Friday, October 28, 2011

Now I See It

A LOT of people comment that Laura looks like Danny. I've had a hard time seeing the resemblance. However, put her in a ridiculous, headpiece-oriented costume, and voila!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Danny Has Been Replaced

OK, not really. After all, as his kindergarten teacher phrased it yesterday during my conference, Danny is 'larger than life.' He's also larger than the jogging stroller can handle, not to mention a bit busier during the day than he used to be. So I have a new running companion. So far Laura's been pretty patient and generally seems to enjoy the ride. Given that her overall disposition of late has been a bit more unpredictable, however, I choose to take it one workout at a time. With views like this, though, surely she'll stay enthused?

Monday, October 24, 2011

A Great-Grand Visit

Laura and I jetted down to Texas this past weekend to visit with my maternal grandparents. While Clare and Danny have visited with them, they had yet to meet Laura. I have been blessed to meet/know four of my own great-grandparents, so I am happy that my own kids have been able to do the same. I am also happy to report that my two sets of grandparents each celebrated 68 years of marriage this year! That's pretty great.

As you can detect, Laura was definitely in mommy mode, so essentially no one else got their hands on her - not even Grammy, who was her very best friend about a month ago while I was recovering! Fickle, thy name is baby. Anyway, she did give them plenty of smiles and cuteness, so I believe she left a favorable impression.

An added bonus was that my cousin Laura (so many fun memories from my childhood!) and her two little boys were able to pop over from Austin, making it a bit of a family reunion. I wasn't smart enough to get a picture of us, so we'll just have to make a repeat visit. I don't think anyone will mind.

Monday, October 10, 2011

S'more QT

With Clare off on her Brownies Camporee weekend, I decided to take Danny and join the neighbors on their annual trip to Cagle's Dairy Farm. We have to work harder these days to get one-on-one time with the big kids, so this was an opportunity I couldn't resist. (It also helped that Tim was more than happy to stay home to watch football, er babysit Laura.) Given that the highlight of this trip is a hayride that leads to a big campfire and s'mores, it was pretty much a no-brainer.

Danny's equine radar kicked into overdrive when we emerged from the parking lot and saw pony rides. He kept explaining to me that he's a 'trained rider,' having taking three whole horseback riding lessons this summer. Since we still had plenty of time until the hayride, I willingly parted with my $5 in order for him to ride around in a circle for a few minutes. After all, I had determined to let him follow his whimsy on this trip (within reason, of course), since we didn't have any other siblings to please.

Although we had already selected fine pumpkins from Burt's last weekend, we strolled through the patch with Amy and Anna, soaking up the fall atmosphere. Danny bounced around, reuniting with neighbors that we hadn't seen in a while due to the hectic pace of day-to-day life. He and Kylie were particularly excited to see each other, and raced around the campfire together for much of the evening. There was also some questionable activity up along the fence line, but we choose to believe they were just telling ghost stories...

It really is a gorgeous setting for a campfire, and with the addition of some wine we were content to sit and let the kids run around for a long time. I briefly wondered if an open field was going to be enough to amuse them, but two-and-a-half hours later they were still going. The stellar weather helped. I'm thinking next year we'll invite Tim and Clare. If they're good.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Plentiful Pumpkins

So it would seem that the more things stay the same, the more they change when it comes to adding a baby to the family. As I mentioned last year, the pumpkin patch outing is something we do not ever skip. Not since Clare was 18 months old, anyway. It's also something that we all look forward to in equal amounts.

Sometimes anticipation is the most fun element. I think that might have been the case this year. It's not as though our trip wasn't fun, but somehow it didn't amount to the epic family excursion that Tim and I expected. While we have all adjusted our family routine to accommodate Laura's presence, I'm thinking that it still might affect our overall outlook. Or maybe I'm just seeking a scapegoat, when the more accurate explanation is that we were just in B+ mode. And hey, B+ really isn't too bad!

Looking back at the pictures from last year, I am a bit startled by how much younger the kids look - especially Clare. I will admit to some amount of autopilot parenting with her of late, because she is so reliable. I've been so busy documenting Laura's weekly developments, when it turns out my other baby girl is changing right before my eyes, too!

Danny is just as enthusiastic about Halloween this year as last. He was chomping at the bit to get out the books and decorations, which for his money cannot be too elaborate. In fact, I think it was his zeal for the outing (we had several days of "I can't wait for Sunday!") and the holiday in general that may have left us feeling a bit let down on Sunday. Did we fail him? Was he sick? Has Burt's Farm lost its touch? Who knows. That guessing game of parenthood will continue to plague me, so I should just leave well enough alone. As the pictures will attest (and Tim has a lot more pictures, but he's so swamped with work that my impatient self can't wait around), a good (enough) time really was had by all.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Nine Months

For reasons I can't really articulate well, nine months always seems like a big milestone to me. Laura is clearly on the cusp of some major developments, namely crawling (she's consistently getting up on all fours and rocking a bit) and getting herself to a sitting position. As we have already mentioned, she is quite the determined little baby who is, as Donna has put it, not really that fond of being a baby. She wants to be independent, and she wants to be like her big brother and sister. She loves to grab the spoon from me and try to feed herself; she loves to do the sippy cup herself until she gets frustrated at her inability to satisfy her thirst; and she loves any and all table food I will give her that she can deal with on her own.

Her striking blue eyes continue to garner comments from passersby on a seemingly hourly basis. Between those and her very blonde hair, it's sometimes tough for me to see similarities between her and Clare and Danny. But then she'll make an expression that looks very familiar. So, I've posted pictures of nine-months-old Clare and ten-months-old Danny:

Even if she bears resemblance to them, she is developing a personality that is all her own - and, of course, we wouldn't have it any other way.