Pictures

friendly hangout

We were outside last weekend checking out our neighbors new camper when Brooklynn and Dylan decided to take off. They headed to our house to play, and when I informed them it wasn't ok for little girls to go inside completely unsupervised for too long, they decided that the rock by our lawn was the next best place to hang out. Get Friendly

I imagine it will seem like the blink of an eye until I wish that they would like to stay at our house to play rather than taking off across the neighborhood.

l o v e

Someone had her hair all done like a princess last weekend to be a flower girl and absolutely loved every minute of it. Curls

And then someone's dad drove her and her sister the long way around town between the wedding and the reception, because no naps had been taken up to that point. Someone's dad is a pretty smart guy.

Congratulations to the happy couple and thanks for including our little girl in the festivities.

L O V E

shades of blue

Rhiannon is into her second week with students in the new school year and I've been putting in some longer days with a busy project at work, so it feels like we see our girls for a short time in the morning and a slightly longer period in the evening, just enough to eat, briefly play, and get ready for bed. Luckily, part of the bedtime routine is taking a bath, which is one of Maddi's favorite things right now.

Post Bath

I just like how her eyes match her towel when she's done.

early reader

Brooklynn can't read yet, but it doesn't stop her from trying to look like she's a little bit of a bookworm. Book-wormish

As far as we know, no, there is nothing wrong with her eyes yet. The glasses are a trial pair for her dad who also looks like a huge nerd when he wears them. Those will not be the pair that sticks around the house.

SFO

A few weeks ago I got add another airport to my list of places I've been in[1. Thanks to a flight delay, I had plenty of time there to walk around.]. If only a few more of them were international... SFO

month 4

Yep, only a month late. Again, written around the right time and just waiting on photos. Dear Maddison,

You are now 4 months old. We would like to tell you that you that you are about the size of a four-month old, but you passed that a little while ago. Instead, we have a six month size kid. Don't worry - Mom is only a little dissapointed that you are completely outgrowing all the cute summer clothes that she had saved for you.

Monkey Butt

This month you took your first out of state trip and handled the bus, train, and plane like a champion. As long as you were fed and had a place to sleep, we had no issues. And you are not picky about sleeping locations.

On our trip you slept overnight and napped on the floor of hotel rooms, at a baseball game, in several restaurants, walking around downtown Minneapolis, and driving across the interstates of Minnesota. Yep, when we travel, we get around.

At the ballgame

We are happy to report that you are back to sleeping through the night much more consistently. You still don't sleep for 10 hours at a stretch, but we'll take 10 to 5 after the waking period that we went through. Both your mom and I would like to thank you for returning our sanity (especially your mom).

You're becoming more aware of the world around you all the time. Recently, you've discovered that your hand are those things on the ends of your arms that sometimes hit you in the face and you even have a little control over them. When you sit on my lap, you will gently feel my shirt, my face, and you are reaching out to your jungle gym animals more and more all the time.

This looks fun

And as you look and experience everything for the first time, you're also starting to let us know that your personality is in there as well. You've been smiling for a while, and recently you started to laugh. The first time we heard it was when Mom laid on the floor and lifted you up and down over her. We weren't sure if it was laughing or crying, but based on continued experience, it was indeed laughter.

You seem to be more of a "Hey, your antics are mildly entertaining to me" type of laugher, and we still do double check to see if you are unhappy. We should know better, because if your are scared or someone you don't know is a little too loud and in your face, your bottom lip comes out, your eyes get big, and let out a little whimper. Don't worry, it doesn't happen too often.

At the zoo

I have to admit, we don't approach each new stage of your development with quite the wonder and amazement that we had for Brooklynn. Up to this point, it's been more of a "Oh yeah, that's what babies do" reaction. But that's been great. We all enjoy watching you grow and develop, and the fact that it all seems to be going so smoothly is just icing on the cake.

And no, you didn't get any icing from your sister's birthday cake. Sorry, you're not quite big enough for that yet. Thanks for not minding too much.

I see you

Love, Dad

month 3

Editor's Note: Yes, this was written when she was actually about three months old. Yes, I know she'll be five months in a couple days. The pictures were a little behind. Dear Maddison,

You are now 3 months old. Congratulations on completing the first 25% of your first year with us. Just, think, do this about 71 more times and we will be asking you to leave the house.

I see you

Don't hurry too much, as we really like having around. Especially during the day. The night, that's a different story. We still like you, but I think we are seeing you just a little too frequently at oh-dark-hundred. We thought we were going to completely luck out with you and have a baby who started sleeping through the night at two-months old and carry on throughout her first year.

It lasted about three weeks, which was just long enough for us all to get used to sleeping. It hasn't impacted me nearly as much as it has your mom. She's the one who hears you first. She's typically the one who gets up with you as well. In fact, there are times that I wake up thinking that we had a good night only to find out that you were up.

Concerned

We'll get some combination of naps, food, and burping all figured out to help you get back to a consistent sleeper. We just discovered that you like a pacifier to help you drift off to sleep. This alone has been wonderful. I had been in charge of putting you down at night which involved bouncing and rocking. Two bounces for each rock in one direction. I counted the rocks just to pass the time. If you are really tired, sometimes you go down in less than 200 rocks, but if you are little restless, it has taken upwards of 750. On the plus side, my calf muscles have never looked better.

You are starting to become and excellent smiler and object tracker. If we cross your line of vision, your voice eyes light up and your mouth makes a big toothless grin that fights for space between your cheeks. And no one makes you smile quite like your sister.

I love my sister

She sits by you on the floor and plays with you. You don't play back with quite as much activity as she would like, so she will lay on top of you and put her face directly in front of yours. And invariably, your hands come up into her hair and latch on. She whines and tells on you that your were pulling her hair, but we haven't got it in us to put you in break.

She doesn't really mind, because, in her words, that's just what babies do. Your sister actually loves you very much and is a little protective of you. When you go to school with Brooklynn and mom for drop off in the mornings, Brooklynn will stand guard by your car seat to make sure the other kids and germs don't get you. And at your two-month doctor appointment when you got your first shots, Brooklynn informed us that the nurses you gave you the "pokes" were naughty.

Tiny hands

You only cried for a little while and short round of food made everything better. You are developing right on schedule and on the upper end of the growth curves. That just means you have plenty of rolls and wrinkles. Your mom would like to make sure you enjoy it now, because that type of physique is only adorable on a baby.

Just keep reminding us to wipe the milk from under your third chin, unless of course you are planning to save it for a midnight snack and sleep through the night.

Standing

Love, Dad

backlogging

If anyone is keeping track, I'm just completing pictures of Maddison for when she was 1-3 months old. Yeah, a little behind, considering she is fast approaching her 5 month mark. Still, 37 more pictures up than were done yesterday[1. We won't mention the fact I still need to start memory books for Brooklynn from when she was a baby.]. As much as I have felt stressed out about the time constraints and issues dealing with two kids, it's still pretty great to have them around. Especially when they are happy and good with each other.

Showing her the ropes

coordination

We're hanging in there. Feels like a whirlwind hit this household over the past 6 weeks. Now that we have a chance to stop and catch our breath, we realize that Rhiannon heads back to work in less than a week. August, here we come. Giraffe and zebra outfits with matching headbands. Does Rhiannon now how to select ensembles for our children or what?

Couching It

4th aborted

Colorado has been having some pretty heavy damage from wild fires recently. While we have had a little break from the string of record-high triple digit temps of last week, it's still been hot and dry. As a result, pretty much the entire state had a fireworks ban, so our 4th of July was relatively low key. We had some family over, did some BBQ, and went to bed to the sound of silence rather than pops and bangs. We also found out that fingers are basically a delicacy around these parts.

Fingers are good

late night projects

For anyone wondering why I haven't been posting long written articles[1. Or really much of anything for that matter...] recently, it's because we stay up until midnight doing projects like this: Brooklynn's 3rd birthday cake

Yes, I'm a little behind on the letters (written but no photos) and general baby news. Maddi is still around and hanging in there, and hopefully after everything settles down a little later this summer we can get back to the baby updates with a little more regularity.

Until then, have a virtual piece of Little Mermaid cake on us.

sea life

At the aquarium On the last full day of our vacation, we visited the SeaLife Aquarium at the Mall of America. Brooklynn was really excited.

Maddison could take it or leave it, but we did get her to sit with Brooklynn for a photo.

Just before we went out the exit gate and back up to the mall, Brooklynn requested to go back and walk through the clear tunnels to sea the fish swimming over the top of her again.

Looking Up

And her favorite fish out of all of them? The sharks. And their big toothy mouths.

Shark!

just keep smiling

Over the past week we've had our yard severely impacted by hail, stayed up way past our bedtime a couple times (both our choosing and not), and we've been dealing with a baby who has seemingly forgotten how to sleep. Yes, nothing really earth-shattering. Many people have it worse.

Still, at the end of the day, Rhiannon and I have been looking at each other and wondering where does our time go.

So, we'll take our advice from the youngest member of the family.

Just keep smiling.

Happy kid

it's a treat

I'm posting this too late to help you if you didn't already know[1. First Friday of June of every year. so go ahead and mark June 7, 2013, down on your calendars now.], but happy National Donut Day. Brooklynn enjoyed her free donut (and her mom's as well) compliments of our local donut shop.

Donut day

month 2

Editor's Note: This letter was actually written when she turned two months old. That was about two weeks ago. We've just been waiting on the graphics department to catch up a little[1. Shoot, that's me too...]. Dear Maddison,

You are now two months old and threatening to outgrow your 0-3 month clothes faster than we anticipated. At your doctor appointment, you tipped the scales closing in on 14 pounds, which is more than adequate for someone your age. I won't say you are too big, because your mother and I love your chubby cheeks and rolly-thighs.

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It really is amazing how much I forget from the last time we had a baby in the house. I thought that last month was really fun, balancing you in my hand when you fell asleep laying on my chest. That pales in comparison to the eye contact you are making right now. We talk to you while you lay on the floor and sit in our laps, and you look back. Your eyes track one way, then to the other side, and all of a sudden you find one of our faces. Your eyebrows shoot up, your eyes open up wide, and you look right at us.

I think your expression can best described as a "Hey, there's someone else here too!" type of feeling, and it's wonderful to know that your in there. And when you do find us, you smile when you see our faces, especially your big sister. Something about her makes you light up whenever she comes to sit by you, at least when she isn't trying to smother you with hugs and kisses.

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Maybe you know that every evening when she is going to bed, she asks that you be laid down beside her so she can kiss you goodnight. With your current schedule, you are typically crying for some food when this occurs, so I can't say for certain if it makes you happy or not.

You eat a lot, at least in your mom's opinion. I mean, you don't get to be your size right now without eating once in a while. She says that it sometimes feels like all she does during the day is feed you (which you need), talk to you so you smile at her (which she needs), and take a little break during your frequent short naps (which you both need). And poof, another day down.

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While it does seem like you eat a lot during the day, you just recently started to sleep through the night. One night last week you went for nine hours straight without waking up. Last night, your sister was in our room over 10 times while you slept all night long. Maybe you can give her some lessons at how to stay in bed.

I suppose it would help if we could wrap her up burrito style the way you enjoy. Your mom is getting pretty good at telling what is bothering you right now. The past weekend when you started to cry, I asked her what might be wrong and she said you were probably getting tired. I tried to bounce you to calm you down, and when that didn't work, I wrapped you up in your sleeping blanket. 5 seconds later and you were out.

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You like to be wrapped while sleeping, but when you're awake, you like to move. You kick your feet around, wave your arms, stick out your tongue, and just recently you've found that you have these wonderful things with you all the time that are perfect to nibble all the time. Those are called your hands. They are located at the ends of your arms, and I'm sure they'll come in useful for other things as you get older, but for right now, chewing is their number one function.

Don't think that just because you are immobile means that you are stuck at home all the time. Three days a week you drive over and help drop off your sister at daycare. Sometimes you go out shopping afterwards, and sometimes you come home for a snack. We get you out to the playground when it's nice. You don't seem to interested in the slides or climbing walls. You're more concerned if the wind is blowing in your face or the sun is shining in your eyes, but I imagine it will be all too soon that you will be trying to run after your sister.

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Just know that no matter how big you get and how much you try to run off and be independent, you'll always have two parents who love you very much and are very happy you've joined us.

We can probably work on not going through the diapers quite as fast though, right? You're back in the cloth diapers which means dad gets to make sure they're all clean every couple days and I'd appreciate it.

Love, Dad

couching it

Hey, look everyone. We still have kids that are growing. They even coordinate. It's like they're sisters or something. Sisters

If you haven't been to flickr recently, click through the link on the image. They've changed their layout[1. Yeah, it might be a little late compared to some other photo sharing options, but it's better than nothing.].

popsicle time

Brooklynn has a friend that lives next door, and last weekend[1. Before the 24 hours of rain that we so desperately needed came late Sunday.] she was invited over for a mini pool party in their backyard. It was in the 80s in early May, so even though the sun was out, it was still worth getting outside. One thing when Brooklynn and Dylan get together - there are snacks. Lots of snacks. Always with the snacks.

Early Summer Afternoon

it's always nap time

Maddison has been on a schedule were she is up a little later than we would like. This leads to us being up a little later than we would like, which means the adults in the household are feeling a little sleep deprived. The children however, have plenty of time for naps[1. I've been encouraging Rhiannon to nap as well while she's home. Yesterday she finally took me up on it.]. I think I'm going to start sleeping on the living room floor more often. She makes it look comfortable.

photo

(Thanks to Rhiannon for the picture.)

heat wave

I know we haven't been quite as hot as some of our family that lives north of us, but we've been in the 80 degree range for the past few days. Since I grew up in North Dakota, people assume that I should be well acclimated to the cold, but summer is probably my favorite season. Long, warm[1. I like hot days too, with the caveat that I don't have a lot of outside work to do and it is still tolerable at night.] days. Plus, Maddison has plenty of warm weather clothes to wear, both new and hand-me-downs from her summer-born sister.

Over the bush