| 07.30.2005 | i make the rules

A direct quote from her Emma-ness earlier today:

"When I'm 30 years old like Mommy, I'll get to make the rules. Emma will get to make the rules instead of Mommy and Daddy."

This was shortly followed by:

"Mommy makes sure we follow the rules."

@ 12:19 AM by TNorthcutt | Comments (1)

| 07.27.2005 | more from mommy

"Two are better than one."

I have no idea who coined this phrase but it is amazingly true. Having two children is wonderful, especially when I get to see them interact together.

"What's that, Marla?" Yes, I can hear you now. "Wasn't it you that was saying you wouldn't recommend such a small age difference between children not too long ago?"

Well, yes, but I guess I'm softening my viewpoint, although I still maintain that a 3 year age difference probably would have been wiser.

The first few months of Henry's existence were very difficult for us - that can not be denied. Since he's grown in to such a "big boy" (that's Emma's description of him), though, the tide has turned. It's just gotten easier.

Playing is so much fun now. Emma enjoys showing off and Henry loves watching her antics. Henry's toys are not good enough. He's got to have what sister is playing with or reading.

This afternoon, for example, Henry was grabbing for one of Emma's books as she was reading it. All of the sudden Emma says, "Duuuude... Henry, don't do that!" It was pretty cute, as you can imagine.

(Grandparents, no shaking your head! There are much worse words and phrases out there she could be using!)

Another plus you'll find with #2 is a huge decrease in anxiety. I fretted about everything with Emma, as a true first time mom will naturally do. Now, though, I am much more nonchalant and take everything in stride.

Play time and swimming (on the weekends) have filled our afternoons, but sleep has returned into the picture. Emma is now taking an afternoon nap again, sometimes with Baby and sometimes with Squeezer, her bear. I guess getting up a 6 a.m. everyday will do that to you. Henry is usually up between 5:30a.m. and 6:00a.m. Big Sister must not want to miss a thing!

Since I don't "develop" the pictures we take, I'm not sure what will end up attached to this excerpt, but we've been having fun these past weeks.

A lot of my recent pictures have tried to capture Emma and Henry in action. They are just so cute together. They play independently, but are both aware of the other's presence and occasionally stop to watch what the other is doing.

Enjoy the pictures!

@ 10:10 PM by TNorthcutt | Comments (0)

| 07.18.2005 | henry's first tooth

Henry has his first tooth! It's a little out of focus in the picture below, but you should be able to make it out.

We spotted it under the gum a few weeks ago and early last week it finally broke through. Grandpa Mandel won a fabulous prize (a batch of delicious cookies from Marla) for guessing Henry's big news first. They're on the way, Grandpa... promise! (Well, "on the way" as soon as Marla makes them!)

We can't leave Emma out, so here's her story of cuteness for the day. I had crawled under Henry's crib to lower the mattress since he's grown so much. Emma, of course, had to join me.

She wasn't actually much help (go figure) but it was nice having the company. I even got a kiss while working!

Emma Helps Daddy Work Daddy, You're Such A Man!

Anyway, after I had finished lowering the mattress and was putting the drawer back under the crib Emma looked at me and exclaimed,

"Oh, Daddy. You're such a man!"

If only all girls were so easy to impress!

@ 9:39 PM by TNorthcutt | Comments (4)

| 07.17.2005 | emma swims, henry eats

Oh, hello there.

A few weeks ago Emma started swimming lessons again. As you can see from the photos, she was a little iffy about it for the first week.

Her last class was a "Mommy and Me" class, where Daddy was in the pool with her the whole time. (Mommy, as you may recall, was great with child.) Her new class is a solo gig.

I'm happy to report, though, that coming out of week three we now have the opposite problem: we can't get her out of the pool when class is over. The solution thus far has been going home to swim some more in the "big pool" at home.

On the same day that Emma started swim class Henry started solid food. Much as sister was iffy about her swim class, Henry was iffy about the solid food.

I just crack up when I look at this particular picture. I can just imagine this being used for a B-movie poster from the 40's - "Radioactive Mutant Cereal From Mars" or something.

You could almost see the gears turning in his little head.

"What is this pasty stuff in my mouth?" Smack, smack, smack. "I'm not so sure about this..."

By the end, though, he was having a great time, photographic evidence not withstanding.

He's now smacking his lips in anticipation when Marla puts the bib on him. It looks like he's going to be a much better eater than Emma ever was. So far we've tried squash, sweet potatoes and prunes in addition to rice cereal, oatmeal and barley. Yummy!

@ 10:08 PM by TNorthcutt | Comments (1)

| 07.11.2005 | time keeps on slipping

I've got that Steve Miller Band lyric from "Fly Like An Eagle" stuck in my head as I write this. (You know, "Time keeps on slippin' slippin' slippin' into the fuuuuture.")

By the time I've put a new set of photos up Henry looks a little different and Emma has moved on to some new amazing feat. I thought the Internet was supposed to move fast but let me tell you, it's got nothing on the growth rate of children!

Lots of black and white in this set. Not sure why, other than I'm just in that kind of mood tonight. (Note to other folks with the Canon 10D: all of the high-ISO noise seems to be in the blue channel.)

I especially like this one of Henry. I've got an alternate crop that's a little bit tighter. Which one do you prefer?

It occurred to me when talking to someone at work that not everyone konws where Mississippi Girl from the last post came from. (OK, so I was bragging. Sue me!) Take a gander at the latest Faith Hill video and then watch our Mississippi Girl. She doesn't have the curly blonde tresses but man, does she have the voice!

@ 10:30 PM by TNorthcutt | Comments (2)

| 07.03.2005 | mississippi girl

Well, it's a long way from Star, Mississippi
To the big stage I'm singing on tonight
And sometimes the butterflies still get me
When I'm in the spotlight

And some people seem to think that I've changed
That I'm different than I was back then
But in my soul, I know that I'm the same way
That I've really always been

'Cause a Mississippi girl don't change her ways
Just 'cause everybody knows her name
Ain't big-headed from a little bit of fame

I still like wearing my old ball cap
Ridin' my kids around piggy back
They may know me all around the world
But, y'all, I'm still a Mississippi girl

Well, I spent a few weeks in California
They put my face on the big movie screen
But that don't mean I've forgotten where I came from
That's just me chasing dreams

'Cause a Mississippi girl don't change her ways
Just 'cause everybody knows her name
Ain't big-headed from a little bit of fame

I still like wearing my old ball cap
Ridin' my kids around piggy back
They may know me all around the world
But, y'all, I'm still a Mississippi girl

@ 2:29 PM by TNorthcutt | Comments (5)

| 07.01.2005 | mommy's turn

I warn you readers... this may be a "mini-mini" book. But, I need fair bragging time about my children, too, and Emma deserves a big bit of those "bragging rights".

Although she continues to be a daily challenge to us, she has really been a wonder lately, and now that I've stopped pumping breast milk for Henry, she's once again getting the attention she needs. She still has little temper tantrums, and is still learning about what is and isn't appropriate, she says or does something at least once a day that really makes me stop and say "WOW, what a smart little girl."

Like yesterday, I was speaking to Todd on the phone and asking him to change the time of the sprinklers (so they wouldn't wake Henry in the morning). I didn't think she was paying attention. Twenty minutes later we are eating lunch and she's talking about the time I had suggested to Todd to change "the automation," and in such a matter of fact tone, using hand gestures and all.

She's sounding out words when she talks, telling us what letter the word stands for, and she's even tracing letters. We've been learning the Dolce sight word list and it seems she knows new words only after one day and remembers them days down the road (I'm not very faithful at making this learning a daily occurrence).

And have you seen how good she cuts coupons? She makes up an excuse to use her scissors whenever possible.

And lastly, I love the way Emma talks to me and says "Momma" and "Mommy. It just melts my heart. What a little lady!

Now we can't leave Henry out... What a smile! Every time I come into the room, he smiles. I love it!

Yesterday was his best day sitting up. Seems he does better when he has an object to focus on that isn't right on the floor. He is so observant and follows our activities very closely.

We've started him on solids. He's doing a great job smacking his lips and swallowing but it appears that rice cereal may not be his thing. We are resorting to prune juice to try and "regulate" him. But, that smile remains and he has a great demeanor.

The two of them are A LOT of work, but such pleasures to have in our lives!

@ 9:53 PM by TNorthcutt | Comments (2)