Saturday, October 31, 2009

Fun to look back....

So, this is a rather funny look back at where we were a year ago. Trust me, both Michael and I remember this night very, very well.

Oh, and last night Colin slept for 11 1/2 hours without a peep, and Gillian slept 12! Phew.

A Year of Faces

With the kids having reached one year, I thought that we should look back at how they've changed. I've combed back through our photo archive and come up with pictures of both Colin and Gillian at about one month intervals. I'm hoping to expand this project into something like this.



Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Post-Party Fun!

After their big birthday bash, Daddy took our little people home and put them down for a nap (successfully on Gillian's part, not so successfully on Colin's). After their nap, they had some fun with their new toys and helped Penn State beat Michigan!

Of course, we took a few pictures!

Daddy is trying to get Miss Gillian to smile and it really wasn't working....

He did a better job of pleasing her by pushing her on her new Radio Flyer!

I also took the opportunity to get some shots of the back of the shirts I ordered for C&G. I think you could read the front in the last post, but in case you couldn't, they said, "Team Birthday." Here are the backs:


And one last shot of the attitude our little princess is developing! She is roaring into toddlerhood!

And, of course, we had to get a family shot! One year of being a Family of Four! Hooray!

Happy Birthday!

Saturday was a momentous day... one whole year since Colin and Gillian entered the world. To celebrate an event of this magnitude, Lea threw together (or planned for eight weeks, I've heard it both ways) a great big shindig, replete with a theme! The Very Hungry Caterpillar, which seemed appropriate given that our little caterpillars were transforming into butterflies before our eyes. Behold the Caterpillar (I made the eyes):
The theme continued with the main cake and the smash cakes:
The party started with Colin and Gillian visiting with all of their friends and family who came to celebrate with them.
Colin and Great-Grandma Smith:
Colin and Jess and Joe:
Colin and Grandpa Frank:
Gillian (and her teeth) with Jess:
(C&G were very, very friendly and pleasant throughout the entire party. I was a little worried since they had been a little strange lately, and, honestly, I don't think they get out much! However, after a very brief shy moment, they were off like little social butterflies. -Lea)

After some visiting it was time for lunch. A variety of vegetables, fruit, salads, and sandwiches (hot sausage and meatball) were enjoyed by all. Following lunch it was time for cake and (homemade) ice cream. Colin and Gillian got the first crack at the cake with their smash cakes.

(I had decided that we were signing "Happy Birthday" twice a while ago. I have shared many a birthday song with my aunt and cousin [and sometimes brother!], and while I don't really mind, I thought it was a good idea to start out treating this like TWO separate birthdays! So, we started with Colin since he's older, and then we sang to Gillian. We had been practicing for a week or two! -Lea)
While there was plenty of smashing and spreading of the cake, neither Colin or Gillian ate much of it. Even when we tried to feed some to them, they just spit it out. My theory is that they had never had anything that sweet before and thus weren't prepared for it... just my theory.
(My theory is that they don't like the texture.... -Lea)

Anyway, mashing up a cake can really take it out of you:

After cake came the presents... at the moment the kids love toys that they can ride on so this fire truck (from Great Grandma Hannold) was a big hit:

While he looks happy in this photo, the lion-eared PSU helmet hat was not a big hit with Colin (though both Lea and I thought that it was really cute):

Aunt Emily and Uncle Stevie got Gillian a tutu, which she enjoyed wearing:
(And I have taken many opportunities since to put the tutu on her! LOVE IT! -Lea)


Another big hit was a singing animatronic sheep (he sings Thank God I'm a Country Boy) from Great Grandma and Grandpa Smith:
The little ones received many, many wonderful gifts from all of their friends and family (the ones featured here just happened to be the ones with semi-usable pictures), and we're very thankful for all of them.

After the present opening, Gillian and cousin Sarah needed to give their cousin Jake a hug:
(There did seem to be a small amount of jostling for Jacob's attention! Gillian toddled over to Jacob and asked to "UP." Sarah saw that, and went over, pointed emphatically, and got UP too. Gillian then gave Sarah stink eye. Very, very funny. -Lea)

Finally, as things were wrapping up, we took a family photo of Great Grandma Hannold with her Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren.

It's wonderful to be able to say that Colin and Gillian had no less than FIVE great-grandparents at their First Birthday Party. How amazing is that!! It was so good have Great-Grandma Gert, Great-Grandpa Lee, Great-Grandma Dot, Great-Grandpa Bob, and Great-Grandma Hannold to celebrate with us!

It was a very, very special day. A whole year. What an accomplishment for Colin and Gillian, and for Daddy and Mommy! We could not have made it without the love and support of all of our friends and family. These two little caterpillars-turned-butterflies are blessed, and I hope they return the joy and love that you have all given them! Thank you, thank you!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Mr. OK

We have a talker!!!! We decided about a week or 10 days ago that Colin was saying "teddy" to refer to his teddy bear. Well, ok, I decided, and Michael kindly agreed with my speech therapist's assessment. It's pretty cute! I was very proud of my little talky man. He is kind of lazy with his signs, so I thought for sure it would take forever to get a word out of him. Well, apparently, he does not like to be underestimated because on Monday night, he said another word! This time he repeated "OK" back to me about a million times! All right, so he really says "ODay," but he is definitely repeating me! He even did it for Michael last night. SO CUTE! Warms the cockles of his SLP-Mommy's heart. Good boy.

("Gillian?" you ask. You'd think Boy = Walker, Girl = Talker. Guess not in this house! She does have a nice handful of signs, but no words yet. Not even Mama/Dada.)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Happiest Weasel Ever


Comfy Chairs

Uncle David and Aunt Mercedes brought Colin and Gillian their birthday presents a little early this past weekend. They were kind enough to give the kiddos little upholstered chairs of their own. We rearranged the living room and made a little library area for snuggling and reading. And, as a bonus, the kids can use the chairs to look out the bay window in the front of the house (handy for car watching). Daddy was kind enough to take some pictures for us!

Some reading taking place:



Smiling for Dada:

Colin is rocking some awesome hair here:

Mama-Dada Kiss

Gillian has a new, fun game. Her receptive language is exploding, and she is following directions really well now. One of her favorite things to do is kiss. She kisses Schmo, she kisses her stuffed animals, she kisses Colin (sometimes), and she'll kiss Mama. For a while, she had to be convinced to kiss Dada, but she seems to be over it.

The other day I wanted to get her to give a kiss, so I said, "Mama-Dada kiss." Then Michael and I kissed, and WHOA! She loved it! She got this big smile and immediately came to kiss me and Michael! Ashamedly, she probably hadn't seen us kiss much in front of her (bad, busy Mama and Dada), so she thought it was pretty darn cool.

A shot of our kissing fool after her first taste of lasagna!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Our House is a Very, Very, Very Fine House.

With two cats in the yard....


This is the house we got Colin and Gillian for their birthday. Obviously, we gave it to them early. I don't think they mind. They do love playing with it though! And, obviously, Schmo and Weasel find it fascinating as well.


So, Colin and I have been having some minor food battles lately. I am encouraging them to eat REAL food, not babyfood, which Colin objects to. Fine. Then I let him eat babyfood and he rejects it by smearing it all over his face. Lovely. This is pretty much how he looks after every meal. It's great.


Notice that I was at least smart enough to take his shirt off at this meal.

Pumpkin Picking!

Two Saturdays ago, when it was actually a nice, sunny, fall-like day, we took the kiddos to Trax Farm to find some pumpkins! Trax has pretty big Fall Festival type set-up. They have a bounce house, piles of pumpkins, some little arts & crafts and game booths, and some food booths. We really only stayed long enough to pick up pumpkins (and some apple cider). I think Colin and Gillian were a little overwhelmed by the sights and people, as they weren't totally into pumpkin picking. I thought Gillian, especially, would love crawling over the HUGE piles of big pumpkins. But, no, she just sat there. She did like walking all over the sidewalk and such, just not on the pumpkins. Anyway, we picked up two nice, warty pumpkins that we will turn into Jack O'Lanterns sometime next week.

Looking very J. Crew in this shot!

Look how nice Colin's face looked! (He has since had another flare up, but I'm trying to get it under control before his big day next week!)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

PSU vs. Iowa (or the saddest game ever)

Grandma and Grandpa Uhl were kind enough to offer Lea and I the use of their tickets to the Penn State game against Iowa and offered to watch the kiddos too. With an offer like that, there's no way to refuse (not that we wanted to anyway). So, we all piled into the car and headed north to Brockway for the weekend.

On Saturday morning everybody got dressed in their PSU gear and got ready for a great day of football (little did we know what was in store).
Before we left to go to the game, Grandpa Dickiedoo and Grandma Jodie stopped by to see the kids and play for a while...
Soon afterward Lea and I were on our way to Happy Valley. I have to say that the new Route 322 is pretty awesome. It would have been great back at the point where I was in school. Traffic used to back up for miles upto the turn at Port Matilda, you wouldn't have that now.

Alas once we got to State College, it was a different matter. While we got to town like somewhere about six hours before game time, finding a parking spot downtown was a challenge. We turned left for what seems like forever...
Alas, we did eventually find a parking spot. So began our soggy adventure in State College. We spent some time checking out the downtown shops - we went to the Growing Tree to at toys for C & G and stopped at the Family Clothesline to buy a sweatshirt for Lea (who thought that 5 layers weren't quite enough). While at the clothesline we bought some new sweatshirts for the kids. At some point along the line we managed to swing by the HUB and Old Main.

Afterward we headed to the Corner Room for dinner.
After dinner we headed back to the clothesline to get a sweatshirt for me, because it turns out a long sleeve T-shirt and a regular T-shirt weren't going to cut it. Thankfully we didn't need to buy ponchos (we had already bought some in Brockway) because there were none to be had in Happy Valley.

With a good dinner in our stomachs, warm sweatshirts on our bodies, and cheap clear ponchos on top of those, we headed up to the stadium. We ended up getting to the stadium sometime around 6:30. Since it was raining and a long time before kick off, we headed into the Bryce Jordan Center. We were just looking to keep warm and get out of the rain, but it turns out that we stumbled into the Tailgreat, where the Blue Band performs before the show.
We snapped a self-portrait while we waited:
When we finally went over to the stadium, we hung out underneath for a while and took another there:
The game itself, was a soggy, soaking, bone-chilling disappointment.
Enough said. I was happy to get on a dry shirt when it was over, but still very sad...