29 Nov 2012

Flips

Flippy 19One morning last week Hannah was sitting perfectly still.  
I should stop right there for a second, because that is an event in itself.  
Flippy 28It was a good combination of her being a bit sleepy, a fresh bowl of Cheerios to snack on, and a silly show that Jayce was watching.  She planted herself on a pillow and was still.  
She was so still that I stuck a clip in her hair and she didn't even notice.
Flippy 22I seized the opportunity to get a few photos of one of her most defining characteristics at the moment, aside from the sass, her soft, flipp-y little curls.
Flippy 18Flippy 21Flippy 29Flippy 31Straight out of the bathtub, they are tight little ringlets, but just at the bottom.  After a night of sleeping on them, they are soft and delicate.  It is impossible to be sitting near her and not reach over, twist the curls around your fingers, comb them back and forth, try to pull them into little pony tails and then brush them back down exactly as they were.  
Flippy 25Eventually she spotted me,
Flippy 26but I was no match for whatever show was on at the time.
Flippy 23
Then I put away my camera and stopped resisting her.  I pulled her into my lap and sat down on the rocker, so we could rock and snuggle, and I had complete access to her to her plump cheeks.  And those flips.

27 Nov 2012

St John's Park

Park 1There is a wonderful park very near our flat and just next to Jayce's school called St John's park.   We all headed over a few weeks ago one afternoon when it was still warm and I brought along my camera.
Park 13There are a few playground staples in London that we didn't have in Illinois and this is one of Jayce's favorites.  It's a huge flat swing.  On a busy park afternoon there are typically groups of 3-6 kids on swinging back and forth.  But if you are at the park for the rare occasion that you get it all to yourself, it is the supreme accomplishment.  However, on this day, not only did Jayce have it all to himself, he had Chris along to push him.  Park 17Eventually we loaded Hannah on as well, and she was screaming at the first push.  Happily.  She loved it.  
Park 6Park 4My kids were actually playing happily together!  Well, kind of.  They were happy alongside of one another, and that counts for something.
Recently Updated19Park 2After a few minutes Hannah was ready to get down and run around again, and eventually settled sleepily back into her stroller, snuggling her "bear."
Park 19Park 20Which is exactly where Jayce wanted her.  Because just look at how much higher he could go without her.  He was cracking up the whole time.Park 18Recently Updated20It was a happy little park trip.  Park 3

15 Nov 2012

Sass

Sass 6This little rascal is so full of sass.  She has so much personality: when she's loving you, she loves big, and when she's driving you crazy, she'll drive you almost all the way there.  Her likes and dislikes change every day, so we never really know which toy will be The One to keep her happy on a trip, or which snacks will keep her pacified in a restaurant so that we can eat in peace.

To say that she keeps us guessing is an understatement.  

Actually, she makes us feel like brand new parents all over again, who have no idea what they're doing, are constantly second-guessing themselves, have the sleep deprivation that comes with a newborn, but the daily exhaustion that comes with dealing with a busy and noisy toddler. 

She was all dressed up the other day, and I kept thinking about how her headband was one of the ones that I made for her while I was on bed rest.  But she wouldn't smile for me, not for anything.  Until she crawled over towards the edge of the bed and I yelled, "Hannah, no!"  Then she turned around, smiled, and kept going.

Sass 10

Like I said.  Sass.  Lord help us.

14 Nov 2012

My Birthday

Erinbday 2My birthday fell on a Saturday this year, so we hopped on the train into the city for the day.  The Tate's Museum was having a free family event, Tiny Tates, so we went there first.    
Erinbday 4Erinbday 6There were various activities set up around the museum, encouraging the kids to use their senses...or something.  I don't know, do the activities need to have a purpose?  Regardless, it was free and indoors on a cold day.  The kids loved it and it made me happy.
Erinbday 7Erinbday 9Jayce really liked the different stations, and Hannah just liked being able to run around in a room full of people.  (It seems like I'm saying that a lot these days, it was also her main activity for Halloween.)
Recently Updated18Erinbday 15Jayce and his tower, when we were able to keep Hannah away long enough for it to not be immediately knocked down.
Recently Updated17Erinbday 19We then went for a chilly walk around the city.  We were looking for a particular restaurant, and in the absence of my iphone or a phone that could connect to the internet, we just wandered with our fingers crossed.
Erinbday 20Eventually, we had a winner.  We wandered over towards Picadilly Circus and past Benihana, and that was it.  It was perfect.  Warm, not crowded, a bit entertaining, nicer than somewhere we would normally go for lunch, and food that all four of us would eat.
Erinbday 21Erinbday 22Erinbday 23And Chris even took a few pictures.  I picked the ones that were the most in focus, bless him. :)
Erinbday 25Erinbday 26We did a little shopping, grabbed some Krispie Kremes for the train ride home, and even Starbucks was in on my birthday festivities, choosing that day to start serving their seasonal drinks.  It was a yummy ride home.

10 Nov 2012

Halloween

Halloween 1Our church was having a Halloween party on Halloween evening, and though I wasn't initially sure if we were going to go or not, Jayce saw the fliers posted around church, and how it was superhero themed, and that was that.  We had to go.  Also, we'd rolled our clocks back the week before so it was pitch black by 5 pm, and cold, so a few hours of indoor activities was right up our alley.
Halloween 2The main building had been cleared of all chairs and filled with various little game stations, run by super heroes, with sweets for prizes and participation.  Jayce was like a kid in a candy store.  Or like a kid in a church filled with lots of games and free candy.
Halloween 3Halloween 4Halloween 6Halloween 8Jayce had his face painted like a cat.  He was very proud of it and even Hannah approved.
Halloween 9Halloween 10Halloween 11This is one of the rare photos that I have of them together, or where Hannah was standing still for just a split second.  
Recently Updated12Jayce was serious about bobbing for apples, and was eventually rewarded for his persistence, even though it was detrimental for the lower half of his painted face.
Halloween 15Success!!
Halloween 26Hannah was also successful, and this is how she looked all night.  On the run, with an apple.  
Recently Updated15Her method of bobbing for apples left something to be desired.  But they kept letting her play, and win.  (I think it was her tiny chef persuasive powers.)  
Recently Updated16And if Jayce was like a kid in a candy shop, you can imagine what Hannah was like.  We'll just let go of the metaphors here: She was like a baby who was unleashed in a large room, full of friendly people, half of them kids, in fun costumes, standing by brightly colored games, with big tubs of sweets that they let her dip into time and time again.  With an apple to bite on.  
Halloween 25Recently Updated14
Halloween 17Trying to get a photo of the kids together and looking in my general direction wasn't happening, so these had to do.

Recently Updated13We left the party and headed home, letting Jayce stop at the houses on our street that we passed along the way.  There weren't many, maybe 5 or 6, but they each gave him a handful of candy.  And the next morning he asked me, "Mom, when I'm done with this candy, can I lay down because my belly hurts?"
So apparently he'd received just enough.

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