Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Goofy Gus and Pretty Kitty

A couple weeks ago we went to Berry Patch Farms with Brandon, Katie and Carson. It was a beautiful fall day and we had fun watching the kids meander through the pumpkin patch. We got a kick out of Carson toddling around, enjoying her new found independence. She's walking like a champ these days!

Patrick liked trying to walk through the pumpkins rather than around them. He also tried to pick most of them up. I think that's why he loved the field with the mini pumpkins so much - he could pick up everything! Madelyn loved the little pumpkins too since she could hold them and hit them together and throw them. As soon as Patrick noticed, he wanted to bring her every one of them he saw and ended up burying her in them.

"Look Daddy!"
"You like this one too, Madelyn?"

Patrick and Madelyn had fun helping Daddy clean all the "gook" out of the pumpkins and carve them this year, which really means that Patrick helped Daddy some of the time with random dance breaks and sprinting up and down the driveway yelling, "Roxy, stay in OUR yard!" (Apparently that is a phrase he's heard once or twice before...). He also thoroughly enjoyed being the big brother and explaining every step of the pumpkin carving process to Madelyn. Maddy had fun playing with the "gook" and even sampled a taste or two. By her expression I highly doubt she'll try it again. She had a great time pulling up on the pumpkins and dancing; and loved when we put the candles in them at the end.

He had to wear his firemen boots

Here's a slideshow of the pumpkin festivities or you can see the gallery here:

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Apples for Angie

Although the title of this post sounds like a bad fundraiser for a little girl who's never tasted an apple in her life and for every comment you leave we'll donate one dollar to solving her apple crisis, it's actually about our trip to the orchard. That little girl gets no help from us. There are bigger problems in the world and she needs to stop being so selfish and focused on apples.* Anyway, a few weekends ago we celebrated Angie's birthday with the Suskay family up at the cabin. There's a great store nearby (Mercier's) that also has an apple orchard. They have over 100,000 apple trees and over 50 different kinds of apples. That seemed like the perfect place to start our celebrating. 

The kids LOVED it. While you're picking apples, you can eat however many you want, to try out the various kinds so you know what you should fill your bags with. It was rare to see Patrick without an apple in his hand while we were wandering the orchard. He really liked the idea of just pulling an apple off a tree (if he was next to me while I'm writing this he would say "No Dad, we don't pull them. We twist them off so they don't get hurt.") and going straight to eating it. It was great for us because it meant the morning had a built-in, healthy snack! The other great thing about having Patrick there was that he's easy to lift up to get the apples that are way up high, as you'll see in the pictures :) Madelyn rode on Papa's back for the orchard trip and had a blast. We gave her an apple to check out that was almost as big as her head and she held onto it the whole time. She liked rolling it around, hitting it and, most of all, licking it and trying to take a bite. She also loved reaching for all the leaves and apples as we walked by them.

For the afternoon, we split up. The girls took Angie to a spa where they all got massages and the guys stayed at the cabin with the kids listening to football and relaxing. It was a perfect day outside and we spent pretty much all of it on the porch or in the front yard. When the girls returned from their time at the spa, looking very relaxed, we made a campfire and had dinner outside. Patrick got to roast his first hot dog over the fire and even got to make S'mores. The S'mores were the highlight of the night for him and he had been telling everyone about them all weekend. Madelyn enjoyed watching the fire and snuggling up to everyone there to keep warm. She's turned into quite the cuddler lately and I can't say I'm against it.

Here is a slide show from the weekend or you can view the whole gallery here.

Over the next week Patrick and I made apple sauce several times (using this really easy recipe) and ate apples with almost every meal. The following weekend something rare and wonderful happened: Angie and I went out on a date night! It's the first time in almost a year that Angie and I have gone out for a nice dinner just the two of us. We had a great time and surprisingly managed to talk about topics other than the kids for a good portion of the evening; although, we couldn't help but discuss how proud we are of them, all their quirks and which obstacles we see coming up in our future with them and how we want to handle them (I'm looking at you Patrick's pacifier).

Thanks again to the Suskays for a fun filled weekend! And, happy birthday Angie. You are the best wife, friend and mother anyone could ask for and far more than I deserve. We love you.

*This girl does not actually exist.

Friday, October 8, 2010

8 Months Old!

Madelyn turned eight months old yesterday! Here are a few of the things she started doing over the last month:
  • Consistently sleeping through the night!! (Only a couple nights of letting her cry for a few minutes before she figured it out. Why didn’t we do that months ago?)
  • Transferring from object to object while standing
  • Saying new sounds: In addition to her dadas and babas she’s added F, P and S sounds.
  • Using her new sounds to babble
  • Waving hello and goodbye
  • She climbed a couple stairs one time. She could probably do it again but we don’t want her to know that so we’ve not let her try :)
  • Taking a bottle…JUST KIDDING…we’ve pretty much given up on that
  • Dancing to every sound that could even slightly resemble a song (i.e.: the bubbling sound when I made my coffee this morning)
  • Pointing at things – usually on your face. She loves to point at mouths when a person is talking
  • Getting teeth like it’s her job. In the last month she’s gotten five: three on top, two on bottom.
And here are a few of our favorite pictures of Maddy from the last month:

Over the last few days Madelyn seems like she’s gotten older. Some of it is that her fifth tooth finally broke through so the month-long crankyness has come to an end. But, she’s started verbalizing more lately and seems to have a new understanding of language and interaction. She still idolizes her big brother and thinks every move he makes is worth watching and every sound he makes is worth a giggle. Last night at dinner she had an apple slice in her hand and would hold it out for Patrick to eat. Patrick thought it was hilarious that Madelyn was feeding him (“Madelyn, you’re feeding me? That’s silly!”) and every time Patrick took a bite out of the apple it would send Maddy into a fit of laughter.

We’re so excited for this time of year and all the firsts Madelyn gets to experience. Her first Halloween is right around the corner and then we get to have her first Thanksgiving and Christmas and so many more firsts. Before we know it, she’ll be one year old and our baby won’t be a baby any more. Every day we try to remind ourselves to focus on the time we have now because she’ll never be seven months old again or eight months old again. I can tell you though that there is nothing that slows my day down and makes me live in the moment as much as a smile or hug from Madelyn. Happy eight months my sweet girl!