Monday, August 31, 2009

There's Just Something About Babies in Pajamas.....

In case you hadn't noticed, it's chilly at night this week. All summer long our kiddos have been sleeping in onesies and sleepsacks. All last winter, they slept in gowns and either swaddles or sleepsacks. They have never worn pajamas. Ever. But, now it's time.

I've been squirreling away pajamas for them for weeks now, in two sizes and weights (Michael thinks I'm nuts, as usual). I have a small problem of my own with buying pajamas. I cannot walk through the pajama section without wanting at least two new pairs for myself. Sigh.

Anyway, last night was the first night in big kid pajamas. They looked so dang cute; there had to be pictures.



When we were struggling for so long to have children, I kept picturing clean, happy, sleepy little kids ready for bed all snuggly in pajamas waiting for Mommy and Daddy to come read them a bedtime story. I think that's why babies in pajamas mean so much. So very much.

More Walking.....maybe.

So, Colin is a pretty good cruiser now. He does laps around the coffee table and other furniture. He is not a huge risk taker though, so I thought he might need some encouragement to take some independent steps. So, I stood him up by the chair and moved a little bit away, and lo and behold, he takes three nice steps, 1...2...3. Easy as pie. I try to do it again, no go. When Michael came home from work, I tried to get him to do it again, no go. Then Michael went upstairs to change his clothes, and we tried again, and 1...2...3 steps! However, the little bugger has yet to take them in front of anyone other than me. Michael is beginning to think I made it up. Anyway, since it was officially his first steps, we took a picture last night!

YAY COLIN! Now, do it again.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Rock Show: Hot Dog Forest

The babies had a busy schedule last weekend. The Thursday night before going to the zoo, Lea, Colin, Gillian, and I went to a picnic put on by my group at work. What made the picnic noteworthy is that one of my coworkers is in a band... and his band performed at the picnic! Hot Dog Forrest rocked the West Mifflin park and Colin and Gillian were there to take it in. This was their first concert and by all appearances they enjoyed the part that they saw. Alas, the band went on at little before 7:00 (which is admittedly early for a band) and by that time C&G were ready to head to bed. Consequently they only got to hear a song and a half. But aside from some bed time crankiness, their first rock show was a hit!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Peek-a... Zoo!

Last weekend Colin and Gillian undertook one the first of the traditional childhood rites of passage: a trip to the zoo! Along with good theater and wonderful museums, Pittsburgh has a great zoo. We've been to the zoo before, and Lea has been planning a return trip pretty much C&G were born. So, we piled into the car and set off for the zoo.

There we were met by Grandma Rose, Grandpa Greg, Uncle David, and Aunt Mercedes. I'm not really sure why nobody looks particularly happy in the following pictures as I think that we were all relatively content at the beginning of the our adventure.
Almost all of the the animals were out and active. Alas, most of the exhibits place the animals far enough away that it was hard to point them out to the kids. For example, here's the female lion taken with a telephoto lens:
And here's a picture of Gillian and the lion:
Despite the fact that the animals were pretty far away, Gillian went around pointing at everything (note her finger in this picture):
It turns out that Uncle David makes an excellent safari transport. He carried one or the other of the kids most of the day. And chances were that if David had one of the kids, Aunt Mercedes had the other.
From their perches on their aunt and uncle (or grandma and grandpa, and only seldom mommy or daddy), the kids did have the Opportunity to see a lot of animals:
By the afternoon, the kids were pretty tired. Colin zonked out in the stroller, but the Bean held on.
As a result, he missed out on what seemed to be one of his sister's favorites at the zoo... the Camel!
Wilco Will Love You Baby
By the end though, even the Bean was running out of pep. She just kept holding on to a spoon that we got at lunch time:
All in all I believe everyone had a good time.

Uncle Steven and Aunt Emily Get Married!

As previously mentioned, Steven and Emily were married on August 15th. They chose a slightly unconventional wedding; that is, they got married in a hay field. Really.

No, really.

They chose a very picturesque hilltop on the family farm and planned an evening wedding. I am not sure they quite knew how much work it was going to end up being. But, they definitely pulled it off, and they were definitely exhausted. Was it worth it? Check out the sunset and you tell me:

This was most certainly a homegrown wedding. Emily's mom made her dress, her grandmother baked bread for dinner, my family make chocolate sauce for the sundaes, etc. Emily and her mom grew the flowers for the bouquets, even. Michael was enlisted to take the photos, along with another of Emily's friends. Here's a smattering of them (all of them are on flickr if you'd like to see them). I think he did a pretty good job for not being all that fond of formal portrait taking.

Willis and Steven:

Colin joins the "men."

The "Atomic Family"

One of my favorite candids:

Bride and Groom:

Where are Colin and Gillian you ask? Honestly, I couldn't tell you. Before the ceremony, I was busy with pictures and occasionally someone would walk by with one of them, I would smile, say hi, and kiss them, and they'd be off again. It was hot, and late, and not the best spot to be exploring in your good clothes. I think that their Grammy Lynn and Grandpa Frank, and others, kept them as well entertained as possible. After the ceremony, C&G were whisked to Grammy's house for a cool bath, a bottle, and bed. Thank heavens.

It was a very, very lovely evening and we are wishing Steven and Emily a very happy, long, and fulfilling life together. Congratulations!

Going to the Country!

Phew, it's been a few weeks. I have a lot of blogging to catch up on, but I just can't seem to get ahead these past few weeks. But, I am making myself sit down and take care of a few posts....

My brother, Steven, got married on August 15th. I was off of work the week before the wedding, and so was Grandma RoRo, so it was the perfect time for the babies and I to visit for a while. We sadly had to leave Daddy to work for a few days, but he did join us on Friday for the weekend.

So, while we were at Grandma RoRo's house we went for a walk to visit my Grandpa's cows and miniature donkey, and the horses that board with them. Unfortunately, we couldn't get the donkey to bray on command (imagine?). The horses did neigh and some cows mooed. C&G were unimpressed. Gillian seemed to dig the flower that was tickling her foot though.



C&G got to visit with a lot of extended family, including two sets of great-grandparents. We ate dinner with both sets of a Grandparents; as a side note, I got to eat A LOT of my favorite foods that week that Michael doesn't particularly care for, BONUS! I don't seem to have any pictures of dinner with my Grandparents Smith, but I do have these:

Gillian with my Grandpa Bish:

Playing with Dickiedoo at Grandma and Grandpa's house:

Gillian with Grandma:

Gillian also found the child-size rocking chair and tried it out...

Before we ate dinner at Grandma Bish's, we went to Dickiedoo's to go swimming in his BIG POOL! This was C&G's first time in a big pool, and it was a huge hit! They loved it; they laughed, and splashed, and had a great time. It was just my Dad and I though, so no pictures of all of the fun. I did get out of the pool to take one of Dickiedoo with Colin and Gillian. We were probably in the water for almost 40 minutes with them!

Along with all of this fun, Grandma RoRo, Dickiedoo, Steven, and Emily and her family did A TON OF WEDDING PREP WORK. Seriously, I think they worked themselves silly. You can see Colin and Gillian helping!

(OK, so Steven isn't working in this picture, but he did do a great deal of work!)

Gillian being a big help to Aunt Emily!

And here's the best picture! Daddy's HERE!

It was a very fun week, but tiring! We hope to get to repeat it next summer, with less work!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Chooooo Chooooo!

Michael was playing with the kids yesterday while I was busy elsewhere, and this is what they ended up doing....

Obviously, the kids enjoyed themselves immensely. I think Gillian is really going to like Kennywood.

Then, Colin got out and pushed. He likes to push things; his activity table, boxes, books, you name it. I think it's good exercise. Note that Michael is not helping him other than with steering. I'm not quite sure if Gillian thought this was as much fun as the Daddy Train, but she was at least OK with it.

And, as always, Schmo is SO much help.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Anniversary Date Nite

On Tuesday, Lea and I will have been married for eight years.
Uncle David and Aunt Mercedes were kind enough to watch Colin and Gillian so that Lea and I could have an anniversary date (and to take the following photo).
We went out for a lovely dinner at 6 Penn Kitchen and then to a performance of "Into the Woods". Both dinner and the performance were excellent. A night without babies... priceless.

St. Joan of Arc Festival

We went to the St. Joan of Arc festival on Friday. It was a beautiful evening and it was a chance to get out of the house with the kiddos. Unfortunately, we ended up standing in line for food for most of our time there, but C & G seemed to enjoy the people watching nonetheless. And, truly, Pittsburgh has some pretty amazing people watching!! Anyway, this is how the babies amused themselves while we ate our kielbasa, peirogies, french fries, and lemonade. Mmmmm.....



Twin Love

People ask all the time if the babies interact with each other. And they do, just not a whole lot yet. They will take toys off of each other, play a little peek-a-boo together, and bang on the table together. And as you can see, they will "share space." It varies daily how well they share the space though!

(I am aware that this is NOT how to use a bouncy seat, but try to tell them that!)

DIAPER BOX! Allllllriiiiiight! Who knew they were do much fun?



Our friend Dave has been out-of-town for quite a while, and he was recently back home for a few days. The Millers were kind enough to host a get-together while he was here so they everyone got a chance to see Dave. As we didn't have babysitters, Colin and Gillian came along to play with the Miller kids and see Dave. Alas, I didn't manage to get any pictures of our kids with Dave, but we did get photos of C & G with Ian & Julia. Ian and Julia found the lid to a box (a wonderful treasure):
Colin and Ian played a little tug-of-war with it:
Of course the girls couldn't let the boys have all of the fun...
It's always fun to go and play with someone else's toys, but I didn't have the heart to tell bitty Bean that she wasn't likely to be JoePa's next pick:
After a little dinner...
...and maybe a little hug...
DSC_0045.NEF was time for baby bed time. We put our kids down to sleep in pack-and-plays at the Miller's and they went down pretty well. It took them a little longer than usual to settle down and sleep, but they did. Then when we were ready to go home, they got up well and went back to sleep when we got home. All in all, a good time was had by all.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Walking Bean Update... With Video!

Alright, we have some videos of the Bean trying to walk:

It's not much but she's definitely trying...

Monday, August 3, 2009

First Steps

It wasn't much, but today our little Bean took her first steps on her own. We were in the living room[ she was standing in front of the chair and I was sitting on the coffee table. She decided that she was going to come over to see me. So one step, two steps, and three she was over holding onto my hands. It was pretty neat. Of course, since no one expected this to happen, there are no photos or videos. We did however take some celebratory photos just before bed...
Schmofty decided to join in the celebration:
Though he soon was ready to depart: