Sunday, April 29, 2007

Family update

Hello all! As you can see I've just updated the blog with all sorts of stuff, most of which is out of order! I find it amazing how little time I have anymore to post now that River is a whopping 7 months old! That boy keeps me awfully busy! So, here's what most recent in our world....

Summer, as you will see, has joined a summer T-ball team. She seems to really like it and one of her friends from school, Rory, is on the team as well and his dad is one of the coaches (as well as Clayton!). She has been doing great in school and has really found a new confidence within herself. Summer has made a few friends on our street and this has broken her out of her super-shy mode a bit. She has been more outgoing in the last 3 weeks than I have ever seen her be! We met 2 new little girls today as she helped me walk Zero around the cul-de-sac. They are redheaded 7 year old twins, Emily and Elizabeth. We introduced ourselves and they enjoyed meeting Zero and we let them know anytime they see us out playing that they are more than welcome to come over and join us. They also have a 3 month old boy at their house, Ian.
She is acting more and more like the 5 year old she will be in June. And she has been wanting more and more of the kids in the neighborhood to be able to come over and play. She had the little girl across the street over for a playdate this week and I've posted a short video of the 2 of them playing. She has also been fond of making up songs with nonsensical things happening in them for a while now. Just the other day she was making one up and then decided to try and explain to me that there were 3 notes in it and what they were. She tried to explain this to me for about 10 full minutes and I only partly understood what she was trying to get at. I told her she and Gabe should have a conversation about music the next time he visited and maybe he could teach her a few things about notes and such. She is still into Scooby-doo and dressing up like a princess. She has been very dominating in the area of clothing and what looks good with what, as you'll see in the following posts. And we've recently had a breakthrough with her hair (which she didn't used to let us near!). Now, she brushes it every day because she likes my new brush. AND, she usually likes a ponytail in her hair, because you can put a ribbon in it as well. She actually let me put her in some cutie pigtails on Friday, but they didn't last the morning. So, there's Summer for you.

River is now officially 7 months old and working SO hard to get his body to move in the ways he wants it to move. He can sit up without any support, but I still put a boppy pillow behind him because every now and then put catapults himself backwards and slams his head on the floor. He has got awesome small motor control with his hands-- he can pick up his food and get it into his mouth (good hand/eye coordination), and gets any toy within reach where he wants it. He's big into throwing his toys to see what happens. He also plays the dropping things on the floor from the highchair game, but not to get us to pick them up, just to see where it will go. He loves to be in a standing position more than any other and doesn't understand why his legs won't keep him there. We'll walk him around while holding him and he gets a big kick out of that--- we think it makes him feel big. he has gotten himself into an almost crawling position a few times, but hasn't done anything with it. He has also skooched himself forward a bit in that position without realizing thats what he's done. He yells when he gets stuck on his back and refuses to turn himself onto his belly because he hates being on his belly more than anything. He's learned a few signs from me, but can't actually do them himself-- he currently understands "nurse", "drink", "food", and "more." I'm not sure if its the word or the sign he understands, but he definitely knows what one of them means. His sign for wanting something is to have both hands waving in and out. He has also learned that he gets ignored a whole lot when things are going on and every now and then that requires him to escalate his voice to a yell if he wants some attention. Summer never had to learn that one, as she was always the center of attention...

Clayton and I are just amazed that we've been in Northampton for 3 months now. Life has just been flying by at top speed lately. He has been going to Boston every Monday and travels to Springfield about once a week as well. He is still managing to spend a good amount of time with each of us and feeds little man once a night to help me get more sleep. He is also one of Summer's T-ball coaches, much to her delight. He will be taking this next weekend off from work and family and heading to Lake Placid for a weekend of fly fishing with Fran Betters (a flyfishing and flytying expert). He's super excited about it.
I am filling my days with both kids and re-reading all the Harry Potter books before the new one comes out. I've just finished the 3rd one and am on to the 4th. I am looking forward to the new growth in the plants around here and have staked out a few forsythia bushes that I hope to harvest the branches off of for dreamcatchers. I have been keeping my eyes open for the bears that like to roam our neighborhood, but have yet to see any signs of them. I hope to capture a picture or video of them once they arrive. I have been working on walking off the extra weight from River's pregnancy that seems to want to stick with me. And am hoping to take banjo, karate or massage lessons this summer.

That's it from us for now, enjoy the newest pictures and videos from us!!

Summer runs the bases at T-ball

Summer practices hitting in the front yard

Here's a video from when River and Summer played in the pool

River eats on his own

Summer's 1st T-ball practice!!

Summer told us a month ago that she wanted to play T-ball much to both of our surprise. She likes to play "baseball' with her dad and the info came in the mail and she said T-ball sounded great to her. So, here we are at her first t-ball practice! We thought for sure she would change her mind once she got there and she was not very sure for a while, but ended up doing all the things she was supposed to. Clayton is one of the coaches and there are 12 kids on her team altogether. They have one more practice and then will play games against the other teams for 8 weekends. They don't keep score and the point is to get them all to run the bases, learn to hit the ball, and to take turns getting the ball when its hit to them. The teams are made up of 4 and 5 year olds. It was great seeing Summer out there with all the other kids having fun! A video of her running the bases is coming soon!
Each of the kids got team shirts and hats. We're the White Sox!

Summer's #1 fan!
Waiting to run the bases.

This week in our lives...

I set the alarm clock too late one morning and left us with very little time to get ready and get Summer out the door for school. She always chooses her own clothes, but needs guidance from us every now and then. I got up and started getting River and myself ready and sent her to her room to get dressed. When I was done, I walked into her room and this is what she was wearing. I smirked and said, "Alright, we've no time to change, go show daddy what you're wearing to school today!"
This is Summer enjoying her dessert-- always given after lunch instead of dinner. She was very excited about the chocolate covered ice cream!
Here's a few naked pictures of the boy, because they are so darn cute and fun!
"Hey, what's that?"
"Here's a book for you, mommy!"

Monday, April 23, 2007

A loud boy!

River plays

Summer and River enjoyed the pool today!

We hit the mid 80's today, so we got the pool out and let the kids cool off. It was River's first time in the pool and he really enjoyed it. He loves bathtime, but the water is much warmer then!
Summer's favorite thing is to throw the water as far from the pool as possible! Usually soaking herself, me or her brother in the process.

She's recently given into ponytails... as long as she can have a ribbon in her hair with it. Grandma Sue got her started on that one. I think it reminds her of 'Little House on the Prairie' (which she really likes to watch).

Look Park with River

As a last minute thing to do before Summer came home from her aunt's house, we took River to Look Park for an hour. Its a REALLY neat place with a tone for the kids to do. We just walked through it, Clayton had never been and I am sure we'll be spending a lot of time there this year! River really enjoyed himself, as you can see.
Clayton and Riv in the pine forest.
River only lasted half of the time.

Friday, April 20, 2007

River sits on the potty!

Here's River being a big boy sitting on the potty. He was consistently pooping and peeing every morning for a couple of weeks there, but changed his cycle of late and I am working to find when the best time for him to sit would be. Either way, he sure is cute!
He takes after his daddy and likes to read while he's there.

A picture of one of the bluebirds in our neighbor's yard. There were a couple together, but only one sat still long enough for some semblence of picture!

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Our long weekend trip

So, we decided to go to Columbus for Jed's 30th birthday and get a chance to see everyone along the way. We started out Thursday night and made our way to Pop's house for the evening. We enjoyed chinese food with Pop, Gram, Abigail, Jessie and little Clayton. The kids had a great time together and we got to see Pop's new house. He has 2 very cute rooms just for the kids-- a boys room and girls room. The girls have some cute flower sheets on a bunk bed with a special pink flowered fan. The boys have sports sheets on their bunkbed with a special baseball fan. Both rooms are adorable and the kids were excited to sleep at Pop's altogether that night. We went out to breakfast the next morning before taking off for Columbus.

On the way to Columbus is just happened that we were going to be in the Cleveland area around dinner time and we had skipped lunch and new we needed a small break. It just happened that my mom and dad were going to be meeting at a restuarant off 90 that evening and we joined them for a quick meal. We went on to Columbus and stopped at Buff's house to drop off the dog-- she was awesome enough to offer to take our big boy for the 2 1/2 days we'd be there.

We went on to Jed and Sarah's and had a nice visit with them. We mostly just hung out and talked alot-- went to the North Star Cafe for an awesome lunch and had pizza one night for dinner. It was great seeing them and we met their new cat, Tom. Summer sees visiting with them as her getting to visit her friends, so we all did pretty well.

After our visit with them, we went back to Buff's to pick up Stef's folks and brother and sister and went out for a brunch together to celebrate Michael's 20th Birthday. We returned to her house and Mike opened presents and we ate chocolate cake. My parent's took Michael back to Wooster and we headed back to Cleveland to meet up with them later.

Ann had come home from West Virginia, so we made plans with her and went to the Cleveland Heights house. Stef stopped across the street with both kids to introduce Don and Nancy to River while Clayton took care of Zero. Then we all headed over to Ann's and had a nice visit. We went back over to the MacD household with Ann for dinner and MaryAnn came over to meet River. After all hanging out for about an hour or 2 we headed out to the lakehouse. We spent the night and River-- thankfully-- only woke once in the night to nurse! He was as exhausted as we were.

We awoke at the lakehouse adn Grandma D had and egg hunt planned for Summer! So, Summer raced around the house gethering eggs with Poppa D while breakfast was made. We had a pretty leisurely morning before heading back to Syracuse to switch cars ( we had borrowed Pop's truck so we'd all fit!). Summer was invited to stay in Syracuse a few days with Aunt Jessie and the kids, and she is still there now having a wonderful time. River, Clayton and I returned home by 1 am on Tuesday morning and had ourselves a good long sleep. Unfortunately Clayt had to return to work Tuesday and we are just starting to recover from the trip. But, we had a wonderful time and it was worth the exhaustion.

River is struggling a bit with no Summer-- he's never had a single day in his life without her, and quite frankly, his mom's a bit boring compared to her! But, he'll get to see her soon enough. Clayton and I are enjoying a couple quiet evenings with one less kid, but its a little too quiet for us to be completely comfortable. We talk often of wanting a calm and quiet lifestyle, but apparently we enjoy the opposite more often than not!

A quick stop along the way...

We had a nice surprise dinner with my parents on our way to Columbus.

Jed and Sarah's

Here we are in Columbus. We went to celebrate Jed's 30th Birthday (and Mikey's 20th!) and to see everyone along the way.
Jed and Sarah are some of Summer's favorite people. They are also River's godparents.

Some color time.

River did an amazing job at being perfectly content in everyone's arms! And there was a lot of people he went to pver the ocurse of 4 days!
This is just one of the sweetest pictures!
Jed and Clayt hang in the kitchen.
Sarah helps Summer make a birthday card for Jed.

Buff's house

After spending our time with Jed and Sarah, we were off to Buff's house to meet up with my mom and dad and Michael-- who is now 20!
We went to a neat restuarant and enjoyed each other's company and some really yummy warm cinnamon rolls. We went out for Michael's birthday which was Monday. I can't believe my little brother is 20 years old! I still think of him as 5 even though my own daughter is almost 5!
Summer gets to know, Bogart, Buffy's new pup who's 10 months old and SUPER cute! He's like a big teddy bear that you just want to snuggle up to!
Summer stops long enough for a quick photo with her Auntie Buffy. Buff was WONDERFUL as she took on Zero for us. She had him stay at her house for 2 days with her dogs. He was pretty nervous the whole time, but we think its because he was convinced he was staying there forever. He warmed up a bit by the last day and mostly ignored the other 2 dogs. Poor Wiley wanted nothing more than to play with him, but he didn't comply.

We end the trip at the lakehouse

River really enjoyed being with both grandparents. We enjoyed the short stay and hope to go back for a longer run next time. We only stayed overnight and had to go back to Syracuse to exchange cars and drop off Summer. She got to stay with her Aunt and cousins for a few days.
Here are Summer and Grandma D playing playdough together.

Checking out the lake.
Just a neat shadow picture.

A stop at Pop's new house

We stopped at Pop's house before heading down to Columbus, Ohio.
Little Clayton is looking huge and as always, is super sweet.
Gram feeds River and both check out Pop's new HD tv he's so proud of.
A little time with Abigail.
Some cousin time-- they had lots of fun not smiling for the picture Pop wanted to take of them-- I think this may be the best one we got!