Sunday, October 31, 2010

Walk to the Playground

Our walks to the playground usually happen like this:  Vivian is happily playing with her toys in the basement playroom.  Annelee is way overtired and fussing, but nothing I do will make her go to sleep for more than 52 seconds max.  I finally convince Vivian that we need to go for a walk so that Annelee will sleep.  Vivian and I have a long discussion as to why it is no longer warm enough for her to wear flip-flops.  Annelee is finally in the car seat in the stroller, screaming.  Vivian has grudgingly given in and is wearing seasonally appropriate footwear.  As soon as we walk out of the door, Annelee falls asleep and Vivian cheers up.  Usually, Vivian takes Dolly (who often is now called "Emilem" and is her brother) in the stroller with her.  Vivian has picked her own additional attire that day (all I have enforced is that it's warm enough), but poor Dolly is generally still always naked. Today, Vivian chose the princess dress and the rain boots.

So, here are a few photos from today's trip to the playground.  For a couple of months now, Vivian has worked on catching up with her climbing/running peers, and has almost achieved that goal.  In the meantime, I have gained a few more white hairs.

All dressed up and on the way to the playground

Approximately 23 seconds after leaving the house ...

Climbing up ...

Climbing down ...

Sliding down ...

Not to be left out, Annelee wanted to have her photo taken where it looks as if she had gone down the slide.  Then she changed her mind.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


This weekend, Will took my his camera with him to Virginia to the "Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear". So I had to dig out my Nikon again.  At one point, the girls and I were hanging out in the bedroom, and Vivian asked to hold Annelee.  Which prompted a quick photo-shoot (even if none of the photos of her holding Annelee made this post).  If I'd been thinking, I would've removed (or at least flipped over so the less colorful side shows) the blanket over the chair earlier.  Oh, well.  We still had fun and you still get to see pictures of both girls.  Win-win.

 "Do we know each other?  No, never met her before.  I was just sitting here, taking it easy.  Next thing  I knew, she sat down and someone started taking photos of us."

Blowing bubbles


The one where Vivian finally smiles and Annelee tries to eat her hands!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Big Sister

Annelee's report card from daycare usually describes her as "happy, fussy, sleepy".  Today, when I picked her up they said it looked like she wanted to sleep all day.  In fact, she had slept so much that they hadn't even fed her all her bottles yet.  They did have one warmed up and ready to go, so we gathered up our things and headed home where Vivian got to feed Annelee for the first time.  She did really well, sitting just as we told her, holding Annelee and the bottle just the way we showed her.  Annelee certainly liked it, because she sucked down the entire bottle of milk in no time.  She is lucky to have such a wonderful big sister!  Oh, and where did Annelee get permission to look so big on Vivian's lap?


Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Look who was playing in our basement today - two beautiful princesses.  I did have to laugh at the addition of the rubber gloves though ... Vivian had gotten a pair from the nurse at the dentist today and apparently, they make great additions to princess dresses.

Rowan, Vivian's friend, has tons of dress up clothes, and oftentimes (as happened today) the two girls will swap some items until their next play date.  All this makes me hope that the dress up chest that Vivian will get for her birthday will be a big hit.

I enjoy how much pretend play is going on in our house these days ... Vivian re-enacts scenes from our lives with the dolls, the dolls are often changing names, we are eating all sorts of food that she makes, have to hand her this invisible item or that invisible item ... very cool.

As an example, just after Rowan had left, Vivian said "Mommy, let's fly to Emma's house".  So I stretched my arms out as wings and made a plane noise and started flying and she said "No. We are butterflies.  Move your arms like this <showing me how to move my arms properly>".  So, we flew to Emma's house as butterflies, and then Vivian started playing with some toys and I went about my business.  Cracks me up though.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Barbie's Hairstyle

When I was a little girl, my Mom sometimes tried out different hairstyles on me (which we both enjoyed) and called me her "Barbie" for it (or something like that).  I'm pretty sure I was a little older than Vivian and had more/longer hair, but Vivian and I gave it a try today, anyway.  As expected, her hair still has to grow some more and my rusty fingers have to remember how to braid hair, but we actually managed to give Vivian a "hair cut" (that's what she calls a hair style - it'll still be a while before she needs an actual hair cut).  It was fun!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Daddy's Girl

Annelee is starting to develop into a person, smiling and cooing at us almost as much as we smile and coo at her.  She tries to giggle, but that one still needs a bit of work before we can really call it a giggle.  She also suddenly looks much bigger when we have her on our lap, probably because she now often actually sits there, rather than being held in a semi-lying-down position.  She holds up her head much more easily and just ... I don't know ... doesn't look as much as an infant anymore.  Hard to believe that she's already almost three months old!

Sunday, October 24, 2010


So, we have these HUGE mushrooms growing at the base of our oak trees.  Yesterday, Lisa (our church's resident mushroom expert) stopped by to take a look and identify them.  Boy, was she excited!  Turns out, they are Maitakes.  One of her favorites.  So, we picked a bunch, she took some home; and Will made mushroom soup with the rest.  It was yummy!

Here are a couple of photos of the mushrooms, including Vivian for a size comparison - that cluster alone weighed over 3 lbs!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Cat Status

I will always remember how the cats noticed Vivian the first time after we had brought her home from the hospital.  Vivian was peacefully sleeping in the car seat on the floor of the dining room.  Peaceful in newborn terms means of course that they fidget.  So, Vivian waved her arms and we just suddenly saw two cats scramble from the room as quick as they could.

Fast-forward to now:  Jonas still scrambles anytime Vivian comes near him.  Mattias has finally come to accept her.  Vivian in return loves Mattias "Hiiiiiii Mattias!" she will croon into his face.  Mattias will roll his eyes and inwardly sigh at her approach.  Sometimes he'll let her pet him for a bit before getting up and meandering out of the room.  No more scrambling for him.  When you ask Vivian what the black cat's name is, she sometimes knows the answer, sometimes not.  I sometimes think she doesn't even believe us that we have two cats.

So, here's today's cat status in pictures:

Mattias ... very comfortable with Annelee.  Especially when she's sleeping.  And apparently she doesn't mind a cat that weighs almost as much as her on her legs, either.

Jonas ... would much rather blend into the collection of stuffed cuddly toys and (I presume) avoid discovery that way.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Photo Shoot

When Annelee had her passport photos done, the photographer attempted to also get some more posed pictures of her, but she was having none of it, she was screaming her head off the entire time.  So, we gave up very soon.  We did get the all-important passport photo, though, and she is now the proud owner of a US passport, ready to travel to Germany for the Christmas holidays!

I did watch how they tried to pose Annelee, however, and was planning to try something similar at home.  Of course, I didn't manage to set up things all the way before Annelee and Vivian woke up, so my white background is missing in places.  And I only got a few photos done before Annelee was crying again...  And Vivian needed to also be photographed on the bobby pillow...  And use her own camera to take photos...  You get the drift.  I will have to try again sometime.

Here are a few photos I did get:


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Burrito Baby

Anyone who has talked to me in the last few weeks knows that I've become a fan of swaddling.  Annelee sleeps much quieter and longer at night since I have started swaddling her, although she also sleeps quite comfortable for longer stretches during the day without it, but not as consistently.  This is what our little burrito baby looks like when she's swaddled:

However, a couple of times, I've now found our little Houdini sleeping like this:
Are our swaddling-days numbered already?!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Monongahela Incline

We took advantage of today's beautiful weather and went up the Monongahela Incline to take a walk on Grandview Avenue and enjoy the view over Pittsburgh.  Vivian was very excited about all the trains she got to ride to get there, up, down and back home again.

Daddy and the girls waiting for the train.  Annelee forgot her sunglasses.

Annelee is taking it all in

And to think I was trying not to dress her all in pink ...

No, I am not strangling Annelee, just preventing her head from falling off

View from the top of the incline

And just for kicks, this is the reaction I got when I asked Vivian if I could please take her photo:


Friday, October 1, 2010

Daddy's Little Helper

Vivian's greatest joy after preschool is to help Daddy prepare dinner. Here, she's chopping the veggies with him. I fully expect her to be cooking us dinner by herself in a few months.

Oh, and the jambalaya they made? Was deeeelicious!