Saturday, May 28, 2011

Catch as Catch Can

Such is the story of sweet Laura and our attempts to work her naps into the rest of our busy lives. While enjoying a fun lunch at Sherry and Sebe's house to celebrate the end of preschool, Laura just couldn't take it any more.

Who needs a crib?!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Danny's Last Day of Preschool

Three years ago, when Danny started preschool, I remember thinking that three years sounded so long. It would be three whole years before he and Clare would be in school together. As usual, time had a good laugh at my expense.

I remember how tearfully Danny began his school career, reluctantly guided by Parker into the building. As I knew he would, but was still relieved to observe, Danny blossomed as a student, developing great "buddies" (according to Danny, girls are "friends," boys are "buddies") and falling head over heels for his teacher.

You will have to forgive me for his extreme casual attire on this last day. Danny has a deep loathing for "getting fancy," as he refers to wearing a collared shirt. I guess this isn't that surprising, considering his slippers in the above photo. Knowing that he will soon get fancy every single day come August 11, I decided to let him wear whatever pleased him. Enjoy your summer, buddy! And stop growing up so fast.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


These last weeks of school are always filled with exciting events. Last week was Danny's final Spring Fling at VCLC, which included his graduation from preschool and, in my admittedly biased opinion, the best class performance of the night. I didn't get it on camera myself, but refer you to this link to observe (you have to wait until the 1:15 minute mark for them to start; he's at the far left of the screen). As you can see, he was proudly strutting his stuff and mentioned the next morning that he wanted to do it again. A star is born.

This morning it was Clare's turn to take the stage for the Second Grade Variety Show. From the moment the teachers announced this event, she knew she wanted to perform some Irish dancing. While originally a couple of her friends were going to do it with her, they eventually bowed out - but that didn't deter Clare in the slightest. Better yet, she opted to do the slip jig, a dance she has only recently mastered. I was present for the performance, of which I only recorded a snippet (we can blame Laura for my camera malfunction, as I was holding her with one hand and the camera in the other). She was very serious and focused!

She later performed again, this time with her Junior Jazzercise group. This was an after-school class she took, and this performance was an encore of the one they did at the halftime show for the Atlanta Hawks (along with several other Junior Jazzercise groups). MTV, here she comes!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Geared Up

We are in the height of putting various baby items to use these days for Miss Laura. Such a little person takes up a considerable amount of real estate with her various accoutrements, but it's hard to imagine surviving without them.

Here she is in the Bumbo seat, holding court at dinner time. She really seems to enjoy watching us eat our dinners from this perch.

Just last week we dusted off the exersaucer, a.k.a. Baby Command Central:

While I am valiantly working on establishing a nap schedule within her crib, the swing is still our go-to spot for her. Today she discovered the mirror that is suspended above her seat, and was quite enamored with what she saw:

And then there's head gear, this one provided by Susana who also took the photo:

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Headed to the Pool

This is the message that will be texted or emailed on a near-daily basis amongst we neighbors starting now. The pool technically opened last weekend, but we didn't get a chance to visit it until Friday. In so many ways, it felt like we had never left. All but one, that is: the presence of, and responsibility for, an infant! Generally speaking, life with three children really hasn't been too earth-shattering a shift in our day-to-day lives. Or perhaps my short-term memory is just shot. But this trip to the pool was a big reminder of how our family has changed.

Deciding I was willing to brave the 3 kids: 1 adult ratio, we gamely headed over to the pool. With Laura in the carseat, all was fine. However, when she grew fussy and I opted to hold her, while Danny simultaneously decided to challenge his jumping and swimming skills, I realized I was in a dicey position. Fortunately, I was soon able to put her back in the carseat and keep her happy in the stroller (and of course, Danny was fine and never did need a rescue from me). Even better: the lifeguards return Memorial Day weekend. Until then, I might just wait until a neighbor, or Tim, can accompany me.

Stay tuned for more swimming adventures, as both Clare and Danny begin their careers on the Vinings Estates Dolphins Swim Team tomorrow!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Winey Clare

During the days leading up to Clare's First Communion, she spent a fair amount of time agonizing over whether or not to take the wine. Her biggest concern was that she would dislike the taste so much that she would make a face that would hurt God's feelings. We assured her that it was perfectly acceptable to pass on the wine. She went through this conversation with me at least three times, Tim several times, and each of her grandmothers at least once. Finally, as the morning of First Communion dawned, she seemed at peace with her plan to not take the wine.

Lo and behold, when the time for communion arrived, I noticed that her beloved teacher was one of the people administering the wine. Clare noticed this, too, because she turned to me and said, "I might take the wine after all." And she did, with great poise...until we rounded the corner and she turned around to tell me, in a very loud whisper, "That wasn't so bad!"

I chose the above photo for this post because Clare looks particularly relaxed and happy...possibly because she had mistakenly swigged from her Grammy's wine glass a short moment before. Ah, the power of vino.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Laura's Baptism

With so many loved ones coming in for the weekend for Clare's First Communion, we were thrilled to be able to schedule Laura's baptism for the same visit. It made for a bit of a whirlwind schedule, but also very special. We were lucky to have a private baptism, and Laura was an absolute angel: wide awake, but didn't make a peep. With my oldest and dearest friend, Jen, as godmother, and (almost) all of our closest family members with us, it was a perfect moment.

Getting dressed in the gown that Clare wore for her baptism:

With Jen, ready to go:

Danny making the sign of the cross on her forehead. One of the best parts of having a private baptism was that Clare and Danny both got to participate in the ceremony:

The moment of baptism:

Clare wiping Laura's brow:

And a slew of group shots:

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Mother's Day Luncheon

A couple of weeks ago, I was cordially invited to a Mother's Day Luncheon, hosted by Danny's Tigers class. Remembering Clare's PreK luncheon, I gladly accepted the invitation! As I expected, it was darling. Danny stood by the door, eagerly awaiting my arrival, and greeted me so enthusiastically. He sat me down, showered me with cards and gifts, and promptly served me a delicious lunch. While in line to fill my plate, he announced to his teacher, "My mom wants a lot of everything!" He was likely relieved by the menu, having tearfully fretted the night before, "What if Ms. Kerlik doesn't know that you don't like mushrooms?" Fortunately, not an ounce of fungus to be seen.

The Tigers recited a darling poem, and mostly loved on the moms. With my parents still in town and available to keep Laura, it was a terrific opportunity for some one-on-one time with my Danny Boy. Who, might I add, had not been too thrilled with me earlier in the day when I insisted that he wear a collared shirt, also known to him as "getting fancy." He was particularly put out by this when I proceeded to drive him to school in some ratty shorts and a t-shirt. As promised, however, when I arrived to the luncheon I was much more presentable. And, might I add, it was definitely worth the effort!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Clare's First Communion

I've had a hard time figuring out what to say about this exceptional weekend. We have all anticipated Clare's First Communion with a lot of excitement, both for the occasion itself as well as the opportunity to get both the Seymours and the Morlans together again. None of us, however, was as thrilled as Clare. Fortunately, I believe the day lived up to her high expectations. It was a beautiful ceremony, during which she had the high honor of greeting the church assembly. Afterwards, we gathered at the house and spent the day enjoying one another's company - including that of the Lyons Family, who had flown in on the red eye that morning to celebrate this as well as Laura's baptism!

It was such a spectacularly beautiful weekend, with happy family and friends, that it is obvious God was smiling down on all of us. God bless you, sweet Clare.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Four Months Old

With all the hubbub of birthdays, kindergarten orientation and incoming visitors, Laura's four-month birthday nearly passed without a blog post. Heaven forbid!

While it's easy to label the things that have kept us busy of late, in reality Laura is the victim of a generally hectic overall lifestyle. Translation: no nap schedule. First I told myself she needed to hit the four month mark. Now I'm saying we'll get there after the First Communion/Baptism weekend. Or maybe when summer vacation starts, and there aren't as many activities or school pick-ups to get in the way. Ultimately, though, I know it's up to me to make her schedule a priority. The true challenge of the third child!

She is such a sweet baby, and she really does go with the flow most of the time. But every once in a while she hits a wall, and lets everyone around her know it. The biggest motivation for me to get her on a schedule, though, is that I think this is what has thus far prevented her from sleeping through the night. While I find that my recollections on infants from my Clare and Danny experiences are hazy, I'm fairly certain they were both sleeping through the night by now. And I want the trifecta!

Until then, though, cuteness really does go a long way toward tolerating those nighttime wakings.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Guardian Angel II

As if we're not reminded often enough, today offered another of those "time is really flying by" moments. Just as we did three years ago, this morning we set off to CKS to meet a kindergarten teacher and Guardian Angel - this time for Danny.

When I chatted with Danny yesterday about attending this event, he mentioned that he was "a little bit nervous about a new school." I assured him that this is normal, but also reminded him that it's not really new for him. Between several visits to Clare, and the fact that he attends Sunday School in the very room where he will attend kindergarten, he's really an old pro. He even has the same kindergarten teacher that Clare had! However, given that he was just two years old at the time, I'm not surprised that he didn't really remember her. Nor I am too shocked that the big impression was made, once again, by the Guardian Angel.

Danny's GA is Max, and Danny has already decided that he's his "best friend." In fact, when we returned to preschool, Danny couldn't wait to show his class the picture of him with Max. He also quickly told his classmates that he "even saw Clare" at the end. Yes, we had a serendipitous encounter with Clare and her buddies who happened to be at recess when we were leaving. It was so cute to see how excited Clare was to see Danny and introduce him (for the umpteenth time) to her second grade teacher. She really is thrilled about the prospect of having him at school with her next year. And I am happy to report that once we arrived this morning, and Danny's Sunday School buddy Luke came over to say hi, Danny's nerves were long forgotten. (The reunion with a certain redhead didn't hurt, either.)

Monday, May 2, 2011

A Farewell to Four (But Definitely Not Arms)

As Allyson, my beleaguered preschool carpool partner, will tell you, Danny has been counting down to his fifth birthday for a really long time. While he was certainly motivated by a desire for new toys, he was also bothered by the fact that all but one of his buddies had turned five before him. Considering the number of morning carpool conversations Danny and Jack have had regarding age, this is a big deal. We've tried to explain that eventually, he'll want to be the younger among his friends, but for now that argument holds no weight.

So at last he has hit the magical age! It was not a party year (hooray, hooray), but the festivities are extensive thanks to the upcoming influx of family and friends for Clare's First Communion and Laura's baptism. For the big day itself, we had been planning a trip to Medieval Times for approximately nine months. Danny was allowed to bring one friend, and as far as he was concerned it was no contest: Parker. More on that later.

Amusingly, for some nine months or so Danny had also been fretting about the fact that his fifth birthday was going to fall on a Sunday. Danny does not care for Sundays, as I have a no TV rule for those mornings, and because he'd rather play than attend church. He enjoys Sunday school, but there are some Sundays when there isn't any Sunday school and so he is forced to attend mass with us. A while back, I had suggested that we could attend Saturday evening mass on this particular weekend, thus preserving his special day. This was agreeable to him until a recent trip to mass, when he was reminded yet again how much he prefers Sunday school. After determining that there was, indeed, Sunday school scheduled for May 1, he decided he would prefer to attend church on that day. He then proceeded to remind us of this plan several times over the next few weeks. (This reminds me that I need to be sure to give his Sunday school teachers a nice gift at the end of the year!)

And so May 1 finally, blessedly arrived. It started off on an interesting note, too. Typically Danny will begin singing (either the theme from Star Wars, Indiana Jones, or LEGO Hero Factory) when he is ready for someone to come release him from his room. He grows increasingly louder the longer is takes us to wake up and hear him. On this day, however, I awoke to voices, both his and Clare's. The next thing we knew, Danny was prancing around the hallway, and when we groggily greeted him from our bed, he proudly announced, "Clare got me up!" Frankly, this was win-win, because the two of them were off playing the indoor-outdoor game that kept them busy all weekend, and Tim and I got to stay in bed until Laura awoke. Parenting really teaches you an appreciation for the little things.

After a feast of cinnamon rolls, the kids went back outside. Barefoot, I later learned, as Danny returned to the house with a splinter. My attempts to extract it were akin to a limb amputation as far as Danny was concerned, so I left it for Tim to deal with after church. This was most certainly the blot on his day, as Danny dramatically and vociferously moaned over and over before and during the removal. Which took about 60 seconds, might I add. Tim and I found this particularly ironic given that Danny is self-proclaimed "obsessed" with the Civil War, and the Magic Tree House book we just finished is all about the grim and gory realities of war. The soldiers' gruesome wounds went right over his head as he pretended to fight with rifles and swords...but the splinter was just. too. much.

We wisely opted to remove the splinter before presents, so his tears quickly dried as we headed downstairs. Given that we are having a separate party with grandparents and Aunt Karen and Uncle Brian on Friday evening, his stash of presents was also separated into two, and this turned out to be fantastic. He opened just the right amount to be thrilled but not overwhelmed, enabling him to happily play for the rest of the afternoon with his Egypt Playmobil items. At this point, splinter momentarily forgotten, he already made his first "best birthday ever" pronouncement - and we hadn't even had cake yet!

Speaking of the cake. Let's just say that his request was tough: Mace Windu. Or, Samuel L. Jackson for those familiar with Star Wars: Episode I. Yeah. Tim's reaction was such that he had to leave the room, he was laughing so hard. Definitely not my best work of art...but may I remind you of last year's cake?? Ever the more chivalrous Seymour male, Danny solemnly told me that I did a "good job" and was very appreciative. I did have a pretty cute helper.

After the cake, the babysitter arrived to keep Laura and we were off to Medieval Times. I don't really need to describe this much, because Danny responded to this exactly as you would imagine he would. He had a blast. He has since professed his love for it multiple times, has requested to return, and has reenacted the joust over and over. Clare loved it, too, and has already asked me if I think it would be an okay place for a girl to have a birthday. Tim is a little less smitten with this idea, but then again he didn't get to sit right next to Danny. That was my privilege, and truly the best seat in the house.

As Danny said this morning, "I can't believe I'm five!" I can't, either, sweet boy.