where else?) with each monthly child photo taken in the same chair, a rocking chair. I decided this was a perfect idea since I love my rocking chair, I got it as a Christmas present on my first christmas as a mother, and it's a piece that I think will be in the family for years to come (for some reason to me this seemed like an important point at the time. Then I attempted to take a picture in the rocking chair and I immediately started to lose faith in the idea. But, who knows, maybe it won't look like such a terrible picture when it's combined with eleven others and shows some sort of growth progression.

Just in case the rocking chair idea doesn't pan out, I took a photo in my beloved roadside wingback. The lighting wasn't amazing and as you can see, Sylvia was sleeping through this one.

And then there's this random photo I snapped (which I actually took yesterday afternoon). I'm holding on to them all as "one month" photos and we'll see what sticks when we get to month twelve. Either way, Sylvia and I have had a delightful day celebrating her one month birthday and when I say celebrating I mean Aubrey spent the day with grandma so I cleaned the playroom (finally!) and ran a lot of errands (running errands without a toddler is a celebration of its own kind). I have also spent a significant chunk of time obsessing over Syvlia's bowel movements (or lack thereof) today. And considering last Thursday when I counted she had nine! I think reaching 6:00 PM without one is fairly significant and worth some stress.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Recommended for Ages Four and Up

The other day, the girls and I visited with my mom for lunch. After the meal, my mom exitedly pulled out a game that used to be my youngest brother's....a long, long time ago. The gist of the game was each player attempts to flick tiny dog bones into a dogs mouth which is rotating around and his mouth is also opening and closing (it's actually fairly difficult). The box is labeled for ages four and up, and as soon as I saw the game I knew it was going to be way more than Aubrey could handle. But, my mom, being a grandmother, has an inflated sense of Aubrey's intelligence. An inflated sense that only a grandparent can have.

As soon as the pieces were pulled out and the game turned on, Aubrey began attempting to get the bones into the dogs mouth. But she wasn't going to mess around with shooting them in one at a time off of some paw; she went straight for grabbing handfuls of bones and shoving them into the dogs mouth, knocking his head off almost every time. The attempts by my mom and me to show her the correct way to play the game were quickly brushed away and replaced with her clearly more efficient method.

Mom: I guess now I know why it's four and up. I thought it was just because they were afraid of toddlers eating the pieces.

We eventually settled for coaxing her to get the bones in the dogs mouth without knocking the dog's head off and without her fingers getting bitten by his mouth. That proved to be a much more age appropriate game.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Sunday Funday

A tea party at church. Not pictured: Aubrey yelling But, I want to talk repeatedly during the sermon until Martin hauled her out. Also not pictured: The congregations excitement about Sylvia being awake during service and thus taking turns holding her throughout the service.

Sylvia chilling with her Godmother at Kerri and Rob's engagement party. Not pictured: Mr. McKenna's face while playing a relay race game. Also not pictured: Martin's obsession with Emilio Esteves.

Tuckered out after a full day. Not pictured: the How I Met Your Mother marathon ensuing in the background.

Also not pictured:
The inpromptu cook-out lunch with the neighbors.
The scenic Sunday drive in the sunset.
The mid-sixties weather that brings out the best in everyone.
The muddy toddler playing soccer in the yard.

Have I mentioned yet how much I love Sundays?