Monday, April 26, 2010

MN Adventures

What a fab long weekend we enjoyed visiting rye's fam (siira's & Westrom's) in MN! We celebrated Grandma Westrom's 90th b'day on Sunday (seeing most of the extended fam) and gathered with much of the Siira fam on Sunday. It was A's coming out party. Other than feeds I hardly held her. It was if she was on a cuddle time conveyor belt. These girls are so blessed to have such loving family! Huge thanks to all who welcomed us.

Our air & ground travel - the first as a fam of four - went better than I dreamed (even continuing E's potty training - though my hands are dry from all the public bathroom stops/washes). Infact, I told rye it may have been the easiest trip we'll experience for 10+ years. A's days of uuber-portability are no doubt numbered. But hopefully her easy-going personality will remain.

Here are the only pics I snapped all weekend. Please share photos, all you other family photogs!

Excited about her first plane ride!

Airport adventures...

A little less enthused about her first cab ride.

E, on the other hand, is in toddler heaven (no car seat + window down + McDonald's).

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, April 23, 2010

Conversations with Elynor

While waiting for our plane to take off -

"Who will you see in Minnesota, Elynor?"

Without hesitation -

Uh, yea... Glad to see some of our prep was effective. Sorry, fam... ;)

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Conversations with Elynor

After E told me to close the bathroom door really hard (all the way), I asked her if I should stay inside or go out. Without hesitation she told me to go out because,

"I need some privacy, Mama!"

She then told me to tell Annikah that she needed some privacy (good thing, b/c I'm certain A was on her way upstairs and into the bathroom).

Yesterday, after sneaking some of my coffee, E says:

"I like coffee, Mama. It's good for children!"

...and so her creative persuasions begin!

Monday, April 19, 2010

A Record-Setting Potty Training Incident

WARNING, readers - this post is filled with potty talk!

My, how our parties have changed since college... On Saturday night we welcomed a house full of friends from college and their children. Close to an hour after dinner I began reflecting on how well Elynor was doing playing downstairs with the other kids. About 10 minutes earlier she'd come upstairs to let us know she needed to go to the bathroom (we're 2 weeks into potty training), and after a successful visit she headed back down. Had we reached a new phase of maturity, I wondered?

These thoughts had barely left my mind when one of the visiting little boys came upstairs to tell me, "Your daughter needs some help in the bathroom. I think she needs help wiping her poop.". "Awesome!", I thought. "She'd gone on her own... Sure I'll come help.".

And there the story turns. Walking down the stairs, the horrible smell hit me. My first thought was that she must have REALLY had to go.... but, goodness, she had just gone about 10 minutes before.

And then I turn the corner... to find this scene (minus Rye... and Elynor sheepishly standing against the back wall):
WHOA! I stopped dead in my tracks. My olfactory senses were in overdrive and my shock nearly knocked me over. Honestly, I could not believe my eyes. I wish I had a picture of my face. Not knowing where to start, I told Elynor to stand in the shower and I ran upstairs for reinforcements.

I imagine Rye & my sister Katie thought I was overreacting when I summoned them down to help... but very soon they, too, met the horror. We all broke into frightened laughter, each hoping the others would propose a game plan.

And that we did. After sharing the above photo with the guests upstairs (who also laughed hard... a mixture of pity and thanks for their own removal), we cranked into action. Elynor enjoyed the longest shower of her life (she needed it) while Rye tackled the laundry and I braved the floor. Katie started on floor duty but quickly used her "I'm just the aunt" card to shift to photo/redressing Elynor/lighting candle duty.

In Elynor's defense, this disaster was born out of her attempt to clean herself up after not making it to the toilet. She had removed her own pants, placed her underwear in the sink, and gotten on the toilet when I think she realized the issue was far beyond her abilities. What I wonder is how the little boy who summoned me got involved. Did she ask him to come get me? Did he stumble on the scene and realize reinforcements were needed?

By the end of the night our bathroom & Elynor were as clean as they've been in a long time. And everyone's abs were aching from some serious laughter!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Reunited At Last

Dear p (or a) b & j sandwich-

Welcome back, my long lost friend! I've been searching for you since august, but it wasn't until today that I found a g-free sandwich bread that was honorable (light, airy, tasty) enough for you. At $5.99/loaf I don't think we'll be hanging out every day (or week), but I can promise you you're back in my life for good!

Here's to the little things.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter 2010

We marked our Easter with a fabulous celebration at church, a beautiful OUTDOOR (yes, in Chicago in April!) brunch, visits from Aunt Katie & Grandma V/Grandpa Kev... and a few classic photos.

As an aside, I think we've officially entered into the awkward family photo stage. Mom has crazy growing-out-bangs hair. Elynor has crazy toddler hair and faces. Annikah has awkward baby faces. Rye, is, hmmm... Rye!? (the only photo-dependable one). Capturing everyone at the magic moment is, well, just that - magical. But alas, these are the moments that bring the photo albums to life in, say, 20 years, right?! Enjoy -

Obligatory family outdoor shot. A is obviously thrilled to have joined this party.

Obligatory sisters shot. Again, A is loving this experience.

And after the obligatory shots, E does just what any toddler dressed up in her Easter Sunday best would do - rushes to dig in the dirt. At least she did remove her white tights (to play bare foot). Sorry, please don't have a heart attack Grandma V!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Conversations with Elynor

Please enjoy this first, in what's sure to become a regular segment on this blog, "Conversations With Elynor". Sometimes the things that come out of this little girl's mouth (and mind) are just too funny not to record.
While driving home today Elynor attempted to hand me a diaper she found in the backseat. I laughed and told her mommy's don't wear diapers.

She laughed too, insisting, "Yes they do!".

"Really, I don't think so...", I rebutted, assuming we were now in an all-too-common game of yes/no.

"NO Mama, they DO!", she now insisted with passion.

"Hmmm?!!?", I thought, curiously.

"Yes, Mama, Mommy's wear diapers in hospitals!"

"Okaaayyyy...?!?!", I wondered.

"You know, when Annikah was getting born....", she made her final point.
Ahhh, yes. Her most vivid memory from visiting the hospital after Annikah's birth has yet to leave her memory.

More from Annikah's playtime

I find my moments dedicated to Annikah few & far between (outside of feeding, of course... But amazingly, even then my attention is usually shared with Elynor). That's why I love the 30-45 minutes we share after E goes down for her afternoon nap. Though I'm usually tempted to clean up lunch or do some other tasks (taking advantage of this content baby), I'm trying to stop and savor moments like these.

True to her heritage of strong women, A puts on a gun show.

She must have liked the flying song at E's music class...

Practicing her fist bump.

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Following our first stroll in the double...

Note that E has not been this excited about/content in a stroller for months. I guess it's nice to have company. Hopefully her enthusiasm continues so I can get some exercise. ;)