29 months


Dear Kaylee,

The past month brought Christmas and new years and soon, a baby brother into your life. You had so much fun this year with presents and Santa Claus and everything else that comes along with the season. It has been fun experiencing everything for the first time with you.


You have decided you really love the story of Rudolph and we’ve watched the movie about a million times. The abominable snow monster freaks you out though, so we have to skip through that part, or end early. The first time you watched it all the way through we heard about the monster who tried to eat Rudolph for days and days. You’re quite sensitive to the injustices of your little world.


Your dad and I are both off on holiday break which means we’ve been spending a lot of time together. We’ve had such a mild winter so far that we have been able to go outside quite a bit without getting all bundled up. You’re pretty dismayed at the lack of snow. You have been talking about building a snowman with daddy for weeks – but we’ve only really had a couple light dustings so far. We did get enough to take you for a sled ride around the yard though, and you loved every second – shouting ‘faster daddy!!!’ around every curve.


You stayed outside until your daddy was all mushed out and your little nose was red from the cold. I think I’m just as excited as you are for the first real snow that will bring with it your long awaited snowman, and the cups of hot cocoa to follow.

Your dad and I will be leaving for the hospital bright and early on Monday morning to have your brother, and you and I will be apart for the first time since you were born. That makes me more sad than I can say, but it’s for a good cause and I’m sure we’ll both be fine in the end. You’ll have a few days of spoiling from Grandma and Papa and I’ll have drugs and sleep deprevation and a box of chocolates to take my mind off of missing you so much. I’m nervous about how you’ll fare over the next few weeks, but I’m excited for you to meet your brother and to start a new journey together as a family of four.

You’ll always be my baby.




the saddest pumpkin carving ever…and trick-or-treating

Kaylee helped clean out the pumpkin guts this year. Once some of the slime touched her fingers she was done though. She much preferred coloring the outside instead.

We helped with the carving.

Then somewhere along the way she completely lost it for no apparent reason (it’s hard to tell these days if she’s  upset because she’s teething, tired, or just being a typical terrible two year old. Sometimes she’s all three rolled into one), and never really bounced back. In fact, she woke up from her nap even more grouchy than before.

(Although you can’t tell here) the first time she smiled all day was when we told her it was time to get her costume on and go trick-or-treating (She’s a curious george fanatic – hence the monkey suit). She was happy and spunky and had a great time. We stopped in at about 10 houses and she came home with quite a haul in candy. It was as if the past few hours never happened. There’s no denying she’s a two year old.

Once we got back she reverse trick-or-treated; running to the door, holding out her bag, and saying “trick-or-treat” whenever kids rang our doorbell. We also learned that while she’s never had a candy bar, she’s somehow proficient at opening wrappers all by herself. It seemed like every time we turned around she had another one open, even after we thought we confiscated everything. She ate about 3 fun-size bars, part of a Hershey’s Kiss, and a handful of M&M’s by the time the night was over and went to bed in a sugar coma – a happily perfect ending to what started out as the saddest Halloween ever.

Outings: Pumpkins & mud puddles

We made our traditional yearly trip out to Hoffman’s Garden Center to get pumpkins. This was our third time, and the best one yet. Kaylee was able to participate more and we all had a great time.

We spent most of our time chasing after her as she ran here and there, but we were the only family there so it really wasn’t that bad. The only time she sat relatively still was while riding in the wagon so we used it to our advantage for a quick family picture.

Kaylee poured food onto the serving spoon (and spilled most of it on the ground), while daddy held it up for the donkeys to eat. She’s been spoiled by all the petty zoos we’ve been to in the past and quickly lost interest and wandered off once she found out we couldn’t actually go into the pen with them.

Our little witch 🙂

Kaylee was actually able to help pick out the pumpkins this time. She liked the really big ones, and the really small ones.

Then she insisted on attempting to pull the wagon by herself, and actually succeeded…She’s a lot stronger than she looks.

Kaylee’s favorite part was spashing in the mud puddles on the way back to the car. She was totally soaked, fairly dirty, and totally proud of herself by the time she had her fill. It doesn’t get much better than this 🙂

Outings: Bonner Farm

We met up with Grandma and Papa for a trip to the fall open house at Bonner Farm. The petting zoo folks brought ponies along this time, and Kaylee was big enough to ride them. She was very happy about that. After waiting patiently in line for her turn, she took to it like a pro, holding the reigns and even letting go to wave to me from afar. She’s growing up so fast.

Kaylee just learned what a windmill is, thanks to a Curious George episode, and was very excited to see one in person at the farm.

The traditional tractor shot…totally not into it this time around, she only sat on the seat for a few seconds before demanding to get down.

The hoodie crew.

Headed for the playground with Grandma and Pa Pa.



Bonner Farm: The Sequel

We attended the Spring Fling at Bonner Farm a few weeks ago. The farm is part of the forest preserve and is maintained as a museum and playground. Kaylee seemed to enjoy herself even more this year. She had a great time at the petting zoo, which featured a SEEP!!!, bunnies, and piglets, a calf, ducks, and 2 itty-bitty baby goats. Kaylee is quite enamored with sheep and goats, probably due to her Shaun the Sheep obsession. And, yes, we let our not quite 2 year old watch tv, daily. It’s funny how the “rules” fly out the window once reality of parenthood sets in. Some days I’m exhausted after an 8+ hour day at work and just need 5 minutes to myself when I walk in the door to decompress and get ready for the evening ahead. Most of the time we plop down on the couch to watch an episode together. Sometimes I take a few minutes to myself to make dinner without tripping over a helpful toddler 5 million times, or heaven forbid, go to the bathroom without her climbing into my lap. And, Kaylee needs time to decompress too – enter Shaun. Maybe she’ll know 10 less words by her birthday because of her TV viewing habit, but I consider it a fair trade for both of our sanity.

A few of the animals were as tall, or taller than she is, but this wasn’t an issue as it was hot and they were all docile. She had a chance to feed them on her own this time too, and she giggled when they nibbled the pellets out of her hand. She cried in protest when it was time to go, so sad that she had to leave her new BFFs behind.

Lambs Farm

We took a little family outing to Lamb’s Farm in June. It is a small amusement center with a farm theme, that provides employement and residential living opportunities for people with developmental disabilities.

Kaylee had a great time in the petting area, where she had the run of the place. We didn’t leave until each sheep, and most of the goats, got a turn at a good brushing.

It turned out to be the perfect pint-sized day. The grounds were large enough for exploration but small enough that she could walk the whole place on her own.

We ended our visit with a ride on the train, which Kaylee loved. We sang songs and made train sounds for the duration of the ride around the park. Definitely recommended for the 5 and under crowd – with mini golf for the older kids.

Easter 2012

We had a pretty low-key Easter this year. The morning started with Kaylee emptying her Easter ‘pail’, which seemed more practical than a basket since she can actually use this at the beach this summer. The pail was filled with a Little Red Riding Hood book and a super cute wolf toy from Gund;

I pined over the larger version of this toy on Amazon ($50) for quite some time before stumbling on the smaller, much more affordable ($15) one last month.  It contains characters from several wolf themed stories in its belly.

(link: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004TL9Q7O/ref=oh_o01_s01_i00_details)

Kaylee’s most prized gift that morning was a Percy Pez dispenser though, a recycled party favor she received last summer but was too little for at the time. It hasn’t left her sight since she opened it, she even sleeps with it.

The cats were very interested in the pail too.

After Kaylee’s morning nap we headed over to Grandma and PaPa’s house for Grandma Ryan’s almost famous apple pancake and an egg hunt.

Kaylee had a blast picking up all of the eggs, shouting “I DID IT” after placing each one in the basket.

Of course, baby was close at hand at all times.

This is the same jacket she wore last year, and it still fits. One of our best clothing purchases ever! It doesn’t hurt that our little peanut is still a peanut, just slightly taller and much, much, more mobile.

Outings: Easter bunny


Our visit went well this year. We got there a few hours before closing on the very last day so no waiting in line this time. After a few high-fives she sat on his lap and smiled. She talked to him for quite a while, all about the sparkly purple egg they let her hold. The camera girls were patient and kind. The printer was better this year too.

home movies: trick-or-treating

So, we went trick-or-treating…kindof. What seemed like a fairly simple task turned into a huge ordeal as soon as we stepped out the front door. We took Kaylee out early so we could be back in time to hand out candy.  That meant a quick dinner, getting dressed up in her costume, and scrambling to find a bag for her to use because I totally forgot to pick one up. We kept it to the adjacent neighbors so that she could walk on her own. And, I wanted to get some video of her walking down our path in her little chick costume.

Getting Kaylee into her costume was a breeze, mostly because she had already worn it three times by this point. She was also super excited at the prospect of going outside and was ready to go as soon as we opened the door. As soon as we set her down she took off. She didn’t want to hold her bag and was totally disinterested in the trick-or-treating part. Instead she wanted to run and play in the road, pet the big angry doggies, follow the other trick-or-treaters up the block, and throw herself into a whiney heap on the ground every time we intervened. We made it up to two houses before throwing in the towell and heading back inside.

On the bright side, Kaylee did really seem to enjoy the parade of visitors over the next few hours and ran to see who was here every time the doorbell rang. She also liked taste-testing the treats she brought home, all three pieces of them.

it just doesn’t pay to be a good citizen anymore…

Scott and I took Kaylee to the park on Sunday in an attempt to enjoy, what might possibly be, the last of the decent weather for the season and ended up stumbling into a crime scene investigation. Upon arriving at the park, we noticed an empty cream pie box and an empty HP tablet computer box strewn about near some trees. So, being a good citizen, and not wanting Kaylee to get into something she shouldn’t, I went over to pick everything up and tossed it in the trash can less than 20 feet away. Heathens…

A short time later, while we were busy pushing Kaylee on the swings, an offers walked over from an adjoining yard visibly searching for something as he came closer. Scott ask how things were going and the officer replied ‘different day different crime.’ Scott then asked if the officer was looking for anything in particular. “A pie box and computer box.”

(oh, crap…)

“well we just threw some trash away”, Scott replied. With that the officer walked over to the trashcan, removed the lid, and said “congratulations, you get to get finger printed.”


I filled out a police report and Scott took his business card. The officer said the detective is out of town but would call me in a few days after he returns to let me know if I still need to come in for finger printing.  He seemed to have a pretty good idea of who was responsible (some neighborhood kids) and thought that if they caught them in the next couple of days I might not need to make a trip to the station. He also told me that if I do get called in, not to wear nice clothes since they will most likely end up ruined because they take prints of your entire hand and it is messy.

(oh boy!)