Sunday, December 26, 2010

A Christmas surprise.

We had a wonderful Christmas. The weekend began when I was getting out of the shower on Friday and the doorbell rang. It was my parents, who had flown in from North Carolina to surprise us. They wanted to see their grandbabies for Christmas, so just booked a quickie weekend flight. The kids went nuts! Dani had just layed down for a nap, and heard the doorbell, stood up in her pack and play and saw them. There was no hope of a nap after that.

Grandma and Grandpa had a blast. It was just so nice to have my mom and dad here for Christmas. And it's so fun that the kids are old enough to really enjoy them.

With Skype, we're able to have a live video chat a few times per week, so that really helps Dani and Tori stay close.

Dani opened nearly every present on Christmas morning. She was so cute. She was opening Tori's gifts and giving them to her. She had quite a few packages of clothes that people had sent, and by the third gift that was clothing, she started to rip it open, and said, "More clothes." and promptly dropped it to open something more interesting.
Tori looked absolutely adorable as a mini-Santa.

It was a weekend filled with lots of laughs and hugs, exactly what a holiday should be.

Thanks Mom and Dad; you really made our Christmas wonderful.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Santa came early.

Santa came early. Santa, this year was one of my bestest buddies from college, Chang. Last night we came home to this huge box, delivered from Sears. Unfortunately, it came without the second page of the pack slip, and we had no idea who it was from. I called Sears, and believe it or not, they couldn't track the order by recipient, so they were just like, yup, someone sent you a huge gift, but you will never know who it is because we are incompetent schmos. So, Big Man and I brainstormed, and decided it was either Chang or one of our other pals, who has also sent some huge kid gifts in the past. I called Chang and emailed the other guy (who probably now thinks I was shamelessly fishing for toys for my kids) and Chang fessed up. Stupid Sears. Funny thing is that today, we got something from Best Buy with gift cards in it, with NO gift note either. So I had to call Best Buy and say, someone just sent me a crapload of giftcards, but I have no idea who. They were able to look it up, and so I learned it was Chang again!

I am now trying to convince Big Man that we should name baby 3 Chang. At least for the middle name. Don't you think that Tommy Chang would be a kick ass baby name? I do. Big Man just shakes his head.

Anyway, because we are the coolest parents in the world, we decided that we could have an indoor playground for the winter, so Dani woke up to this: It was a big hit. Tonight, she was even letting her stuffed animals have rides down the slide.
She's just getting so big. I told her that we were going to have another baby, and she kissed my tummy and said "hi baby". We also drove around to see holiday lights tonight, and she really enjoyed it, shouting out colors and saying "Santa", "snowman" and everything else she saw.
Oh, and lest I forget, the other one...Tori. She has decided that at less than 8 months old, she can do this:
Yes, that would be pull herself up to standing without help. She's trying so hard to catch up to Dani. Every minute the two of them are together is laughing, squealing, screeching and just chasing each other around. It's adorable, even if it does induce mommy-headaches.
And, while I'm still bitching about mass retailers and their holiday failings. A big thumbs down to . I ordered a super cool gift for Big Man, and they sent it today with a window envelope that displayed exactly what was in the box. So the rare Dr. Who video, is no longer a surprise. Thanks amazon, for nothing.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Last night we had Dani's second birthday party! We had a house full of folks. And, Dani had a blast! Tori did too--here's she's getting some snuggles from Aunt Renny.

The party had a Mickey Mouse theme. Dani's obessed with Mickey Mouse. Here she's rockin' the Minnie dress.
Dani's Mickey cake, made by a high school friend of mine. (If anyone needs her contact info, let me know, she makes an awesome custom cake!)
Dani had lots of gifts to open.

Miss Ruth gave Dani a guitar. Guitars were a popular gift, Dani got three different ones. We rocked out with them today.

In other news, Tori popped her second tooth, and is trying desperately to walk. I also found out that I'm pregnant again. Yep, prego with number 3. Really hope it's a boy. Due in August. So we'll have 3 under 3. Nice! I told Dani, and she kisses my belly and says "hi baby". She told me it's a sister....keeping my fingers crossed that she's wrong, because there will be no 4th try!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It's what big girls do.

Dani had her 2 year check up today. Big Man didn't really get all the stats because he was using every known trick to keep Dani from flipping out. Apparently she starts to cry when they pull in to the parking lot, every time. Kind of like a puppy at the vet. He did recall she's 27 pounds and in the 95th percentile for height but only the 15th for weight.

She is, officially, our big girl. And, did you know, big girls sit on the potty? They don't always (or ever in our case) do anything on said potty, but they try.
Big girls share their toys with little girls. Sometimes, at least.

Big girls talk in sentences, and find creative ways to say no!

Big Man says that during the day Dani and Tori are inseparable, like a little wolf pack.

Oh, and Tori, my little not even 8 months old Tori, crawled up to me tonight and pulled herself up to standing. She did it over and over. She is trying so hard to catch up to her big sis!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

In case of emergency, a Tori guest post.

Hi everybody, Tori here. I thought that, since the holiday season was upon us, I should give you all a gift. I'm going to teach you how to do CPR. You know, with all the egg nog, and cookies and prime rib dinners this time of year, you never know when somebody's just going to keel over from all the fatty grub. So, I'm going to tell you exactly what to do if it happens to you. Well, if it happens to you, just hope someone you know read my blog so they know how to help you! But this should help you help someone else.

Now, the new school of thought with CPR is that you don't have to do the rescue breathing, just chest compressions. Start by putting your hands on the victim's chest. Lean over the victim, and press 100 times per minute. If you remember the Bee Gees, you can sing the Stayin' Alive song in your head for the tempo. (I don't know who the Bee Gees are, but mommy likes them.)

You probably want to have someone call 911. Keep pumping and pumping at that pace until the paramedics arrive.
Good work. If you need to borrow my puppies so you can practice, just let me know. I'm good at sharing.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Birthday Girl.

We semi-celebrated Dani's birthday. Big Man was out of town most of the week due to the death of his brother. So, Dani will have multiple birthday celebrations, as it was just us girls on the 9th.

She did get her "yellow Mickey Mouse shoes".
We had cupcakes!

There were tears. Overtired babies were at the sitter's for three days with minimal naps. All in all, Dani had a good birthday. They were over the moon yesterday when Daddy got home.

Tori was really bummed when he was gone. I know it sounds crazy, but even the sitter said there was something off. She just didnt' smile, but she wasn't sick or anything. The minute daddy came home, she was a different baby--just happy and smiley.

Oh yeah--and she can sit up by herself too!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

To Dani, on the eve of your second birthday.

It seems to me that there is no better measure of the passage of time than a child. Two years ago tonight, I was packing to go to the hospital. You were literally trying to kick your way out of my belly. There was a wicked snowstorm.

We left the house at 4:30 am to get to the hospital for check-in. You were the first scheduled baby delivery of the day. Your daddy got to put on scrubs and was in the operating room the whole time. He got to see you first, and hold you first, too. You were a little red screamy thing all wrapped up in a blanket. When I got to the recovery room, and the nurse brought you to me, the first thing I said to daddy was, "she's so pale". I didn't really know what babies looked like when they were first born, but I thought you'd be browner. I'm sure you understand why.

You had a little personality from the start. And a little temper. You spent the day with daddy and me, but we sent you to the nursery that night. In the morning, the nurse told us, "that one's got a temper on her". You were quite the little screamer.

We figured it out, eventually. What you needed when you fussed. What your different cries meant. What made you laugh and what you didn't like.

What I never expected was how much you would change me. I'm a different person than I was before I had you, in a million ways I could never explain. Just better, I hope. With each day, I just grow more fascinated and more in love with you, little Dani.

I just can't seem to figure out when my little baby girl, turned into a kid. Really. You climb stairs by yourself. You sing songs. You know your numbers and letters and colors. You even know Kornheiser and Wilbon by voice, and love Chicago Bears Football. I never knew a little kid could laugh so much, or make me laugh so much.

You've been asking for "yellow Mickey Mouse shoes". They should be here tomorrow. You're a tad obsessed with Mickey Mouse, but at least you don't know who Justin Bieber is.

Know Dani, that you are loved. Not just by daddy and me, but by your whole family. By the many friends that we have that ask about you and read about you on this blog and see your pictures on facebook. Mommy's clients all know who you are and ask about you. You're just a bright little light that shines on all of us.

So, as you enter your second year, I don't know what you'll do. You've already hit almost every milestone our pediatric book says you should hit at the end of your second year. We're going to work on the potty thing, and then maybe algebra? Just kidding, we'll wait until you're three for algebra.

So, my little snuggle pup, happy birthday. Happy 2.
We're going to have a great year!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Bully in the making.

Little Tori is developing quite the little personality. Quite the tough guy personality. Maybe a sense of fearlessness just develops in the second kid because they are trying to catch up to the first kid.

Dani was always a cautious baby. She crawled and walked safe, short distances and if it looked risky, she'd crawl. Until one day, she walked and never really crawled again. No nasty falls, or boo boos, she just waited until she could do it well and then did. She began to crawl typically too--on her elbows like a little soldier.

Not so, our Tori. She was pushing herself up on all fours at 5 months--like she was trying to do military pushups. She never bothered with the elbow crawling, just straight arms, and lots of face plants until she got it. Last night, she tried to pull herself up on one of Dani's toys. The kid has no fear--with anything. You may recall that Dani had a love-hate relationship with talking toys when she was a baby.

Tori stares them down.
She also likes to crawl after the cat.

And Tigger? Remember Dani's fear of Tigger? And then the love/curiosity of Tigger which would always end in crying? We put Tori to the Tigger test, and she just owned Tigger. She didn't even flinch when Tigger started talking and moving.
Pretty soon, I think she's going to be taking Dani's toys and telling her who's boss! Here's a video of the kids with Tigger. Dani has a growing booty obsession. (sorry FB friends--you actually have to go to my blog to see this because the videos don't import)

Time to get working on photos for the Christmas card...stay tuned.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Turkey Day!

We piled into the minivan and headed up the hill to my cousin Dave's for Thanksgiving. For the first time in years, I didn't have to cook a single thing. We were assigned to make sweet potatoes, and since Big Man actually likes them, he made them. He also made a to-die-for chocolate pecan pie.

We have much to be thankful for. Each other. Beautiful, healthy kids. Family.
Uncle John spent some time with Tori before dinner:

As usual, Dani loved looking at the fishies:
Tori, now able to crawl, wants to play with everything Dani has. In this case, Dani was playing with "Murray Guitar" (every guitar is Murray's to my Wiggles-obsessed kid):
Gail showing Dani the wine opener. That got a lot of use!

And Dani, snacking on some pre-dinner mashed potatoes with Aunt Renny.
It was a good day. And, today, the Bears won, upsetting the Eagles, which rounded out our list of things we are thankful for.

Dani's turning two in less than two weeks. She is singing happy birthday to herself and asking when the kids are coming over. We're having a Mickey Mouse themed party, and she's going to have a blast!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Psssst, down here. It's me, Tori. I'm supposed to be taking a nap, but I'm hiding behind the couch.
I just wanted to tell everyone Happy Thanksgiving. It's my very first one. Mommy said she would take a lot of pictures. I hope she lets me eat some turkey! Mommy says Thanksgiving is about being thankful for things you have. I'm thankful for warm bottles, banana baby food, and my big sister Dani.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Slow day.

Did you know that pants can double as bunny ears? Yep.

And, someone is getting pretty good a sitting up. She still tumbles over, but can hold herself up for a bit on her own.

Big Man got some great video today of crazy baby laughs; promised him I'd put it on FB so his peeps could see it too.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Will work for cupcakes.

We went to a birthday party today. It was for a 2 year old, so Dani was among her kind. They all took turns crying. Well, Dani didn't really cry, she was busy making kids cry by trying to play with them. Seriously--there was one kid who did cry alot...probably because she kept walking up to Dani with toys, and Dani kept helping herself to them.

The birthday girl's mom had cupcakes for all the little kids. I'm amazed to say that my little kiddo (who was channeling Jackie O with her faux fur neckline and cuffs) ate rather daintily while sitting in a big girl chair.
Really, she did. I knew that the hostess was planning the kiddie cupcake fest, and I brought a change of clothes because I figured Dani would be caked in frosting. Turns out, she prefers her cake with a fork.
Once she tired of the cupcake, she played with various toys, and then walked up to adults and stuck her finger into the frosting on their cake. It was well received. I had Tori on my lap, so could only offer the lamest of Dora references to Dani, "Dani, no swiping." I failed.

Lesson two for today was that kids whose parents buy them new toys have WAY better toys. Little Dani is perfectly happy in our second-hand toyland, but the birthday girl had a Mickey Mouse kitchen and Dora backpack and so many awesome toys that Dani never knew existed. I told her that her birthday was coming up and she would have a party soon, and she sang "Happy Birthday to Dani" all the way home.

In perhaps the best example of the fact that all our stuff is used or hand-me-downs, I had this sweet dress for Dani to wear. No black leggings or tights to go with it, so she wore grey leggings, grey socks and blue crocs, because that's what we had. Seriously every other kid there had shoes that matched their outfits and looked so cute. My kid just needed a sharpie-drawn cardboard sign saying "will work for cupcakes". I was really worried she's start opening presents or gift bags, because at home it's a free-for-all, but she just played very nicely near them, and when I told her not to touch, she didn't.

Tori, on the other hand, was adored by all. She was the only baby at the party. She happily sat on laps and had many a stranger pinch and stroke her chubby cheeks. My chubby mcdubbs was a big hit with the elders today.

It was great to see Dani and Tori interact with a decent crowd, because with the holidays and Dani's birthday coming up, this is a good indicator of what to expect.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Arrrgh, Pirates are we!

After dinner tonight, Captain Dani sword, the fierce pirate, wanted to play. So we broke out the hats and foam swords!

Even Pirate Tori got into the game!
Here's our pirate video.

And, post-pirate, Dani channeling Dora the Explorer.

This age is just soooo fun!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

It's a bird! It's a plane!

It's Super Dani!
In this pose, she's "flexing" to show off her muscles. Guess who taught her that move?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

North Carolina, a Dani AND Tori guest post!

Hi everybody, Dani here. And, hey, it's me, Tori, I'm here too! We want to tell you about our trip to Grandma and Grandpa's house, so we decided to do it together. Well, mommy kind of made us do it together because it was close to bedtime and she said we had to share. Dani doesn't seem like she's sharing too well. Pipe down Tori, or you won't type another letter.

So, we left for North Carolina on Wednesday. We all packed into daddy's car and drove and drove and drove. Tori went to sleep for a while, but I didn't. I stayed up the whole way to North Carolina, because I'm a big girl! Mommy was so surprised that I could stay up that long, because we drove for about 14 hours and in the middle of the night, but, hey, I'm a night owl when I want to be. I'm already working on my college sorority skills--I'm going to be an AOII just like my mommy.

Anyway, I had so much fun. I love my grandma and grandpa so much! Grandpa read me books.
And grandma and grandpa took us to this neat town called Shelby, which has a train and a merry-go-round that we got to ride on.

We were the only ones on the train, and we got to ride 'round and 'round the park.
Grandma called the merry-go-round a carousel. It had so many neat horses on it. Daddy and Tori rode in a sleigh (she is a baby, after all), and mommy walked all around and took pictures.

Grandma and I played with bubbles. We had bubble kazoos, and pipes and wands, and just had so much fun. And it was so nice and warm there. Before we left, there was snow at home, but in North Carolina, I got to wear short sleeves! Grandpa let me wear his cowboy boots!
We did so much fun stuff that it's hard to tell you. Did you know that Grandma and Grandpa are my mommy's mommy and daddy? They bought me some neat toys that are just like toys my mommy had when she was a toddler like me....I don't know why they didn't just save my mommy's stuff for me, but even if they didn't, I'm glad they remember my mommy's old toys. There is a neat shopping cart and groceries and lots of other stuff, too!
Okay Tori, it's almost your turn. (Peeps, don't worry, I'll post more after the baby stops babbling). Tori--just keep crawling around after the cat, and once you catch him, it's your turn to type.
Here you go, Tori, but just so you know, everyone probably stopped reading already because they like me best.

I'm going to tell everyone about my FIRST road trip! It kind of sucks having to ride backwards in a carseat for so long. On the way down, we left at 1pm and got to Grandpa's at 3:30am. I tried to sleep as much as I could but it was SO boring and carseats aren't really very comfy. But we made it--I guess some bad stuff slowed us down on the way, because the way home took much less time.
Anyway, when we got to Grandma and Grandpas, Grandpa met us and took us to our very own apartment. Mommy said that was so nice of Grandpa to get our own space for us--sometimes Dani's naptimes are kinda unpredictable, I guess. And Grandma and Grandpa are pretty old, so they probably needed to go to sleep early or something like that.
Grandpa also gave me lots of kisses.
I love Grandpa kisses.

Sometimes I think it is more fun to be the little sister. No one really is paying attention to what you are doing because your bigger sister is just so much more fun, so you can play with extra fun stuff. Here, I snagged Dani's shoe AND a magifying glass. It took a while for anyone to notice. Cool!

We did so much fun stuff. We went to a motorcycle place and did something for charity. If you bought something at this Harley dealership you could turkey bowl and maybe win a turkey. Mommy, Daddy and Grandpa all had a two chances to roll a big frozen turkey down a lane to knock over pins. Nobody won. Mommy did really bad--she didn't even knock over a pin! But the fun part was that after that, we went out to lunch. It was my first time in a restaurant! I sat in my very own high chair too! I hope I showed mommy and daddy that they could take me out more often!

Anyway, before I sat in the high chair, I sat with Grandpa. He let me chew the menu.

I had so much fun at lunch, that I got tired. I fell asleep on Grandpa's shoulder. He's super comfy. I totally recommend him if you need a nap.

TORI, no one cares what you have to say, and it's bedtime. You have to go to bed NOW. I'm the big sister so you have to do what I say. NOW.

Okay, Dani. Tell everyone night night for me, okay?

Whatever Tori, just go away.

Geesh, Tori's finally gone. Isn't it so annoying when she thinks she can post stuff? Like it's her blog or something. Well, anyone, just humor her, okay? Well, it is getting pretty late and I need to get ready for bed too. It's time for brushy brush, washy wash, nighty night. Bye bye!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Over I-81 and I-77 to Grandmother's House We Go!

We left, actually early, on Wednesday....thinking we'd be in Hickory, NC, shortly after midnight....
.............we were so wrong!

Road construction, traffic, and an event serious enough to close the interstate had us arrive at about 3:30am. My dad secured us our own apartment in the complex he works for, so he met us at the entrance to take us to our place.

Tori slept like a champ. Dani literally slept about 90 minutes the entire trip. She never slept in the carseat as a baby, and apparently won't as a toddler. Good thing is that, unlike when she was a baby and she just wailed (on the Great Chicago Road Trip of 2009) she just sat in her carseta singing songs and talking to us for twelve hours. I was amazed she didn't tire.

We pulled into the parking lot and Dani saw "GrandPA". Grandpa told her Grandma was sleeping (it was 3:15am). So everyone slept.

But, as soon as the kiddies were awake, it was Grandma-Grandpa fun time! Here's Grandma helping Tori crawl forward. And kisses from Grandpa.
Grandpa also gave horsey rides! And Grandma did double-duty with Dani and Tori!
Wow, just like Dani, Tori seems a little camera-focused......

Fun, fun. Kiddie road trip tomorrow to a town with a kiddie train and carousel!