Thursday, February 3, 2011

To appease Uncle Haig

Uncle Haig has really been riding us lately about our failure to update Silas's blog. I don't think he quite realizes how difficult it is to get a decent picture of a constantly moving toddler who wants nothing more in life than to "Pwess da butt'ns on Mommy's camwa.... PWEASE!"

Lemme just put that lens cap back on for ya

In all seriousness, we're all doing great. Silas is a busy busy boy. He's constantly talking, although we can only decipher about 15% of what he says, which usually includes his insertion of the words "wocket ship" and "twenny minutes" in most conversations for some reason. We haven't figured out why yet, but if anyone has any theories, I'd be happy to entertain them.

He can throw some truly amazing tantrums over the most random things you can imagine. Last night he cried for 40 minutes straight because the cup he wanted me to pour his milk in did not exist. Note, that the problem was not that I wouldn't use the cup of his choice for his dinner beverage (and he has many, many options, ranging from various colors of sippy and/or straw cups, to various colors of small plastic topless cups he refers to as "bi' boy" [big boy] cups). Nope, he was upset because we don't actually own the cup that he wanted to use. I really love this kid, but sometimes he can drive me slap out of my mind.

Since we last wrote, buddy turned two and had a big old Halloween-themed birthday party;

Went trick or treating, had to be chased after as he tried to run into all of our neighbors houses after they gave him trick or treat candy;

I can see you in there

Refused to eat a single bite of our amazing Thanksgiving dinner in North Carolina (if you know me at all--seriously, I love Thanksgiving so much, I usually take a picture of my piled high Thanksgiving plate before I dig into it--you will know how abhorrent I find this);

Just in case you didn't believe that I actually take pictures of my plate

Even though I wouldn't touch my fried turkey, my Uncle Haig still likes me

Met his new baby cousin, Claren, and visited with Uncle Russ and Aunt Morgan;

SERIOUSLY, how cute is this baby?

I know it seems like I'm more interested in the present than the baby, but that's not true

Duets with uncle Russ

Celebrated Christmas with our families here in Virginia in our own house (!);
First annual viewing of Polar Express was a hit

Was treated quitely princely by Santa; and

Check out the bounty!

This one has "grandparents" written all over it

Visited with his Papa and Nonnie and cousins AJ and Kahlen in Birmingham over MLK weekend.

I Work hard for my money


I think that about wraps up our last four months or so.

To close, I'm stealing an idea I saw on another blog recently (I can't remember which one it was or I would link it). It's called "Slices of Life." I think it's pretty self-explanatory (also, I am lazy and don't want to explain it).


Me: Good morning, buddy. Did you sleep good? Did you have good dreams or bad dreams last night?

Silas: Bad dweams.

Me: Oh no! Bad dreams about what?

Silas: Bawaweenas [ballerinas].


Silas: (Watching Big Papa smoke a cigar on our front porch) Gwand! Big Papa has fiwah [fire] in his mouf!


Matt: Okay, time to get out of the bathtub, Si.

Silas: No no. Si Si stay in baf all night.


Me: (handing Silas a fork to use to eat his dinner)

Silas: Oooooh, a fohk! My favowite!


Silas: Juice, pwease!

Matt: (handing him the juice) What do you say, Silas?

Silas: (pause) Yay?


Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Last weekend we took advantage of the beautiful weather and took Silas camping. It was our first camping experience since he's been mobile and I've got to say, it went pretty well. We purchased a new, larger tent that could accommodate our air mattress and his pack-n-play crib. We spent a lot of time talking with him about camping and showing him pictures of tents to the point that he was almost frothing at the mouth with excitement about getting to sleep in a tent himself.

We decided to try out a new (to us) campground near the Shenandoah National Park in Luray, Virginia. It was nice, although it seemed like everyone had the same idea we had of taking advantage of the mild weekend weather and nearly all the campsites were occupied with other folks. Silas, however, being a social butterfly, very much enjoyed getting to hang out with all "the peoples."

On our way up to Luray, we stopped and went apple-picking. Although, it turns out that the drought we've been having has somewhat devastated the area's apple crops and there wasn't much picking going on, sadly. We did buy a half-bushel of very delicious pre-picked apples, so it wasn't a total loss. We were also able to pick our own pumpkins, which Silas really enjoyed. Particularly when he figured out he could ride in the pumpkin wagon and carry his very own Silas-sized pumpkin. Despite the intense amount of planning that went into coordinating this weekend getaway, I forgot our camera. So, all we have are shots from Matt's iphone, sadly.

So, I'm not supposed to eat the apples with worms on them?

Before heading over to our campsite, we stopped at the legendary Apple House for some yummy sandwiches and even yummier apple doughnuts. Seriously, people, these things are worth driving an hour or so outside of DC for. They are that amazing.

We checked into our campsite after lunch on Saturday, and after being warned that there was a mama bear and two cubs on the property, we were told to enjoy our stay. We set the tent up and tried to get Si to take a nap, but, not surprisingly, he wasn't super stoked about falling asleep. We finally strapped him to my back in our trusty Ergo and went for a hike along the river, which knocked him right out.
Welcome to the Bat Cave

We had a blast that evening--running around, looking at bugs, throwing rocks, and jumping in and out of the tent. We grilled hotdogs for dinner and ate apples. Silas had his first s'more, which was a huge hit.

Pretty tasty

Mo' p'ease

After dinner, we read his books by the fire and dressed him in footie pajamas and a thick fleece and put him to bed by 7:30, covered in a thick flannel blanket. While he seemed pretty warm through the night, Matt and I froze our tails off. If there was an olympic medal for spooning, I'm pretty confident that Matt would have won it that night. In addition, I awoke around midnight convinced that I was hearing a growling bear just outside of our tent. I shook Matt awake in order to discuss our options and after listening for a few minutes, Matt announced that there was no bear--it was just the guy in the campsite next to us snoring. Although I remain staunch in my position that the noise I heard did not sound human, Matt's theory (or exhaustion) generally won out and we fell back asleep. Given that we weren't eaten in the night (nor was anyone nearby), it seems that Matt's hypothesis wasn't totally crazy.

Si woke a little earlier than normal--but perhaps that was due to the fact that I also forgot his overnight diapers and he was soaked and shivering. We all laid in our bed under the covers and sang songs until about 7:45 when we got up to make breakfast. We drank coffee, ate eggs, bacon, and apple donuts at our little picnic table outside the tent, which Silas seemed to really enjoy. After breakfast we spent about an hour throwing rocks into the river, which I'm pretty confident Silas could do all day long. We then packed everything up and headed back to DC in time to hang out with friends Sunday night.

Apple doughuts: almost as good as s'mores

Having some milk with my morning Elmo book

Action shots:

It was a really great weekend.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Silas, the Great Negotiator

I know--this regular posting is just blowing your mind! This video was taken the same night as Silas's rendition of "Twinkle Twinkle." While not as cute, it's equally entertaining, in my opinion. It's very apparent he has two lawyers for parents.

And, yes, he got cookies (Fig Newmans) after this performance. My heart is not made of coal.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Winkle 'Tar

Silas's favorite song right now:


Friday, September 10, 2010

The End of Summer

Hello! Sorry for the lack of blogging. Things have been a little hectic in these parts this summer. I can't believe it's over! We're all doing well, but for some reason, it seems like time has sped up and there's never enough. Matt switched jobs a couple of months ago, which probably has something to do with it. It's a great new job but it's less flexible hours, which means that I'm shouldering more of the childcare/housekeeping responsibilities, leaving a lot less time for picture taking and blogging. Also, we traveled a lot this summer. We were out of town every weekend in August, which I still haven't quite recovered from. I don't think I've seen the bottom of the dirty clothes hamper since spring.

Silas is still hilarious. He's talking up an absolute storm. Every time he enters a room, he looks around and says, "Hey, guys!" He's speaking in sentences like "Mama, anai hab mo kassup, pease?" [Mama, can I have more ketchup, please] and "Sowwy, Caca. No hit." [Sorry, Jessica--his nanny. No hit]. Matt will probably kill me for writing this but last night, as Silas was eating his black beans, he looked up at me and said, "F*ck." Shocked, I waited a beat and said, "What?" He repeated it and I paused for a minute trying to figure out how to respond. Then he said, "F*ck, pease!" Which is when I realized that he was asking for a fork. Whew.

He loves to count and sing songs. "Winkle" [Twinkle twinkle] is a favorite, as is "Wheels on the Bus" and "Old McDonald." He's been going to a kids music class for about six months now that is is favorite thing on earth. Whenever he's having a hard time with life, we stick this music class's cds in the stereo and it just calms him right down.

He's still loving his nanny. We feel very fortunate. He spends a lot of time with her family too--she has two little sisters and she lives with them and her parents, and she and Silas usually spend time at her house every afternoon. It's like Silas has two families, lucky boy.

We're definitely in the throes of the terrible twos and have been for a few months now. Having started with the terrible twos around 16 months, I think it's clear that Silas is a prodigy... or something. He can throw some pretty amazing fits. He's also figured out that a really loud high pitched scream in public is a good way to get whatever it is he wants at that minute. It's remarkably effective. I find that we are very good disciplinarians at home. Silas gets a warning, we count to three, and then he goes straight to timeout. If he has a tantrum, we ignore him and he quits or we distract him and he forgets whatever it was that turned his world upside down a few minutes earlier. Outside of the house, however, we tend to do whatever it takes to stop the screaming. Seriously, people, his screams will melt glass. I know how we're responding is bad, but short of staying home or going out in public and having everyone within earshot think that we're removing his toenails one-by-one, I'm not really sure how to handle it.

I try to tell myself that his willfulness and independence is a good thing. Probably most political and business leaders were all willful toddlers, right? Then it occurs to me that most violent criminals and evil dictators were also likely difficult children and then I start to worry.

Our main challenges right now, in addition to tantruming, are hitting and pushing. He's got a pretty solid aggressive streak. When he hits or pushes, he gets an immediate time out. No warning or counting--just straight to time out--which seems to be working a little. This phase is worrying me a lot, but I can't really blame him. I think he came by his aggressive streak naturally. In fact, the amount of energy I expend daily trying not to hit people I interact with would probably shock you. Unless you know me pretty well, in which case it wouldn't.

Oh well. We all have our crosses to bear. Silas and I must calm the beast within us. Matt just has to work hard on not smiling so much. Sometimes life seems unfair.

Now: photos that have nothing to do with anything written above. Congruity.... who needs it?

Bubbles and sidewalk chalk

Loving on my Mimi, celebrating her birthday

In Baltimore at the O's/Nats game with Uncle Haig and Aunt Adrienne

Loving on my Uncle Haig

Hanging out with my cousin, A.J.

Filling up the kiddie pool is Man's Work

What? Your dining room floor doesn't look like this after EVERY MEAL?

Chillin' with Big Papa

Walking Grand and Big Papa's dog, Deuce

Just plum tuckered out.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Punta Cana


A few weeks ago we took a family vacation to a resort in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. I (Matt) am starting a new job soon, and we were all sort of burnt out, so we figured it was a good time to make a break for the beach. With the help of a travel agent, we set our sights on a place that billed itself as great for young families: lots of activities for toddlers, no worries about annoying other guests at dinner time, but great beaches and mojitos for the parents.

We had a great flight down. For the long flight from Charlotte to the D.R., we sat in the back row of the plane, where we were able to snag an extra seat in between us. Our fellow travelers made funny faces and said hello to Silas while waiting for the bathroom, and he was his charming self, smiling back and being friendly. We let him watch a DVD -- the Pixar movie Cars -- and it was as effective as we hoped. He was totally captivated by the movie for its entire two-hour running time, only occasionally hooting and hollering when excited by the racing onscreen. We were so proud.

Upon arrival, the resort was everything we'd hoped: beautiful, incredibly kid-friendly, with outstanding food and drink. When we arrived, our room was outfitted with a stroller and a Pack-n-Play. The main restaurant had a "baby corner," a room with plenty of high chairs, easy access to kid food, special service, and most importantly, lots of other people with kids in high chairs so you weren't embarrassed when your kid decided to throw chicken nuggets on the floor or to bang his fork on the table in the middle of the meal. On every trip to the pool, Taylor and I tag-teamed: one of us splashing in the water with the Silas, the other in a lounge chair reading and drinking something with rum.

The resort had Baby Club, a daycare-type facility where you could drop your kids off for the whole day if you wanted. We weren't quite up for a full day without our buddy (nor was Silas, I suspect), but we usually left him there for an hour-and-a-half or in the afternoon. During this time, they would typically take Silas in a little buggy down to the beach with his buddies, where he enjoyed playing in the sand, and then for a snack in one of the restaurants.

And now I'm rolling in my six-fo

One day they told us that we should come to pick up Silas in the amphitheater, where all the children would be putting on a show for their parents. We were curious -- but a little skeptical -- about what sort of show a bunch of two-year-olds would be able to perform. When we arrived, we sat with all of the other excited parents of the preschool aged children. Silas's age group (~12-18 months) went first. One by one they came out (or were carried...or in Silas's case dragged) on stage. All of the other children were adorably dressed in cute little clown costumes. Silas, alas, was not. Let us preface this by telling you that it was easily 95 degrees that day and Silas is a truly hot-natured little boy. Even in the dead of winter, he can work up a serious sweat just by thinking hard. Although he was not in a clown costume, he was completely drenched in sweat and scowling, which made us think that a clown costume had been attempted for him until one of the teachers noticed his copious perspiration and felt sorry for him (and/or became afraid that he would die of heat stroke). Below is a picture we took with Taylor's cell phone during the performance. Silas and his anger are seated on the far right.

There were outdoor performances by local musicians on a few nights -- this may have been Silas' favorite part of the trip. He would get incredibly sweaty running around and dancing to the rhythm. The musicians seemed amused. Especially once they realized that Si is an extremely good tipper.

Do you guys know any Lynyrd Skynyrd?

I think I prefer apple juice


On the last day of the trip, unfortunately, Silas came down with an extremely high fever (it got up to 104.8 degrees). Luckily, the resort had an on-site physician who, after gagging Silas with a tongue depressor and causing him to vomit ALL OVER Taylor, diagnosed him with Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease. (I told an exquisitely well-timed joke immediately after Silas soaked Taylor in vomit, but neither Taylor nor the doctor laughed. Taylor apparently has no sense of humor, and I firmly believe that a language barrier prevented the doctor from appreciating my hilarity.)

We lowered Silas's fever with cold wet towels and by alternating Motrin and Tylenol every three hours, but it was a harrowing evening. The doctor said that Silas was likely to have the fever for several days and could see no reason why he couldn't fly, so they sent us on our merry way home the next day.

To say the flight was miserable for us and Every. Other. Single. Person. On. That. Plane. would be a total understatement. Taylor and I were drenched in sweat as we attempted to distract Silas with the arsenal of toys, DVDs, books, craft projects, food, and drink that we brought with us, but Silas was just inconsolable. Inconsolable and royally ticked off. If anyone on that plane was thinking about procreating anytime soon, I'm sure they totally reconsidered after listening to Silas's wailing for four hours.

After dealing with nonstop screaming for the entire flight from Punta Cana to Charlotte, we then missed our connection to Dulles by mere minutes because OF COURSE WE DID. As I attempted to restrain Taylor from maiming the gate agent who wouldn't let us on our connecting plane, we realized that the two-hour break between flights was actually a blessing. We were able to have a somewhat leisurely dinner and Silas was able to make a few hundred laps around the terminal, which exhausted him sufficiently to allow him to fall asleep as soon as we got on the plane to Dulles.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Mother's Day

Snuggling with my Mama on Mother's Day

We had a lovely Mother's Day this year. My parents came up for a visit and we spent the weekend hanging out, eating, and doing fun stuff as a family.

Saturday morning we all went to Silas's swimming lessons. He takes lessons offered by the county at a local indoor pool. He's in the 6 month - 18 month-old class, which pretty much makes him the oldest kid there. Because it's the baby class, a parent participates with each child, which means I get to go swimming each Saturday morning too! The first class was a little hairy. The water was fah-reezing and all the other children were screaming. Plus it had been close to a year since Silas was last in a pool, so the whole experience was a little jolting. This week, however, the lesson went great. He enjoyed all of the exercises and wasn't scared to put his face in the water at all. Grand and Big Papa were very impressed with his swimming abilities.

Posing before swim class in my sweet board shorts

Intently listening to the swimming instructor while Grand takes hundreds of embarrassing pictures

The thing I like about swimming the most: all the water a kid could possibly drink

After nap on Saturday, we all headed out to the Air and Space Museum out near Dulles airport. The only person more excited than Silas about all of planes and space equipment was Big Papa. Silas ran around and got himself good and exhausted and loved pointing and talking about the "ay-panes." He particularly liked the museum control tower, set opposite of the actual control tower at Dulles, where you can watch the planes take off and land from the airport and hear some of the dialogue between the pilots and the air traffic controllers.

The ride back from the museum was a little less than pleasant--Silas was exhausted and not at all interested in being strapped into his carseat for 30-40 minutes and his awesome parents failed him in not bringing any pacifiers and/or other distracting toys. Lesson learned.

I like the "ay-panes" just as much as I like running around in here

Posing outside the Air and Space Museum with my family

Sunday we all went to church and then to Mother's Day brunch. Silas (and Daddy) made me a beautiful bouquet of paper flowers and promised that we could pick out some bushes for our side yard as my present.

A masterpiece, if I do say so myself. Daddy helped me a little bit.

Silas got to spend time with Grand and Big Papa and even helped Grand do some weeding in the front yard. I also got to take an amazing nap and, afterwards, a long walk with my boys to and from the library.

I don't know if you can tell by these shots, but I really played an integral role in this whole 'weeding' process

That night, Big Papa made some delicious spaghetti sauce for Silas (and put some in the fridge for Matt and I to eat this week), and Big Papa and Grand babysat while Matt and I went on a much-needed date that did not involve wrestling an ornery 18 month-old into and out of a highchair and picking up handfuls of food off the floor once the meal was over.

My compliments to the chef...

...and the chef's lovely assistant

It was a perfect day.

And now, I just wanted to share one of Silas's drawings. His absolute favorite thing to do (other than watch Blue's Clues, obviously) is to color or "daw" (draw). He constantly asks "I daw? I daw? I daw?" and will sit and color for HOURS. He is currently (weirdly) obsessed with drawing small circles, which, in my completely unbiased and totally humble opinion, seems super advanced and indicative of true artistic genius. But, what do I know?