Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hallie sings Christmas carols

We were treated to a lovely surprise when we went to church on Christmas Eve - it turns out that when a bunch of people are in one place singing together, Hallie likes to sing along as well. So when we sang various Christmas carols during the service, Hallie was yapping along at the top of her lungs throughout the duration of the songs. It was very funny - Grandma could barely contain herself. We sort of made a scene, actually, though if anyone got annoyed that our baby was singing along (off-key and loudly) then that is certainly their own problem. Anyway, since we thought it would be inappropriate to get the camera out at church, we tried to get her to sing some more later in the video below. It's not as strong of a response from her, but near the end of the song she really gets going, this is what it was like for every song in church.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Christmas (early) morn

Well, despite wearing out the kids really well on Christmas Eve, there was no saving us from a very early morning on Christmas day. Good thing Santa came! (I told you he liked the cookies)

(notice the fully decorated Lodge Christmas tree)

So we all got right up, or were smooshed by Will until we got up, and before we could even start making coffee we were tearing into the awesome pile of gifts.

It was a joyous time - we all got great stuff, and it was so fun to see the kids' excitement.

This was sweet - Hallie got to sit in this present. Of course, she was as interested in the wrapping paper and boxes as she was in the present itself.

Check this out - Will and Hallie are styling the gifts from Uncle Ad and Aunt Chandi - they had shirts (and drink coozies and aprons) made for everyone with the Lincoln Lodge logo that Adam designed. We were all really excited and impressed with them.

Finally, we had opened everything and just got to lay around in the aftermath and bask in the Christmas spirit.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Cookies and a cupcake

So we got our Christmas tree set up and decorated, we were sure to be good all week so Santa would come (again), and now we just had to make some cookies to leave out for him. Will was in charge of making these cookies. There were sprinkles EVERYWHERE.

The cookies turned out to be delicious. Santa told me so.

Meanwhile, Hallie was breaking in her brand new hat that Grandma had been working on for much of the week. It's a cupcake hat. If you think this is cute, you should see the accompanying cupcake sweater, which Grandma finished and sent in the mail last week.


After the kids were all cleaned up and ready for bed, we got some happy candid pictures of them in their matching pajamas and let them stay up a little later to assure we wouldn't be waking up too early.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The second Lodge Christmas tree

Getting back to our Christmas adventures at the Lodge, here we are on the hunt for our Christmas tree. You may recall, this was something we did two years ago when we spent our first Christmas season at the Lodge, and it was very special. The whole gang bundled up and braved the cold for this hunt - even Hallie! She got to ride in the backpack, which very comfortably fits her when she's in her cocoon.

The hunt was an interesting trek that started with a ride through the forest in the new winterized version of the Mario kart. After taking long looks at several trees, we found the perfect tree, and Will helped Grandpa cut it down.

As the tree was getting cleaned up, Will and AJ did some celebratory snow angels, which were awesome.

The decorations for the tree were great - you'll see the fully decorated tree in the next post with pictures of Christmas morning. Will was very involved in the decorating process. Note that the garland was made of popcorn and cranberries on a thread - several times throughout the rest of the week, one of us caught Will snitching pieces of popcorn off the garland.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

bedtime reading

Every night, either Erin or I reads Will a bedtime story or two. Recently Hallie decided she wanted to be in on the fun too, so now we read one "baby" story (usually a book that Hallie tries to eat about different numbers of colorful things), then Hallie goes to bed and we read a big boy story like Curious George or Danny and the Dinosaur. It's very nice of Will to share his story time with his sister, and sometimes he even reads a familiar story to her. Very much like he did shortly after she was born.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Hallie's bath pictures: 9 months

I'd say that Hallie has grown up a lot in the last month, and that's true, but really she's made remarkable advances just in the past week. A week ago Hallie first discovered how to froggy crawl, then just a few days later, she began crawling on hands and knees. Now she cannot be contained. This morning I put her down on the floor in the middle of her room, surrounded by toys, and went downstairs to make her bottle. No kidding, when I went back upstairs a minute later, she had crawled out of her room, down the hall and into our bedroom to join Will in watching Spongebob. Yikes.

I'm afraid this might be the last set of bath pictures with this beautiful gummy smile. We're pretty sure Hallie is teething - she has turned on the snot and slobber faucets and has been having a bit of trouble sleeping, which are pretty good indicators of the incoming chompers. Will got his first tooth at 10 months, so the timing is about right.

Also she chews on everything she can get her hands on - another good indicator of imminent teeth, although she's been a taster/chewer her entire life. This characteristic, combined with her newly developed mobility, is requiring Erin and I to be much more attentive of her activities. I probably fish something gross out of her mouth at least once a day. In particular, she really likes to bite off pieces of paper and chew on them - which made opening presents during the holiday season very fun for her. Since we've had a round of sickness at our house, there are lots of nose tissues around that Hallie likes to track down and put in the yap. Coming soon: this.

Hallie's first Christmas season was really great - as a parent, I don't think it gets any better than having a three-year-old and a sweet 9-monther (my personal favorite age) at this time of year. It was especially memorable because we had more than a month of Christmases, starting with a trip to Madison, then a visit from Grandpa Mike and Grandma Susie, and a week at the Lodge. Also, for me the Holiday season isn't over until after college football bowls are done, and our Hawkeyes delivered a glorious victory in the Orange Bowl that we thoroughly enjoyed together. I haven't gotten around to posting the rest of the pictures and stories from Christmas week at the Lodge (sorry, coming soon!!!), but when I do, you'll see a couple more classics (spoiler: cupcake hats and singing at church). Oh, I guess I did post at least some of the pictures...

As she gets older and more of a person, Hallie also is having more and more fun with her big bro, and Will is having a great time with her as well. She smiles at him the same way she smiles at me - like she is in the picture above - as if she's saying, "oh boy, this guy is fun and I am really excited about what he might do next that will make me happy". You should see the two of them at mealtime - impossible to get either of them to stop smiling and laughing at each other and to focus on eating.

Visits to Will and Hallie's page to date: 21620

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Hallie's first crawl

She's been getting closer and closer the past few weeks and yesterday she finally mastered the crawl. Erin was on the spot with the camera and captured it on video!

She's ahead of the game - at least in the race with her brother. Hallie will be 9 months old on Sunday, but we didn't document Will's first crawl until he was about 11 and a half months old.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Hallie and the Greatest Family Christmas Photo Ever

Here we are at the Lodge on Christmas Eve - we just got back from church and were all dressed nicely and being extra good to assure that Santa would come, so we decided to very quickly get a few pictures before changing into pajamas. I personally was not very optimistic that this would work out that well - I've explained in the past how difficult it is to get both children to both look at the camera and make some kind of smiley face, and they were extra antsy following the long church service and drive home plus the Santa excitement. As you can see, our first try was close, but didn't quite have all the members looking at the camera. WILL! LOOK AT THE CAMERA!

This next picture was a little better - Will was smiling and both kids were actually looking at the camera, but whoever had the "make goofy faces and sounds to make Hallie smile" job was not succeeding. She's usually so quick to smile, I wonder why she has such a confused/concentrated look on her face?

It's because she was, at that very moment, unleashing a bladderful of pee to her already heavily saturated diaper (we hadn't changed her since coming home from church since it involves taking off her cute tights). In the time between the previous picture and the next (which was only mere seconds later), Hallie's pee seeped out her diaper, soaking her tights and skirt, and was then absorbed by Erin's Christmas dress clothes to the point where at this very instant: dawns on Erin exactly what that warm, wet sensation means. The four of us might go the rest of our lives without a more classic candid shot than this one right here. I seem to be the only one who's oblivious to the situation, or I am just a Zen master in spite of the chaos of this scene - Erin has clearly just been pleasantly surprised, Hallie is concentrating on finishing her task, and Will is unable to maintain focus on the camera and is investigating the commotion.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Two more "firsts" for Hallie

Quick post here, more of an announcement.

Yesterday we witnessed the first time Hallie was able to move forward with a crawl-like motion. She has been very close to being able to crawl for weeks, we were really hoping she'd figure it out while we were with some of our extended family, but we're glad she was finally able to do it. It wasn't much to behold, but from her belly, she clearly reached out and pulled/scooted her body closer to a toy we had put just beyond her reach. Then she grabbed it and put it straight in her mouth. We're counting it as a crawl, much like we did with Will's frog-crawl. Hallie is also very close to a regular crawl - she frequently props up on her hands and knees, but can only seem to figure out how to move backwards from this position.

Another first, this one more humorous. Yesterday in the walk across the hall from the changing table to the bath, naked Hallie simultaneously puked on and peed on her mom. It was both a lot of puke and a lot of pee. It was amazing, and a first for either of our children.

Friday, January 1, 2010

between Christmases

We had a month of Christmas this year - starting with the visit to Madison at the end of November, and ending with a beautiful week, more or less snowed in at the Lodge. The time in between involved a lot of singing Christmas carols and being good so Santa would come.

Grandpa Mike and Grandma Susie came to visit and they helped us set up our Christmas tree. Here Will, Hallie, and Grandpa are opening the ornaments Erin got for us all this year.

These are some nice family pictures.

We got lots of snow here in Michigan over the past month, so there was a lot of shoveling that needed to be done. Will helped out a lot by raking the snow. Also, he was really excited about the form of "helping shovel" that involved getting a rakeful of snow, then sneaking up on mom/dad and throwing it on us. I told Will from the beginning that if he engages dad in a snow fight, it can only end one way: with Will getting hit with a snowball, right in the tummy. He learned the hard way that I was serious (see below).

Haha, just kidding. Though the above picture was in fact due to me tossing a shovelful of snow on Will - at his request - it just happened that some of the snow got inside his coat.

Much of the month was spent hanging out in jammies and tights in between trips outside - each of which involved about 10 minutes of bundling up. Then after putting on the snowpants, boots, coat, hat, and mittens, Will occasionally decided he needed to go potty (which of course meant taking it all off again, then getting redressed after the potty trip). Fortunately Hallie (the one with the pink chicken legs) was content to pee in her diapers, because having to take off/put back on her cocoon probably would have meant I would have given up even trying to take them outside.