Saturday, January 29, 2011

The world is fascinating

Hey - look at that!

And that!

Tell Grammy all about it!

Friday, January 28, 2011

It's good to be Grammy

A comfy chair, a sunbeam, a grandbaby... what else could you need?

Happy Birthday Grammy! We are so happy you are here with us!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Welcome home, Eva

Eva was doing very well at the hospital

But insurance will only cover so many room service meals for mommy, so we packed the baby into an unreasonable amount of fleece and braced ourself for the coldest day in 6 years.

Seriously. Who brings a newborn out in weather with -23 degree windchill? We do, apparently.

Happily, the discharge/valet process at Bringham and Women's hospital is a well-oiled machine, and we were able to get home without freezing. Noah was happy to see his baby sister again (he did meet her in the hospital for a few minutes).

Though he was much more vocally excited about the Thomas the Tank Engine balloon Eva brought home for him (not pictured).

I don't think the homecoming could have gone any better - Noah is such a sweetheart.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Welcome Eva!

As you have probably already heard, Eva Joyce Pytel joined us on her due date, Jan 22. We have yet to see if her timeliness will be a personality trait, or if she just wanted to have a cool birthday (1/22/11). She was 8lbs 0.4 oz, and perfect right from the start.

She arrived with a full head of hair, and while she is on the large side for a newborn she is impossibly tiny on the scale of children who currently live at our house.

Tiny, but beautiful

Both parents were instantly smitten.

And who could blame us?

We'd also like to send a special thank you to Saba, who came to visit last weekend and took care of Noah while we were busy having a baby. I think Eva may have been waiting for his visit all along...

New baby. Life is good. :)

Friday, January 14, 2011

Blizzard 2011

So as you may have heard, we got some snow.

It was really quite impressive

I like the sticky snow because it makes everything look so pretty

I'd say we got a total of about 15 inches.

Which is about 12 inches too many for a toddler to really manage. Noah was pretty much confined to the shoveled walks.

This was fine with me, because I didn't have to worry about him running into the street for a change. He'd have to scale a 3 foot snowbank to make it out there.

We recycled his sand pail and shovel for the occasion

I think he may be ready for a bigger shovel.

Happily, the storm hit while Grammy Sue was visiting.

In addition to an excellent toddler wrangler, Grammy Sue is an expert shoveler.

But she didn't have to do all of the work by herself

Now if only I could learn to back our car into our (very narrow) driveway in such a way that you can access the doors on BOTH sides, we will be all set!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

House update

So as you may recall, we recently bought a house. It is a little amazing that we have been so busy with everything that new home ownership has not been our only focus. But just to bring you up to speed, here's the story.

Our house is a brick ranch, built in 1981.

Also as best we can tell, last updated in 1981.

It's in a great location in a nice town (a suburb of Boston with excellent schools). Chad can take the subway to work and Noah can play in our new big back yard. When it isn't snowing, that is.

The problem was, the entire house was decorated by an elderly italian couple in 1981. There were some issues with the carpet choices. And the window treatments.

(living room)

You know you are in trouble when the 30 year old wallpaper is the least offensive decorating choice.

(baby's room)

(main hall)

So because we enjoy a challenge, the week between our closing and Christmas we had a fleet of workers in to strip & paint the walls, and install hardwood floors. We think it looks awesome.

(main hall)

(living room)

(baby's room)

The baby's room is still a little sparse since we don't actually have much baby stuff. We are counting on the baby to not notice her room isn't properly decorated due the fact that when we first bring her home she will barely be able to see. Also I am still optimistic by the time we bring her home we might actually have a changing table in there.

Noah's room is nicely set up and ready to go.

Also, gigantic. He lives in a toddler palace now!

Overall, we are very happy. We will be even happier once the kitchen sink plumbing issue of mystery is resolved, but you can't get everything you want all at once, right?

Monday, January 10, 2011

Birthday letter for Noah

Dear Noah

I've been telling people that you are two (or "almost two") for a while now, so you might think I am used to the idea. You might think that I would have gotten used to the fact that each day you are less baby curls and cuddling and more big boy energy and imagination. You sing songs that you've been taught and you make up your own songs. You can get most of the way through the alphabet song and identify basically all of the letters. You count to 14 on a regular basis, to yourself, for fun. You tear about our house jumping up and down and playing air guitar. Your favorite game is to order Daddy or Mommy to run away so you can chase us, or order us to chase you so you can run away. You have opinions about what to eat and what to wear and the negotiations we have to conduct to get you into the bath or out of the house are becoming increasingly more complex. You roll your eyes at me when I suggest doing something boring (let's read this book!) instead of what you want to do ("Noah watch [curious] George TV?").

The eye rolling I could live without, kid.

You totally understand what is going on in our daily lives "Daddy go work. Take train." "Dinner time! Noah have it chicken nuggets." "Hi Max!! Where Entropy? Max, go over there!"

(for the record, Max rarely tells where Entropy is and never goes where you asks her to).

We have asked a lot of you this year. I quit my job and we took you out of the day care you were used to. We put away a lot of your toys and interrupted our routine many evenings and weekends so strangers could walk through our house. We dragged you to Boston to look for a new place to live.

You responded by being generally delightful. By sleeping well in the Thoughtbot apartment. By having generally great behavior while eating out. By learning the motions to "Head, Shoulders Knees and Toes" and the Itsy bitsy spider.

We packed up our house, left all of your friends and the places you were used to, and moved to Boston. You responded with an explosion in language and started telling us what you saw.

We were amazed at your improved coordination and dexterity

and a total laid-backness about the fact that we were living (and asking you to sleep) somewhere different. You started asking to use the potty and we were crazy enough to encourage it.

A blink and a half later you were in a new school and mommy was sick and pregnant. You charmed everyone and started coming home with even more words and skills. You learned how to manage the playground and go up and down the slide by yourself. You learned how to jump. You continued to eat your vegetables.

You started to put two words together. You started to "read" books and build things with legos by yourself.

By the time the fall rolled around you were regularly using short sentences and we could have actual conversations (albeit, sometimes crazy ones). We took a leap of faith and in anticipation of the new baby put you in a big boy bed. You responded by sleeping great. A few weeks later we had most of our family over for Thanksgiving. You responded to the craziness by charming each of your many grandparents in turn.

And then, after all of this craziness, amidst the craziness of the holidays, we uprooted our family again and moved to a new house of our very own.

You clearly understood the process. You knew why the movers where there, why our things were in boxes. You understood why our old house was empty the next day. You adopted your new room without hesitation. You have continued to astonish me with your cognizance and ability to handle everything we have thrown at you.

Noah, you have been just amazing this year. I cannot believe how much you have grown. When we arrived in Boston eight months ago you seemed so big and capable. When I look back on that time I am astonished at how young you were then.

I am amazed by how much more mature and more able you are today.

You are a bouncy kid, with endless energy and a quickly-developing sense of humor. You say things that are clearly intended to be funny. You run around and around and around our house. But you also have a maturity that allows you to calmly accept the craziness that has swirled around us this year.

You are two. You have tantrums. ("Noah want different shirt. No! No shirt! [flailing] DIFFERENT SHIRT!!!!"). But even when you are upset I rarely get the feeling that you are confused and unsure. Mostly I see that you know exactly what you want (or what you do not want) and you and I just happen to disagree.

Luckily for me I am still bigger than you. You still have to wear a shirt to school. Also pants.

I want to thank you for your willingness to go along with the ride your father and I have taken you on this year. We have asked a lot in a very short time, and you have adapted gracefully, by acting exactly like the two-year-old that you are. I will take 10,000 shirt-related tantrums, because you have trusted us and accepted the things that are really difficult and important. The family moves. Changing schools. Potty training. My pregnancy.

We are going to continue to require you to change and adjust and throw you for another loop when your baby sister arrives later this month, and I am sure you will continue to amaze us with your depth of understanding and your trust in us. I can't wait to see all you will learn to do over the coming year. I don't understand how you could possibly be more articulate and independent than you are today, but as you have shown me repeatedly, you have a great capacity to amaze and are showing no signs of slowing down.

Noah, we are so, so proud of you. We love you. Thank you for another amazing year.