Archive for September, 2014

Sibling rivalry looks the same in different species

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 by Jen

If your brother is sitting next to your mom, but you want to be sitting next to mom. Sit on your brother.

George and Fred wrestle on the couch

The math alligator game

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 by Jen

One game I’ve been playing with Celia we call the ‘alligator game’, it’s a math game. We’re super wild and crazy around here with our games 🙂 She likes it though.

Celia playing the alligator game

She draws two cards that each have single digits on them, counts out the pom poms to match the number and then sets up the ‘alligator’ to ‘eat’ the bigger set. She’s got the hang of greater than and less than and number recognition. The challenge is counting out the bigger numbers (7, 8, 9) in pom poms without getting distracted. Or having her brother take them. Ewan thinks the pom poms are the best things ever and spent 10 minutes pouring and squeezing them next to us today.

Lots of attitude around here

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014 by Jen

DSC_3780 DSC_3782 DSC_3783

Ewan’s first birthday party!

Sunday, September 21st, 2014 by Jen

Back in August we threw Ewan his first birthday party! We kept it simple, yummy and fun at a local park with bagels, coffee, cake, and fruit in the morning with several families. We met up at a really cool playground with a zipline and funky merry go round plus a perfect play side for little kids. Ewan was thrilled to play for the morning with lots of his favorite people. He also had his first juice box which he quickly devoured. He wasn’t so interested in the cake. I made some cake cups (basically a cupcake with extra middle layer of frosting, inside of a cup so it’s easier to eat at a park) and he wasn’t so excited about that. We tried really hard to light his candle on fire for him, but it was too windy and we couldn’t do it!

Jordi trying to light the candle

The rest of the kids had a great time eating up huge amounts of fruit, juice, bagels, cream cheese and cake! We were so happy to see everyone who could come celebrate with us. Ewan went straight home and took a great nap.

E, Celia and Josie (with Koos in back)

E, Josie, Bronwyn, Zoe, Xander

Ewan is one year old

Monday, September 15th, 2014 by Jen

Well I’m still a bit late to this party, trying to catch up but time keeps flying by and our evenings are short. So here I go for another better late than never edition of life with my kids! Ewan is so not a baby anymore. He’s up, he’s running, he’s climbing, he’s into everything. He uses a bit of language and sign-language and expects the world to obey his every command. Watch out if you’re not obeying fast enough. Thankfully he’s still pretty easily distracted, but he has figured out now that we sometimes have the nerve to understand yet not comply with his requests, and that makes him mad.

Ewan’s favorite toys right now are balls, bean bags, books, things he can throw basically. He kicks the balls too after watching Josie play soccer. He’s also quite fond of sticks, rocks and wood chips, pretty typical for a toddler. He likes to build towers a couple of blocks high, but mostly prefers to knock them down, especially the ones that I build.

He loves to go outside and can clearly signal that he’s ready by pointing to the door, or sitting down, pointing to his shoes and lifting his foot up at you. He loves to play at waldo park watching the other kids and just these last few weeks he’s learned how to climb up the stairs, slide down the slide and last week he went up the chain ladder for the first time. So basically the playground is a good workout for me now too. He loves to dig, push and fill and spill. Swinging is also popular and can even convince him to walk all the way to Waldo on his own two feet.

Ewan understands when we ask if he wants a book and will pick out one (or a few) and bring them back and sit with you. He won’t let you turn the pages yet and generally won’t listen to more than a few pages at a time. He also likes me to stack up books so he can knock them too.

Ewan is always up for dancing to some music, by again pointing to the ipod and doing a little dance. He’s so very pleased with his communication abilities now and all his new skills. He can also say a handful of words including ‘hola, push, hi, mama, more/mas, out, cat, hello, bye’. He is a fantastic hugger and always looking for the silly side of life. He’s most pleased with himself now when he shows that he understands how the world works, such as how to stack up library books (out of his reach), pushing the button for the cross light signal or even our own doorbell.

We had a bad several weeks with new teeth coming in, now he’s got the top molars on both sides partway erupted. I won’t be sad once they’re all through, he wants to eat food that requires chewing with them (like lettuce and red peppers) but can’t do it yet. We’re hoping they’ll all finish soon and we can get back to some good sleep for everyone. He gets himself very tired with all the climbing!

  • Size/weight: 18 months clothes; 20 lbs 9oz, 31 inches tall for his one year checkup
  • Favorite food: breastmilk, cheese, pasta, banana, raspberries, blueberries
  • Favorite toy: ball, whatever his sister has
  • Favorite book: baby cakes
  • Favorite activity: Pushing things and playing outside
  • New game: stacking the blocks, controlling the world
  • Sleeping: bedtime ~8:00; one short nap at 1:00; gets up 7am (on the good days, 6am on the bad)
  • New skill: more words and sign language
  • Teeth: 10. Top molars are part way in!
  • Vocalizations: lots of mama yelling along with the girls, plus the words above!

Ewan on his birthday


Above shot is from his actual birthday, below is recent with him telling me what he wants to do with my camera (touch the lens).

Ewan telling me what to do at 13 months

We are family – September 2014

Monday, September 15th, 2014 by Jen

The five of us

The first trip to Quebrada this fall that required pants (and coats for some). Fall has arrived!

Storyland 2014

Sunday, September 14th, 2014 by Jen

This August we got to make a fun trip up to storyland with our friends Sarah, Alex, Anna and Sophie. We drove up on Friday afternoon and the kids did pretty well, Ewan slept almost the entire time and the girls made it through the long drive with only one stop for Panera. We checked into the condo hotel and headed right over to storyland to blast off for some awesome rides. This year Celia was much bigger than two years ago and so she could do almost everything, and Josie was big enough to do every ride she wanted to do, most of them she could do alone even.

Us five in the classic frame

First off Celia was mesmerized by the animatronic fruit and vegetables in the front. Sophie and Anna decided to spend their money on storyland drivers licenses. Up we went to the clock-cups ride. The first time we took the bigger kids, and then I tried with Celia and Ewan. Ewan tried to explore the door, Celia grabbed him because she didn’t want him to do that, and then bonked his head on the black center wheel. So before we even got moving, he was off.

Jen, Ewan and Celia in the cups

The train was interesting for all, just Ewan’s speed and helpful for getting around the park for those who didn’t have to push the stroller!

Riding the train!

On the way out of the park we met up with Cinderella to say goodbye!

Girls meeting Cinderella

That first day was short because we went for the deal where you buy a ticket in the last three hours of the day, and you can come back the following day. The next morning we were up bright and early and got to the park way before everyone else. Because I mis-read the opening time, oops 🙂 So we had a bit of time to kill and muddled around outside the gate.

Once we got inside we ran for the antique cars and enjoyed a shared loop around with Josie and Celia driving. For some reason this is the only ride that their height charts are messed up, every other ride Josie was over 48 inches, but apparently she had shrunk overnight and then grew again. Soooo some of the favorites of the day were the polar coaster (Celia and Josie), the new roarosaurus (my favorite) and the farm cars (Ewans). Josie has also taken a new liking to the tilt-a-whirl (called the turtles here) which was a favorite of mine as a kid. Now apparently my inner-ear fluid is solidifying and that ride comes close to making me sick. But of all four adults, I was the only one willing to go on spinning rides and roller coasters, so I got to go on a lot of rides! I let Jordi do the wet rides though, and went with Ewan to have some fudge and explore the nursery rhyme section.

In the early afternoon we also had booked tea time with Cinderella! She had a whole lot of tables all set up with tea and a rice krispie and talked with all her guests before reading them a story, taking a picture, and giving out a coloring book. It was very sweet

All of us before heading home

At the part and all weekend we had a great time, ate some ice cream, and took it easy back at the hotel. The less fun part was coming home, Ewan came down with a fever later on Saturday which came back on Sunday. When we stopped for lunch at a brick-oven pizza place, and were seated right next to it, it made his fever spike even higher and caused a febrile seizure. I had the hostess call 911 and I went with Ewan to the hospital in the ambulance where it took him a long time to feel better. Eventually Jordi and the girls caught up with us after finishing lunch and we kept waiting for him to smile but the poor kid wasn’t feeling so good. About 3 hours later he did finally get his fever down fairly low thanks to tylenol and motrin and we were able to bring him home. So the memories of the weekend are a bit overshadowed by the big scare, but they said that the fevers won’t hurt, and aren’t likely to happen again.

This past week in pictures

Sunday, September 14th, 2014 by Jen

Celia's first day of preschool

Josie’s a real stickler for realism in photos.

Josie's second week of first grade

Ewan now keeps me extra on my toes, as he got up into this spot by himself.

Ewan on the chair

Cape Cod 2014

Saturday, September 6th, 2014 by Jen

This year at the end of July we went on our annual trip with my parents to Cape Cod for a week. This time we tried out a new house, still with a pool, but it was overall a bit smaller. We had a great time, but it’s always a pretty chill and relaxing week for us. We get there, play in the pool, go to the beach a few times, do an early morning trip of just me and the kids to dunkies and the beach, play more in the pool, do some grilling, eat lots of ice cream and pretty much that’s the week! The kids get older so their habits change a bit.

This year Ewan could do something on the beach other than just nap in the tent with me. He loved to dig in the sand and found low tide to be super fun to run around in the small puddles, jumping and throwing balls into them. We spent two whole days at the beach and low tide was near the end and they still all loved it. The water was warmer and shallower to run in.

Josie and Celia enjoyed their boogie boards going way out in the water with a grown up. They also liked finding hermit crabs and snails in the tide pools. Celia is still very big on digging and making castles whereas Josie wanted to spend more time in the water and even practiced a bit of swimming.

For our morning trip to the beach we were all a little too late with the super-early sunrise in July (rather than late August) to really get the good light, but we made an effort and they had fun digging and eating some munchkins.

Josie eating her egg and cheese

All three in a line

Three sitting down

Josie in some lovely light

The house this year was further from the beach, and so that made evening beach outings not so frequent. We only made it out once to fly kites and take pictures. But two of those days we were just barely getting home for dinner anyway from the beach. We also made it to one cotuit kettleers baseball game. (Note to self: no vegetarian food, bring dinner next year) We fed them a well rounded diet of popcorn, nachos with cheeze Celia refused to eat, ice cream and a cheese on a hamburger bun.

As always we spent a lot of time hanging around the house, letting Ewan nap, doing art projects and generally relaxing.

Jordi and Ewan out on the deck

Its a group effort to feed Ewan

Celia the model

Ewan on chevron print

One of Ewan’s favorite activities, typical of a 1 year old, was play with the pots and pans. The kitchen was super loaded with supplies and we only had so many cabinet locks so he had his pick of several pots and pans and enjoyed stacking and banging them.


On Thursday night we managed to get a beautiful day, an early dinner and got us all clean and out to the beach to take pictures. Last year was a serious flop, but this year we hit it right and didn’t have any diaper blow-outs. I’ll leave you with some of my favorite photos of the year so far of us all!

Karen and Mike

helping me with my settings

The 5 of us

All seven

All seven sitting

Celia kissing Ewan

The three amigos

Beautiful evening

father and son

Ewan using his new toys

Girls flying the kite

Laughter when I told Celia to pretend to vomit on Josie


Jordi’s parents and sister came to visit!

Monday, September 1st, 2014 by Jen

I’m still working back in July here, and for Ewan’s birthday Jordi’s parents and sister came up to Boston to visit us and enjoy a Boston summer! They first came right in and headed straight to Jordi’s office to check out the cool new digs at google. Once they enjoyed the coffee, a tour, some lunch, and some more coffee we headed back to Arlington to relax and unwind as they’d had a very early morning flight. We enjoyed some time at the playground before picking up some Thai takeout and going to the free concert at the library, meeting up with my parents too. Classic Boston summer where we can hang out outside without melting into a puddle most days 🙂

The next day we headed up to New Hampshire to Canobie lake park! After a quick stop at Costco to pick up the tickets we were on our way up to the park. We had a great day getting to go on the rides, Ewan did a few baby ones, Josie liked the bigger roller coasters (but not the super big ones) and lots of little kid rides for Celia. It was great having more people to go on the rides since Jordi isn’t a fan of the spinny rides and I got to go on all of them previously. We also hit up the water park to get wet and slide down the slides. Jordi and I spent a few minutes by ourselves and went all the way up to the top and got to dump buckets of water on other people instead of being the dumpee down below. Other people got to enjoy the log flume and I got to skip it! We even were serenaded by One Direction* during dinner! (*Note: may not have actually been One Direction, but a cover band instead, still had a lot of screaming teenage girls) Too soon for the kids though, we were tired enough to head back on home.

Saturday was Ewan’s actual birthday and we took it easier and slower with a trip to Quebrada in the morning and playing in the park. We all enjoyed some homemade carrot cake for Ewan’s birthday, although he wasn’t super interested in it yet. I didn’t let him have the frosting, but he took a few bites of cake. Don’t worry, he’s since learned that dessert is something worth asking for.

Ewan pointing at his cupcake

After his nap we went to a cool playground in Cambridge and then out to dinner at Cambridge Common Restaurant. Told you we took it easy! The next morning we again went playground hopping to Joey’s park in Belmont and enjoyed the sunshine before they had to head off in the afternoon much to our disappointment. It was a quick trip but we got to have lots of fun time together and give Ewan a fabulous birthday!

All of us on Ewan's birthday