Sunday, October 31, 2010

All Hallow's Eve Eve

What a fun Halloween we had this year!  Tess has been so excited all season and has definitely developed her Nana's love for this holiday.   I've enjoyed seeing how much Tess has enjoyed it.

We've been talking about her Halloween costume since the beginning of September.  If you asked what she was going to be, she'd respond: "I Cure-ous Dorge.  Dad man-in-yehwow-hat."  I was going to be Professor Wiseman, but I kind of ran out of steam.  Tess and Ryan were the perfect pair, though, and she was so tickled to see her dad as the Man in the Yellow Hat.

I made Ry's hat & tie, found the yellow shirt second-hand, and dyed a pair of khaki pants with yellow RIT dye.  The pants came out a truly garish neon-yellow-green color, but the look came together with Ryan's expert styling.

We went to the Costume Parade in Occoquan on Saturday and they were quite the hit.  It was fun because kids immediately recognize and LOVE the Man in the Yellow Hat!  Lots of people were pointing and asking to take their pictures.

Tess was excited to go trick-or-treating at the shops in Occoquan.  She caught on to the concept pretty quickly.

Nana & Papa joined us for the festivities.  I'm not sure who had more fun:  Tess or Nana.

 Tess got in some more trick-or-treating at our Ward Trunk-or-Treat that night.  Her favorite part was handing out candy, so she still has a bit to learn about this holiday. 
I'm a little sad it's all over!  I guess it's time to start thinking of next year's costumes!

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Many Faces of Halloween

Tess found this pumpkin face kit at the store and fell in love with it.  I asked her if she wanted to spend her Halloween money from Dipsy and Papa on it.  Her response:  "Let's go buy it NOW!"

With just a little help from Dad, Tess was able to decorate her own pumpkin.  She really had a fun time trying out all the faces.

So which face gets the honor of the Halloween porch?  
The prize goes to Tess' favorite:  "Ken the Dog."  
(Tess named him herself, too.)

This morning we heard Tess crying in her bed.  I figured she was scared of the noisy rainstorm outside.  Instead she was crying because her pumpkin was getting wet on the porch.  Ry was quick to rescue Ken the Dog from the torrential storm and pat him dry.  Good save, Dad!

Monday, October 25, 2010


I recently taught Tess how trace her hand.  She likes practicing this, and sometimes I catch her putting her foot on her chalkboard so she can trace around it.

Today she added fingernails.  And toenails.  I adore her.

Absolutely adore her.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Honey, Oh Sugar, Sugar

Brownies with Rocky Road frosting.
"Mom, you make this?"
"Yes, Tess, I did."
"It's de-wish-ous!"

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Halloween+Cookies+Nana's House

It's hard to get better than this!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Baby Dreaming

Ryan had his first baby dream of this pregnancy.  He dreamed that our baby started talking in complete sentences when it was 2 days old.  I guess we were eating dinner and the baby said, "Pick up the cup."  Ry also dreamed that the baby was sleeping 6-8 hours at a time, and Ryan thought, "Wow!  This baby is much further along than Tess was at this point!"  Ry said he couldn't really tell if the baby was a boy or a girl in the dream.

I'm not quite sure what to make of this vision.  It could mean that this newborn is going to be much easier than Tess.

Or it could mean that our chance of getting any sleep the first 3 months is as good as the likelihood of one of our babies walking in 2 days.  (And remember, it took Tess over 18 months to start walking.  I miss that baby, though.)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Zoo Day and Monkeys

Tess & I spent the morning at the zoo with my childhood friend Jody Landon Watson and her 4 girls.  Jody and I were close friends when I lived in Virginia, and it's been 10 years since I last saw her at my wedding.  They recently got a job in D.C. and they're now living in Maryland.  Her oldest was 2 years old at my wedding, so it was fun to spend some time with them.

Hillary, Marion, Denise, Tess & Lindsay
It was a crisp, cool autumn morning and the animals were out in full force.  We even got to see the new Elephant Enclosure, which is finally open after being under construction for AGES!

Tess was most impressed by their wagon, which she enjoyed riding in with Lindsay.  They were both quite insistent on using the little door to get in and out of the wagon.  I was most impressed that Lindsay (age 3) is not only potty-trained, but gets up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.

Speaking of monkeys, did I mention that Tess has finally figured out that she can get out of her toddler bed by herself?  Not a whole lot of sleeping going on during nap time these days.  When I got her up from "nap" yesterday, she was wearing 4 shirts and 2 pairs of pants.  I put her down in a shirt and diaper.

Speaking of diapers, did I also mention that we are now done potty-training?  At least for now.  I bought more diapers.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pumpkin Time

Tess' first exclamation of the morning: "It's school day!"

She was very excited to have all of her friends come this week, since Cade missed last time.  I think she must have said his name 50 times while he was here.  "Cade, see this?  Cade, I show you this.  Cade, come over here.  Cade, wanna potty break?  Cade, wanna play ball?  Cade, wanna play ponies?  Cade, Cade, Cade, Cade."

Other than Cade, today's school theme was pumpkins.  We read about pumpkins, made pumpkin faces on the computer, and made our own paper bag pumpkins.  We even cut open a pumpkin and ate baked pumpkin with butter, sugar and cinnamon.  If you ask Tess what's inside a pumpkin she'll tell you, "Goop and seeds."

Tess was disappointed that last time her friends didn't get to play in her bedroom.  We remedied that today.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Squirrel School

We started up a weekly playschool with a few of Tess' friends:  Danielle James, Stephanie Christensen and Cade Austin.  Last week was the first time we had school at our house.  (Cade was absent, so it was an all-girls' school that day.)

We are learning about fall and we talked a lot about squirrels.  We went on a fall scavenger hunt and made leaf rubbings.

We made Jumpy Squirrel puppets and watched squirrels play in our backyard trees.  For snack time, the girls had fun making a Squirrel Snack which they shared with their puppets.

 I'm pretty sure Danielle's puppet ate more nuts than she did.

It's a good experience for Tess to have to share her toys and learn to bend her sometimes strong will to accommodate the wishes of others.  She's learning.

School's at our house again this week.  I'm doubling up before baby gets here.  This week it's Pumpkin Time!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Goldfish Store

Yesterday I took Tess to the grocery store.  We usually shop at Safeway, but they didn't have something I needed, so we headed over to Giant.  I can remember maybe a handful of times I've taken Tess to Giant.(This is a really scintillating post so far.)

When we drove in the parking lot, Tess said, "Where we going Mom?  To the goldfish store?"  I thought this over.  Places Tess likes to look at fish:  the far-away library, Wal-Mart and the pet store.  No, I don't remember any goldfish in Giant--not even a live lobster tank in the seafood department.  I guess it's not implausible that maybe we bought Goldfish crackers there once, but that's a little random.  So, I responded, "No, Tess, we're going to the grocery store.  It's not a goldfish store."

It was still bugging me once we got out of the store.  While walking to the car I asked Tess, "Where's the goldfish store?"  She turned and pointed to the logo on the outside of the store.

I stared at it awhile when suddenly I saw the goldfish.

Can you see it?

As usual, she was right after all.  We did go to the Goldfish Store.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Potty Training: Take 2

Since the novelty of the sticker approach has worn off, it's time for a tactical change.  I've upped the ante big-time to Tess' all-time favorite treat:  M&M's (or "MM's," as she calls them).

So we buy the "MM's" this morning and I explain the "MM Potty Game" to Tess, as follows:

"Tess, it's your job to tell me when you have to go potty.  So, if Tess tells mommy, 'Mom, I have to go potty!,' she will get MM's!  If she puts pee in the potty, she gets 3 MM's.  And if she puts poo-poo in the potty, she gets 5 MM's!  Yes, it's exciting, I know!"

To test her comprehension of the "MM Potty Game" rules, I ask her:
"So, Tess, can you tell me what the magic words are to get MM's?"

Her response:
"Trick or treat!"

Monday, October 4, 2010

Training Day #8

I'm getting really tired of pee and poop.  I'm not sure we're making any progress.

Nobel Prize Awarded to IVF Pioneer

The scientist who pioneered in-vitro fertilization, Robert Edwards, has been awarded this year's Nobel prize in medicine.

Professor Robert Edwards, the British pioneer of IVF treatment, sits with two of his 'test-tube-babies', Sophie and Jack Emery who celebrate their second birthday in London in this file photo dated Monday July 20, 1998.
Robert Edward wins 2010 Nobel prize in medicine for in-vitro fertizilation 
The Associated Press
Monday, October 4, 2010; 8:02 AM

STOCKHOLM -- Robert Edwards of Britain won the 2010 Nobel Prize in medicine on Monday for developing in-vitro fertilization, a controversial breakthrough that ignited sharp criticism from religious leaders but helped millions of infertile couples in the last three decades have children.
Edwards, an 85-year-old professor emeritus at the University of Cambridge, started working on IVF as early as the 1950s. He developed the technique - in which egg cells are removed from a woman, fertilized outside her body and then implanted into the womb - together with British gynecologist surgeon Patrick Steptoe, who died in 1988.
On July 25, 1978, Louise Brown in Britain became the first baby born through the groundbreaking procedure, marking a revolution in fertility treatment.
"(Edwards') achievements have made it possible to treat infertility, a medical condition afflicting a large proportion of humanity, including more than 10 percent of all couples worldwide," the medicine prize committee in Stockholm said in its citation.
"Approximately 4 million individuals have been born thanks to IVF," the citation said. "Today, Robert Edwards' vision is a reality and brings joy to infertile people all over the world."
Steptoe and Edwards developed IVF from the early beginning experiments into a practical course of medicine and founded the first IVF clinic at Bourn Hall in Cambridge in 1980.
Today, the probability that an infertile couple will take home a baby after a cycle of IVF is 1 in 5, about the same odds that healthy couples have of conceiving naturally.
Prize committee secretary Goran Hansson said Edwards was not in good health Monday when the committee tried to reach him. Bourn Hall said Edwards was too ill to give interviews.
"I spoke to his wife and she was delighted and she was sure he would be delighted too," Hansson told reporters in Stockholm after announcing the 10 million kronor ($1.5 million) award.
"Louise's birth signified so much," Edwards said at Brown's 25th birthday celebration in 2003. "We had to fight a lot of opposition but we had concepts that we thought would work and they worked."