Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Meghan is 22 months old!

Apparently I never bought size 24 month white onsies.. I've been jamming Meg into 18 month ones for a while and this time it wasn't happening... so she is wearing real clothes with her sticker this month.. hard to believe I only have two stickers left when I started with 24. Where does the time go?

We've had a really good month this month. Meghan has been really cute, and she has been on her best behavior it seems... I almost forgot why she was difficult, then we rolled over into "next month" and things have gone a little haywire again... oh well, you have to take the good with the bad.  

 Sleeping: Naps are mostly after lunch now, and last anywhere from 1 to 3 hours. She still goes to bed at 730pm ish and has recently started sleeping until after 7 and sometimes even 8am! I was planning on pulling the pacifier this month but this new late sleeping habit it too awesome to mess with. We will get to it.

 Likes:

  • Eating. Meghan doesn't eat a ton in one sitting but the girl does like to eat. She discovered hot dogs this month and she loves them. It is so different feeding a carnivore (ok omnivore!) 
  • M&M's. Don't bother with the candy cookie or m&m's over ice cream, she just wants the chocolate. 
  • Apples. She requests at least one a day, sometimes two, and generally perfers them whole but peeled, although I do slice them for her as well. 
  • Shoes. She really likes to pick out her own footwear... I'm happy to enduldge so long as I still get to pick out her clothes, but my guess is the days are numbered on this one too.
  • Birthdays. She calls anything associated with a birthday "Happy Day", from presents to cake to the song, she loves it all. We've had a number of birthday party's this month and she thinks they are great.

 Dislikes:

  • Sitting in the stroller. She would rather walk, however it is not a realistic option since her walking means bending to pick up every rock or leaf or piece of garbage on the side walk. Colin still would rather sit than walk, unfortuantely the stroller is becoming a little bit heavy to push with him in it.
  • Having her hair brushed after the bath. It is pretty much the only time I brush it since it is curly, but it generally invovles chassing her around the house to get it done. I'm not a fan..
  • Messy anything. She is constantly asking me to wipe her hands off. She also likes everything to be in its place and will close drawers before I finish using them, or put shoes back where they go if they aren't in the right spot. 

 New and Notable:

  • Sing a song. Meghan started signing her own songs when we went up to Syracuse just the two of us. All of a sudden she started singing a "bye bye daddy" song that had my parents and I laughing hysterically. She has done it a few times since, although not always with acutal words. Sometimes it is just total jibberish, but it is very enthusiastic jibberish. 
  • Swimming. It is summertime again, so we've been around pools a few times now and Meghan is all in for swimming, well she really likes the jumping in part best. Water temperature is not a deterant at all, she can be shivering and still looking to go again.
  • Hitting. She has tested out hitting here and there, but all of a sudden its her go to manuever to show her displeasure with something. We are working on it.
  • She has made up her own phrase for "clean up". Honestly it took me a while to figure out what she was trying to communicate but now she says "Me ma yay" which may be "put away" when she is cleaning up.
  • "hold you". Colin said this when he wanted to be held, Meghan says it when she wants to hold something herself. 

Big brother wanted in on the photo action too.

and then this happened... 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Romanian Wedding Story


On May 25th, Chris and Oana got married in Romania. We used their wedding as a good excuse to get out and see a part of the world we may not have otherwise visited. Oana is from Romania and she and Chris met while she was an au pair for Sean and Chris' cousin. Romanian wedding traditions are a bit different from American weddings, but the nuts and bolts are essentially the same. Lots of happy people coming together and having a great time to celebrate special people. Here are some of my pictures from the day.

Sean was the best man, although as I understand it the concept of a best man is not necessarily a Romanian tradition. Sean and Oana's brother Alex served as "witnesses" to the ceremony, which in the US is generally the roll played by the best man and maid or matron of honor, but those terms do not seem to be used in a Romanian ceremony. Meghan and Colin were the flower girl and ring bearer, which I gather is a typical role in a Romanian wedding.




This picture was taken after Chris was evicted from the house so Oana could come downstairs. Chris had been getting ready on the ground floor while Oana got ready upstairs. Sean, Chris, Alex and the kids drove to the church ahead of the rest of the girls.













In Romania, limousines are not customary (in fact, they are rather frowned upon as they are primarily used by gypsies) so Oana and I drove to the reception with her parents in her fathers car, while the other bridesmaids car pooled. Many of the guests arrive at the house and caravan to the wedding similar to an American funeral procession (only with bows and flowers on their cars instead of funeral flags)


My little family! Another decidedly Romanian tradition is to have bridesmaids dresses made rather than purchased. Some of the other girls picked out fabric based on Oana's color scheme and then that fabric was taken to a seamstress and each girl requested her own style. I was really nervous about this since I was flying in days before the wedding but it all worked out just fine I had sent my measurements and style ahead of time and one of the other girls stood in for me at a first fitting. Only minor work needed to be done after I got there.










The Berrys! Unfortunately, there are no pictures from the actual wedding because I didn't have the camera and I was wrestling a tiny flower girl for most of it.






The littlest flower girl. Pretty darn adorable if you ask me. She was a bit of a challenge in the church, but she walked down the aisle, assisted by her big brother and for the most part was quiet (if not still).














Here are more of the bridesmaids (but not all). Without realizing it we all choose rather Grecian styles for our dresses. I will be honest and say I was very unsure of how the "each girl in a different shade" would look but it worked really well. Since there were 8 girls in total (4 in blue and 4 in purple) it made sense, I think had their been fewer girls it might not have looked as nice.  (The girls pictured are all Oana's classmates from high school and before)


Here we are keeping the kids entertained while pictures were being taken. They loved walking around and around this little fountain.









My handsome boy. He took his duties very seriously and was a gem throughout the ceremony. I worried he would get a little spooked walking down the isle as I was in front of him and not with him, but he knew what he needed to do and he did it.He even held Meghan's hand to keep her moving. He is such a good big brother.
What kid can resist a teeter totter? I'm sure Meghan's stockings didn't appreciate this but I was not going to say they couldn't play.








Oana's mother and niece (Arianna), the other flower girl.  After the wedding, there was a bit of a time gap before the reception, so we all went back to the house.









Meghan cracks me up in this one. I allowed the kids to take a silly picture and this is what they did. Arianna had no idea what I said but apparently Meghan has figured this concept out.








We had time to snap a few pictures of us too. When I first walked into the house if full hair and makeup, my own husband didn't recognize me for a second. The make-up was pretty amazing even if it doesn't show much in this photo. The hair was chosen to balance the asymmetry of the dress and opposes my normal part. I was happy with how it turned out. This was my first experience with fake eyelashes and while they looked great, they pulled many of my own eyelashes out while they came out. Not something I will do again.



Impossible to get both kids playing attention and smiling at the same time. As a family of three if we took enough, one of them would have Colin looking good.. with two kids, no longer possible!








A sleepy flower girl at the reception. The reception is probably the biggest difference between American and Romanian weddings. A typical American reception will go on for four hours or so, a typical Romanian reception will last closer to 12 hours. Obviously the kids didn't not stay the whole time. We finally took them home around midnight and Sean returned to the reception and didn't make it home until the sun was up.










A cute pic of Colin, right after Ari had given him a big kiss!
Meghan flashing me a smile.










There was a little balcony off the reception room, and the kids went in and out while it was still light out. In Romania, smoking is still a big part of the culture and therefore their were ashtray all over the room. Living in NYC where smoking is banned from most places this was quite different. It was nice to be able to go outside to get some fresh air on occasion, however, people were also smoking outside so it was always a better alternative.










Another big difference is the dancing (Oana pictured here dancing with her father). There are quite a few traditional dances that everyone seems to know and these are done to the near exclusion of dancing to what would be considered American music. Almost no one danced while the DJ played music, but almost everyone danced while the traditional Romanian band played. It was very fun to watch.




All in all we had a great time at the wedding...one last difference to note, with one exception, no one was drunk. I'm not sure if this is because you basically mixed your own drinks at little sidebars throughout the room, or if the length of the reception leads people to keep things under control but people all seemed to have it together most of the night.

Congratulations Chris and Oana. Can't wait to do it again in August!

(p.s. if you are keeping track, this is our 40th wedding)

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Meghan is 21 months old.

I had hoped to get this post up before we left for Europe but that was just a wee bit too ambitious with all the packing and organizing that was going on. Meghan and Sean are currently sleeping off some jetlag and Colin is at school. Instead of organizing vacation picture into posts I'll have to do this one first. Let's get to it.

Signing "again" so I will make her laugh more

About 85% of the time Meghan is a total joy, she is silly and sweet and a bit of a ham. The other 15% of the time she can be quite the challenge. She likes to get her own way and when she doesn't someone has to pay for it. She has a mile long independent streak that is quite different from her brother. She likes to do things for herself and she isn't dependent on either Sean or I for security when we are out and about...which generally means she is very willing to put good distance between us in order to explore whatever has caught her fancy. The girl never looks back.

Sleeping: Naps seem to be on the move to a later time. Colin's school pick up makes it so I either have to get her down before 12 or not until after 2:30.. I think her preferred time would be around 12:30/ 1:00 but that means I have to wake her up and I really don't like doing that. Just trying to hold on until school is over at the end of June. For now it seems like its every other or every third day that she waits until after pick-up for her nap..Unfortunately it is totally unpredictable which makes getting errands and chores done very difficult. 
 Likes:

  • Rosie and the paci. Meghan has renamed them Booboo and boppy. Boppy I think is a combinaction of paci and bobo (her babysitter calls it a bobo), but I have no idea where booboo came from, she also invented her own sign for Rosie which seems to combine the signs for sleep and elephant. At least she is creative!
  • LD. We went to LD's birthday party right before we left for vacation and these two kids were adorable. I put pictures up on facebook but I'll have to get them on here as well. So cute.
  • Anything Colin currently has. I suppose this is typical for siblings but it is pretty funny how tuned in she is to his interests. So far we don't see a whole lot of full blown girly girl behavior (requesting dresses or princess gear or even selectively choosing pink or purple accessories) but my guess is this is because she is mostly exposed to all of her brothers preferences and wants to be just like him. He is currently going through a pink and purple phase himself, which is likely brought on by having a little sister so I guess it goes both ways.
  • Shoes. She loves picking out and putting on her own shoes . This sometimes means she wears footwear that does not match her outfit as well as it could but I'm going to be flexible on this one figuring that I will have bigger fish to fry later. She is just starting to get picky about socks too and will request a specific color (usually purple or green, but sometimes yellow) when I go to put socks on her. Generally it is whatever color I didn't happen to pick out for her.
  • Balls. I don't really know if this is simply a Colin spin off or not but she shares her big brothers affinity toward balls.  
  • Dips! Meghan loves to dip food. Mostly she just exclusively eats the dip leaving behind the food but not always. Hummus, peanut butter dip, dressing, ketchup... loves it.
  • Coloring. Colin wasn't ever into coloring much at this age, but Meghan really seems to enjoy it.

Curly MeggieSue. The cut really brought out the curls, who would have thought!
 Dislikes:

  • Tomatos. There are not a whole lot of foods Meghan consistently refuses but raw tomatoes is one of them. Can't say I blame her, I'm not a fan myself.
  • Having her hair brushed after the bath. I generally have to chase her around the house to get it done, but it happens. It isn't because there are knots or anything, the brush goes smoothly through her hair, I just don't think she likes the feeling of the brush on her head.  Sorry kid. 

 New and Notable:

  • Expressions. All of a sudden she has picked up on some expressions which just crack me up. When she feels like there is some injustice she says "Hey" in a very lyrical way that just cracks me up. She also will show disgust for something (for example telling her we don't have any lollipops) with a little grunt. She also gets some mileage out of the tongue out raspberry, which is really hard not to laugh at when it is done with such innocence, but since I can see this going bad I'm trying not to encourage it. 
  • Self dressing. She can put her shoes on by herself and is showing interest in doing other clothes too but isn't quite coordinated enough yet. She also tries to get her own pajamas off in the morning when she is ready to get dressed. I suspect this also has to do with watching her big brother do it by himself.

Chubby cheeks are giving way to high cheek bones.