My, how time has flown. As of four years ago, Facebook was only available to college and high school students and Twitter hadn’t yet been opened to the public. We were still living in a basement apartment in downtown Beverly, MA, and we were wondering when we were going to have our baby, luckily we learnt how to sell your home quickly and then we were able to buy something better for our future family. And then, Catherine came along, we were able to get our own house plus decorated her room the best possible way for her to feel welcome. Things haven’t been the same since, even though we are still paying our mortgage we are very happy to have a house for our daughter to live in!
Watching her grow up has been the most amazing experience. She went from a little tiny thing who didn’t do much more than lay there to a girl who can ride a tricycle like lightning down the sidewalk. She is constantly dazzling us with her observations about the world, her memory of people, events, and places, her ability to read, her wide range of emotions and facial expressions, and her ability to love her friends and family. If you haven’t met Catherine, you’re really missing out on a treat!
We’re glad to be her parents, and we are looking forward to whatever the future holds for her! Happy fourth birthday, Catherine!
Ever since she started talking, Catherine has been a very talkative girl. But recently, her mastery of vocabulary and grammar, and her logical reasoning has been increasing, although her grasp of reality is still a bit shaky. Here are some recent blurbs.
At the end of dinner one night:
Papa: Catherine, after you finish your beans, it’s time for a bath.
Catherine: No, I have a better idea. We can play PICTURE LOTTO!
Catherine: I want you to GO!
Papa: I don’t have to go, this is my house.
Catherine: No, this is Mama’s house! *You* have a *work* house!
Catherine: Papa, what are we going to do tomorrow?
Papa: Well, I’m going to work. I don’t know what you and Mama and Esme are doing.
Catherine: Why are you going to work? (This is a frequent question.)
Papa: I have to go to work so that I can make money so that we can have a house and food and clothes.
Catherine: But we already have a house and food and clothes!
Papa: Well, we have to keep paying for these thngs, so I have to keep going to work to make money.
Catherine: Why do you make money at work?
Papa: Well, somebody else sells things and makes money, and I do work for him, so he gives me a little part of that money. And that’s what I use to pay for our things.
Upon me coming home from work:
Catherine, to Mama: Mama, come and see who has arrived!
That’s just a little taste… She says so many awesome things that it’s hard to keep track! Anybody else have a favorite saying from Catherine?
We had a decent amount of snow last night, so this afternoon I took the girls outside to play in the snow! Catherine and I had been out yesterday, but today Rebecca got Esme suited up, so the three of us went out.
This was Esme’s first time really playing in the snow. Her bulky snowsuit didn’t give her much mobility, but she was able to crawl around a bit, and she sat in my lap and got a feel for the snow. Esme wanted to go back inside rather quickly, but Catherine and I stayed out for a bit and took care of some way-overdue “winter prep” chores, like emptying the, um, now-frozen rain barrel.
Here are the rest of the photos from our play in the snow!
Catherine and Esme and I enjoyed some time in the woods of Manchester-by-the-
Hyphen–Sea today. We hiked the loop at Agassiz Rock, visiting both Big and Little Rocks. The hike was almost too strenuous for Catherine but she was a trooper and didn’t give up. Not even on the steep spots with slippery pine needles and leaves underfoot!
It was a beautiful day and the forest was ripe for exploring. Esme, as is her wont, tried to eat everything she got her hands on; pine needles, acorns, stones, a stick, leaves… It was an amazingly tactile learning experience for her. And a test of speed and agility for me as I swooped in to prevent consumption of above items.
Catherine had the chance to practice her map reading and trail marker following skills. She also dammed up a little stream, walked the balance beam on a fallen tree, and balanced some little rocks. As we hiked she joined me in a rousing chorus of “She’ll be Coming Around the Mountain When She Comes” (thanks to Jason for teaching it to her!) And as a nod to the Mole Sisters she went BoingaBoinga on a piece of moss.
If you’ve never been to Agassiz Rock and you’re in the area you should definitely check it out. And let us know if you’re headed there, we’d love to tag along! All our photos from today are in our gallery. Here are a couple more to whet your whistle:
As if out of nowhere Catherine has learned to draw people. I know that I didn’t coach her, as I can only draw stick people! I realize that I’m her Mama and all, but I’m pretty amazed by her sudden talent.
Here’s a nice drawing of Papa (This was the first of her people to have legs)
And here is one of just the girls. I really love that Catherine remembered to add Esme’s two little teeth! And I’m coming to terms with being seen as a potato with two eyes and no limbs!
Esme is up top, Catherine is hanging out on the right and Mama-spud is down at the bottom.
Esme celebrated her first Fourth of July today, decked out in her new, Mama-made, Star Spangled Romper. We didn’t get any great pictures of the whole outfit, but who cares when you can see a great smile like this
It was the fourth Fourth for big sister Catherine. She and Nonnie decorated her bike and marched in the MVCMA kids parade.
The rest of our day was spent at the West Tisbury Farmers Market (where we met the Travel Channel’s Samantha Brown and drank yummy Limeade) splashing in the ocean, eating delicious grilled corn on the cob and otherwise generally enjoying the freedoms we have as Americans. Happy Fourth, whichever number it is for you!
Today marks the three year anniversary of our having Catherine home with us. We celebrated her third birthday over Memorial Day Weekend with a Bubble Blowing Party (pictures here) but to me June 10th is just as special as May 26th.
I can still remember the relief I felt walking out of Beverly Hospital with her and the joy of arriving home. She was finally ‘all ours’. There were no more nurses or doctors checking in or making rounds. No more protocols, no more tubes or beeps or cords. Just our little girl.
If you met Catherine today, not knowing the story of her first two weeks, you would have no idea she had such a rough start. Every day she amazes me with the things she is learning. She makes me laugh with her dancing and singing and jokes. She is a caring big sister and a loving daughter. She loves life and ice cream and ‘rice and beans that are not spicy’. She is polite and generous and helpful. She exceeds our expectations daily and is truly a joy.
Esme is two months and two days old today. She had her checkup yesterday at which the doctor confirmed what we already know; she’s doing great! She’s gaining weight, getting taller and meeting her milestones. We are all loving her little coos and smiles and giggles. Maybe my favorite thing about her lately is that she has a little cry that sounds exactly like she is saying, “Esme”.
Long story, short, she’s awesome and we can’t imagine life without her.
Big sister Catherine is leading the way. She has been picking out clothes for little sister and showing her how all the baby toys work. I’ve found her, more than once, lying inside the ‘baby floor gym’ batting at the hanging toys.
Catherine has been charming the pants off her Mama by reciting her story books (“Mother and Gloria were inside at the table drawing place cards for the party”) and by never using contractions (“I fell, Mama, but I am okay.”) She also attended story time at the library today for the first time. We talked about how the other kids would go in alone and she had no qualms leaving me behind!
Life with two has its super sweet times and its super hectic times. I’ve found that the best way to manage and keep our sanity is to be compulsive about planning ahead. Luckily, it is one of my better qualities (if I do say so myself) I’m always mentally composing lists of things to pack in the diaper bag, noting where all the restrooms will be when we go out, categorizing to-do lists based on the number of girls napping…that sort of thing. It doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for daydreaming or creative thinking (I cram that in before bed) but it does help our days and outings run so much more smoothly.
What do you do that helps keep your days stress free?
This Earth Day started out sunny and warm. With the threat of rain later in the day knew we should enjoy the weather while we could. Catherine, Esme and I went out to the store and purchased a flat of marigolds, three basil seedlings and a handful of other veggie and herb seed packets, now that the team at chopdoc.com has chopped off some trees in the backyard we can start planting.
Before heading home we hit the playground for some climbing and the Danversport boat launch for a picnic lunch. So far the sun stayed with us.
Once home, and once Esme was sound asleep, Catherine and I set to work planting the flowers. Catherine did a lion’s share of the weeding, digging and planting. She also rounded up a large number of worms and transported them to the compost bin. I think I’ll call her the Worm Whisperer from now on!
The sun has since retreated behind clouds and it seems rain is imminent. Catherine was a bit upset that we couldn’t plant the seeds in the garden today, so we went in and planted them in some sixpack containers. Hopefully they’ll sprout soon and we can transplant them out into the garden.
Here’s some photos of our flower planting adventures!
This is the blog where I come clean about my Mama-crush. I’ve been following Amanda’s blog, Soulemama, for quite some time now and am so often inspired by her words and her projects and her views on life and parenting. I own a copy of her first book, The Creative Family and am eagerly anticipating her second, Handmade Home.
I was most recently inspired by this post in which she talks about a knit, spring-time top that she made for her daughter. I took one look at the top and knew I had to make one for Catherine.
The pattern is called “Girl’s Cap Sleeved Spring Top” and is available at no cost here, or for those of you on Ravelry, here. Knit seamless on circular needles it was a very fast project that yielded fantastic results. I really love the way it looks on Catherine and have plans to make a few more in different colors for the Spring and Summer.
Catherine loves it as well. She asked, almost immediately, if I would make a matching one for Esme. Call me a sucker for a cute face, but I’ve made some alterations to the pattern and a (hopefully) Esme sized top is already on the needles. I think I’ll make it a bit longer and call it a dress 🙂
[As always, click on the photos for larger versions!]