Tuesday, October 26, 2010

From the Words of Frank: My Kind of Town (Chicago Is)

Maryn and her godmother, Auntie Kristen

I was born in Chicago, 31 *gulp* years ago and only had the privilege to live there for two years. My dad got a new job in Cleveland which would cut his commute from 2.5 hours each way to work to approximately 5 minutes to and from. Oh how I love that city but my northern impatience on the road would drive me insane in that traffic. I'm not denying that my current quaint southern town is short of traffic but it's on an entirely different scale. Mac and I had planned to get to Chicago this fall to see so many of our friends who live there and when his friend George called and said he had tickets to the Dave Matthews concert at Wrigley Field, it was a done deal. We were able to see so many friends and Maryn got to meet two new best buds. We stayed with my best friend from high school and Maryn's godmother, Kristen and her husband Patrick. I was about 8 weeks pregnant at the time and was sooooo excited to share the news with Kristen but before I could show her my tank that read "due in April", which she gave me two years ago when I was pregnant with Maryn....she surprised me with the news that she was 7 weeks pregnant!!! Can you believe that we are due 1 week apart from each other??? I still think it's insane when I ponder it! Part of me hopes we're pregnant with the same gender so we can force them to be best friends but I have a feeling that we're not. They'll just have to get married then.
We spent the first evening out to dinner with Mac's friends George from high school and Adam, his college roommate senior year and of course Kristen and Patrick and another college friend Lindsay and her husband Tom. Lindsay had a little girl, Lila, one month before Maryn was born and we've been dying to get these girls together. We got a babysitter for the night and the girls had a slumber party! What good vacation doesn't start out sharing a tubby with your girlfriend??

Sucking on baby doll bottles. Monkey see, monkey do.
Lindsay and Tom were great to us...we borrowed their pack n play and car seat for the weekend which saved us money and annoyance not having to bring them on the plane. Thank you again!
We headed to Lincoln Park Zoo, which is FREE! the next morning and these two girls were like two peas in a pod. They both have similar sweet personalities.
This picture melts my heart....it's like they've known each other for years and are taking their morning speed walk:)
Auntie Kristen got the girls these adorable letter tees! She spoils them both rotten!!
And she couldn't stop giggling at Maryn's cuffed skinny jeans. I must admit, fashion trends on an 18 month old can be quite silly.

They got along so well...it made me sad that we didn't live around the corner from them:(

...and her mommy

These two are smart little cookies. Lila was 18 months at the time and was reciting the names of animals on flash cards...when we got home I ordered those darn flashcards. If she doesn't learn those animals, she'll never get into preschool! Kindergarten is cutthroat these days. ha!
Look, they're so smart, they alphabetized themselves.
And of course, another kiss.
p.s. there was no kissing in the tubby:)
Kristen was a little cautious about how her dog, Ruthie would do with a child like Maryn who is fearless of dogs. Let me tell you....this dog was FANTASTIC! Maryn poked and pulled and had staring contests with Ruthie...she never once flinched but rather took the abuse. I think she's ready for a newborn in May!

We got a taste of the urban park

And got snuggles from her godmama

and shared her milk with Ruthie.
On Saturday we headed to the city to meet up with Mac's high school friend T.J. and his wife Katie...not to mention adorable Nora! When I was 18 weeks pregnant with Mare, we went to Mexico for Mac's friend Mike's wedding where I met Katie who was pregnant and due just a couple days after me. We bonded on the beach talking about how we were going to get our babies to sleep through the night and breastfeed. We've kept in touch and watched each others daughter grow up on our blogs:) I was so excited for these two to meet again...this time outside of the womb.
Maryn was born 2 weeks early so she ended up being 3 weeks older (which I know Katie was jealous of when she was 40 weeks pregnant...don't worry Katie...this baby will probably be a week late and I'll get mine!)
Look how much taller Nora is than Maryn!! She's got her mama's long legs! Lucky girl!
We surprised the girls and took them to the American Girl store. Maryn loves her baby dolls but I really didn't think she would understand what this store was about. I was mistaken! She walked through those front doors, looked up at the mile long ceiling and took off running to the first doll she could get her hands on! I was laughing so hard I could barely get my camera out!
Literally RAN, and pulled the blonde hair, blue eyed doll off the shelf! The box was taller than her and heavier too but she managed. Nora watched in amazement...it didn't take long before Nora was at it too!
Trying desperately to pry the box open.
"Here Nora, I'll get this one down for you"
They did some light reading about the doll Samantha and how she was an orphan who grew up at the turn of the century.
But then Maryn decided that making the baby dolls kiss was more fun
We dragged Mac's friend, George, along for the girly day out. He put up with all the fuss and girly tantrums when it was time to leave the store.
M ran straight for the double jogging stroller because two is better than one! She'll be getting used to that in April:)
Thank you so much T.J., Katie and Nora for exposing us to an expensive hobby for Maryn and introducing us to your beautiful daughter who has the most amazing curls! Mac is thrilled that one of those pricey little dolls will be sitting under our Christmas tree this year:)
Kristen and I with our babies
Let me tell you again how well Ruthie did with Maryn....here she is tolerating a little pinch pull of the ear...
...and some tug o war or rather Maryn likes to play keep away...
...Maryn thought she was pretty fun too...until...
...her true colors came out!! ha ha ha This picture makes me crack up laughing so hard I pee my pants!!!! Especially since Kristen was paranoid that Ruthie might not be so sweet with Maryn!!! I'm just that great of a photographer that I caught her mid bark while M flinched from the startle. Maryn was hugging her neck .2 seconds after this shot! I can't stop laughing at it!!
Ferocious Ruthie Mae who's scared of her own tail!
We had a marvelous vacation filled to the brim with old and new friends, surprise news of spring babies and reassurance that one quirky beautiful Swiss Mountain dog is going to be one well behaved big sister!
Congratulations Kristen and Patrick! Your world is about to be rocked!
You think they all come this well behaved, but we worked our tushies off for this prize:)
Best wishes for a HAPPY & healthy baby who sleeps REALLY REALLY well!!
Good byes are hard but riding in 'panes' (aka airplanes) is so much fun!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Maryn is 17 months old!

Well, today was my last chance to squeeze in her 17 month pics before she turned a YEAR AND A HALF!!! tomorrow!! I think her 18 month pics in the big white chair will be her last, until of course her birthday. Things are never slow and steady around here and the last month has been filled with friends, trips and birthdays. We went to Chicago to see several of our friends and for Mac and I to go to the Dave Matthews concert at Wrigley Field. The trip was amazing...I just love that town!
Maryn continues to prove herself all girl and loves all things 'babies' and shoes. Mac actually thinks it's adorable and finally realizes that she will not be his tomboy...I do catch him in the back yard kicking the soccer ball with her though:) She loves to ride her bike, color with crayons, and push her baby in the stroller. She's saying more and more new words and just finally said the word milk...she has always just relied on sign language for that one. We are also right in the middle of a major food jag and she pretty much refuses to eat any vegetables or meat for that matter. Mac is a picky eater and it's frustrating at times when I want to make a certain dish or try a new recipe and I have to change things to accommodate his dull palate:) so I was determined not to have a picky eater. Well, we're either dealing with a common toddler battle or she really is her father's daughter. Time will tell and I don't really worry too much about it. We all know how sweet Miss Maryn Amelia is but she can really 'bring it' when it comes to tantrums! I usually stand there laughing at her until I figure out what's frustrating her or she gets distracted by something else. Tantrums are so funny to me for some reason. I'm not one of those moms who gets upset when it happens...I pretty much expect it at this age. It must be really frustrating for these little people to express themselves when they can't exactly verbally do so. She always gets a kiss and a hug when she comes back to reality:)
Despite these minor flaws, she is still the coolest kid I know and is going to be such a great friend. Her heart is larger than life and she lives to share.
We like her...A LOT!
Maryn Amelia
17 months

My birthday was on the 9th but we were busy celebrating Ashton's 1st birthday that day. I just sort of pretended that everyone was singing 'happy birthday' to me;) Her mommy asked me to take some pics of the party and here are just a couple of my favorites.
Not so sure about this icy owl cake....'hmm, what am I suppose to do with this?"
It didn't take long

Happy 1st Birthday Ashton Elizabeth! We love you!
Opening presents with mommy and daddy
She loves her gift that Maryn, Ella, Cole and Lauren gave her!! Maryn got this bike in pink from Grandma and Poppop and loves it as well....the girls will be cruising down our street in no time!
Just a couple years ago, the four of us ladies had no responsibilities and could enjoy a cold beverage any night of the week....it seems as though we've multiplied and a cold beverage now refers to milk!