Friday, December 17, 2010

Nice Sister?

Kenzie got a baby doll from Santa at a party at Dustin's school earlier this week.  Should we be worried about bringing a real baby into the house?
 (P.S. that is a balloon animal that has come undone in the background...don't be getting any ideas)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas is in the house

A tree?  In the living room?  This is a crazy holiday.  Every morning, when Kenzie remembers that we have a piece of the woods decorated in our home, she says excitedly,"tee, tee, tee!" (translation: "tree"...and yes, she always says things at least twice, usually more, with a great sense of urgency).

She enjoyed the hunt for the perfect tree, especially because it included a tractor ride up the mountain.

Sad side note: I lost that absolutely adorable hand-me-down puffy vest from LL Bean while shopping earlier this week.
I am so disappointed in myself

I know she loves the holidays because she gets to do things that we never let her do, like eat handfuls of candy while making a gingerbread cottage.  We had intended this gingerbread-home-making session as a photo opportunity for our Christmas card, but we weren't able to pry the candy from her death grip and every time we asked her to smile a mouthful of purple/yellow/orange drool leaked down her chin.  Not exactly what we had planned.

Her hands and mouth are full of candy.

Her chin isn't always that color.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Halloween: Quack Quack

Without a doubt, McKenzie was the cutest duck in the pond on Halloween.  While I was hesitant to take her trick-or-treating because she can't even say "trick-or-treat" yet, we decided that she would enjoy the experience and it turned out to be pretty fun for us too.

At the first house the owner placed a bowl full of candy at Kenzie's level and she just stared at it in amazement.  The woman put FOUR pieces of candy into Kenzie's bucket.  As Dustin and Kenzie walked back to the bottom of the driveway where I was waiting she couldn't stop looking into her bucket.

They just gave this to me?  I didn't have to beg? Didn't have to whine?
At the second house, as soon as the bowl of candy was in reach, Kenzie dug her hand in and grabbed a pack of Nerds before anyone changed their mind.
This is crazy! 
By the third house, Kenzie was leaving Dustin behind as she ran up the walkway to the awaiting bowl of candy.  
Come on daddy!  There's chocolate up there!
We only went to five or six houses, but she got plenty of loot.  She also enjoyed checking out some of the other kids in their costumes.  I'm sure her favorite part of the night was the mini Twix bar that we let her have on the car ride home.  We can hardly wait for next year.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Halloween: Pumpkin Guts

Dustin and I waited until the last possible moment to carve our pumpkins because we had a hard time finding a time when we would be able to do it together as a family.  We were so excited to see Kenzie's reaction when she dug her hand inside the pumpkin to feel the slimy, juicy pumpkin guts.  Boy were we disappointed! She refused to go anywhere near the guts with her bare hands.  She kept holding out her arms and indicating that she wanted to touch the gooey stuff, but when we tried to hand it to her she ran away.

Next year I'm hoping she'll dig right in.

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Tough Year for Squirrels

I fear the squirrels will have a difficult time making it through winter because of the stores of acorns we are bringing into the  house.  McKenzie has made it her personal mission to collect all acorns found lying in our yard, and there are a lot. I've tried to convince her that they are best left outside, but she insists on bringing them inside and keeping them in various cups and buckets.  I've recently resorted to hiding them from her in hopes that she will forget about her new game  "Put an Acorn in my Mouth Then Run Away from Mommy."  She's very good at this game.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


There is a lot of clapping and cheering happening in our home these days. There are just so many things to celebrate.

We celebrate when,
  • McKenzie pokes her fork into a piece of food and then takes the food all the way to her mouth. Woo Hoo! (she claps for herself everytime she successfully does this now)
  • McKenzie does something we ask her to do, although she usually does things on her own terms. She may not give me the pen, but when I say, "please give the pen to daddy," she does so willingly. Good job!
  • after coming up with an elaborate plan and timetable to make binkies "only for bedtime," Kenzie surprises us by willingly throwing her pacifiers into her crib before we take her out each morning. Yes!
  • without any prompting, Kenzie announces she's "ah da" playing with the cardboard box, brings it to the cupboard, opens the door, and puts it with the rest of the paper recycling. Nice work!
  • instead of hitting us or Kona, Kenzie is able to "do nice" and give just hugs and kisses. Good girl!
  • after much practice, our little climber figures out how to go backwards down the stairs on her own...not that we want her to, but it's better than the just-step-and-hope-someone-catches-me method.  Chee Hoo!
  • the last ring is placed on the "Rock a Stack."  Not an easy feat when it is floating around in the bathtub. Yah!
  • any body part is correctly identified.  You got it! When asked, she consistently points to her mouth, belly button, feet, fingers, toes, and hair.  She can find my nose and eyes, but can't seem to locate them on her own body.  
  • Kenzie says a new word. Go Kenzie! This happens almost everyday now. She says over 20 words (including animal sounds) and is really good about telling us what she wants and needs. She has perfected a vigorous head shake while saying "no, no, no," and always has an appetite for "boo bawee, boo bawee" (translation: blueberries).
She does NOT want to get out of the pool.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Family Time

We've had a great summer so far and Kenzie has had some real quality time with her daddy. I am teaching summer school for four hours a day, so on the days when Dustin isn't working his summer job (right now he's only working Mondays and Thursdays) Kenzie gets to have her dad all to herself. I've already seen the bond between them growing. She used to reserve kisses for just Mama and Kona (okay, and any other dog), but now she shares them with Dustin too. He is enjoying his time with her and I think when the start of the school year comes it will be harder than normal for him to head back to work.

We are so lucky to have lots of time together over the summer and we try to get out ever afternoon to do something fun.

Last week we went for ice cream at the UConn dairy bar, then paid a visit to the cows that provided the milk for our tasty treat.

We went blueberry picking. We've been eating everything from blueberry pancakes, to blueberry bread and blueberry crisp. Kenzie is in her glory!

We had a blast cooking out and swimming at Bigelow Hollow with Alan, Leigh and kids. (Kona had fun, too)

And Kenzie's first (very brief) kayak ride was a success.
We hope you are enjoying your summer as much as we are.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Cow Says Moo

Kenzie has been talking up a storm these days and it seems that everyday she says something new. She currently says over ten words, although Dustin and I may be the only ones who understand her. She says dada, mama, hi, bye-bye, Kona, ball, moo, quack, brrrrr (that's the noise an elephant makes w/ it's trunk, btw), all done ("ah dah"), more, blueberry, grandpa, and tonight she was trying to say water. Sometimes she says thank you and okay, but not consistently enough to say she really knows those words.

I try to catch some of these things on video, but she isn't a fan of speaking on demand. Here's what I have been able to record.

hi, bye, moo, grandpa, and wet kisses for the camera

all done, quack, elephant noises

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Kenzie on Summer Fun

I've had a pretty busy summer so far. If you are having trouble thinking of ways to spend your time, here are some ideas:

Catch a local ball game.
(That's my cousin Kaitlin playing the dirt behind me)

Bury your worries in the sand.

Share a snack with a friend,

Or don't.

Take time to enjoy nature,

and check out the local wildlife.
Cheer on your favorite guy at his first ever dive tournament.
Most importantly, find time to just
Happy Summer everyone!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Meeting Madison

I ignored the signs for months; walking, communicating, eating grown-up foods, throwing the occasional temper tantrum. Then an event happened that thrust McKenzie from infanthood to toddlerhood the way nothing else could: we met Madison. Sweet, eight pound, three-week-old, little, baby Madison.

As I held that preciously tiny newborn, too small to fill out her little ducky pajamas, I watched McKenzie. While Madison lounged comfortably in my arms, Kenzie wreaked havoc on a home not yet accustomed to a moving child. She was busy touching everything in sight and wandering around from room to room leaving a line of cracker crumbs in her trail. She was playing with the dog, riding the minature rocking horse, laughing at who knows what and babbling incoherently. She was a long way from being a new baby. It had been thirteen months since she was a new baby. She's more than a year old. Yup, toddlerhood is here.

Still, I have a hard time calling Kenzie my toddler. The word conjures up images of two and three-year-olds, talking and running and playing make-believe. McKenzie is years away from that. Right?

She'll always be my baby.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Just Like Daddy

A conversation I recently had with a woman behind me in line at the grocery store went something like this:
Woman: Wow, she looks just like you!
Me (knowing this to be false): Thanks.
W: You must get that all the time.
Me:Actually,people often tell me she looks just like her dad.
W: Oh no. She has your eyes. She has your chin. She has your cheeks. (etc, etc)
Me (smiling politely): Thanks.
W(after a few moments of silence while I paid for my groceries): Well, maybe you and your husband just look a lot alike!
Me (humored): haha,maybe.
You all know that Dustin and I do not, in fact, look anything like each other. McKenzie and Dustin, on the other hand, look very similar. Kenzie's hair is getting longer and when it's humid it curls in the back (so cute!). Baby pictures of Dustin look just like Kenzie. It makes me wonder what she will look like as she grows up. What does the female version of Dustin look like?

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

One year old!

Last Wednesday at 13:13 McKenzie was officially one year old. It's strange that the past year seems to have gone by so fast, yet at the same time I can't really remember life without her. I've been feeling a little guilty for not posting about her first birthday sooner. It is a big deal, believe me, I know that. I think I'm just so busy chasing her around all day that it hasn't really hit me yet that my little baby is now approaching toddlerhood (I'm not exactly sure when this transition is official, maybe she already is a toddler, but I'm holding onto "baby" for a little while longer). We're having a big party for her and for Dustin, who's turning 30 on Friday (don't tell him I told you...I have specific instructions "not to remind" him about it) and I think that when the celebration is over Kenzie being a year old will be real. When I see her delve into her first cupcake and when our family and friends sing her first ever rendition of the Happy Birthday Song, then maybe it will be real. Maybe this is why moms talk about their child's age in months long after the first and second birthday. One year old sounds so grown up, but twelve months, well that's only about a year.
Kenzie had her well baby check up on Friday and the pediatrician got to see her in action. McKenzie didn't stop moving the entire time we were there, and the only thing the doctor could say was, "she's busy." Your telling me! Kenzie is a sturdy walker now and crawling is a thing of the distant past. Her fine motor skills are developing as well, although it sounds like she should be able to do a little more in this department.
Ped: Does she stack things?
Me: nope, but she likes to nest things, does that count?
Ped: Can she pull a tab on a toy to make it go, turn a dial to make something pop up, push a button to make a noise, etc?
Me: We have toys like that, she just doesn't show much interest in using them
Ped: okay

I promised myself that I wouldn't be one of those parents who is always worried that her child isn't developing right and forces practice, practice, practice for skills that aren't developing faster than average, but I have to admit that I did get out the blocks this weekend and try to get Kenzie to stack them. She had much more fun knocking them over.

While understand and accept that every baby develops at a different rate, and have no interest in competing with other parents about whose baby is more advanced, every time I take her to the pediatrician I secretly hope she will wow the doctor. I want to leave the office knowing that they were impressed with my baby. I don't think that makes me competitive, just one proud momma. For example, when the doctor asked if she is saying any words, I told her that she is still saying mama and dada indiscriminately, but she will say mama if I say, "Kenzie can you say mama?" On cue, from the other side of the room, Kenzie screamed, "mama!" You go girl!

Some of Kenzie's other talents include:
  • following simple commands such as "throw the ball to Kona," "put your Binky in the cup," "spit that out," "go find the rubber ducky," etc
  • finding her belly button (as well as mommy's and daddy's)
  • pointing to her toes when asked
  • running away when I say "come here Kenzie, I want to change your diaper"
  • spitting...water, milk,'s just so fun!
  • dancing to the music
  • listening to one or two pages of a book before taking it back (that's two pages more than previous)
  • making that blub blub noise by moving her fingers across her lips
  • climbing the stairs...thankfully she shows little interest in doing this
  • indicating what she wants by pointing and saying "eh, eh"
  • signing more, all done and eat (although this is no longer consistently done)
  • clapping when excited or at the end of a song
  • petting Kona (and climbing on him, hitting him, feeding him)
  • hugging (one of my new favorite things she will do when asked)
  • laughing... at herself, at Kona and especially when tickled
  • cuddling (YAH!)...she seems to be learning that it's okay to take a break every once in a while
  • making me laugh out loud at her utter silliness
She's still a peanut, weighing 17.8 pounds and standing 28 inches tall. She's my peanut, and she makes me so proud.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Thursday, April 8, 2010

August in April

We've had amazingly warm weather for the past few days. Yesterday LeighAnn and I took the girls and the dogs to Crystal Lake in Eastford. It's a small lake and we were the only people there. McKenzie wasn't too excited about the water (which was really cold) but she had fun in the sand.

Eventually, I gave her a shovel so she could get sand into her mouth more efficiently.
She was very tired, but refused to sleep.
Kona was tired too. Shylah, Leigh's 3-month-old puppy, gave him a run for his money.
Kenzie has the curse of fair skin (just like her mama). I was trying to create shade for her all day.

We spent hours in the sun and neither of us came home with a sunburn. I call that a success. On the way home the thermostat in my car said the outside temp was 90 degrees!

Monday, March 29, 2010


It's nearly impossible to catch it on camera, but here is a glimpse of Kenzie making a run for it.

Get Dirty, Eat Acorns

McKenzie has the good fortune to have a mother who is not afraid to let her get a little dirty. At the first sign of spring Kenzie and I took it outdoors for a little exploring. She was absolutely fascinated by everything she saw. Normally when she has her little push car I can't get her to stand still, but when she was outside she stopped at each step to touch the ground or to pick up a new and interesting object...acorns, rocks, and leaves, oh my!
In typical New England fashion, however, the beautiful 70 degree days were followed by some rain and then 40 degree weather so we were inside for a bit. Yesterday, while Dustin and I did some yard work we let McKenzie explore the backyard. It was a little chilly, but the fact that she had to wear mittens made her put-everything-in-my-mouth game a little easier for Dustin and I monitor. The forecast calls for 3-6 inches of rain over the next few days. I'm teaching Kenzie the "rain rain go away" song and hoping to be back outside soon.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Double Digit Battle Wounds

On Friday McKenzie turned ten months old. Ten months! That's just two months shy of a year. Crazy. She's more active than ever. She took three unassisted steps today and we suspect that she'll be running in no time.

Unfortunately, with increased mobility comes increased risk. Kenzie is now sporting a bloody gash on her nose (I'm probably exaggerating here) from a fall she took this afternoon. Didn't phase her, though, she was back on the horse (or behind her push toy) in no time.