The Swim Meet

We were lucky enough to get to see Sydney and Cameron compete in a swim tournament last weekend. The boys were completely silent and amazed for the first 10 minutes we were there, as evidenced by the photo below, of Max taking in all the action without a sound.

"Wait! I can't see! Let me press my face against the glass!"
"That is MY cousin racing there!"

"Seriously, she was robbed!" -- Max
Sydney is just wiping the water from her eyes here. (Although seeing them swim and work so hard brought tears to my eyes!)
When Syd got back from her race, Harry looked at her like she was a superstar. He was very impressed.

The boys cheers:
Harry: "Go, Everyone, Go!"

Indiana Thanksgiving

We headed to "Aunt Kafee's" (as Harry would say) for Thanksgiving. Here's Max eating an apple as big as his head.

Documentation that Max actually does sleep. He has been diagnosed by Aunt Kathy, the pediatric nurse practioner, with "FOMO" aka "Fear Of Missing Out." As soon as he hears Brother, or Daddy, or the cat, or someone breathe, he is AWAKE! even if it's 4 am. He must know what you are doing! I fear what this means for his college years. As a toddler, he only passes out when absolutely exhausted. Here he is pictured sleeping on a couch with a college football game on the big screen in front of him.

Harry somehow thinks that to smile you must close your eyes completely, so every photo we have, if you haven't already noticed, has him closing his eyes.

Harry, Daddy and Great Grandma Margaret. (Harry always calls her "Great Grandma Margaret" and ONLY that." :)

Syd and Max, looking like a teenager from the 50s!

Harry and Max hanging out with their cousins. Cam is more elusive in photographs, but Harry was his constant shadow throughout the visit.

Fall catch up

I love how different two little people can be! Harry does not like projects; Max loves them. When we had Harry, I daydreamed for a little helper in the kitchen! But Harry does not like things that have scents or for anything liquidy except for water to touch his hand. Then comes Max, who loves to bake and cook. He loves to smell and taste things.

Helping Mom make cookies. He must taste every ingredient.

Flour is not as tasty as sugar, he decides.

The boys checking out ducks at the new nature boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo. Love it!

You are probably past the point of caring about apple picking, but oh well...


For all you Chicago area readers, you may want to bring Nicki along next time you go apple-picking because she climbs impressively high. You may be able to make her out through the leaves. The orchard we visited was pretty picked over, so we had to send her up to get the apples we wanted.

The boys convinced Frank to ride the apple train with them.

A wagon! Harry dreams of the day when we can have a wagon!

"There are three more apple doughnuts in here. I am quite positive I can eat them. Why won't you make this happen for me?" -- Max, 16 months.
Notice the sugar all over his face. He has already eaten one himself and begged more from everyone else.

Ladies...Watch out for these boys!

1-2-3.....1-2-3.....Yes, the brothers practicing their dance moves. They started doing this on their own after watching an "Arthur" episode about dancing. But I love how they go from sweet boys dancing to "Let's-hit-the-wall! ahhhhh!" Boys, boys, boys....

The spacemen

Buzz Lightyear who refuses to wear the purple hood Mom made for his costume.

Astronaut Harry activates his jet pack

In case you needed a closer look at the jet pack. It is a recycled soda bottle :)

Yes, I am in fact, Buzz Lightyear.

Harry and James waiting for the fun to begin.

The paparazzi captures the boys' first trick or treat stop of the year.

DJ Lance and Brobee, professional trick-or-treaters ;)

My sister's neighbor puts on quite a display. He grows giant, award-winning pumpkins then picks a theme each year and carves the pumpkins to keep with that theme. Last year, it was Charlie Brown, this year the Pixar film "Cars." It is usually quite a hit with our crowd. Here, Harry takes in the pumpkin versions of Lightning McQueen and The King or "Fa-king" as Harry says.

Tow Mater Pumpkin. I believe the numbers relate to the poundage of each pumpkin.

Who could resist this?

"Look, I'm Linus!" said Harry. (This makes sense if you've recently watched "It's A Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!" It's hilarious if you've watched it daily like Harry has.)

Thank You Guys! Amen!

Harry loves his new preschool, which just happens to be a Christian preschool. The other day before we ate, he broke out in a new song that he learned in school.

It went something like this:

Thank you guys, Thank you guys. For this food, we thank you guys. Amen!

It wasn't until he got to the Amen that I realized we were supposed to be thanking someone other than "guys." ;)

Blast off!

The space obsession has fully taken hold. At our house, we eat "spacefood" and we drink "spacemilk." All of our art projects must relate to stars, galaxies (colliding galaxies, Mommy), astronauts and spaceships. We read the space books from cover to cover daily. The bed is a spaceship, the cabinet (once cleared out of all pots and pans) is a space capsule and the stroller is a moon rover.
So, we thought a trip to the planetarium might go over well.

The space commanders blasting off in their rocket! (They also were able to suit up, visit a space station, visit the moon and work the spaceship!)

The brothers working together to fix the ship! They are very serious about this work!

Astronaut Harry with his space pack.

There may be a membership in our future. ;)

Harry, You are My Son (to be read in Darth Vader's Voice)

Much to Rob's delight, Harry has become interested in a new form of transportation: Space. We have watched Harry lose himself playing "spaceship" for hours as he flies lego ships through the house. (Max also makes everything a spaceship now, with sound effects and everything.)

Then came the day I think Rob has been waiting for since we first became pregnant. We decided Harry was ready for the X-Wing Fighter! Yes, Rob has a couple bins of his old Star Wars toys (with boxes and everything, because this is Rob we are talking about.) He had been saving them just for this day.

Even though he's never seen the movie, Harry was instantly taken with the ship. Harry has been flying it around nonstop and even wants to sleep with it at night.

Like father, like son.

Wait until we get out the stormtroopers ship!


Max wakes up in the morning and waits to hear Harry stir. If Harry so much as clears his throat, Max shrieks: "Bruba! Bruba!" At the park, if he can't see Harry, he toddles around calling out "Bruba!" He loves his brother, that one.

(I apologize for the darkness at the end. It showed up on my camera. The giggles you hear are from Max who jumps on bruba's bed.)

I'm writing a book, Mommy.

Harry has become very interested in the computer keyboard and pretending like he is "working."
He will run into the office, start typing on the keyboard that is not turned on, and say "Mommy, I'm working! Let's work together!"
I will say "What are you working on?'
And he says: "My book!"
Yesterday he told our babysitter that he was up late working on his book!
At Georgia's house today, he pretended to work on the book, but she interrupted him to say she had to check her email. So Harry came up to me and said "Mommy, I need to check my im-il"
"I'm going to im-il"
Georgia set him straight ("It's E-mail!") and showed him how to check it, then they both had turns emailing before Harry returned to his book.
Wow, are they ever little sponges.
One additional quick story: Harry was watching me put on eyeliner today (not an everyday occurence for sure.) and he said: "Why are you writing on yourself?

The Return of Hello Harry...

We disappeared for the summer, we know. Mom was writing 423 pages of a book! But we're back now! The book is done. We worked until 5 AM on the day it was due, then overnighted it. The photo below shows just how thick 423 pages is -- it took 4 hours to print! I am purposefully wearing a marathon T-shirt, because that's what it was like. At one point, I wore a T-shirt with a photo of Jim McMahon from the 1985 SuperBowl Champion Chicago Bears. It was a shirt I had not worn since I was 13 and thought "Hey! Someday I'm going to write a book!" I wore the T-shirt to remind myself of that feeling so I could finish the book! Overall, we had an adventure, but it was very intense. And now I'm going to overwhelm you with photos I've been saving up of my adorable children.

So we sent the book off, then got into the car a few hours later and drove to the North Woods!

Big McKenzie Lake, you're just as awesome as I remembered you.

Harry, fishing. It was a different method than I was used to, but he caught 3 fish, each bigger than the previous one. So I'd say he was successful.

Look closely and you can see the first of the fish, although he wanted to be as far from it as possible.

Nana and Papa on a walk with the boys.

Don't call DCFS. This is Harry and Max at a bar! They allow this in Wisconsin. We're waiting for our table at the restaurant so we fired up a portable DVD player to entertain them.

One rainy day, we went to a train museum. Harry is a conductor!

He he. So is Max!

Is this what we're supposed to do? Our sweet cousin James takes a turn.

The brothers unwind from a FULL day of playing with a Thomas DVD in the cabin.

Papa is wearing Nana's hat to protect himself from the rain while grilling supper for the clan. Uncle Joe is trying to hide from this whole experience.

Wait. Are we not supposed to splash in the mud? Nobody told me!

Nana, I'm hiding!

There is a lot of aunt effort going on in this photo. Stephanie is trying to inhale all the cuteness that is Max at the moment. I am trying to do the same with James, while also trying to get him to develop a name for me. At this point, Steph and I look alike to him, so he avoids calling both of us anything. My kids have taken to calling Stephanie "Auntie" and Angie "Angie" which I think they view as a pet name for her, because it sounds enough like Auntie, but still is different. James gets Stephanie and I staring at him saying "Come to Auntie!" and he runs away. We were playing with Auntie Crys and Auntie Steph, but we'll see what takes. He will not escape the Auntie love though!

Max putting up with a photo with Auntie. :)

Vacation sleeping. He played so hard everyday and then passed out like this. Complete with giant mosquito bite on his face. I love it.

Oh, yes, I like to eat sand. It is true.

Max driving the pontoon boat.

Look at that!

This is the Mommy loon and baby loon he was pointing at. Ask Harry to do his loon call next time you see him.

A more serious driver at the wheel of the pontoon boat.

Big McKenzie Lake, we can't wait for next year!
The whole crew at the traditional breakfast at Jo Mama's Cafe, just across the street from the church our great-grandpa Steve built.