The joy of the season

Some photos of our Christmas celebrations

The magic of Christmas morning…

It was the best Christmas yet!


Big brother Jackson idolized by his baby brother and sister…!

Maddox and Santa


Verity and her owl ornament

Beautiful Baby Verity Claire


After Berlin Christmas we stayed at a Holiday Inn Express and had some fun at the indoor waterpark!!

Christmas was so much fun this year! Maddox is finally old enough to sort of get it – I started to talk about Santa and Christmas and presents a couple weeks before Christmas. He seemed very excited about Christmas morning. But, when we went downstairs that morning…. He was very excited about his “kitchen set” and immediately dragged it out away from the tree so he could play with it. Then, he didn’t really want to open any more presents! I think he thought presents were something you get and play with, but not open and see what’s inside. But, we got him to open some gifts and Mama opened the rest. We saved some for later in the day to open with Rudy’s mom so we could spread out the fun. The kids love their new toys. Maddox especially loves his Handy Manny tool box and tools and his “kitchen set” as he calls it. Verity got two purses and loves them both! But, she really loves the kitchen too – she got more food and pots and pans and Maddox and her love to play cook together! Well, actually they don’t play that well together, Maddox thinks all the toys are his and he isn’t a fan of sharing with his sister. They both got a 7 dollar cell phone from Santa that they play with all the time – it is usually the cheap gifts they love the most. We tried not to go overboard, but bought more gifts than we have in the past 2 years. There seemed to be a lot of presents under the tree, but they are from other family as well. Thanks to everyone who got the kids such awesome gifts! The gifts I love are all the books they received. I counted them and they got a combined 34 books! Sheesh! That is so great! Maddox really loves books and Verity will too I am sure. Merry Christmas to you and your family and Happy New Year!

Halloween catchup!

I am catching up on my blogging! Here is our halloween (continued). The day was spent for V’s birthday, then we went trick-or-treating! Maddox was Mickey Mouse and Verity was Minnie Mouse. We went door to door in our hood, Maddox had a great time!! He had no problem going up to people’s doors and saying “Twick or Tweat!” (with a little prompting of course). He also was not shy about grabbing handfuls of candy to put in his bag, hee hee. He even waltzed into a few people’s homes to do so, so cute.

We stopped by a neighbor’s and got a tour of their very modern home which we hadn’t seen, then went home. The kids each ate a piece of candy and then fell into bed exhausted. It was a great day all in all and now one of my favorite holidays!!!

Happy 1st Birthday Baby V!

My beautiful baby girl turned 1 years old! I know it was over a month ago, but I am just a little behind on my blogging. I am a little surprised at how fast the last year went by. It seems like just yesterday I was holding this tiny peanut in my arms and now she is busting her way into toddlerhood. She is zooming around the house like she has always been able to walk, it is amazing! She is even talking, the little whiz bang smarty pants! She is probably just repeating things that Maddox says, but she certainly knows how to say “no!”, “mama” and “dada”. She also says “HI!! It also sounds like she can say “Sit down” and “Stop it!”, which are two things Maddox says to her. Other words in the last week are “Good Bye!” and “Night Night!”.  She is moving a little faster in that department than Maddox did, which is just fine, girls are a little smarter than boys (hehehe) and she does have a big brother to emulate.

So, I had a little get together on Halloween and had just a few people over with their kids. The kids wore costumes, we ate some brunch and pizza, gave the kids prizes for their costumes, opened gifts, ate cake and bam, we were done. It was about 2 hours of mayhem that left my house covered in frosting, but was a fun time! I had a little fun making decorations and trying to merge a little girls party with halloween without being too halloweeny. I think it turned out just perfect! Verity chowed down a vanilla cupcake with about a half pound of frosting on it, then took a nice nap. Later that day, we went trick or treating! It was a blast, Maddox especially loved it. More on that in another post though. Here are some pics of V’s birthday! I also took her to the doc right on her birthday – she is a little supermodel that one, tall and thin. She is doing great all around though, she gained a pound and grew less than an inch. I will have to get the stats and add them in later. Happy Birthday my sweet baby V, Mama and Dada love you so much!!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

Gearing up for a 1st Birthday costume fashion gala!

I’m having a little birthday gala on Halloween to celebrate our little pixie’s first birthday! More pics to come, but Mama is having so much fun planning this little party! I didn’t want it to be too Halloweeny, but wanted to incorporate costumes. So, it’s a fashion show gala! Verity will be Minnie Mouse and Maddox will be Mickey Mouse! Mama will be “Mama Mouse” and Dada will be scary Pete! It will be a fun, exciting day for everyone!

Raspberries, lavender and V, oh my!

Here are some pics of Verity I have taken with my iPhone. I am having fun with Hipstamatic (iphone camera app). I take a lot of pics with the phone that are cute, so here are a few! You can click on each photo to see a larger version.

Verity is developing quite the personality at 11 months! She definitely wants to be heard and paid attention to and will make a lot of noise to get it. She yells and screams when she has to to get your attention. It is one of those piercing screams that splits your head in half too, love that! She is so frickin’ cute though, so I overlook the screaming. She loves to give Mama raspberries – she climbs on me and puts her mouth on my belly or my arm and blows and makes the little toot toot noises (you know what I mean), then she looks at me and laughs! It is pretty cute. She also loves to give the standard baby open mouthed kisses. I say “give mama a kiss!” and she comes down on me with a huge open mouth and usually clamps onto my noise or my mouth and just hangs out there for a while. I love it!

She is very mobile now. She can crawl all over the place and loves to climb the stairs. She gets going on a mission toward the stairs and there is no stopping her. She can get up to the top in no time and really scares Mama – we have to keep our eye on her constantly. She also loves to climb up on Maddie’s step stool and Land of Nod cushy chair. This morning she climbed up on the stool because Maddox was still in bed and stood there looking at him in his bed (the stool is next to the bed) and said “Maaa! Maaa!” as if to say – I give you kisses! or Get out of bed! Not sure. She loves to climb up on the chair though and then throw herself onto the floor, she thinks that is sooooo much fun. Initially there was a pillow laying in front of the chair and she would land on the pillow. But, she will do it onto the floor too – it is a little scary and so cute. She does it from a kneeling position so she isn’t falling far or anything. She lands like a cat though, right on her tiny hands. She loves pillows too by the way, if there are pillows on the floor she is laying all over them. She is also walking now too. She can cruise around the furniture and will walk up to 6 steps at a time right now until she teeters over. She doesn’t seem to have much fear – she just goes until she falls, then continues crawling. She doesn’t seem to mind falling down, so that is good. She is getting better and better every day. She will probably be walking all over the place by 12 months! We went out and got her and Maddox some new shoes, so she can wear her shoes outside and walk around if she wants.

One day, my little mischief maker was roaming around my room and bathroom while I was filling the tub for a bath. I turned around and didn’t see her so looked in the “toilet room” and there she was with lavender all over the place, some in her mouth and the rest on the floor just standing by the toilet like “so what?”. I had a little dish of lavender sitting on the back of the toilet and she found it and spread it all around! Yummy!

I think I am holding V back a little. I feel bad, but I am not as aware as I should be of the things she could be doing at her age. She looks so tiny and frail, but she is a scrappy little gal. Anyway, at dinner time I usually give her some baby food and something for her to feed herself. Well, the other night, I didn’t have anything to give her to feed herself and she was just wailing at the table. I sometimes can’t figure out why she is so upset at the dinner table, but I think I know now! I gave her the spoon and the bowl and she proceeded to scoop up the food and feed herself! I was a little surprised, but like I said, she is able to do more than I give her credit for. Of course there was broccoli mush everywhere, but she was happy as a clam for a while. I think she sees her brother feeding himself and she wants to do it too! Of course she eventually threw the bowl on the floor, and since it was a glass bowl, it smashed to smithereens everywhere! Just another normal dinner time cleanup for Mama!  I won’t be giving her a glass bowl anymore, hah.

I am currently trying to plan a little birthday party and it is looking like it will be on Halloween since I am hoping my parents will be in town that weekend. I am struggling to come up with the proper “theme” so I can make the invites and get them out. I am a little behind on this. I don’t really want to have a typical halloween theme, but I do want it to be a costume party. I am thinking Pink Pumpkin costume party or just a Minnie Mouse dressup party or something to that effect. I know it doesn’t really matter – I just need to have an idea that I can design the invites and decorations, menu and cake around, no big deal!! I better get this figured out soon. I will have to call my party planning expert friend Marcy and get some ideas from her! I will definitely have some pics and info to share from the pink halloween mouse party or whatever!

Welcome to our new blog home!

Welcome to my new blog home for Verity and Maddox. I felt it was time to move to a new place (finally) to record our lives. I started my first blog, Bebe Amour, over 4 years ago to document our struggles with infertility on our quest to become parents. It has been a wild ride, to say the least, but we obviously had the best possible outcome. I am extremely blessed to have a beautiful 2 year old son, Maddox Berlin, and a 10 month old daughter, Verity Claire.

I continued writing my first blog to record all the special moments, photos and to keep a record of Verity and Maddox stats as they grew. So, this is partly an online baby book I am keeping as well as a way to keep family and friends up to date since most of them are far away. But, I occasionally will write about working motherhood as I am a full time working mom, married life, divorce (I am married for the second time), stepfamilies/blended families and of course infertility. I hope to touch on all these subjects as they do affect me in a big way all the time. So, I hope you will come back and read on occasion!

Just some info about the new blog. I switched to using a new blog platform, WordPress, mostly because I wanted to learn how to use it and it is a very powerful publishing platform for not only blogs, but any kind of website. I am now going to work on updating my professional website using WordPress, so this was a practice run. I am a little techno geek, so can get by tweaking the html and css – so if you need any help with a basic website, let me know! I am a designer by trade though, in my work life I design complex business applications for the web concentrating on user-centered design to ensure a usable (easy-to-use) and useful web application. In my personal life though, I am Miss Creative and Crafty, so I do graphic design too along with photography, sewing and painting and decorating, etc. So, I designed almost all the visuals you see on this website including the pattern in the background (a new hobby of mine – designing patterns), the logos, etc. The banner pics at the top, aside from the pics of Verity and Maddox came from the WordPress theme, but I will be slowly updating/adding new ones as we go along. So, I guess this blog will also be a showcase for some of my design work and photography too. I have taken all the photos of my kids since they were born, aside from the pro pics that were taken at the hospital. One other thing – writing is not my strong suit. So, if you notice bad writing, grammar or editing, it is what it is. I usually try to read through my posts once or twice to ensure I haven’t made any errors, but I hope that as I continue to write, my skills will get better!

So, lastly, just about how this blog works. The current blog post will be featured on the home page, with all the past posts organized into categories at the bottom of this page (which aren’t completely filled yet), and the previous posts also on the right sidebar. You can click on categories to find “articles” about one baby or topic in particular, or scroll to the bottom to see the archives and see a months worth of posts. If you run into any problems while using my site, please leave me a comment!

One last thing about comments – I want you to leave some!! I know there are a small group of people who have visited my old blog on occasion, but most of you don’t leave comments. This is a nice thing to do for me so I know you are reading. But, it is also a chance for you to comment on things I am writing about, or just to put in your two cents on the topic. So, I appreciate your time in reading and leaving comments if you wish to do so. If you are a blogger too, I will return the favor for sure!!!

Thanks everyone for visiting and I hope you enjoy our updated blog!

xoxo

Katrina

Verity – 9 month update and 10 months old today!

My little pretty princess is 10 months old! It is unbelievable to me that she is growing up so fast. She is cruising around the furniture now – this just happened in the last couple weeks. She is quite the spunky, extremely loud and adorable little diva and I couldn’t be more proud. Here are some pics from the last few months…

Here are Verity’s stats from her 9 month checkup:

Height: 27 3/4 inches (75th percentile)

Weight: 17lbs 13 oz (25th percentile)

My princess is tall and thin! She is actually a 1/2 inch taller than Maddox was at 9 months, but almost 3 lbs lighter. She is definitely more petite than Maddox ever was, but she still has some cute baby chubb!

Here’s what the princess is up to lately!

Sassy
She is a spunky little Mama’s girl! She screams at the top of her lungs to get your attention and also likes to grunt like a little monster. She will put her mouth on me somewhere, like my knee, and pull off and say “MA!, MA!, MA!”, like she is kissing me. She is so fricking cute I can’t even stand it. She is a little clingy and needy when she is tired, hungry or doesn’t feel good, but what little baby girl isn’t? She is a cute, vibrant and sassy little sweetheart.

Busy
Verity is all out busy all the time. She kicks her legs constantly, like she just can’t wait to get going! It is a challenge to change her diaper or her clothes. She is cruising around the furniture now. She was pulling herself up to stand on everything, then of course, while I was in NY for work, she pulled herself up on Maddie’s motorcycle and it started moving and she walked behind it! Dada sent me a video of that momentous moment. She is crawling too of course, she can zoom all over the place and is usually following me around. She has also started to climb stairs, yikes! She reaches her hands in the air when she wants to be picked up as you see in the picture above. She also started waving recently too – she has the cutest little beauty queen wave opening and closing her hand while giving her coquettish little grin. She also high fived me the other night at dinner. She was doing such a good job eating that I high fived her, and she giggled. So, I did it again and again and pretty soon she was reaching to hit my hand. She is starting to copy her big brother and is just IN LOVE with him. Maddox can make her laugh more than anyone. It is the most wonderful feeling when you see your kids interacting with each other.

Eating
V is allergic to Bananas. I probably mentioned this before, but maybe not. We are a little behind on her solid food eating – it was tough going at first because she was getting really bad diaper rash when she started eating solid food. We kept stopping and starting again to try to figure out what was bugging her, although the doctor said that the diaper rash didn’t indicate an allergy. When we were in Michigan on vacation, I stopped everything for a few days except rice cereal, then added in bananas thinking that was a safe bet. WRONG! By the third day at lunch, she got a rash on her chin after eating. I didn’t think too much of it and gave her bananas for dinner. She got another rash on her face that faded a bit. We put her to bed and an hour or so later, she woke up crying. She had hives all over her body. It was 9:30pm or so and we were in the styx. I was pretty FREAKED out!!! We called the doctor and they said as long as she could breathe and didn’t have a fever, she would be ok. I sent Rudy out to find an open store to find some hydrocortisone and benadryl, but nothing was open, ACK! All I had was some itch relief lotion for bug bites so I put some on and tried to rock her to sleep. I couldn’t put her down in her bed, she wouldn’t stay asleep. So, Mama was up most of the night worried about my little sweetheart, holding her in the recliner and then watching her finally sleep in her crib. We got some benadryl in the morning and she was fine. So, we need to go see the allergist soon, I haven’t made that appt yet. We are avoiding bananas of course, and other fruits that could potentially be a problem like kiwis, mangos and avocado. She is doing just fine now and is feeding herself diced up fruit and veggies. She loves it and loves to feed herself. The poor dear has no teeth yet though, so I am going to have to keep chopping it up enough and making sure it is soft enough for her to mash between her gums. I hope she gets some teeth soon!

ZZZZZ
She is a good sleeper, but nap time is not as great. She doesn’t sleep as long as Maddox did I don’t think. At day care she has some bad naps, sometimes only an hour. But, she goes to bed around 8pm and sleeps until around 6am now which is wonderful.

It is still very surreal to me when I realize I have a daughter. I am just so lucky, I can’t believe it sometimes. It is hard to think that three years ago, I had no idea if I would ever be a mother and now all of my dreams have come true. I love my babies so much!!

Maddox turned the big T W O !!!!

My baby boy is 2 YEARS OLD!! It is amazing how fast time goes by and how much he has grown. He is a little boy now. We had a small party for his birthday as we had just gotten home from our vacation in Michigan. We saw the fireworks that night, although they were partially hidden by a tree that we parked ourselves in front of by mistake. Maddox was enthralled though – he just sat and stared. It was very fun to think back to the night 2 years ago when I held my tiny baby boy in my arms and watched the fireworks from bed partially hidden by the building next to the hospital. I just realized we watched them the same way on his birthday partially hidden by the tree, hee hee. Here are some recent pics.

Here are some of the wonderful and exciting things Maddox can do:

Speaking and MAMA!
Maddox can speak a lot of words/sentences finally. He had an explosion of words about a month or two before his 2nd birthday and started stringing together sentences after that. He has recently FINALLY started to refer to me as “Mama”. Hallelujah!! I have been waiting a long time for that one. He actually asks “Where’s mama?” when I am not around. He also started referring to his sister as “V”, which is what we call her too. He can say Verity, but it doesn’t quite sound that way. I guess most of his words don’t exactly sound right, and I realized that we can understand him better than anyone else, but that’s fine, he’ll get better! Here are just a sampling of his words: Truck (of course), car, plane, outside, bicky (Mickey Mouse), dada, garage, cycle (for motorcycle), bike, boat, butt, nose, poopins (poop) (he likes to add the “in” to words and then make them plural too) upstairs, downstairs, choo choo, train, flowers, bock (milk), book, tree, park, cheese, up, no, no way, stop it and the newest one don’t! His sentences consist of 2 or 3 words, here are some favs: want some?, have some?, want drink, lets go, big truck, I do it, can’t reach, I stuck, Where’d he go?, What’re  you doing? and he will say no with many words attached, like no chickens (when he won’t eat his chicken), no kiss, no hugs, etc. We play a game where I say “Can I have a kiss?” and he says “no kiss”, and so on. Another cute story: Mama and Dada were in the front seat of the car, and we started kissing and all of a sudden we hear in the back seat “What’re you doing?”. We cracked up so hard!!

Redden! (Colors)
He knows all his colors! He can point out and say: Purple (pople) Red (redden), Black, Green, Yellow (rello), Orange (renge), White, and his favorite, Blue! His wonderful nanny, Shannon, who watched the kids this summer for a month taught him these colors! One day at breakfast he looked at me and pointed to my plate and said “Green”, then pointed to his cup and said “Green!” and then pointed to his bowl and said “Green!”. He was so proud and so was Mama.

ABC’s
He has also learned some of his letters thanks again to Shannon and of course, Dada. His first letters were X and M. But, he also knows B, O, P and a few others. He grabbed this toy he has with all the letters on it as buttons and started pointing to them and naming them off for Verity. He is so cute trying to teach V the letters he knows. I am trying to teach him to sing his abc’s. I have sang him the ABC’s since he was born to the tune of Colbie Caillat’s song “Bubbly”. But, it hasn’t caught on with him. I decided to teach him one singy letter at a time and he will repeat 1 or 2 letters back, but won’t sing them yet, but I am working on it.

Mr. Bossy
Maddox is taking over as Verity’s Mama/Dada. He just loves to discipline her – his favorites? “No CRIES!”. “Don’t touch!”  or “No buttons!” (that means don’t touch the stereo, hehehe). Or, he will just take whatever she has and say “NO blank”! It is quite amusing, although Verity is not happy when Maddox takes away everything which is something Maddox has yet to learn (how to share). We are working on that too, but with no luck yet.

Dance!
Maddox is pretty agile these days, he can go up and down the stairs with no help. He can run and earlier this summer learned to jump! I have gotten him to dance a few times – he wiggles around and mostly stomps his feet. But he will also spin around in circles or lay on the floor and roll over. He looked up at Rudy one day and said “let’s Dance!”. It was so cute. But, his favorite show, Mickey Mouse, has a dance sequence at the end called the Hot Dog dance. Mama and Dada stand up and do the dance, but Maddox so far won’t do it – it must look too complicated to him.

All in all, he is growing up so fast and I can hardly keep up. He is a very lovable little boy, will give hugs and kisses to most anyone with some prompting. We finally let him watch more tv and some movies, so far he has seen Cars, Toy Story and Finding Nemo. He loves Cars and has some of the cars from a lego set and drags them all over the house. He can hardly say Lightning McQueen, but we know what he means. He says Salla for Sally, so cute.

Maddox has been sleeping in his big boy bed for quite a while now, but it has been hard getting him to stay in bed. He tends to get out a few times and has trained us to sit in his room while he falls asleep which I am doing right now while I write this post. He will stay in bed better for Dada and walks all over Mama. We need to work on that.

I love him so much it hurts sometimes – he is such a wonderful, joyful, rambunctious little boy and he is the best son ever!