Thursday, January 31, 2013

One Year is Here

Tomorrow morning I will wake up and go get my ONE YEAR OLD son out of his crib.  And he won't even realize it's his special day!   Regardless, I will make this day special for him.  I have to say the first seven months went by so slowly (might have had something to do with the sleepless nights), but the last five just flew by.  So, I say, from here on out, we just slow things down!
Last time we do one of these... which is good... he kept trying to flip himself off the arms of the chair.  It was a lot easier, but nearly as fun, to do these when he was immobile.
Patrick is getting into reading.  He likes a good rhyme.  He is a fan of the Priddy Books (includes Fuzzy Bee & Friends) and is loving the Miffy series too.
But this is his favorite activity by far.  He will walk your arm off. He gets up, he wants to walk.  Time for bed?  No time to walk.  This morning, from his crib monitor, I watched him cruising around the rails of his crib instead of sleeping.  He took his first independent steps (two and half of them) on January 26.  He was walking from me to Daddy.   PROUD MOMENT!
He loves to play with all his new Christmas toys... anything that has a wheel (or spinning device of some kind) is tops.  He can pretty much turn any object into a walker, though.  I caught him scuttling across the living room floor using a basket full of laundry yesterday.  My industrious little guy!
Favorite food?  Spaghetti.  Hands down.  Hands down, scoop up spaghetti, slather hands all over mouth.  Repeat, repeat, repeat.  I love watching you eat spaghetti just as much as you love eating it.  You are a yummy mess!
You like shoes.  Not your own of course.  You hate those.  But others' shoes?  You love! The bigger, the better.  These are your favorites.   Little big for you now.
This guy has about as much patience as I do when it comes to presents.  Once those gifts starting coming in, he started opening them.  Don't tell him there's actually a toy in there.  He is content with the trimmings.
Happy, happy birthday to my BIG BOY!   I love you, Patrick Wallace McLendon. I can't believe the year just zipped on by (the last five months, at least).  There's no way I can encapsulate my feelings into a little paragraph.  Simply put, you are everything to me.  My sunshine, my  reason for being, my grocery shopping companion, my little man.  I love you.

 Happy birthday!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Backing Up & Lost in Travels

Chelsea and Jeremy Diamond, of my new favorite travel blog, Lost in Travels, were so kind to post a writeup I did about Budapest. Its up on their blog today, so go check it out!  Chelsea amd Jeremy live in Korea and feature pictures and stories of amazing places all over the world.  You will be glad you checked it out, I promise.  =) 

As for me... Russell realized I hadn't updated my phone (in the last two years), so he did that for me the other day. While all the files were being deleted from my phone, I realized (panicked) that I hadn't backed up my phone pictures (in the last two years). I waited for all the files to return to the phone in the updating process... and voila... they all came back. Phew. Anyhow, I figured I might as well back them up. While I was looking through them, I figured I might as well share them. Some are funny.
Claudia being Claudia:  falling asleep in the grocery cart, freaking out over the peacock at Margaret Island, kissing brother, making tinfoil hats, ballet dancing, making art, playing at the park, sightseeing.
Most of my pictures of sweet Patrick involve him sleeping and just being little and cute.   I also managed to catch the first time he gave me a hug (well, I call it a hug).  It's the one with me in it.  
More of the wee mister.   Snoozing, taking a bath in a hotel sink, stealing Turo Rudis (chocolate & cottage cheese snacks... hold on ... they are SO good) from our Patrick-sized refrigerator, wagon riding, grocery shopping, (shady) sun bathing, sightseeing.

What I take from the one hour update process (wherein 1000+ phone pics temporarily  disappeared) be sure to BACK UP your photos.  Back up everything.  Back it all up.  

Saturday, January 26, 2013


Let's read.  Just 10 books.
How does that banana become so much tastier once it hits floor?

"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013."

(inspired by Jodi)

Thursday, January 24, 2013

You Asked for It (Said Patrick, If He Could Talk)

Poor Patrick usually does whatever is in his power to get his sister's attention.   Here is one of the few times when sister desparately sought his attention... over dinner... on an evening when I was all but done, but the day was not.  Glad the camera was handy for the antics... even if half of the children are blurry... in half the pictures.  Sometimes they're better blurry??

It took licking his face, but he finally leaned over and gave her what she wanted... a few slimey hand smacks to the face.  She was pleased.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Fun Things to Do With Snow

Good thick snow.  The possibilities are endless.  After seeing a few friends' forts, we decided to build our own.  During the various phases of construction, Claudia would make little comments like "it could be bigger" or "maybe there's just room for me in here"... all the while, she was pelting me in the back with snowballs while I carefully stacked up the snow bricks.  My silly girl!
"Yes, just room for me in here!"
The snowball shootout ensued.  I'm sitting in our fire pit, no fort to shield me from the onslaught.
Observe the structural integrity of said fort.  We played until it got dark... at 4:00 pm!  
It warmed up the next morning, so our fort started to get a little melty.
Claudia suggested we destroy it.   So we did.  It was fun.  Way more fun than building it!
I don't know why, but she insisted on holding the "fort flag" (Old Glory), while destroying the fort.
Busted right on through the fort wall!
Don't worry, she came up smiling, laughing and spitting out snow!
This guy isn't so big on the real snow.
But he really likes our paper snowflakes.  He ripped them all off the window he liked them so much!
He tore them up.
Then he ate them.
He ate apples and other nutritious foods, as well!   So ends another fun snow day.   

In all honesty, I'd like it to warm up.  My poor arthritic hips just don't do well in the cold & snow, Daddyboy's diesel VW is parked at the bottom of hill and won't start because it's too cold and Paddy is over the snow.  Luckily Claudia is happy about it for all of us.  She's already thinking of what to build next.  

Sunday, January 20, 2013


"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week in 2013."

love this project by Jodi... an awesome Aussie blogger.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

She Says These Silly Things

These things she tells me, I write them down in a little book everyday, but sometimes they are just too silly, sweet or thoughtful not to share.   Here's some recent Me/C dialogue:  
Claudia:  What's for dinner?

Me:  Chicken and nuggets.

Claudia:  (pause)  This is the best day of my life!
Claudia (at the grocery store, addressing sweet old Hungarian ladies):  What's your names?

Sweet Old Hungarian ladies:  Milyen szép kislány!   (pretty sure this is what they said).

Claudia:  Do you not have names?  

Sweet Old Hungarian ladies:  Viszlát (goodbye).

Claudia:  Goodbye.

Claudia (last night before bed):  Mommy, are you going to be sad when we're all grown up and we won't be your babies any more?

Me (willing the tears not to fall):   Yes.  Yes.  Yes.

Note:   I guess she heard me lamenting to Daddyboy about this (on a weekly basis) and it stuck with her.  
Claudia (zipping out of bathroom):   Mommy, I just peed fast.  Fast like a dinosaur!

Me:  Did you wipe?

Claudia:  Dinosaurs don't wipe!  They don't have fingers to hold the toilet paper. 

Me:  Good point.  Now wipe.  Please.
Claudia (hiding in a box in living):  Mommy, come and open your present ... there's something really cute inside!!

I could go on.  I could go on and on.  Love this crazy, sweet child of mine.

Pictures are all from fantastic Regina Koszta (Pillangofoto)!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

That's Enough, No More Please.

More snow?  More snow!  I'm already regretting my birthday wish for a snowy winter. Yes, that was silly.  I'm not the best snow driver and our house is perched atop a giant snowy hill that never gets plowed.  So. I wait for my brave neighbors to go downhill, carefully retrace their tracks, stock up groceries and then return home, clenching the wheel and praying all the way uphill.   Here's how we have filled our days.
Watching the snow melt on sunny days

Sledding in the front yard.  We had one accident. The sled tumped  over and Paddy fell down face first in the snow.  I think my half frozen heart stopped.  He didn't cry one bit, though.  I got all the snow off his face and cuddled him for a bit and then he got back in.  Brave boy!
Thanks to my neighbor, we found an awesome trail through the woods by our house.  Loved seeing all the pups in the snow in their doggie vests and coats.
Went to bed on Sunday with almost no snow and woke up to 8 inches.
Some of us braved the snow and went out into the city.
The rest of us stayed home, made snow angels, ate snow, went sledding in our garden, threw snowballs, contemplated building a snowman, changed our minds about a snowman, drank hot chocolate and enjoyed the snow.
snowy smiles
Paddy is amazed by the snow.  Wants to touch it and eat it.  He'll be throwing snowballs this time next year, for sure.
Sled tumping fiasco aside, he seems right at home in his sled.  It's got extra room for sister, but it seems like he's more content when she's not in it.  I suspect that is because she insists on leaning back on him.  
The snow dragon!  Good thing he is all black, it's pretty hard to lose him in the snow.
Last night I discovered this silly man hammering our front windows with snowballs.  
I say that I'm ready for the snow to go, but I really do marvel in it.  Coming from Louisiana and then Texas, this is just something so new.  Even if it is our third winter here, it still amazes me.

Feeding brother some snow.
And this is the daily scene inside the house.  Big sister taunting little brother with his paci.  We're trying to get him off the paci, but Claudia is enjoying this way too much.  I admit it was a little entertaining and he was laughing, though, so I waited a bit to intervene. Sweet boy doesn't get upset for anything.  Love him.  Kind of love the snow.  Very much love having both of these snow bunnies...makes me feel like a kid to see and experience the snow through their eyes.  
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