Monday, December 21, 2009

More Fun in the Snow!

On Sunday afternoon we treked back outside for some more fun in the snow! On Saturday, Gillian was rather skeptical of this whole adventure, as you could probably tell from the last video. On Sunday, she had reconciled her skepticism and was ready to rock. Colin really enjoyed riding the sled, but wanted nothing to do with walking in the snow (granted we had 6 inches of snow, and he has, like, an 8 inch inseam).

So, more sledding, with smiles this time!

And a little video of Bean's Happy Sledding Noises (that sounds like MumMumMum). Also, enjoy Michael sounding like Kermit The Frog.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


So much like most of mid-atlantic/north-eastern region, we got a good bit of snow from Friday night to Saturday morning. In all we got somewhere north of four inches. Since the kids got snowsuits for their birthday, this snow seemed like a good opportunity to test them out. We were pretty excited because this was going to be their first real experience with any appreciable amount of snow (though our friend Al thought that we should take them out to play in the snow last year).

After lunch we all snow-suited-up and got ready to go check out the snow. As we were getting ready to go out, Uncle Al called and said that he needed to drop off something for me to take into work. I told him that we were headed out, so we could meet him outside and he wouldn't have to pull into our unshoveled driveway. Well, he got here before we were ready (but just by a little bit). Anyway, much to our surprise he brought C & G a present: a new sled!


That Uncle Al is always so thoughtful! He had called even earlier in the day, and I mentioned that we were going to play in the snow. I said that we didn't have a sled and since we had no plans to go to the store that day, we were going to use a laundry basket as a sled. Evidently, this didn't sit well with Uncle Al, who with his penchant for dollar store deals proceeded to buy one while he was out. It was greatly appreciated!
Though we did have some mishaps...
A good time was definitely had:

And to top it all off, the kids got to meet Santa (I know him!) when he and Mrs. Claus came by on their fire truck:

Friday, December 11, 2009

Miss Muppet's Christmas Special

Return of the Muppet!


(It's nice to look at these pictures from a few weeks ago since Muppet face has been replaced by Mean Face, yet to be captured for posterity.)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Who Knew...

...that Colin was already in elementary schools and had his picture taken by Olan Mills:

Monday, December 7, 2009

Over the River and Through the Woods....

The Friday after Thanksgiving, Colin, Michael, and I made our way North to the Land of Grandmas! FINALLY! We were quite happy to be headed toward turkey and Gillian! We arrived at the Uhls' house by lunch and were happy to scoop up Lil'Bean and scarf some leftovers!

We were interested in what C&G would do after not seeing each other for two days. The answer is....nothing. They really could not have carried less about not seeing each other. I also wasn't quite sure what to expect from Gillian, after being separated from Mama and Dada for two days. The answer is...whine, and cling, and snot. She was not pleasant. I think she held it all together for the Grandmas, but once Mama was there, she was Free To Be Me. Honestly, she didn't feel well, at all.

That evening we had the Traditional Grandpa Frank Birthday Get-together with the Keisters. Since the kids were tired and messy after dinner, we gave them a bath and put them in their jammies for the evening. They enjoyed a nice play with Jess, Joe, Uncle D, and Aunt Mercedes. This is also pretty much the only time all weekend that Daddy had his camera out. He got some awfully goofy pictures, especially of Colin. I'm not sure what was up with Colin, but he was WILD.

Colin and Gillian received these awesome blocks from Great Aunt Jane and Great Uncle Bob, and they were a HIT!




See, more crazy....

On Saturday evening, we had dinner with my mom's side of the family. Crazily enough, there were 31 people there for dinner. It was loud, busy, and a little overwhelming, but C&G took it in stride. They ate well with Grandma RoRo and Grandpa Greg (so Mommy and Daddy could eat in peace, which was a treat!), and were friendly and happy with everyone!

On Sunday we visited Dickiedoo and Noonie for lunch, and the kiddos were spoiled once again by their Grandparents. Seriously, they were just handed every little thing that they wanted!!

After lunch, we headed back to the 'Burgh. It was a busy, tiring weekend, but we were pretty happy to make it North at all!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Colin's Holiday Adventure (AKA: How to Scare Your Parents)

Twas the Tuesday night before Thanksgiving, and all through the house no one was sleeping, well, Daddy was......

Anyway, I knew Colin and Gillian were getting colds before Thanksgiving. Yet another cold, that is. But, Tuesday night Colin was up about 6 times crying, being stuffy, and generally being miserable. I even had to change the sheets in the middle of the night because they were soaked in snot. So, I had an idea that we would be headed to the pediatrician on Wednesday because I thought he had an ear infection or other such fun thing going on. I finally got him out of bed around 7:00 on Wednesday, and he is just having the hardest time breathing. And he's breathing VERY LOUDLY. He then screamed for the next two hours! I was trying to hold off on a dr's appointment until early afternoon, so that Michael could stay home with Gillian and only take a half a day off. After the two hours of screaming, I knew he couldn't wait that long. At least I had THAT much sense!

So, off the three of us go to see one of our preferred pediatrician's around 11:00 AM.

The nurse immediately says to me, "Oh, he sounds awful, did you give him a treatment?"

Me: "HUH, treatment? For what?"

Nurse: "Oh, he's never had an asthma attack before?"

Me: "ARG. CRY." And I cried for the next three hours. I get weepy when I'm exhausted, ok???

So, the doctor has him take a breathing treatment in the office. Mind you, he is screaming the entire time and Gillian, poor innocent child, is along for the ride. She's sitting, dumbstruck, in her stroller with "The Five Little Pumpkins" in her hand just staring at her screaming brother and her weeping mother. If she knew how to roll her eyes, she would have done it. In reality, she was such, such, such a good girl that day. She could not have been better. Good as gold, and then some.

Anyway, the treatment doesn't make a dent in his wheeze, so the doctor sent us off to the hospital. I chose to be admitted directly to the ped's floor at St. Clair Hospital, as opposed to three hours in the ER at Children's. Michael met us there by noon, and we had the NICEST nurse. The hospital doctor ordered more breathing treatments and an oral steroid, and told us we'd be there over night. That decision made, we had to decide what to do with Gillian.

I was not a fan of my mostly healthy child hanging out in the hospital with us, so, as usual, Uncle D and Aunt Mercedes to the rescue!!! Fortunately, David and Mercedes were just about to head north for the holiday and were quite happy to deliver Lil'Bean to her Grandmas for a day or so. I ran back to our house with them; Aunt Mercedes fed Bean a snack; I frantically packed for our little girl, and Uncle D moved the carseat! After Gillian was safely on her way, I packed a few things for the hospital and headed back to see Daddy and Colin.

Colin was feeling some better when I got back, but was tired since he wouldn't take a nap. Michael and I decided that it would be best if Daddy stayed overnight with C-man, since Daddy can sleep anywhere and through anything. As previously mentioned, I was already exhausted, so I was happy to accept the offer of some sleep. I fed Colin dinner and his bedtime bottle, got him in his jammies, and settled for sleep and headed home. Of course, I am a horrible mother and took pictures and videos of my ill child. In my defense, I took the video so I could remember what this sounded like in case it happened again.


Michael reports that Colin slept well that night and by the time I got back, on Thanksgiving Day, at 6:00 AM, he was looking and sound MUCH better. Here's a video from breakfast on Thursday of a healthier Colin:

When the dr came around that morning, we were set for discharge. Thankfully!! The doctor also cleared us to travel on Friday to see our families! By noon, we were on our way home with our Little Man! We were happy to be at home, and I think Colin was too. It was strange to only have one little monkey around the house! He certainly got to do a few more things around the house than he usually gets to do, like help cook or wander around the dining room.

From all accounts, Gillian did quite well with her adventures as well. She spend Wednesday night and part of Thursday with Grandma RoRo and Grandpa Greg and Thursday to Friday with Grammy Lynn and Grandpa Frank. Michael, Colin, and I joined her on Friday at the Uhls! By that point, her cold was in FULL FORCE and she just wanted to whine and hang on Mommy. I was ok with that!! I missed her so much!!! Her little personality is so important to our family dynamic, it was strange to go without it!

Colin saw the pediatrican for a follow up last Monday, and he is doing just fine. We just have to wait and see if this was a one time deal, or if it will develop into a pattern of asthma. We are hoping for the former, not the later.

It was certainly not the holiday we envisioned, but we have two healthy, happy children, so that's all that matters in the end.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Couldn't resist... Click the image for a bigger version.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Pouts and Puppets

Saturday morning I had some errands and appointments to take care of, so Daddy was on Baby Duty. And, as usual, he broke out the camera for some fun pictures of kiddos. Most of the pictures broke down into two categories: Pouts and Puppets. Well, really, Muppets, but it's not alliterative. First, the Pouts....

Colin is a fool for electronics. He loves remotes, phones, computers, cameras, garage door openers, you name it. If it has buttons, he loves it. Somehow he convinced Michael to let him push some buttons on the back of the camera (the nice, big, too-complicated for Mommy, D-SLR camera). However, that just whet his appetite for buttons and he wanted them ALL THE TIME! When he was not allowed to push the buttons, there were pouts, lots of pouts. What to do except document them, right?





So, so, so sad.

And for the Puppets? Well, I've reported on Muppet Face before, but it was very, very active on Saturday. Gillian is just a crazy, happy girl right now. It's pretty darn funny!





Oh, Bean wanted to cuddle with Daddy too.

And Colin got in one last pout at the end of the day after a fun time at Natalie's birthday party (that's why he's all spiffy).

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Some Videos from the Park

Here are a couple videos from our trip to the park yesterday:

Swings (you can hear Gillian's nasty left over cough from the TWO WEEKS of illness at our house):

Colin playing in the leaves:

Our Little Corner of the Park

For those of you who don't know, we live in South Park Township. It's named for, oddly enough, South Park, which is a big, public, county run park in Allegheny County. It's really a nice place with trails to hike, a dog park, pavilions, and lots of playgrounds. It also has a wave pool and skateboard park, but we haven't used those yet! We take the kids there a lot, as our back yard is soggy and boring. When they were really little we just took them for walks in the stroller, but now they want OUT.

Late in the summer we discovered this little playground right over the hill from our house that we have been frequenting. It's nice because no one else is ever using it! The kids can toddle all around and we don't have to worry. It's only gotten more fun since the leaves fell and are about a foot deep in places! Colin LOVES leaves.

Since the weather is ridiculously nice for November, we hit our little corner of the park yesterday and finally remembered to take the camera with us!

Daddy and Colin are ready for some fun!

They both really enjoy swinging! Gillian starts laughing and pointing when ever she sees a swing!

And they're OFF!

As I said earlier, Colin LOVES leaves. He dives right in and is right up to his armpits before you know it!


Gillian exploring the leaves on her feet! Come on Daddy!

C&G also really like sliding! Colin has a bad habit of letting his feet down and flipping head first, so he needs a lot of supervision. But, they do enjoy it!

Slides are FUN!

Colin and Mommy having a swing together!

Another fun trip! Not sure we'll make it back before spring, but you never know with this crazy weather!

In which the mullets are shorn....

Yesterday was a big day for Colin and Gillian. It was hair cut day!! They had been needing a trim for some time, but I had it in my head that I wanted to wait until they were one. I made them appointment with Mary Ellen, who cuts my hair. She had been really wanting to meet them since before they were born, so she was happy to see them yesterday.

All in all, they did very well! They sat on my lap and let her trim them. Colin required a few snacks to get into the groove, but they both were great!

Some pictures of the big event! Colin looks a little worried here, but he got over it.

Bye bye mullet!


The finished results! What do you think?



Yay for first haircuts!!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Artists in Residence....

I have been meaning to break out the art supplies with Colin and Gillian for a while now, but really hadn't gotten up my nerve. They received some nice markers and paper for the birthday from Mrs. Kathy and family, and I had gotten them nice fat crayons and paper earlier. On Wednesday, I decided it was finally time!

I tapped some paper to the coffee table and got out two, fat crayons. I broke the crayons in half, since their hands are so little. They did show some interest, and liked it when I scribbled. Gillian eventually made some dot, dot, dots of her own. Colin mostly wanted to take the crayon and run (and then eat it). Hopefully with more exposure, they will be making some real masterpieces soon.

Colin was such a ham for the camera! You can see the beginnings of the nasty cold he has now...

Gillian doing her most recent funny facial expression, we call it "Muppet Face." She was really getting into the coloring!

This is Gillie's other common facial expression right now, the open mouth-stick out tongue face....

Orange crayons taste the best, apparently:


Friday, November 6, 2009

Nom, Nom, Nom. Mmmmmmmmmmmm.

Last week after trick or treating, the kiddos had a yummy dinner that included some saucy noodles and, best of all, BLUEBERRIES. Now, it's November and fresh blueberries are not exactly easy to find, so Colin and Gillian are eating thawed, frozen blueberries. Not what I would call delicious, but, as you can see, they are really enjoying themselves!

(Please pardon the really loud oven timer, it's really annoying!)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Jack O'Lantern Fun

Before the Tricks or Treats fun yesterday, we finally got around to carving our pumpkins. We should have been better parents and let C&G play in the goo, but it wasn't going to happen yesterday. Next year, I promise.

Anyway, Michael and I gutted the pumpkins and then brought them into the living room to carve with the kiddos. Daddy wielded our carver, and later needed some oversight from Gillian:


(It was pajama day in our house yesterday until it was costume time!)

Cut right here Dada!

Colin wasn't so interested in the carving aspect as he was in EATING the pumpkin. Yes, eating the cold, slimy, hard, bumpy gourd. He also LOVED sticking his hands inside and trying to eat the goo he found! (But, yet, he won't eat scrambled eggs or mashed potatoes!)

So darn cute!

Nom nom!

So, we just went with plain old pumpkin faces this year. However, we did replicate each kiddo's current teeth situation in his/her pumpkin. So, Gillian has four teeth (and two more on the way, sigh):

And Colin has one lonely tooth (with another that has been threatening to pop out for two weeks):

Here's the money shot, all lit up! (For our pitiful TWO trick or treaters. Boo.)