Sunday, November 23, 2014

11 months

7 years and 11 months And her favourite thing to say is "beejahbeejahbeejahbeejahbeejahbeejahbeejahbeejahbeejahbeejahbeejah" or "wheeohhwheeohhwheeohhwheeohhwheeohhwheeohhwheeohhwheeohhwheeohhwheeohh" both very rapidly, and sometimes interspersed "wheeohhwheeohhwheeohhwheeohhbeejahbeejahbeejahbeejahbeejahbeejahwheeohhwheeohbeejahbeejahbeejahbeejahbeejahbeejahhwheeohhwheeohhbeejahbeejahbeejahbeejahbeejahbeejah" It is highly entertaining and adorable.

A new trick

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Because Babies

It has been a rough week. There was a lot of stomach flu, and some more shenanigans, so we're just a little behind in life. However, here's some cute to get you through the day.

Miriam is LOVING day care. Now that she's not under the weather she's bouncing into her playroom when I drop her off. She's so wildly interactive with the other kids. They play chase, and run around. Ok, she's not running yet - she's crawling. But she's fighting hard to be running. She waves bye bye, and is chattering non-stop. We'll have to take a video, but here's a list of things we think she says:

Bye bye
Z (it isn't that clear but it seems pretty repeatable)
Lalalalalalalalalalalalalala (Is that not a word? It seems like a word ;>)

She's a singer too, and will sing nonsense songs until the cows come home.

Monday, October 27, 2014

A moment of venn...

This is Zachary's homework from today. He did it on his own. I just found it flipping through his notebook.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Round and round makes for lots of giggles

Turns out we are tired but our house is still a lot of fun.

Cat water - it is just fun!

Miriam is fascinated by all things cat.  And now she moves so quickly they like to avoid her. The cat water however never moves, and is always fun. In fact Z thought so too, at exactly the same age.


cats water

Go Firesharks!!

So the firesharks have lost every game so far this season. But they never lose spirit and they are having a great time playing ball. Zachary has been doing pretty well. He has gotten to 1st in every game. He even got to get to third base in one game. Last saturday he not only got to second (in the picture he is all serious and ready to go from first), he also got an out playing on third base. One of the few actual defensive plays of the game.


Thursday, October 2, 2014

On the move.

The baby, in full force. Early with the flashlight, she looked a little like a Jedi in training. I went to take a picture and she tried to use the force to stop me.


Zachary has been playing coach pitch with the SALL Firesharks! He even got to third base in the last game.


Size at 9 Months and bit.

Z held her shoulders and I wedged my foot to stop her moving. This is what happened before that. Escape. 

See the next post for a video of just how much she gets around.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fireflies and turbo charged

Sometimes living in Texas gives us the gift of outside, and I remember why we moved here in the first place.

It is almost October. On Sunday night, I opened the door to let the cat out and our front yard was awash with flickering fireflies. Zachary came running out in his pajamas and changed them around as night settled in. Eventually he ran inside, got his "bug" gear, caught one, and we let it fly around under a magnifying lens. Zachary observed that the beatle was a totally different shape than he imagined, not having a "big butt that glows", but just a normally tapering body. He also noticed that the firefly didn't glow while trapped, but as soon as we let it go it shot into the air, and gave a goodbye glow.

Backyard science is the best.

In baby news, Miriam is not only all kinds of mobile, she loves us. I KNOW. Surprising. I went to pick her up at daycare yesterday. All new, since Mark started his job. I walked in and packed her stuff up, chatting with her teacher. She must have heard my voice because suddenly from across the room she squealed and charged in "battle crawl" mode all the way to where I was, pulled up on the knee high divider that keeps them in their area, and reached up her arms to me. She was all hugs, and snuggles, and arms thrown around the neck nuzzling. It is *the cutest*.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

As an aside...

Two things.

While I'm updating prolifically...

1) I don't write much about Zachary here now. Mostly because he can read, and I assume that means at least some of his classmates can read, and it just seems like a bad plan. He is beyond fantastic. He is getting contacts, and playing little league, and reading up a storm.

2) Miriam has six teeth. She's a biter. Sometimes she pretends she's going to kiss you (which looks a lot like a moray eel with a gaping maw coming towards you) and then inadvertently she gnaws on your eye socket. I keep trying to write it off to "teething" but at some point we're probably just going to have to admit she's a part-time cannibal. This also serves as a general purpose warning and liability waiver.

Mark Can Crawl!

I don't really feel like this requires a description. Stand alone awesomeness. 

Shake it Out

Last week, Miriam learned to clap. I think they had a very intensive "Patty Cake" training session at daycare. As one does. She burst out into applause spontaneously for several days running. It was quite funny. She would be crawling along and then would just pop into sitting, start clapping, and look around to see if everyone was appreciating her genius.

We were, of course.

But never managed to catch in on video. So instead you can see her here, wildly over tired and clapping. As well as violently shaking the high chair because it is all that is between her and Linus who is out of frame and JUST BEGGING TO BE HUGGED TO DEATH. As cats do. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014


skill unlocked ...

video to follow but this is clearly a trick she ahs pick up from Daycare. Pretty fun and she looks really pleased with herself each time she does clap.

Sunday, September 7, 2014


Contained in a basket but not for long, she got her rock on, and tipped out (safely).

How to carry a carrot while crawling


This pretty much counts for anything she wants to take along but it has to be small enough to carry in her mouth! 

Goes Anywhere

Baby on the move. Her favourite destinations include, any nearby cat, the kitchen, cat food dishes, garbage/compost and now the bathroom.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Swimming hole fun times

Jumping or diving into the 12 foot wide hole of Jacob's well makes this swimming hole a bit different.  The limestone wall has 3 tiers, here is Z jumping from the ~3ft shelf. He chose not to join me from top (10ft) shelf, sensible lad.  The water is cool and refreshing as the artesian spring spills forth fresh aquifer water from 120 meters down.  Most of this is sloping down progressively deeper chambers, but the "bottom" of the surface section is around 18 meters. At first Z didn't want to jump but by the time we left I could hardly tear him away.  Now to figure out the next stop on our water hole tour of Tejas.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

crawling update

So far today Miriam has been into the cat food thrice, chased linus twice and gone for my cowboy boots once.

Friday, August 29, 2014

crawling .... .... .... the end is nigh!

So Miriam is no long immobile, not that she couldn't get around, it was just very brownian motion in style. Since starting daycare she has been making moves to go forward instead of the backward cycle that makes her so mad. Mostly because it generally has her ending up under a couch. After just one day with five other pre-toddlers she made a full forward cycle, hand, hand, knee, knee. Unfortunately she got excited and then went backward 3 feet resulting in couch and tears. By wednesday night she was managing to get 2 forward cycles strung together. She even looked like she was going to go further, but instead would sort of fall into a sitting position and admire her progress. This morning, Miriam got her crawl on! She moved about 3 feet in the direction she wanted to go. WIN for her. Baby safing and constant vigilance for us!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

skill aquired

Miriam has been working on the flat on belly to sitting up transition for the last few weeks. She has finally mastered it. Now she moves around the living room by rolling, sitting up assessing and then moving into precrawl before collapsing and starting over. For the precrawl she has just start to put a hand forward and then lunge forward, she does not yet seem to have figured out the knee movement but it is only a matter of time.

size comparision

IMG_20140816_090822 6y10mo and 7.5mo; getting bigger all the time. Zachary has gotten skinny over the summer, probably all the swimming and running around. He also grew about 4 inches I think. So he went from toddler pudge to a lean and skinny boy shape. Miriam is getting bigger too, she is now 22lb and constantly throwing her weight around.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

first day of first grade

Yesterday, Zachary went back to school. In the morning, I woke him up and he jumped out of bed with a large grin and lots of hugs. He put on his big boy hat and helped bring the school morning routine back like the summer hadn't happened. He was delightful; dressing himself, eating breakfast, and clearing the dishes. He decided on the way to school that he didn't need me to walk him to his classroom, so off he went at drop off.
Later, when I picked him up from his after school program, he was still chipper! He chatted all the way home and some. Telling us about his lessons and teachers, games and worksheets, new classmates and old friends. Lets hope the rest of first grade is this exciting and wonderful for him.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

All tuckered out

The kids asleep in the car coming back down out of the mountains after an amazing week with the family at Pinecrest Lake.

Tired out adventurers

Friday, August 1, 2014

Miriam stands


Eventually she topples over slowly and fairly gracefully onto the precisely placed pillow to her right.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Off he goes

Zachary and Grandma Tuttle heading to California. A quick ice cream to celebrate getting through security. Our house is so quiet

Last night

I was changing a diaper around 3am and Miriam rolled. She has been doing this for a while but has suddenly got some speed and efficiency to her roll. She flipped over and off the top of the dresser!!! Fortunately I was prepared, I had a hand around an ankle. Instinct and my automatic muscle reflexes kicked in. I managed to grab her other ankle and pulled up to halt her head first momentum to the floor. No thunk. I win! I then carefully hauled her up to finish the diaper. She was still asleep, double win!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

and one of Miri


Tongue out in concentration for the rev-rev-reving of the pre-crawl.

Helping around the house

Making pancakes

This morning Z made his own pancakes this morning. He got everything out, added the mix and water, put the pan on, cooked and flipped 'em.


He also helped me with the vacuuming yesterday :-) Amazing since he normally scurries to his room and hides when I start cleaning. It's all motivated by his current desire for us to give him pocket money for doing jobs around the house.

Friday, July 25, 2014

But *why* don't the bad guys think they're good guys?

An inquiry from Zachary, after dinner.

"Why do all stories have good guys and bad guys? And how do the good guys know they're the good guys? And why do the good guys always refer to themselves as the good guys and the bad guys know they're the bad guys? Why don't the bad guys think they're the good guys?"

Why indeed.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

swim lessons pt.2

Z is on his second set of swim lessons at Bartholomew pool. With one instructor (instead of 6 in 8 lessons) he has improved dramatically. And today diving finally clicked for him, both on the side of the pool with the instructor and here from the diving board. Everyone was like "how old is he?"

cheerio chewing

After several attempts with cheerios (and also small cubes of tofu) she has finally got the chew down. Here she is smiling proudly at the cheerios she is munching.


Thursday, July 10, 2014


It came through about a 4 days ago, but I finally got a pic of Miri's first tooth.


How they play

Yup hair chewing and pulling is a game in our house.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Pre-Crawl excerising

Miriam's hip wiggle samba has been a big feature over the last month. She's been working hard to isolate those thigh and leg muscles and often ends up with a knee up by her belly and then tipping over to her back. But this week she figured out both knees under and she's pushed up into a pre-crawl pose. Think svanasana (the table).  Fortunately at the moment she can only hold it for a second. But I know the time in which sitting her on the floor to play will soon to be over.

fireworks and sparklers

Z even got to light a firework with Erik's help. Miriam had a great time too, she got to ride in sytle and where the best wig ever.

Cherrywood July 4th parade

bubble joy

children reading

both kids reading

Friday, June 27, 2014

ball pit

Now Miriam has fairly stable sitting skills, we've converted the activity mat into a ball pit. WHOA. mind blown. Also Z loves playing with her. In other news, she had her 6 month check up. She is almost 20 lbs and 28inches (~95% for both). She has been fussy but mostly manageable from the shots and is recovering from a little bout of pink eye. She HATEs the eye drops and who knew she could close her eyes so tight. Z has started the Star Wars movies! He loved the first one and is loking forward to the empire strikes back tonight.


Monday, June 23, 2014

matchy match

Z choose to match his sisters stripes, which of course ensured photos..

Sunday, June 22, 2014

First Summer Hike

We packed up and went into the greenbelt. Zachary carried his swim gear, water bottles and a pool noodle. I had miriam, the diaper bag, the rest of the swim gear, towels, food, sunscreen. I was prepared, except for a snakebite kit.  Ha, I didn't need one, we didn't seen a single snake or much other wildlife for that matter! Funny that a few miles up the river at lost pines, we see turtles and snakes at the edge once in a while and Z loves chasing the bass and other fish. But I digress we walked in about 10 minutes to a great water hole, with shallows and rapids, and a diving area. Miriam enjoyed the flowing water of the gentle rapids and also spinning in the water with me. Z went off free diving to find shells in the rocky riverbed. We had a great few hours.  The uphill hike out made for a long walk back with tired, damp kids and wet heavy towels. Overall our first adventure was a success, here is to many more.


Thursday, June 19, 2014

Summer Reading

Our local library has a program, like many, for children over the summer. Read some books, get a prize. Ours is - read as many books as you want and keep track towards your goal, get a free book as a reward. (There is clearly no losing in this system.) But your kid needs to pick the number of books they want to read over the summer.

Me: "Zachary, how many books do you want to set as your summer reading goal?"
(My going in position is something like 30 books is a reasonable starting place)

Zachary, without pause: "100 books."

Me, startled: "Um, that's a lot of books. There's like 7 weeks left of summer so thats..."

Zachary, interrupting: "Mom, if I read 5 books a day... that's... (some finger counting occurs) - 20 days. So its no big deal."

Me, speechless briefly: "Right. Ok then. 100 books it is."

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

swim lessons

The all new Bartholomew pool, is a fabulous addition to the east side. And Z lessons are going swimmingly! He also likes to dive to the bottom, and cannon ball with his fancy prescription goggles.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Parents and friends.

The picture is a sign that appeared on Zachary's bedroom door today. 
It reads:

Nobody allowed except for parents and friends.

Actually, it reads:

nobute ulawd bsept for parinz and franz.

But we don't know anyone named "Franz" in Austin, so I'm going with my first read.

I'm just excited we're on the list.

(And that he still uses "bsept" for except, which he has done since he could first talk. I always assumed it would go away quickly. It hasn't, and I love it.)

Size at 5.5 months

Month 5.5

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Contemplations on Kids and Food

Miriam has started the slow drift into solid food. At our house it is really a drift. We were a little more structured with Zachary, but seeing as we're a pretty low food allergy household we're kind of bumbling along with whatever we're eating. That, combined with the fact that last time all three of us determined that rice cereal was really pretty gross, and overall seemed like rather a waste of the breastmilk we made it with more than anything else.

We let Miriam have a go with cream of wheat (hot breakfast cereal) yesterday, and the results were entertaining and messy (as these things ought to be.) It definitely got in her hair. She grabbed at the spoon with serious gusto which convinced us that this whole "food" thing was well worth pursuing.

 Of course food right now for her is more an adventure than a meal, although I think we're all hoping it settles down the epic "Poltergeist" style spitting up (probably including her). She seems generally more interested than we remember Zachary being - which could be some combination of her already wanting to copy ABSOLUTELY EVERYTHING Zachary does, along with her being able to *see* the food... but who really knows. I mean, we can time travel in the blog but even then we are such poor scientific reporters on these things. Anyway, she has doubled her committment to nursing which is also sweet and funny. Partially I think because with Zachary home for the summer they are all tromping around constantly and by the time I get home she's like "OH THANK GOD MOM I'M GOING TO NEED A RECHARGE."

Nursing this time is different, the second time around. She seems less relaxed by it, and I suspect some of that is tied to the spitting up. She doesn't struggle at it, she just has other paths to sleep and calm (which truly is fantastic.) But usually in the evening she settles down for a long, calming nurse. And if I can relax out of my day and into home it is a wonderful moment for us to catch up. She gets to check in, and work out her wiggles, and after she's given me all her updates (a baby chattering while nursing has to be one of the silliest/funniest things ever) she eventually starts to relax one bit at a time. She doesn't want to let go, and if I wriggle or shift she uses all available limbs to remind me that she is HAPPY RIGHT WHERE SHE IS THANK YOU VERY MUCH. But we can just be in the moment and snuggle and appreciate something that in the scheme of things is wildly temporary.

(In other news, Zachary is trying new fruits and vegetables to earn a chef's hat at HEB. This is hysterical because simultaneously he will still only eat like 5 dinners. *facepalm* I have to believe that one day he will expand beyond and eat food that has colors in it. Maybe. I hope.)

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Kindergarten completion

On Thursday, the first and kg classes had a completion ceremony. Pretty cute as they were all so excited to be going up a grade. Now Z proclaims, I am a first grader!

Here he is with all his class.

And with his teacher Ms. Vazquez.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Miriam rides

Today Miriam got to sit in the cart/trolley at HEB and looked jolly pleased with herself. She much prefered it to the wedged car seat method, and it makes it way easier for me to navigate and load the cart too. Win Win. Plus she got to make faces at Z through the entire store.



2014-05-22 19.54.32-2 Our kids are fantastic and adorable, and we took some pictures capturing their fantastic and adorableness. Miriam has taken a brief hiatus from totally predictable sleep, so we aren't entirely coherent but what else is new? We've made it into month 5, and we're having more fun than ever. Look! Fun! I recommend running over to flickr and checking out the "Miriam with green pepper" extravaganza. She's not really eating food, but she's absolutely intrigued by it. She's playing with it (with supervision, don't worry, no baby choking hazards) - and nibbling a bit on things like banana in the net bag. She's joining us at the table in her high chair too, and she loves being involved and chatting through meals. (She's also suddenly become fascinated with trying to eat Willow. I'm pretty sure she just thinks Willow is an awesome interactive stuffed animal. Willow has been SHOCKINGLY tolerant and let's Miriam totally maul her. I think she's been swapped for some other black and white cat. She didn't let Zachary near her until he was 4, at least...) 2014-05-22 19.53.36 In other news - Zachary lost *both* front top teeth in one day (one was danglingly loose, the other got a bit of an assist at school). That's actually what inspired the photo shoot - I wanted to capture his gaps before they disappeared (one is already coming in, only a few days later.) 2014-05-21 19.57.23

Monday, May 19, 2014

Sitting up

Miriam has been working really hard. For the last 2 weeks she's wriggled and jiggled. She's been building up a core strength and now she gets to put it to good use. She is sitting up like a champion.

Sitting up!

The snorting sleepy baby

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Miriam under the couch

Last night we had a blast at BevoBash, the big spring fundraiser and party for Zachary's school. Mark was one of the organizers, and they all did a fantastic job! There were great activities - including a book walk (like a cake walk) that was one of Zachary's favorites. Another big hit was a group called "Typewriter Rodeo". You give them a topic, and they write a poem, on the spot, using antique typewriters. Fantastic. Here is the last of our nights poems (Zachary commissioned three). It is my favorite.

Monday, May 12, 2014


The 2nd best part of this video (aside from the explosive giggles) are the faint stomping sounds. Those are Zachary, ducking and dodging throughout our living room and kitchen, attempting to surprise the baby.

Since she was in utero, she has responded to him more and differently than she does to anyone else. It is really fantastic to see them siblingbond. (We initially heard those crazy noises and were like - are those bad noises? No no, those are shrieks of glee, not terror... Good to know...)

Froggy hops

Oh, the giggling. Zachary can get giggles out of Miriam like no one else...

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Big Brother

Zachary is so great with Miriam. He likes to play with her and bring out her smile. He makes her laugh like no one else can. He holds her and sing to stop her crying. He even has a song he made up just for such an occasion; "Don't cry little baby, Miriam!". Today he was the most thoughtful and sweetest, as an ambulance zoomed blaring by he leaned over and covered her ears, ever protective of his little sister.

Monday, May 5, 2014

No one puts baby in a circle

Our baby has turned into a premiere competition level belly wriggler. She can move backwards to any wall or under both couches. Sometime after this video we had a moment of kindness and removed the overhead bars. Or as Miriam likes to call them "The Evil Green Traps". Now she can spin unimpeded, troubled only by the toy deserts she encounters every 45 degrees. Spinning and singing, she passes her days...

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Happy playtime

Miriam is surrounded by pillows and couch cushions. But has to take advantage of there cushioning ability as she has been sitting up pretty well and pushing herself up when she tilts. Big grins all-round.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Just three months makes so much difference for a big brother. When Miriam was born any bodily function she'd have would freak Z out. He'd hold her for a few seconds and then pass her back, with a worried expression. When we asked, it was because he didn't want her to poop, fart, or spit up on him. We explained diapers and clothes are layers of protection but he was not interested. But now she's a little bigger and he's acclimatized to the messiness of baby life. So much so that after a little naked tummy time, he offered to help put her back in the cloth diaper! It was adorable to have him help and learn about snappies, covers and folding the diaper so it fits Ms. Miriam.