Saturday, May 7, 2011

I'm going to try something new in this post. Consider it a run-on sentence with pictures. There have been so many times over the last month where I thought "I need this on the blog!" but could not quite pull it off. This is, in a way, an effort to clear my head of would-be posts and finally get this stuff on record.

So these are from a few months ago but they remain the best photos I have of Maggie's Easter dress. Graham picked it out (all by himself!) and I am absolutely enamored with it. I think she is too...

For actual Easter we, of course, dyed eggs. These photos crack me up because they capture how dead serious she took this activity. Lining the eggs in a perfect row was her idea, naturally, and the whole process was highly systematic.

Easter also included more window clings and lots of careful letter arranging.

Of all the photos taken over the last month or so, this next one is by far my favorite. I think she was probably watching Oswald here (a cartoon about an octopus whose best friends are a dog, a penguin, and a flower) but what I adore is how totally loving life and at ease she was at this moment. Hair in pony-tails, propped on the elbows, and swinging that foot like a teenager at a slumber party. (And don't call them pig-tails or she will vehemently correct you.)

And, last but not least, footage of this excellent jam she wrote on the ride home from Uncle Tay and Aunt Katie's one night.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Maggie had her first sleepover last night! Cousin Evey stayed at our place and we couldn't help indulge them in "luxuries". For 2 and 3 year old girls, this translates into Winstead's for dinner (cheeseburgers, fries, and cherry shakes), lots of jumping on the bed, and watching the Care Bears in footie pajamas. It's fun for us to watch Maggie connect with another little girl. Or at least recognize that there's someone out there who likes a lot of the same things that she does. (Strollers, fuzzy blankets, pancakes for breakfast...)

I'm pleasantly surprised how well they get along. This is possibly attributed to Evey being older and wiser and knowing when to give in. We only had one little meltdown when Maggie was borrowing Evey's "Pinkie Pie" (i.e. scary my little pony talking thing) and was not willing to end her turn.

Oddly enough it was Maggie who had trouble at bed time. Perhaps it was the sugar rush of the cherry shake but she was not at all interested in sleeping. And once she did get to sleep, she was not at all interested in staying asleep. In turn, Graham and I only got a few hours last night and we're exhausted today. Small price to pay for big smiles from these two.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

We caught Maggie fully engrossed in a West Elm catalog. Seriously. She spent a full 15 minutes on the couch with it, turning and reviewing every page.

Living here is changing us all in little ways. I feel like I have aged about 10 years since the move. Not necessarily in a bad way, but I've found myself doing things that only grown-ups do. I pack school lunches now, we contracted a lawn service, I watch Suze Orman while folding laundry... what's happening to us?

Everything is slower now, days feel so much longer and I have no need to rush through anything. Today, Maggie and I placed little owl window clings on the window in her playroom together – over and over and over again – rearranging umpteen times until she was satisfied. In our former life, I may not have had the patience for that but today I did. I love everything about that.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Such pride when she straps on that backpack! We're proud of her too. She has been the most amazing little trooper as all normalcy in her life has gone out the window.

Hopefully a new normalcy will take shape soon and we're starting to see small glimmers of it, now that we have beds and clean sheets and dishes in the kitchen cabinets. (No real food yet to put in them, however.)

There are some really wonderful things we're discovering in our little house, too:

1. All the original tile work is still in tact in the bathroom. (yay!) It has been painted over in a peutrid (sp?) mauve but underneath is glossy teal and pink 1920s tile.

2. Radiant heat is actually really really nice.

3. I've finally discovered the key to having a house that smells like an Anthropologie store. Apparently all it took was a candle called Volcano. Who knew?

4. Our furniture fits. All of it.

There are, of course, a million changes we want to make in this house but I'm trying to take-on a new mindset that doesn't equate to "now". Hopefully that doesn't turn too much into "someday" and ultimately "never". I hope to document the changes as we go and one day reveal that tile work that is screaming to be seen again.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

More than one change has been happening to this little family.

As of last Thursday we have officially relocated to Kansas City, Missouri! It was a long time coming with lots of deliberating, planning, bleeding, sweating, and tearing. (Well... maybe only a few of those things.)

We have purchased an adorable little house on a beautiful street, convinced our employers to let us work remotely (no idea why they agreed to that one), and enrolled our dear girl in... wait for it... school! (Well... an "early childhood learning center" to be more specific.)

She will be attending this wonderful little place three days a week for the early part of the day and these photos document her first venture in. She's extra lucky because her big cousin, Evey (3), attends the same school so she has someone older and wiser to look out for her if things go awry.

As we predicted she had absolutely no reservations about getting into the fold and no problem at all with us saying goodbye for the day. As we also predicted she did have reservations about – gasp – sharing toys. (A concept she has thus far been able to avoid.) Regardless, she was more than happy to go back in for her second day today and we're so happy to see her exposed to a new environment and lots of new faces.

We will have more on the move and the house and the everything as time goes on. I am really hoping that my new found lack-of-commute produces more free time and opportunities for hobbies like this blog.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Monday, December 27, 2010

Maggie turned 2 today! Happy days for our sweet kid-o.

Monday, December 20, 2010

While waiting for our Mexican food, Maggie kept busy by writing and/or drawing (I'm not sure which). I'm fascinated with what she chooses to do with pen and paper... no loose scribbles, no wide slashes and stripes. Just careful and calculated, tiny little markings. Graham thinks she's imitating letter writing because you can sometimes hear little whispers of the alphabet.

I feel that I can already see a left-brain thinker in the works. She always seems to choose number play over letter play and you may have already seen the way she straightens everything into neat rows (magnets, figurines) through Graham's tweets.

How will I ever relate???

Sunday, December 12, 2010

It was a pretty fabulous weekend for our little crew. Graham had the opportunity to display his work at a gallery downtown and lots of people pulled together to make this happen for him. Graham's parents and sister flew in from Kansas City to help in all ways possible, with his dad even catering the food! It was a great menu and executed beautifully -- far beyond the veggie plate that we would have served on our own. (Thank you John!!!)

My brother lended his carpentry skills to help Graham fabricate and install these smart and simple shelves that you see in the photos. Putting in the hours after working a full day at his shop was such a gift and so appreciated.

Our pal, Jen, took photographs for the book that Graham sold as well as snapshots of the event itself. (The images you see here are her handiwork... Aren't they wonderful?)

All the effort paid off with a great party (over 50 people!). Maggie was a trooper and stayed up waaay past her bedtime, allowing us to enjoy our guests, food, and drink.

It was a wonderful evening that was so meaningful to us. Thank you to everyone that chipped in, came by (some traveling far), and supported Graham. We'll remember it always.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Picture People pile-up. (So embarrassing.)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Tonight was "halloween froggy"s big night on the town and this little girl was loving every minute. We've been practicing saying "trick or treat" for some time now but -- with the night finally here -- it all clicked and Graham and our friend Brent tell me she had it down to a science as she went door to door.

Kellee and I stayed back to hand out candy which I enjoyed probably way more than is normal. I just love these darn kids and how each one has a totally different approach to the situation. Some are out to charm you, others are painfully shy, some are adorably grateful, others give you dirty looks when you say "take two." (As if they don't have enough in their pillow case. )

To toot our own horn, we're pretty sure her costume took the prize for "best homemade." We already started scheming future sweatsuit and felt creations, however, when I asked her what she wants to be next year she emphatically said: FROGGY!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Over the weekend our friends Brent and Kellee joined us for Maggie's first camping trip. (And my first in about 10 years.) I forgot how much I love setting up in the woods, cooking camp food, and having several days dependent upon the success of your camp fire.

That fire was especially crucial because it got cold. (40 degrees overnight.) Maggie was our saving grace because her little body is like a living furnace when she sleeps. She went to bed each night fairly early and by the time we crawled under the covers with her, she had toasted them to perfection.

She handled all three days and two nights with gusto, and really seemed to enjoy trekking through the woods and making herself at home on the campsite.

Pictures from top to bottom:

1. Settling in to our new digs
2. Dinner
3. Graham and Brent being dudes
4. The banks of the Potomac
5. Waving for a self-timed pic
6. Breakfast
7. Drinking chocolate milk, pondering life

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

This is Maggie at nearly 22 months. Almost 2 years old. Can you imagine that?

We're getting ready for Halloween and spent dinner making faces, creating various voices for this mask she is modeling, and acting out the concept of knocking on a door, saying "trick or treat" and getting candy in return. I think she is starting to catch on to the idea and she is definitely on board with dressing up as a frog. (We'll have more on that later. Her costume is nearly complete.)

Maggie is growing leaps and bounds right now, and in all ways imaginable. She is saying things and doing things that are continually taking us by surprise, to the point where we almost can't keep track of it all.

My favorite moments always seem to come at bedtime (which is in a big-girl bed now) when I lay with her, lights out, and ask her about her day. She is at a point where she will always recall something specific like "Maggie, Pop Pop touch the sign" or "Maggie go daddy slide." ("Daddy", by the way, functions as another word for "big". Same for "baby" and "small".)

Graham mentioned this in a tweet but just the other night she had very specific things on her mind that went something like this:

Maggie: Care Bears help.

Me: Yes, Maggie, Care Bears do help.

Maggie [patting her tummy]: Maggie belly badge.

Me [surprised]: Maggie has a belly badge? Really??

Maggie: Maggie belly badge rainbow.

Me: Oh wow. A rainbow? Mommy's belly badge is a heart.

Maggie [with no hesitation at all]: Daddy's belly badge star!

Maggie [recapping]: Maggie belly badge rainbow! Mommy heart! Daddy star!

This concept made her extremely happy and - despite my distaste for Care Bears - it made me really happy too. I love that she chose a rainbow for herself which, to me, is the best of all belly badges.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Short and sweet. New shoe dance party, care of Grandma Susie.

Monday, September 20, 2010

The little ticket that could...

A few weeks ago we had a quick family outing to the Smithsonian and I didn't realize until posting these photos that Maggie was glued to her ticket stub. Looks like that little guy traveled with her through the Natural History Museum, across the Mall, and throughout the Hirshhorn.

We have been doing lots lately. Some of it fun and some of not so fun. I believe, though, that we have managed to spare Maggie from most of those not-so-fun bits and she has had a pretty wonderful little summer.

The great thing about her is that she forces us to break out of routines, get out of the house, and do things that make us all happy. Play is essential to life and its much easier to remember that when you have a wide-eyed little girl peering up at you, ready to be taken on the next adventure.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

I am eternally jealous of Graham and Maggie who spent the day at the Baltimore Zoo today. From the report I got it sounds like Maggie had the best time. And if the giraffe looks close it's because he was... Graham payed $2 for Maggie to feed him a piece of lettuce right out of her hand. I know for sure because she has been recounting the story all night. ("Giraffe eat leaf!")

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Oh my goodness. There have been many many times where Maggie has said or done something that has taken us by surprise, but today she completely bowled us over...

We had given her some play-doh to keep her occupied as we worked through some housework and she was totally content squishing and squashing the dough in her fingers. After a little while she walked over to us and exclaimed "elephant!" with this most beautifully crafted little guy that is shown above. I could've cried. The body with attached head, the trunk, the stamped star in his side (thanks to a star-shaped eraser that was laying around)... too much for words.

For memory keeping purposes, she will be 20 months old next week. Can't wait to see what she is crafting another 20 months from now.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


This picture makes me laugh because it's a very accurate snapshot of trying to coordinate 11 adults and 7 children as we maneuvered through Busch Gardens. Super crazy but also super fun. I'm sorry that I don't have more photos than this but you kinda forget about your camera in these situations.

The California crew has departed and the Spanish crew is on an American road trip. Life is slowly getting back to normal.

Actually, Maggie has had an emotional meltdown everyday since her 6 cousins have disappeared. I think she's missing them. In fact, I know she is. She randomly calls out their names and asks for them. (Where Lucy? Bella?) When I got home from work today she seemed bored out of her mind, collapsing onto furniture, rolling her eyes around, and spouting out exasperated gibberish. She then bit the crap out of my finger when we were brushing her teeth before bed. (Frustration? Anger? Utter boredom?) This was followed by an angry momma, a cranky baby, and an expedited bedtime routine before things could get further out of hand.

Poor kid.

She really thrives on interaction with other kids and she's just not getting it on a regular basis. She spends entirely too much time with grown-ups and I think we need to get serious about finding a play group. Any ideas on where to start?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010







Maggie's little world has turned upside down this week! She has visitors from Spain and California, bringing a whole slew of new girlfriends. The weekend was spent at the beach house followed by play time back at home. Tomorrow is a special playdate with Lucy, who is just her size.

These two could not be more different but it's been fun to see how they have observed each other and adopted a few new tricks. (Maggie has taught Lucy how to pretend to be a puppy. Lucy has taught Maggie how to climb onto the kitchen table.) It's amazing how defined these two little personalities are, even before their 2nd birthdays. I'm so looking forward to watching them grow.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Happy Fourth! Graham's tweets documented most of the highlights but here are some photos from our quick trip to Kansas City. The trip brought lots of playtime, cousins, aunts, uncles, and mosquito bites.

Thank you everyone for a great stay. We loved seeing you.