Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Poly Magic + Instagram + Blogger App = this!

The power off these three apps combined to create in this post!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Hooray for Spring!

It's that time of year in Budapest... time to jump up and out of the house.
Time to ride a bike!

Time to have picnics. 

Time to eat cotton candy.

Time to eat cotton candy so big it eclipses your head!

And if you're Paddy... it's time to sleep!!
Now if only he slept this soundly at night.

Hope you are blessed with beautiful spring weather where you are!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Me Talk Pretty One Day

Day by day, as Patrick's little mind and body swiftly develops, my brain appears to be shrivelling up to the size of a walnut.  I attribute my brain shrinkage to lack of sleep.  Surely it's temporary.  This suspected brain shrivelling has manifested itself in a number of ways, the most obvious being my inability to string a sentence together, or at least an intelligible sentence.   While I was struggling to spit out my words over dinner, Russell pointed out "Mommy don't talk good."   Claudia chimed in "No, Mommy doesn't talk very well."  It was all very surreal.  Here are some of my latest gems.  The pictures don't have anything to do with this.  They are just sweet and funny. 
What I said:   Claudia, you good brushing those teeth.
What I meant:  Claudia, you're doing a good job brushing your teeth.

What I said:   He really not like spicy food.
What I meant:  He really doesn't like spicy food.

What I said:   This just no good.
What I meant:  This (dinner) is just not good.

What I said:  Get offa down from that counter.
What I meant:  Get down from off that counter.


I'm looking forward to the next big sleep.  I bet then I'll talk real better!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Wild Animals

This weekend the sun was shining brightly in Budapest, so we ventured out, as a family of four, for the first time ever!   With the recent addition of a baby giraffe to the zoo family, it was a no brainer that we go see the wild animals. 
First order of business:  get our little wild animals suited up.  It's sunny, but still a little on the chilly side.
Upon arrival, Claudia hit the ground running. 
When Claudia saw the tigers, three of which were eating what was clearly recognizable as a side of beef, she asked "are the tigers going to eat ME?"  Daddy replies "of course not."   Claudia, slightly disappointed, responds "well, am I not delicious?"
Silly girl.
My favorites.  A monkey of some sort.  Russell was concerned that the barriers separating them from us were inadequate, though, so we didn't linger.  To be fair, the barrier consisted of a shallow moat and a few very low wires.  Best not to take changes with these kind of things.
Look how excited Paddy was!  Scowl!!
Little man really did it up right for St. Paddy's Day.  Eat, sleep, poop.  Repeat.  Repeat.  Repeat.
And some cuddling too.  Repeat.  Repeat. Repeat.
Look!  He's blowing you a kiss!  Kind of!

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!   Welcome Spring!

Friday, March 16, 2012

A Tale of Two Paddies

It's almost time for St. Patrick's day! We are extra excited for St. Paddy's day because Daddyboy will be home! He's been out of town this week and I have to brag that Claudia has been super helpful. I highly recommend the books "Little Mommy" and "Baby Dear", both Golden Books, for any big sister. They have inspired her to be a good big sister / little mommy to Paddy. We've read each book about 200 times this week, so I will be happy to mail you our copies! Our little Paddy will definitely be wearing his green, even if it is just his paci. This is pretty much his accessory of choice these days.




Not sure if I ever shared this... it's (Russell with) the Cross of St. Patrick, kept at the Rock of Cashel in Cashel, Ireland, where St. Patrick baptized King Aengus in 450 A.D. Legend goes that St. Patrick got a little carried away during the ceremony and accidentally stabbed the foot of King Aengus with his staff while administering the baptismal sacrament. Oops!   A St. Patrick-foot-stabbing makes a St. Patrick no-green-pinching into a real non event, right? 

"Little Mommy" with Daddy. Can't wait for you to come home, Daddyboy!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Hop on Pop

It's only a matter of time before Paddy gets in on CC's favorite activity.  Hoppin' on pop.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Peas and Carrots

I was having coffee with a friend (who is about to add a third chickadee to her brood!), when something dawned on me.  In the months leading up to Paddy's birth, I spent a good deal of time worrying how Claudia would adjust to Paddy... would she be jealous, would she be angry, would she be ambivalent to him?   Now Paddy is here, and lo and behold, Claudia really, truly likes, dare I say loves, the little guy.  And the real kicker is that I'm the one who is really learning how to adjust.  Specifically, I am focusing on being more patient with Claudia and assuring her that she is a very key member of this house.  She is the big sister, after all.   As my friend demonstrated, there is a balance to life with more than one child and it's all about giving each child their time. 
As for these two, right now their interaction is pretty limited and always heavily supervised.

One of the most surprising developments... Claudia understands that even though Paddy can't really interact all that much, he is still worthy of her love, affection and attention.  She knows that one day, he will be able to run, jump and play, and she's excited about that. 

Claudia does seem a little baffled when I tell her it could be a year or two before Paddy can really "play" with her.  In toddler time, this might as well be a lifetime.  But when I watched my friend's two children play together, it made me very excited for when Bop and Paddy can really play and enjoy each other's company. 

As for Paddy, there's no telling what's going on in his little mind, but judging by his ever increasing facial expressions (which are slowly shifting from pure terror to guarded curiosity), I think he will really love his big sister.

So, for now, it is entertaining (at least for Claudia and myself), to snuggle, love on and play with Paddy.  He provides a full days worth of entertainment for us both.

Don't get me wrong, though, there are times when Claudia is less than thrilled with Paddy... for example, when he screams through her viewing of Little Bear.  And she does periodically request that we "put Paddy down.  Put him down way over there (pointing to other side of room)." 

But considering she was threatening to "cut Paddy in half and eat him" a few short months ago, I think we have made remarkable progress.    And so, I will follow Claudia's lead and divvy up my time the best I know how so that each of these amazing kiddos knows that I love them very, very much!  

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

She Said: a Collection of Claudia Quotes

Me: What should we name your lepruchaun?
CC: We'll call him "Daddy."

Me:  Why do you need toilet paper?
CC:  My babies (painted salt dough animal variety) need beds.  

CC:  Get a picture of me with Paddy (as she cuddles Paddy).
Me:  Ok, that's so sweet.  (fumbling with camera)
CC:  Nevermind.   Get a picture of me with my cereal (as  she runs back to breakfast).
Me:  Ok, that's also sweet, I guess. 

 Not a quote, but just a side-by-side comparison.  Can you tell who is who?   Hint, if memory serves me correct, the baby on the left is joyously farting.  Does that help?   

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Baby Bath Bucket (Paddy's First Bath)

We gave Paddy his first bath last weekend.  It was a new experience for everyone involved...

... Because we used something called the Tummy Tub.  I got this baby bather after some friends who had their babies in the Netherlands insisted that this is THE tub to use.  Unlike the regular baby bathers, your tot is completely submerged in the bath water, so their tummies and chests don't get cold.  We actually got it when we were in Houston last Thanksgiving, so this bather is everywhere.  

So here he is in the Tummy Tub.  He looks petrified, right?  He really wasn't, though.  Contrary to this mug, he actually liked it!  No tears involved!  When we bathed him today it actually got him to stop crying.  He just kind of floats around in the bucket while you secure his head.  

Big sis helped out too.  As you can see we are really losing the war here.  Claudia still insists on parading around with no clothes on.  She's been out of school for a couple of weeks and goes back tomorrow.  I think the chilly temps will convince her that clothes are the way to go.   

So there  you have it.

Splish, splash!  Paddy's first bath!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Paddy is One Month and is ALL SMILES!

One month can, under normal circumstances, slip right past us without a second thought given as to where the time went.   This past month was the exception.  This was Patrick's first month in existence.  Without a doubt, it is the greatest joy you can experience to watch a new life develop and thrive.  But I'll be honest... sleep has been hard to come by and I am haunted by a mystery cry of Paddy (its not hunger, exhaustion, gas, or the need for a cuddle).  Luckily, we appear to be turning the corner here, as sweet Paddy Cakes is sleeping and eating like a champ and is starting to show the first signs of his personality! 

Yesterday after a good feeding, he stared at me and just started smiling. Not a reflex or sleep smile... a genuine, honest to goodness, Mom-I-am-Happy smile.  The moment is indelibly burned into my memory now.  I managed to capture some smiles on camera today and they make me smile just looking at them.  Happy one month, Paddy Boy!  You are my sunshine.  
I didn't take monthly pics with Claudia (well, maybe just month one and two), so I'm going to try to keep up with it this time.

Paddy's new favorite activity, lying on the changing table, doing bicycle legs.

And here it is... a smile!

I took some pics of the sweet man a few days ago... he is definitely staying awake a lot longer.

He still scowls at me... all the time.

I know it's too early to tell, but I think he is going to be a serious little guy.

He always looks very concerned about something.

Which is while I melt when he smiles (or just doesn't scowl) at me.

Claudia wanted to get in on the one month picture too.
As per my request, she's doing her best not to crush him and he's doing his best not to get crushed. 

Just so you know, Paddy Cakes, your big sister loves you so much and wants to hold you all the time. 
You will always have a friend in Claudia.

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