Sunday, December 29, 2013

Mobile Moments, 12/23-12/29

This will be the last Mobile Moments post of 2013, and while it usually serves as a bit of a wrap-up for the week, I must admit to not having much content to link to this time around. Christmas Eve and the days that followed passed in a blur, so after punching out a quick post on Monday, I didn't get back on the blogging horse until the end of the week. By then I was practically overflowing with pictures of Christmas cousins and newly nine-month-olds.

Though I've cherished the memories made in the turn the week has taken (and learned some valuable lessons about the importance of pre-assembly, and using the right tools to do it), it's definitely unfolded differently than either Tom or I had anticipated. Illness got in the way of our travel plans, and we've found ourselves at home since the day after Christmas, trying to relax as much as we can in the midst of the unending needs of our children, constant infighting over the use of new toys, and the occasional visits of our more local family members, who have been eager to stop by, help out, and spend time with us despite the circumstances.

My littlest mover, gunning for the tree.

Early morning cuddles with Daddy.

She was completely absorbed with the glowing lights on her stocking (until I took out the camera, anyway).

Enjoying "Second Christmas" at Mima and Granda's.

Michael marvels at Abby's new Little People princess castle.

Abby is equally fascinated with Michael's new Black and Decker workbench.

Mia and her cousin were partial to the Mega Bloks construction table.

She may never be royal, but she certainly looks it.

Fairy princess Abby emerges from the costume pile.

Mia learns why socks and hardwood floors don't mix.

Look out! It's glow-in-the-dark Mikey (and yes, it really is that bright; the photoeffect doesn't exaggerate the color all that much).

My poor little not-quite-walking disaster: I pushed the chair against something solid to keep her from flipping it forward; she flipped it sideways instead, just moments after this picture was taken.

Overheard this week:


To Michael, as she forcibly pushed him out of reach of the newly-gifted piano: "No, Michael, you can't play with this! It's for everyone!"

Between Abby and Mei Mei

A: "Am I going to grow up to be a grown-up someday?"
M: "Yes, Abby; one day you will be a grown-up."
A: "And then I can drink wine."
M: "Yes..."
A: "And seltzer."


"Morning, eggs"


"Grrrrrh" (That's the sound of unstoppable determination to pull up on and climb just about everything she encounters. She's got a long way to go, but you've got to admire her spirit.)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Never Fear, Nine Months is Here!

Though I definitely took note of Mia's nine-month milestone yesterday, I'm a day late on her pictures again. All in all, one day is not so bad considering the track record I've had at getting just about anything done lately.

This particular photo attempt came out pretty well, despite a scary tumble off of the sofa midway through (I made sure that Daddy was spotting much closer to the couch for the remainder, which was a good thing, and quite necessary). Judging by the frequency with which this girl likes to lunge, I'm thinking this may be the last set of pictures taken in that particular spot for awhile yet. I'll be brainstorming a new location for the next month.

As I nervously clicked away I thought of all of the things I've enjoyed most about my littlest baby as she eagerly made her way from eight months old to nine.

Her zoned-out face.

 Her goofy, gap-toothed smile.

The "Mad Scientist" hair.


Her intense determination to "just keep climbing," though it's still a struggle just to stand.


The frequent, loud, and often painfully high-pitched chatter to which she is disposed (the preferred conversation piece is dadada, though the subject switches to mamama when she's cranky, tired, or just needing her mommy).

Her infectious laughter.

(Especially when coupled with those crazy-happy eyes.)

Her capriciousness.

What joy she brings to us all!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Cousins

I've gotten totally sucked up in the chaos, stress, and obligations that came with Christmas this year, and have now spent my longest stretch ever away from the blog since I started it a year-and-a-half ago.

It's felt strange to leave it unattended, but feels almost equally strange to be starting it up again, so I'll dip my big toe back into old routines by offering a post that's short on words and big on pictures.

My brother, his wife, and their son made the long trip up from Texas for the holidays, which allowed my entire immediate family to finally be all together for Christmas day for the first time since 2005. While it is wonderful to see all of them after so much time away, I have to admit that my very favorite part of their visit thus far has been seeing all of the cousins together, united for the first time since June, and the second time ever.

Having four babies running around amidst food preparation and gift exchanges certainly kept us all on our toes, but the magic they left in their wake made this Christmas a truly special one.

The littlest ones make their (re)introductions.

Abby joins in the conversation.

Synchronized exploration.

Michael passes on some mischief-making tips.

When it comes to counting, two heads are better than one.

Scheming, or rejoicing? Perhaps a little of both.

Going in for a hug.

Checking the softness level of Mia's head.

Yup: definitely kissable.

Mia gets a new toy, and everybody wants a turn with it.

Michael takes advantage of the moment to do a little head-patting, himself.

It's not enough he shares his uncle's name; he's gotta wear the shoes, too.

Merry Christmas, everyone. I hope yours was wonderful.

Monday, December 23, 2013

All She Wants for Christmas

Judging by the determination with which Amelia has taken on her recent quest to pull up on anything and everything she can reach, I've determined that all she wants for Christmas is to stand upright.

Sadly, though I think she might be able to set her sights on cruising by then, I think she's got many more months to go before she's ready to take her first steps.

However, it being so close to Christmas I let all of the kids spend over half the day in the living room, making trouble in the midst of holiday cheer. Once she laid eyes on the magical twinkling monstrosity in the far corner, she just couldn't keep away.

Perhaps now all of her immediate desires would be fulfilled if- instead- she could only get her hands on that tree.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Mobile Moments, 12/16-12/22

We've been very much about Christmas prep around here this week: wrapping presents, trimming the tree, decorating gingerbread houses, opening Christmas cards. Of course, we've failed to manage procuring cards of our own to send, though we hope to throw something together by shortly after the new year.

The kids are harder than ever to photograph, and there are more of them than us to dress and ready for a shoot, so I've definitely got my share of challenges to face. We did try to take some pictures of just the kids before leaving for a Christmas party this weekend, but the jury's still out on whether they're really usable. I call it a win that we even made it out to the party, though between my confusion about the start time and some miraculous aligning of the fates that got us out the door on time even after pausing for pictures, we somehow got there about a half-hour too early.

I realized something was amiss when I saw no other cars in sight along the street, so after consulting with an email that confirmed my error, I decided to stay in the car with Abby and let her snooze for awhile, and Tom put the younger two in the double-stroller for a walk around the neighborhood. When my sorely lacking remote entry skills caused the car alarm to shriek loudly at about 3:25, revealing our position outside of the host and hostess's home, we bashfully made our way towards the door about two minutes prior to the official start time, apologies at the ready.

Our awkward entrance was soon forgotten amidst the merriment, however, and though Abby was once again daunted by the prospect of meeting Santa, Michael obliged with great enthusiasm. Mia slept through the whole introduction, but who could blame her after a busy week of pulling up on furniture and whizzing through tunnels, and a missed afternoon nap?

They have the whole room to play in, but there's something about this corner.

Mia boldly goes where she's never gone before...

The victorious emergence.

Abby shows Mia how it's done. (Shh. Don't tell her that Mia already has it down.)

Proof that though she's dropped her nap, she technically still needs it. Even unstrapping her didn't wake the sleeping beauty.

My nap-taking partygoers: Awake and ready to go.

Michael meets Santa.

Looks like it might be time to drop the crib again. And to buy a rail guard.

Interesting observation of the week: Abby's really into folding things lately.

Overheard this week:


To Tom, as he was checking the length of Michael's toenails: "Let me see your toes. They look pretty clean!"

Between Abby and Me:

A: "Why are these tights for me?"
M: "Because they're made just the right size for little girls."
A: "No. I'm a big girl."
M: "Oh, yes. Yes, you are a big girl. Just a smaller one than me."
A: "Mommy, why do you always get mixed up about that?"


"Star, window, night-night." (He's also started saying "Bye-bye" on a regular basis, when appropriate.)


{nom nom} She's really started increasing her volume of solid food intake. She's a big fan of Kix, chicken, carrots, and peas, and has begun allowing me to spoon-feed her some things such as applesauce and risotto.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Must Be Santa

Who's got a beard that's long and white?
Santa's got a beard that's long and white.
Who makes Abby quake with fright?
Santa makes Abby quake with fright.

Long and white, quake with fright.
Must be Santa, must be Santa, must be Santa, Santa Claus.

After last year's experience, I decided that the thing to do this year's Christmas party was to firmly follow Abby's lead. There would be no encouragement to sit on Santa's lap; indeed I didn't even plan to ask her if she wanted to. I figured that if she had an interest, she'd let me know.

As it turns out, that was probably a good tactic. Sadly, it did not stop her from running onto the screened porch where Tom and I were sitting when Santa "arrived," terrified and in tears. We were able to comfort her quickly enough, but even as she watched her friends return from their visits with presents in hand, she could not be compelled to leave our side (not that I really pushed; I don't want to give her a complex over a fictional character after all).

However, Michael seemed intensely interested in the party guest, so while I held a sleeping Amelia and cuddled a nervous Abby, Tom brought him over to the big guy's lap.

Though hesitant at first, Michael suddenly got a gleam in his eye and a grin on his face. I'm unsure if it was a fascination with being in Santa's presence, or the realization that he was suddenly the center of attention, but he was certainly a pleased and excited little boy. He stayed put for a couple of minutes as cameras flashed around him and Santa quizzed him about what he wanted for Christmas. He even muttered something in reply, though Tom and I could not make out what it was.

In the end, he and Tom had the tough job of bringing over the presents from the exchange so that Abby would have one to open and not feel too left out.

Though she never would approach him, as Santa waved goodbye, Abby waved back- a fervent smile lighting up her face once again.