Thursday, July 29, 2010

Dance party: Top of the park

Our kids are awesome dancers, but Hallie hasn't been on her feet long enough for them to dance together very much yet. Last month we went to Ann Arbor's "Top of the Park" festival and saw some excellent live music. Hallie and Will (right, with mustache and playing air-drums) really got into this sweet jam.

Monday, July 26, 2010

skinny mini

Newsflash: Hallie is really little.

Erin took her to the doctor for her 15-month checkup last week. She is as healthy as any toddler her age. Pediatric doctors note the growth progress of kids up to two years, and compare them at various stages against the population of same-aged children. Compared to other 15-month-old girls, Hallie is somewhat normal in height, but she is a featherweight - in the sub-1% on the weight chart. She weighed in at 18.3 pounds - the average seems to be about 25, and 95% of girls her age are at least 20 pounds.

The doctor was not concerned and neither are we, we like her just the way she is. She's a picky eater, but she eats. We have her on a delicious weight-gain diet that would make dieters cringe: we try to balance it by tricking her into eating other things as much as she'll tolerate but inevitably her diet revolves around whole milk and teddy graham cookies. Eventually she'll catch up to the other girls, but she's just extra cute right now.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Hallie's bath pictures: 15 months

Wow, I'm sorry but these bath pictures are really awful. I have an excuse: we were at the Lodge last week when Hallie turned 15 months. The first night we bathed her in the sink to get these pics, and it was a very traumatic experience for her (in case you can't tell). So these are the best we could do, then we showered her or just rocked it grubby for the rest of the week.

Here's what's going on here: since last month, we have finally gotten rid of that safety bath seat, because she was constantly climbing out of it anyway. Around this time Erin was taking the kids to the pool by our house a lot because it has been hot as H and also so that Will could get comfortable with playing in the water so we could maximize our fun in the lake when we went to the Lodge. Hallie suddenly developed a terror for water - crying hysterically and trying to climb out of the tub whenever we give her a bath. Poor baby. We're still working on her though - if we eased her in very carefully, she would sit with piggies, even up to her tummy, in the lake. And we're making progress with the bath, but for now, these are the pictures you're gonna get.

We had a really great time at the Lodge, like we always do. We did in fact swim in the lake a lot with the kids, also fished a lot, were repeatedly visited by a small black bear that Will named "Black Smokey", and Hallie took her first boat ride (pics coming). In some ways, it was the best trip yet because Hallie could really play, and play with her brother, rather than just act like a potato to be passed between family members.

Here's something fun we discovered on this trip: Hallie can say "Will"! It kind of sounds like "Oh-wee-oh", but she reliably makes the same sound when she's playing with, or trying to get the attention of Will. They giggle and chase each other around and dance, occasionally yelling each other's names. It's so much fun. They also swordfight a lot, and Hallie's surprisingly good at handling a sword considering she's so little. She's also surprisingly tolerant of getting whacked by an overzealous sword-wielding brother.

I feel like I write this every month, but Hallie is now at my favorite age ever. Now that she walks around everywhere, she's much more of a little person instead of a baby. She loves playing games, some of which she invents herself. She is also getting better and better at communicating. Her nonverbal communications are more reliable with hand signals such as pointing (at the teddy grahams, which is the only thing she wants to eat these days) and waving. She also uses words much more often, maybe they're more effective at telling us when she doesn't want to do something. We're still working on a few key words with her - despite mastering "dada" and "oh-wee-oh", she still doesn't reliably say "mama". Unless she's crying.


Visits to Will & Hallie's page as of this post: 26881

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Hallie: the face of Red Cross babysitter training

Check out the homepage of the Washtenaw County Chapter of the American Red Cross - featuring Hallie!

Because the picture won't be up forever, here's a screen capture. Hallie wants you to Get Trained to be her babysitter. Presumably so someone other than her neglecting parents can wipe the slobber off her shirt.

So Hallie joins her bro as a Red Cross model. Here's a related thing that's pretty cool: this recent blog post, which mentions the Red Cross, was found by the National Red Cross during a websearch for all Red Cross references on social media sites (facebook/twitter/blogs), and was included in an email that was sent to communications employees around the country. Erin's coworker received the email and recognized this guy at once!

Monday, July 19, 2010

post-bath mirror peekaboo

Hey everyone, we're back from a trip to Wisconsin and forgot our camera. The bath pics we took of Hallie at the Lodge will have to wait until we get it back. For now, plenty of things to show. I think it's ok but this one might get taken down by youtube, as were some of Will's bath-themed videos that showed a bit too much baby butt.

Hallie does this a lot - she likes playing with the mirror above her change table, and is especially antsy after bathtime, maybe because she realizes its almost time for bed and maybe because she just likes running around naked.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Why NO love for daddy?

Hallie has been making full use of her new word: "no". She's has never been afraid to refuse to do/eat things, but only recently started verbalizing "no". Having discovered the power of this word she uses it frequently (much like her brother), even when we ask her to do sweet things like give dad a hug. I'm not offended though, Hallie learning to use the word "no" has coincided with a phase of her being especially clingy to her mommy. So this is more "no, I'm not leaving mom" than "no, I'm not going to dad".

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

trucks touched

Will had such a great time last summer at "climb around in these huge vehicles" events, such as Ann Arbor's Touch-a-truck. So we all went again this year. It was a great day for Willie.

I think the police car may have been one of his favorites, but only because the police officers there gave him a sherriff press-on tattoo. Here he's giving his best "80's cop show" thumbs-up.

They had all kinds of vehicles other than trucks. Firetrucks and garbage trucks were very popular and we had to wait in long lines to see them, but Will was interested in all of them. The John Deere thresher had one of the longest lines.

My personal favorites were the military vehicles - here's an old WWII-era truck they restored and use a lot in parades as a flag-bearer (we saw it in the 4th of July parade this past weekend). The truck on the right was an active transport vehicle and had an unbelievably loud horn. I got much entertainment while we waited in lines watching the people in the vicinity of this truck get startled out of their shoes each time a new kid tried it.

The Red Cross, aka "mama's work" also had brought their Emergency Response Vehicle (the "Erv" that sometimes visits our house when it's being driven by our neighbor/friend/RC volunteer extraordinaire Mikey). Anyway, I took a few pictures of Will pretending to offer me disaster relief in the forms of juice and popcorn (that's what the RC provides, right?) and apparently these shots were a big hit when Erin showed them to co-workers. The buzz is that for the second time, Will will be part of an upcoming RC publication: we'll look for him in the annual Red Cross calendar.

While Hallie had fun getting a backpack ride and singing about it, she didn't do much truck touching. Maybe next year, she can touch some Texas trucks. In the meantime, we're still trying to get her into a Red Cross publication.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Hallie's first swordfight

I apologize that Hallie videos have been dominating the blog lately (click here to review said videos), but she's got so much going on lately that's video-worthy. Here's one that includes her big bro, and his favorite pasttime: swordfighting. Since Hallie now walks, she can play outside much more effectively. And the swordwagon (the wagon grandpa Mike made, which is where we store the swords when it is not being used for rides) is a good reaching height for Hallie and some of the easiest outdoor playthings for her to reach. So the video below is what transpired when Hallie proudly acquired a sword and chased down her brother to challenge him to a duel for the first time.

In case you're confused about the "cha you into the drink", this may clear things up a bit ...or not.