Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy Hanukkah

We spent our last night of Hanukkah this year having a lovely visit with Grandma and Grandpa.  Eva wore her special Hanukkah shirt.

Grandma hid the presents and the kids went on the hunt

Ah Hah!

Hello, what's this?

In other news, I am really excited for Eva to wear her new bonnet at the beach next summer. 

It's SPF you can't handle this cuteness

Noah was his usual charming self, and entertained us all with Grandma's Ukelele  (please excuse the sound quality of the iphone video).

What a great Hanukkah treat!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Where the baby hits the road

Or the driveway, actually.

Imagine this scene: Noah, Eva and I arrive home from picking up Noah from school, everyone (read: Noah) is hungry and tired and cranky. Then he trips, and sliiiightly scrapes his ankle. And collapses into tears. I set Eva down so I could attend to him, and she decides to try to walk down the driveway, and faceplants. Now both kids are screaming, and one is slightly bloody.

Yup, it was just about as awesome as it sounds.

This is where I'm happy baby skin heals so quickly. Also that most of our neighbors work during the day.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


She no only cleans, she cooks, too!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Hanukkah

We had a lovely first night of Hanukkah last night. Noah claimed his place as a full-fledged preschooler and made a salt dough menorah.

Impressive, no? I think he may be an artsy kid.

Also, a character. He was apparently too hot in his clothes, so he stripped down for menorah painting.

The kids loved lighting the menorahs

And then it was time for presents, and my favorite thing Noah did all week. I will try to convey:

Scene: mommy is going downstairs to get tonight's presents. Earlier in the day, Noah "helped" her wrap Daddy's present, a star wars DVD.

Mommy: is it time for presents?
Noah: yeah!! Daddy, can I watch that movie?
Daddy: huh?
M: shhh!
N: (starts to jump in place) daddy, can I watch that movie?
D: huh? What movie?
M: Shhhhh!!!! Noah, just wait!
N: ( jumping) Daddy, we got a movie for you!!!  Yeah!  Can I watch that movie!?!
D & M: hahaha

So far, the approach to three years old has been a real challenge.  So it's great when his energy and intense earnestness can be used for cuteness instead of thwarting my every plan.

Happy Hanukkah everyone!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Eva cleans up

She may not be walking, but I've got her hard at work.


 (yes, she's not walking. That trip down the hallway I showed you last week was apparently a false alarm.  Apparently she wants to do these things on her schedule, not mine.  Huh.)

Friday, December 16, 2011

Dining room dance party

Good god, this kid cracks me up.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Little cousin

Yup, still busy. Haven't connected my phone to my computer in days. But look at the great pictures dad took of the kids!

(Also, my apologies to Charlotte, to whom this process and my children in general seemed a tad overwhelming)


I love you, baby Charlotte

I'm not sure how to appropriately caption this one, Eva seems to have gotten used to having her picture taken, Noah seems thrilled with the responsibility of holding the baby, and Charlotte's mind has apparently been blown by the super soft texture of Henry's ear. In summary, this is probably the best picture we'll get of the three of them for the next several years.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Breaking News

That's right folks, she's a walker!!!!

Of course, that video was taken last night and this morning she has absolutely no interest in walking on her feet (the knees are perfectly acceptable, thank you). So we shall see where this gets us.

Still cause for congratulations, in my opinion. She's barreling towards big-girl-ness at the speed of light, leaving only a thin trail of drool behind her.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Baby Playdate in Silhouette

Eva and her buddy Alden, both 10mo. Please ignore the mommy chatter in the background.

I love watching the two of them play - they are so interactive. Shortly before they discovered the screen door, Eva picked up a small teddy bear and knee-walked over to hand it to Alden. They will coo at each other and pat each other on the head. They will both listen to a story together, one of them turning the pages while the other watches. I think they are both so relieved to get to interact with one friend who's at exactly their level, instead of trying to keep up with big brother.

Friday, December 2, 2011


Scene: Our living room

Noah: Let's do a video!
Me: Do you want to be in a video?
Noah: Yeah! Let's do a video!
Me: What do you want to do?
Noah: A song.
Me: Ok, you can sing a song and dance and I'll take a video.

You are welcome.

Also, I swear we don't feed him much sugar or any caffeine. He is just hopped up on preschooler crazy.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Walking with Lion

She's still not walking on her own, but she can motor with the lion pretty well...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Tour de Newton

We love fall, when it is cold enough that we've taken in the patio furniture but nice enough to play outside still.

We also love the iphone, which makes it so easy to take lots of videos of the kids. My only disappointment is the sound quality is not the best, so you have to listen extra hard to hear Noah's running commentary and motorcycle noises.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Old McPuzzle

One of the best things about having a preschooler is out of nowhere I'll turn around and he'll be doing something like this. It cracks me up.

And then I videotape it and post it to the internet.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Going for a drive

I don't see any way this could possibly end badly.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Peek-a-boo, revisited

She's pretty much an expert now.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Eva is a pretty good mimic, and careful observation of her big brother has taught her exactly what to do with toy cars.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Also, did I mention she is working on walking?

Monday, November 21, 2011

State of the Baby

Good god, it's been a while. Things here are nuts, and let's just say they are not going to change anytime soon. However, just because I have been too busy to blog does not mean Eva has stopped astonishing us about once an hour. For baby archival purposes I will swoop in here to post an update. And then a series of videos for the week.

Anyway, the update. Eva is astonishingly cute.

Duh, mom.

She is working hard on learning to communicate. She points at things she wants or at things in which she is interested. She says "mamama" when she sees me, and "dadadada" when she see Chad. She says "dat" when pointing at something. The other day she reached for her bottle and said "babababa."

She can do the signs for "more" and for "milk" and for "all-done," but really prefers pointing, smiling and crying to get her message across. She is still a great eater, but now requires to be eating the same food we are eating, preferably directly from our plates, preferably with her own utensil. We usually forget to give her a utensil, and then halfway through dinner she notices everyone else has a fork and she'll scream until we figure out that's what the problem is.

Speaking of the screaming, Eva is not a quiet baby. She makes her opinions known. She will be sleeping, and instead of waking and whimpering a bit before going back to sleep, she lays perfectly still and screams at the top of her lungs. Then goes back to sleep.

She and Noah are sharing a room now. In related news, Noah is a trooper.

Eva is totally fearless. In the bath, she'll put her face down and blow bubbles in the water (she started doing this all on her own). She crawls under the guest bed and through the tunnel and into the closet and into the cabinet. She loves to crawl around the playground structures, and would happily fling herself off the edge if given the chance.

Don't worry mom, I've got this.

She is super mobile, crawling and scooting and rolling. But now, her usual mode of transportation is a surprisingly effective bouncing knee walk:

She loves to play with toys, especially Noah's cars and trucks. She likes to put things into boxes. She likes to "draw" with chalk on the chalkboard. She loves books, and will chose one then knee bounce over to you waving the book. If you are busy reading another book, for example, to her brother, she will sit there and cry until you look at her book instead.

No idea where she learned that.

She is so capable. She can rock on a rocking horse. She can use the potty (when we get her all set and sit her on it). She can clap her hands and play peek-a-boo.

Basically, she is totally winning at babyhood.

Saturday, November 5, 2011


When we were snowed in last weekend, I decided we'd spend some time making and decorating cookies.

I know, you're thinking: what a great idea! More sugar right before Halloween!!

Eh, whatever, we had a good time.

Also, Noah decorated the best cookie ever.

I know, a work of art. I was so proud, I mailed it to Grandma and Grandpa.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Happy Girl

Man, she is really cute.

Also happy.

And cute and toothy

And apparently eager to chew on the windowsill.

Thursday, November 3, 2011


We got a pre-halloween surprise in the form of about six inches of snow last weekend. It is hard to believe that we're already headed into Eva's second winter.

I know, I can't believe it either.

Noah, needless to say, was totally thrilled. He made a snowman with daddy.

We convinced him to wait long enough for us to take a picture

And then he kicked it over.

Also, Eva isn't crazy about standing in those boots.

Baby Down!!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

First steps

That's right folks, she is working on it...

Time to hide the trains, Noah...

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Forward bouncing

Some people think that soft, carpeted or padded floors are best for babies. Those people are totally wrong, hardwood floors are best because they allow for Eva's new favorite mode of transportation.

See? Hardwood is way better.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween

Let me tell you, we really did Halloween right this year. First, we went over to our neighbors' house for pizza and beer. Then, Eva put on her frog suit.

Froggy wants an iphone, please!

Eva and Max really coordinated with the green amphibian costumes this year

It is possible the mommies are more excited than the babies in this picture.

Next, we lined up all of the kids in their costumes and all of the parents stood, snapping pictures, until at one point most of the kids were looking at the camera.

We were told there would be candy.

After that, we hit the road. The herd of preschoolers was really quite impressive.

Perhaps I should be concerned about the lady down the street and her demon spawn...

The decorations were a big hit

Though Eva was skeptical

Not sure how I'm supposed to reach the doorbell from here, mom

After a tour of Ollie's pumpkins

We retired inside so the kids could take a look at Noah's haul

They wouldn't let me have any candy, but I'll show them!
Look! A crumb! From the floor!! I will eat it!

Then Eva went to bed and we let Noah eat two pieces of candy

This may have been a mistake...

And now Noah's arguing with Chad about going to bed while I sit in the kitchen and write this post. Wish us luck.

Happy Halloween!

Baby party

Eva and her friends sure are interested in something...

Saturday, October 29, 2011


Hello, my precious apple.

nom nom nom


heh heh heh

Friday, October 28, 2011

Parallel play

This has started happening more and more

And it's awesome. I can just kind of sit by and stretch or drink my coffee or videotape them. For about 2 minutes until they both want the same toy and it's over.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rocket Ship

Disclaimer: the following is really pretty dumb. I think it's totally hilarious. You probably won't, because in reality, it's not. In fact, you should probably click away now, back to work or school or your budget or whatever it is you are actually supposed to be doing on your computer.

You were warned.

May I present, Noah and Eva Pytel starring in "Fly me to the moon France"

and it's stunning sequel, "Fly me to the moon France, part Duex"

It's becoming clear that I need to get out more.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Cousins, again

Noah seems determined to be a great big cousin, just like he's a great big brother.

New cousins

So as you have probably heard, Baby Charlotte has arrived, and she is basically the sweetest and most wonderful baby you ever did see.

Don't hate me because of how well I rock a hairbow.

Eva and I took a trip to Badger Country to spend some time with the new arrival. Eva was a trooper on the trip.

Charlotte who? HAVE YOU SEEN THIS WINDOW!!?!?

Once we arrived, the girls got along great. And of course they would, they have so much in common! For example, Winnie the Pooh blankets:

A love of Target

And when they don't sleep well at night, a 5pm nap

(this nap was maybe my favorite part of the trip, as Sarah and I got to have a beer on the tailgate of the car while the babies slept)

Aunt Sarah is doing a great job managing her growing family

Max says: It's been quite an adjustment but overall I am SQUIRREL!!!!

But Eva was happy to lend a hand with diaper changes

Sure, Aunt Sarah! I'll just grab the wet bag for you...

What Eva did not like was any time mommy spent with Charlotte.

I seem to be losing my place as center of the universe. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN!?

Luckily, Noah soon arrived to set Eva at ease

And Charlotte started to smile even though Eva was playing with all her toys

So overall, I think we can count the trip as a total success.