Friday, June 25

A Great End to a Rough Day

After weird rashes, blisters on his soles of his feet, fevers, medicines and doctors, Ty blessed me with his first attempt at Eskimo kisses.  Just when I think he can't get any cuter....he rubs his nose on mine and smiles at me.  Hoping tomorrow brings some relief for the poor guy.

momMA? momMA??

Dear Ty,

Every morning, I wake up to your sweet little voice calling my name.  You put a lot of emphasis on the last syllable and it's so cute!  I have been trying to get a video of you saying it because I never want to forget how it sounds, but I haven't had much luck :-(  There is a slight sense of urgency in your tone and it's pretty much the cutest damn thing ever! You also do it when we are in the car, although now you are just tall enough to peek over the edge of your carseat with your baby blues, and once you make sure I'm still there, all is well. 
I love being your momMA!

Thursday, June 24

The Pool Rules

Dear Ty and Noelle,

I think the part of summer you like the best is all the pool time we are getting in.  We go in the morning before nap to "tot time".  Only the kiddie pool is open that early, but it's perfect for us right now.  Ty, you enjoy trying to drink the water any chance you get and are doing a great job of getting in and out of the pool by yourself. 

Noelle, you recently found some courage to go down the water slide. Once you realize how much fun it was, there was no stopping you!!  Now it's by far your favorite thing to do at the pool.  You do a good job waiting your turn and making sure it's all clear before you slide down.  And you don't hesitate to tell anyone who cuts in line, "that is NOT NICE.  You have to wait your turn."  I love your new found assertiveness!

You also like to play swim teacher and tell me what to do...front floats, back floats, blowing bubbles, putting my chin in the water. The list goes on. Here you are demonstrating your alligator kicks for me.

You both enjoy snack breaks too. I thought it would be impossible to get you both out of the water; however, when you are hungry, you are HUNGRY.  One (or both) of you usually gets out of the pool and runs over to ransack the cooler.  Fresh fruit is always a big hit!

And perhaps the best part of all the pool time we are enjoying, is the rock solid naps you guys are taking!  Both of you are zonked out for 3-4 hours after pool time and I am definitely not complaining! 

Love you both,

Tuesday, June 22

Have No Fear

Dear Ty-
You loved the water slide!  Actually, love doesn't describe it!!  I think your little face says it all!  You really wore yourself out going up and down the slide, nonstop, all afternoon.  I think it's great that you are such a risk taker...although your fearless nature might get you in trouble later in life :-) Love you little babe!

Monday, June 21

The Best Dad of All

Dear Noelle and Ty,

Do you guys know that you have the greatest Daddy in the world?  I see those silly t-shirts, mugs, picture frames, you name it with that saying on it.  You know the kind- written with bright primary colors, in a kids shaky handwriting, with one or two letters invariably written backwards.  I would always think, gosh those are so ridiculous.  Who wastes money on that sort of stuff?  Honestly, I have yet to buy any of the merchandise (ok, I did buy a #1 Dad picture frame, but it's very tasteful!), but I really do think you two have the best Daddy a kid could have.

Noelle- you are a complete Daddy's girl through and through.  There is nothing he can do wrong and you have him wrapped around your little finger. He watches "hana tana" with you and can always be counted on to come in, calm you down, rub your back and help you get to sleep on the nights you are overtired and screaming like a crazy lady :-) You are the light of his life and pal around with him doing everything and anything.  A father-daughter relationship is so special and unique!

Ty- you are Daddy's all star and daredevil.  It's so wonderful to watch how excited Daddy gets when he's showing you how to throw a ball, or swing your bat.  He has so many hopes for you and I know that he will help make all your dreams come true. 

Daddy has the patience of a saint and is the steady rock in our family.  Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) you two have my stubborn streak and temper.  Without fail, Daddy's knows just what to say and do and never gets stressed out.  He takes initiative around the house, whether it be with laundry, baths, getting a meal started, cleaning up, going grocery shopping, changing poopy diapers, you name it.  Sometimes I can't believe how lucky we are to have him!!  Your Daddy is a special guy and I know you feel that way too!

To celebrate, we went to the annual Knight Family picnic at State Farm Park and played in the water park nonstop.  We ate tons of great homemade food and you two loved Grandma's beans and cucumbers from the garden. Ty you also packed away THREE hot dogs. After we got home, Daddy took you, Noelle, fishing in our lake and you guys caught two fish!! I tried to sneak some pics of you from the kitchen window, but you saw me right away! I couldn't believe how dirty you were when you got back, but you were all smiles.  Nothing beats a day of fun and love in the sun!

Wednesday, June 16

Rain, Rain Go Away

Noelle and Ty want to go out and play! Noelle has been dying to go the Farm and makes sure to tell me every single time we pass by it.  Which happens to be numerous times a day: when we drop Ty off at the sitter, drive back home, pick him up, and drive back home again, or go to the pool since it's right next door. 

Well, yesterday, it was do or die.  We were going to the farm rain or shine.  I promised.  It was drizzling when we arrive but the kids didn't mind at all.  We started at the petting zoo and just as I knew he would, Ty tried to kiss every animal in sight.  And if he wasn't trying to plant one on them, they were flocking to him. GROSS.

The goats were a little skittish, probably due to the impending storm that was headed our way and it really freaked Noelle out.  As they raced around the pen, she kept one arm in front of her face :-)  The only thing she would pet was the pony.

Ty loved the miniature horse.  His face says it all.

We then headed over to watch the goats get fed.  The kids loved every second of it.  Ty just kept saying "AWWW AWWW". 

They played at the (wet) park for a bit, terrorized some ducks, and pet the horses.

That was about when the torrential downpour hit. We ran to the car and were pretty much soaked through and through. When we got home, I figure I might as well let the kids play in the rain for a bit.  It was coming down so hard, you can barely see Ty in the last shot ....

My Little Helper

Dear Ty-Ty,

I can't believe how quick you catch on to everything! Tonight, after dinner, you were helping me clean up.  I was so surprised that you knew where to put the silverware in the dishwasher.  Then, I was letting you play in the sink while I loaded the rest of the dishes and you took the scrubber brush and pushed all the food into the garbage disposal.  I had no idea you even knew how to do that! One of the things your sister and you like to fight over is who gets to get the dishwasher tab...but since she was back out in the pool, you were able to do it all by yourself.  You put the tab in, closed the compartment, shut the dishwasher, locked it, and turned it on.  5 steps in a row without me telling you what to do!! I couldn't believe it :-) 

There is a quote that goes something like- Don't worry that your children never listen to you, worry they are always watching you.  How true it is!

I love you baby boy,

Tuesday, June 15

My Subconscious Working Over Time

9 times out of 10, the family is dressed in matching colors.  I don't intentionally do it, and half the time I don't even notice it until Jeremy comes home and points it out.  For example, yesterday we were all in yellow/blue/khaki.

I guess I do it subconsciously, who knows.  Noelle is getting good at pointing it out too.  She's really into "matching".  The origin of her diva personality baffles me.  Lord knows I'm not like that!

I remember on Spring Break when we were up at the Dells, I told her to put her shoes on.  She got all grumpy and said, "I can't wear these shoes!"  When I asked her why not, she said, "Because they don't match."  Seeing as they were the only gym shoes I packed, I reassured her they did match and looked great.  She they said, "These shoes are purple.  Do you see any purple in my outfit?"  She had me there...and we ended up switching tops.  I think I might be in trouble when the teenage years roll around, what do you think?

Monday, June 14

Adventures in Dance Class Week #2

Things went a lot smoother this week at dance class.  As you can see, I caved in and bought a cute dance outfit.  I couldn't resist.  We were at Target and I figured we would try it on and see if she liked it.  Who was I kidding? Once she put it on, her eyes got very wide and she whispered, "Can I dance like Cinderella?"  As she danced around the fitting room, I got a little teary eyed.  She looked like a million bucks and you can tell she felt that way too.  We all know that feeling- when you get a new pair of shoes, new haircut, new dress, etc.  She then asked, "Can we get it? Daddy is going to LOVE this."  After that comment, I would have bought this regardless of the price! The tu-tu part is all sortsa sparkly and she was right, Daddy did love it!

We arrive early at class so she wouldn't be overwhelmed, and she quietly took her seat.  Her teachers welcomed her with a fun game and Noelle seemed pretty comfortable.  I got my camera out and was all set to take some video.  Then the teachers told the moms that we had to leave and go wait in a room down the hall.

Time out.  It's too soon to leave them alone! This is only the second week! I need to be able to prepare Noelle (and myself) mentally for things like this.

Reluctantly, we all shuffled out of the dance studio, but forget room 207 clear across the building.  We all camped out behind the closed studio door, you know, in case our little girls needed us for anything.  As the half hour crept by, the moms all started talking.  Funny thing is, all our differences faded to the background and we commiserated together on how it was too soon to leave them, wondering if they needed us for anything, and waited for our daughters to come out early for a quick cuddle or pep talk. 

No one came out in tears, and we took turns peeking through the crack of the door to make sure everything was ok.  It's funny how when it comes down to it, all moms have things in common when it comes to our kids.  We all have trouble letting go, we're fiercely protective of our kids, and let's face it: motherhood can be downright difficult at times.  It was comforting in its own weird way to sit with these other moms and hear them echo my thoughts and concerns.  Who knew we were so alike? I need to work on finding those similarities.

As we walked into dance, I saw this license plate and took a picture as proof to support my first dance post.  But after talking to the moms in our ad hoc separation anxiety support group, and after taking a deeper look, I found the commonality- we both drive Toyotas.  A great choice I might add ;-)

Pig Tails are OUT

Me: "Come here so I can put piggie tails in your hair."

Noelle: "I don't want pig tails.  Nobody wears pig tails mom."

Me: "They don't??"

Noelle: "No, I just want plain hair."

Friday, June 11

Holy Molars Batman

Dear Ty,

Despite having a super awesome Friday Funday, you weren't you're usual self today.  You'd be fine one minute and then without warning, you'd have a major meltdown.  The worst was after the pool when you were foaming at the mouth in the middle of the driveway for all the neighbors to see.  That was fun. Thank you!

Anyways, I found the culprit as we were playing later on this evening.  Or should I say culprits.  TWO molars are pushing their way through.  OUCH.  I can't wait until you are old enough to tell me when something hurts.  It'll make both of our lives much easier.  Until then, I'll keep a steady supply of Tylenol and Motrin in your diet.  And maybe some freeze pops too!!

That brings your tooth count to 10 total. Congrats Ty-Ty!!
Love you,

Thursday, June 10

A Special Request

Noelle: "Mommy can we get a kitty?"

Me: "A kitty?!"

Noelle: "Ya, a kitty cat.  So I can take it to the kitty pool with me."

Colorado here we come...

It's official.  We'll be headed to Colorado in a few weeks to do some hiking and camping in Rocky Mountain National Park!  We did a trial run with camping this past weekend down in Shelbyville to see how the kids would like it.  We took Jeremy's Dad's boat down and met up with him, Amy, Katie, and Blake on Saturday.  We got out on the water for a little bit late Saturday and then spent all day on the boat on Sunday. 

(Ty is not sunburned here..just the red awning casting a glow on him.)

We were thrilled to see that Ty and Noelle absolutely loved the whole camping experience.  When we put the tent up, they ran around in it, giggled, laughed, fell down, twirled around and just plain had a good 'ole time.

Their favorite part was the doggie den in the back of the picture, as well as the little doggie window.  You see, we registered for this tent for our wedding..ahem...five years ago when we were into the whole "2 people + dog = perfect family".  With two kids, we know realize how disillusioned we were, and we don't hesitate to laugh at our friends who are in that stage now.  The reality is that once the kids come along, the dogs take a distant backseat to everything else, so do yourself a favor and get a tent geared towards actual people, or do one better and ditch the whole "get a dog" idea.


At least the doggie den won't go to waste since the kids LOVE IT.  Yes, I know, you would think that we'd have opened the tent sooner than when the warranty expired, but it never happened.  I was on my deathbed the summer after we got married due to being pregnant with Noelle, the next summer I was nursing an infant and couldn't imagine breastfeeding/pumping in a tent with all the dirt, sweat, etc.  Gross.  Repeat year 1 and 2 for Ty. 

But alas, our time has come and we were so thrilled at how smoothly it all went.  With a 3 and 1 year old, you just never know what can happen.  But one thing I realized this weekend is that sometimes you just have to do it.  I'm a worrier/planner by nature, so there is always a part of me that wants things laid out 100% of the time with no surprise.  Of course, life isn't like that and I learned this weekend that you just have to let go and roll with it.  Not many people would take 2 little-littles on a 15 hour drive to camp out west, but we are.  It's doable and totally going to be worth it.

I happen to have a slight (okay, a HUGE) obsessions with National Parks and have been researching like crazy.  Can't wait to post all about it! And if all else fails, we'll just run the kids ragged until they look like the last picture here...then we'll know they'll sleep well at night :-)


Tuesday, June 8

Race Time!

On Memorial Day, Jeremy, the kids, and I headed up to my old neighborhood and got ready to race in a 5k.  For my brother, David, and I, this would be our second annual run. I found the race shortly after I had Ty last year and signed up to force myself to get into shape and get the baby weight off.  I thought this was a good race, since I knew the area and they had a kids dash- perfect for Noelle.  I remember right after signing up, David called me in a hysterical fit of laughter saying that he read online this race "contained the highest hill in Chicago."  I was so NOT looking forward to it.

Race day came and went, I ran best I could, walked up the HILL(S), and finished in a halfway decent time for someone who just had a baby 3 months prior. 

When I got the race registration email for the 2010 race, I was pretty excited to avenge the course.  I had just finished training for my half marathon, so what's a hilly 5k after 13.1 miles of insane torture?

Here's a shot of me and my little (well not so little, I guess!!) brother pre-race.

Here we are again at the start of the race...

Finishing strong- course PR shaved 3:45 off my time!!

Running with Noelle in the kids dash....

David, my niece Ella, Me, and Noelle post-race.

It was a hot, humid, muggy Chicago day, but we all ran tough.  Looking forward to next year.  David and I are planning our goals now-  he wants to be top 150 overall, I want to be top 3 in my age group and get some hardware to wear around :-) 

Sleepy head Noelle.  Sometimes it's hard to tell if she is faking or not, but when we said "WHOA look at all those barbies!!!" and she kept sleeping, we knew she was out!