Sunday, December 5, 2010

Bottles begone

As our kids grow up, we mark the passing time in different ways. Sometimes, its the fact that we are now all sleeping through the night. Other times, we realize that we can sit and talk to each other and the kids are playing happily by themselves. Recently, however, we marked a pretty big milestone which is marked by the picture below.

To those who has spent countless hours taking apart, cleaning, and putting back together baby bottles, you will recognize that this picture closes a book on those days for us. 2 out of the last 3 years we have been covered in bottles. An though we are not trying to hurry through these precious baby/toddler years, this picture is beautiful to me.


Joseay is quite the walker these days. It is so stinking cute because she is so little, and I'm just not used to seeing someone that little walking around. They told us at the pediatrician appt last week that she is in the 25th percentile in size for her age.
I wanted to get some video of her walking around yesterday while she was following Brown and Curt around the house. Brown is finally starting to figure out that he can use his big brother status to his advantage if he can get Joseay to do what he wants. Took him long enough...

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Happy 1st Birthday, Joseay!

Well, what to say on your daughter's first birthday? "What a long strange trip is has been?" Perhaps, though this is probably true for most kids. It is almost hard to remember those months of sleepless nights, of screaming days. Almost.

So as you can see, we did get a cake for her to celebrate, and had not planned on her having a taste, but as we (I use that term we loosely as the pictures are all my wife) were trying to get everything arranged for the picture, we neglected to see the obvious: there is a bright shiny cake with a candle within Joseay's reach. No need to explain what happened next except to say no one was burned despite the fact that the picture appears to show me holding her hand in the fire. Icing was the only casualty.
If you haven't seen her in a while, I guess I should mention she is walking when she feels like it. She has had the balance for about a month but no real desire. And I am not sure when to mark the day of her first steps being taken. She has for weeks been taking one step and then falling forward. Technically maybe a step. But not really. Then she started this thing where she would move one foot and just sort of pivot. Does this count? Questionable. But just about 3-4 days ago, she started walking. Easily taking 10-15 steps and going where she wants. Fun to watch!

But unfortunately she has been sick the last couple of days (105, snotty, cough, fussy, etc) so her walking time has been limited, but that should change this weekend. We hope to post some walking pictures soon. Yes, Brown is well. He has been sick with the same thing this week but continues to grow in many ways. His language has improved drastically with new words and combinations popping up all the time. His favorite phrase now is "mommy, look!" It is super cute now and we must have heard it 50 times already. Wonder how cute it will be after the 50,000th time?
We have tried to keep him from having an overwhelming taste for sugar and it may be working. In the picture above, he has cake in his green bowl which he has been crazy excited about for weeks now that he understands what cake is (thanks so much school!). But after about half of a tiny piece today, he started asking for yoghurt and cereal. Brown did get a similar cake on his first birthday ( but I think Joseay was much more cooperative with smiling. Maybe it was because his hat didn't have the pink balls hanging all over it. Its tough being the oldest.
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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Friday, October 1, 2010

All is well

All is well at the Chaffin house. We spent 3 straight weeks at the lake which was a wonderful way to finish the summer, but it is good to be back home and begin to get into some sort of rhythm again. But we ALL love the lake!

We ran out of swim diapers... I think this diaper is at capacity.

Joseay continues to be a joy and is all over everywhere. Up and down and making noises and just generally having a good time. She is cruising along furniture and just yesterday stood up from a sitting position. Of course she was immediately back down, but her day is coming. Or rather our day is coming. Not sure.

Brown is enjoying school. Still “eating all his snack” in case you have been following along. He is doing all those things that to us are amazing and fun, but to the rest of the world are just normal kid stuff. He has begun to play under his bed somewhat. The other night, I went in to check on him after he had been asleep an hour or two, and all I could see was two feet sticking out from under the bed. He was asleep on the wooden floor. Not sure why we spend money on sheets and mattresses.

The Joseay/Brown interaction is also taking a fairly predictable course as Joseay is more mobile and just wants to be doing whatever Brown is doing which of course is exactly opposite of what Brown wants her to do. Sharing hasn’t entered the mental vocabulary yet but we are working on it. This may explain Brown’s new love of running – it is the only way to outpace her right now. But again, the day is coming…

But the boy loves to run. Put him in a big yard and he just takes off. And does circles. Last week, he even finished a run by lying in the grass and rolling around he was so happy. (yes like a dog)

Now that I think of it, this may simply be the beginning of a trend. We built him a sandbox the other day. When we showed it to him for the first time, he played for a few seconds, then laid himself facedown in the sand and sort of made a sand angel. I think he likes it.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Personal Swimming Pool

Well, to keep the swimming pool theme going and divert attention from our bruiser mugshot of Joseay, lets talk about Brown and his recent water experiences. He is getting into the routine of school and all its strange protocols ("well, Brown still likes throwing his lessons on the floor" says his teacher) but all in all it is good. One of the "life skills" at this age is to figure out the toilet. I can see why it would be strange to a two year old to begin using the toilet when they can just poop in their pants. But hey, that thing has a lever that makes a big whoosh, and it involves water, so Brown is in! So they are basically just trying to introduce him to the toilet. Evidently, Brown got a bit to into it as you can see from his daily report:
Now, focus on this part of the report:

So evidently, he really is getting personal with the toilet at school. Nice.

The other thing we are learning about the reports is that sometimes, they are just not that relevant for what is going on with your child. For instance, this line:

This line is completely irrelevant for Brown. He always will eat everything. There is never a time when the "I wasn't hungry" box will be checked. If it is, please call an ambulance. He is a snack eating machine. His first day, while I was there observing, they gave him one cheese stick off of a huge pile, I mean a pile of 30 or more cheese sticks. So after the 2 seconds it took to cram the whole thing in his mouth, he was back at the basket grabbing more cheese sticks with both hands causing much consternation. "wasn't hungry," ha! give me a break.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Terrible mommying

We were up on the dock at the lake enjoying a beautiful day this morning. Joseay was crawling around and I didn't want her to get a splinter so... I had a brilliant idea. The big inflatable pool was empty so I thought she would enjoy crawling around in there for a few minutes - splinter free. About three minutes into this great adventure, the wind picked up quite a bit. Suddenly, as I turned around, I saw the pool take flight with a huge gust of wind, flipping it over in mid air with Joseay being tossed up and over and flat down - face first onto the wooden deck - with the big pool on top of her. Holy cow!!! It was unreal. Poor thing was scared to death, crying hysterically. Scared me, too. She looks like she got beat up pretty good. But she's tough. She shook it off after a few minutes. But she's looking kind of rough right now.

Montessori update

Ok... So the first 2 days were rough, but this video is when I was observing him the third day behind the one way glass. I felt so much better after watching him this day. He had a great week and seemed to thoroughly enjoy himself.

Monday, August 30, 2010


Well, this certainly feels like the first day of school for Brown. He did a day of mothers day out each week last spring, but this is his first 5 day a week outing. I think he is really going to love it and thrive here over the next few months, but of course I am a bit nervous for him. He has been saying " 'cool" (school) for a long time which is what he called his old mothers day out program. We took him by his new school yesterday and of course he saw all the playground equipment and didn't really even want to leave. Hopefully, the new playground will ease the transition. Hope to post a picture of him later this morning. -curt
And now... this is Chris chiming in later... the boys just left for school. Curt gets to go with Brown to help phase him in today, and I get to go tomorrow, and then Wednesday, he's on his own. I'm not worried about him at all - he's going to love it. Absolutely. But when I woke up this morning, I wanted to cry and throw up - I feel so sad. What are we doing!?! Sending our 2 1/2 year old off to school already? What in the world!? If I could make the decision today (which probably wouldn't be smart), I would definitely not do this. A lot of people HAVE to send their kids to school this early because of their work schedules. But we don't have to do that. I wanted to do this sometime last year when I was overwhelmed with 2 little ones and our friends who have their kids in Montessori could all work for their marketing team - they LOVE this place. So I was convinced that it would be best for Brown. But... I'm having massive second thoughts. We are going to ride it out for a couple of months and see how he responds. I really think he is going to love it. But I'm just not sure the timing is right... we'll see. And as Curt told me when they were pulling away this morning, it's not like we are locked into this decision for the rest of our lives. We can change our minds. So I'm trying to have more of an open mind. But I am sad. Brown looks sad in these pictures, but he isn't. He was just annoyed with my camera. The second to last picture is of him running out to the car. I made him come back and give me a hug, but he couldn't have cared less.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

She's Crawling

I haven't posted any videos lately, and this one is a few weeks old, but this was one of the first days she had figured out how to get up in the official crawl position. Now she is crawling around the house like nobody's business, and pulling up on everything and everyone. We knew she was going to be quick! I'll post more pics and videos soon, but I thought I should at least get these up there...

Thursday, August 12, 2010


A friend commented how strange it is to watch her daughter jump off a rock at the lake that she used to jump off of when she was a child. Most parents have had this experience as you watch your kids grow up. We see similarities and differences. But when we see our kids in the same physical surroundings that we were in at their age, it does strike a particularly reverberant chord. This happened to me this week as Brown and I were leaving my grandmothers house and he was playing in her front yard, the same yard that I had played in as a child. Life is fast. Our lives are brief as we are replaced by the next generation. Its nice when we get to enjoy the passing of time.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Lake Days

We are having a blast up at Chris's parent's house this week! Can't get enough of the lake...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wilmington Visit

Ah, what summer should be about at this age!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Dark

Brown is suddenly afraid of the dark. I don’t know what happened or how he got this way, but it is kind of weird. In the evening, if there is a room with out a light on so that it is dim, he will run to the door and just stand there, either wait for someone to go with him, or just turn around and go elsewhere. It is very strange to us. I really thought this would not come until later, until someone had let him see some sort of movie or TV show which would then make him scared of the dark, but it seems he has come about this quite naturally.

Joseay is quite the talker these days. Ok, not words or anything, but she loves to just babble on for a while – I am sure she is expressing deep emotion, mostly how she lives her parents and the Brown, but we will have to wait until later to hear the full story. She is beginning to get her knees under her so we guess crawling won’t be too far away. Doesn’t look like we will get the army crawl like we did with Brown. They are so interactive these days and both love it. Especially since Brown can leave whenever he gets tired of her. Things may change when she starts following... The picture is of them looking at Goodnight Moon. Both enthrawled.

Brown starts a half day of school this fall – just about a month away now – and I am not sure that Chris or I are ready for this adventure. We have loved keeping him at home and being able to go whenever. But he loves to be out with other kids and loves to learn, so we are going to try this and see how it goes. I haven’t given up on eventually home schooling both kids within a larger community, but we will see where this takes us.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Sweet Summertime

Well, the updates are few at this point because our lives are full. Spare time is simply non existent so carving time out of time with kids to write about how good the kids are doing seems silly. And again, I have to apologize to Joseay as this is effectively her baby book that we are neglecting at this point. Yep, we are not recording this very well, but know that we are loving hanging out with both of you right now and Chris is snapping lots of pictures. Someday, we might go back and record some of the stories.

Brown is now sleeping in his big boy bed (don’t tell him it is just his crib with a side removed). He has been doing pretty well in it though the last time he was in it, he did sort of end up hanging off onto the floor for a bit. But he loves sitting in bed and having us sit there and read to him. He has gotten to where he will pat the bed beside him and say “daddy” indicating that I am to get over there and sit down.

Joseay is sleeping well, waking up smiling and generally being agreeable. She is eating Cheerios by the dozens now and it won’t be long before she will be eating off of our plates. She has been sitting easily for a while now and we really don’t even worry about her falling over anymore. She spins around on her belly but has not really begun to motivate to crawl as of yet. It looks like her two teeth will be the only ones for a while. She loves to be tipped upside down and generally giggles if you kiss her belly – she is quite ticklish. Hair, well still not so much.

Brown and I had a great night on the dock a few nights ago. He and I were mostly sitting in the small pool but he was doing his fair share of running around and we were both singing and yelling as the sun went down. The lake was getting quiet as he kept asking me to get in the pool with him. We laughed and smiled and had an evening that is hard to capture except to say that it is my favorite memory with him so far.

Did we mention Joseay’s first trip to the beach? We all had a great time. Joseay ate quite a bit of sand and seems to have survived it just fine, Brown finally had fun in the waves and it was hard to drag him off the beach most times. We had a babysitter so Chris and I were able to escape for some lazy bike rides around town and get to a wedding and associated dinners without hassle and with MUCH fun. We had good weather, good food, good kids (with babysitter), good friends at the wedding, and a quiet beach. This will be the vacation we try to emulate in the future. The one the kids will get tired of hearing about. (Joseay, I remember when you were just 7 months old, we took you to St. Simons Island…)

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The joys of being at home

Brown loves playing outside, and running around, and drawing, going to "cool" (school), but there is truly nothing more that he seems to enjoy than when the 4 of us are home and playing together in the living room. He just has joy coming out of his pores. He loves to dance and spin around and wrestle with curt and bring us books and give Joseay toys (and sometimes kisses). It is definitely sweet times and I love to see him so happy. Joseay LOVES her big brother, and she cackles and laughs so much when brown is dancing around and spinning around near her. She loves watching him. The hardest I've ever seen her laugh was last week when he was playing peek-a-boo with her. She was howling - and he was eating it up. None of these pictures are spectacular - just recent from around the house.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Pictures and Progress

Well, the kids are growing and changing. I know that is news to no one, but we have reached a point where we can peek our head above the water and and look around a bit, and we see change.

Joseay is finally sleeping through the night. We put her through baby boot camp a week or two ago, just letting her yell it out. I slept downstairs with her the first night, and listened to her cry for about 2 hours straight. Checking on her every 20-30 min to try and replace the pacie etc, but she would have none of it. Chris did the same the next night. Then, since we weren't doing anything to help her anyway, the next night, we just slept upstairs, checked on her the next morning and she was fine. Imagine that. So we are now catching up on sleep which is improving our outlook on life and Ms. Joseay immensely. She is also getting pretty handy about holding her bottle on her own which is quite nice as well. She is just about out of the bassinet phase as she is beginning to roll around and get wedged in sideways, so we have to get her in the crib soon. That means her big brother gets transitioned to a bed in the near future.

The Brown continues to roll on. He is a joy to be with and play with. He is starting to talk a bit more which is a relief to us both. He has summertime knees which is evidence that his still tries to run faster than his legs want to meaning he has skinned knees most of the time. Yesterday, he got his first wasp sting which was no fun for anyone. His hand is swollen quite a bit but he continues on his way. We finally got in the lake this weekend, rain and all and he mostly loved it. He is quite the tentative guy, but once he gets in he loves it. Joseay hasn't invaded his space in the water yet, so that will be coming soon. He spent last evening running around with his 5 cousins with Sarah, the 11 year old babysitting him most of the time while we enjoyed the food and company. What a nice stage this could be! Yeah for responsible, patient, 11 year old cousins!