Tuesday, April 2, 2013

To Every Thing There is a Season

For the last year, my days have been defined and organized around being the mother of a toddler and an infant. The amount of learning and growth that has taken place under our roof this past year is astonishing. It has been an amazing year. It has been an exhausting year.

I am now the mother of a one year old and a three year old. It's only been a week or so and I am all ready better rested. Happy Birthday Rose and Mack!

Let's start with the stats. The kiddos had their annual appointments together. An ingenious idea, I thought. It turns out that having a naked, excited, babbling three year old in a small exam room makes it really hard to concentrate on or hear anything the doctor is saying. Not to mention a one year old who really wants to open all the drawers within reach, and either slam a finger or screech in frustration that the drawer won't open (because mommy's knee is nailing it shut). But from what I remember these are the numbers:

Mack: 30 inches, 23 pounds.
Rose: 36 inches; 30 pounds.

While birthdays are an obvious milestone for both Mack and Rose since my last post, there have been a lot of other big changes as well. For instance, the night Rose told me she didn't need a diaper anymore. And she was right. And the next night when she told me that she didn't need me to wake her up in the middle of the night to pee. She was right again. It's been weeks without an accident. Bye-bye diapers!

On St. Patrick's Day, with the help of Grandma, Grandpa, Nellie and Tim. Rose and Mack celebrated the Big Bed Swap; in which Rose moved from her crib to a big girl bed and Mack moved from a mini crib into Rose's crib. No problem.

At the end of March, Mack moved from the infant room to the wobbler room at daycare. This means only one nap a day, sitting in chairs at mealtime, using a spoon and sippy cup and a lot more biting, from what I remember. At the end of March, I also finished weaning Mack; much to my dismay (he was totally unfazed).

 Mack is building a vocabulary. I haven't quite figured it all out yet, but he definitely can sign "Milk" with vigorous hand motions and identify a ball (or egg or cantaloupe) as a "bal-bal". He LOVES balls. He loves to throw and catch and cuddle and talk about balls. He gets so excited when he sees them in the backyard out of his window from his changing table. And he gets so frustrated when he can't get to them.

Last Sunday, Mack amazed us all (or at least his mom) and took his first steps in front of a full house at Aunt Debbie and Uncle Peter's Easter dinner. And then he did it again in the next room, to make sure everyone saw.

There are so many fun details to every day that I wish I could write down and share. And I know I'm missing putting down some major events, too. Trevor and I are so lucky that we've been given the opportunity to share our lives with these two amazing kiddos; and that includes the moments when we're all crying at the same time.

Now the fun stuff....

At the park.

Another milestone - Rose's first haircut!

I love it when these two play together. They both love the easel.

At the park, again.

Getting ready to scooter all over the park.

Anticipating the arrival of Grandma and Grandpa.

Guess where? The park!

In case you're wondering, she's turning three.

And Sheepers turned 10 (that's two 5's on the hat).


And Mack turned one. He wanted the candle, but made do with frosting.

Hello? It's my birthday!

 I like my truck. And I really like putting my golf ball inside the back. It's super fun.

A recent favorite activity at the park.

A super special zoo day with Daddy.

We all love spring.

Easter egg hunt!

Da-dee! (Dog).

So proud, then so frustrated!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mendel's Peas

Mack and Rose are so different from each other, that I've accepted it as the truth. Mack will develop differently than Rose. I just expect it. She was my tiny baby. He's humongous. She is a girl who has known what she wanted from the day she was born. He rolls with the punches without breaking his grin. She crawled around seven months. He waited until eight. She loves rules and order and predictability. He barely notices the chaos in his life or whether he's had one nap or two. Or none. She loves protein and snubs carbohydrates. He loves carbohydrates...and protein. Her big belly is firm. His is soft. She learned "that's not a toy" means "that's not a toy" before she could walk. He, instead, hears "that's the most exciting toy in the house." And on and on and on....

Then something happens and I'm reminded how similar they are. Like last Saturday when Mack got his hands on my iPhone. Instead of trying to eat it, he picked it up, looked at it for a second or two, then put it up to his ear. Just like Rose when she was his age. I almost fell over.

He looked so chagrined when nothing spectacular happened. He keeps trying.

Bath time is a favorite for both kiddos. Lately, Mack will stare at the water, pause, then dunk his face. He comes up laughing, sometimes sputtering, and then does it all over again. Rose did this exact same thing - once.

Three days ago Mack started pointing. When Rose comes in the room he extends his index finger as long as it goes and it follows her around the room. Accompanied by a grin, of course. It's as if he's found a way to access a new compartment in his brain. It's such a simple gesture, but such a large step in communication and learning. I can't do it justice.

Neither Rose nor Mack perfected rolling from back to front before learning to crawl. Mack, just like Rose, learned to crawl from a sitting position. And if he somehow ends up on his back, he's stuck like a turtle. It's so odd considering all the advances he's making in other areas.  He's pulling himself up on anything he can find. He has also learned to sit himself back down again - deliberately and slowly. He picks up balls and places them in the right holes. He takes Rose's hollow blocks and makes a rattle by (proudly) placing the smallest one inside a bigger one. He's knows that Sheepers is something special, even if Sheepers is no longer soft or pretty. Any Sheepers sighting elicits a huge smile and a "daaat, daaat!" - and there's no sidetracking him with his own fluffy, clean options.

Here's a clip of our buddy just being Mackers (created using a cool new app).

Here's Mack on one of his first swing rides with a little help from his sister.

(Removing Rose being her awesome swimming self video due to issues from the getting-to-be-not-so-cool new app.)

And her first self-composed song (the cool new app kind of takes over, but you get the idea).

As different as they are in my eyes, they are two peas in a pod. And considering the spectrum of all the children in the world, they are definitely siblings.


Monday, January 14, 2013

Leaps and Bounds

We're speeding our way into 2013. I can't believe it's already halfway through January. Two big birthdays are fast approaching. I find myself answering the "How old is she?" question with, "She'll be three in March." Instead of, "Two." I'm still counting months with Mack, though. "Ten months" - I said today. I guess I'm a few days ahead of myself.
Mack is now a solid crawler. He's not really pulling himself up to stand much, yet, though - once in awhile on an open dishwasher door or the side of the bath tub. He does like to put his hands on the floor or your lap and straighten his legs into a clumsy down-dog type pose. When I hold his hands to encourage a few steps, he seems mostly confused and laughs and plops down on his bum. He loves clapping. It brings a big proud smile to his face every time he remembers he can do it.
He's eating almost everything at this point, except nuts, honey and egg whites. I just tried listing his favorite foods, but the list started getting too long. Everything is his favorite. He's a good eater.
He's still getting up a few times a night. More when he has a cold or a tooth coming in, which feels like every night. On a good night, he's up once or twice. But that seems to only happen once a week.
He's getting to be pretty chatty. We've heard a lot of different sounds, but lately he's really focused on da-da. Here's a video of me trying to encourage some ma-mas.


Rose is doing great, too. Her verbal skills impress me everyday. It's so fun to watch her pick up new words and phrases and then try them out on her own almost immediately. Right now she's really into the alphabet. "Mommy, what does 'baby' start with?"; "Mommy, what does 'Sheepers' start with?" and on and on. She has accurately picked out some letters on signs randomly while looking out the window in the car. "Mommy, there's a 'T'!" But she only knows a few...I think. Today she told me that "R" was her favorite because Rose starts with an R. Usually, when you ask her what her favorite of anything is, her response is some version of: "All of them!" "Rose, what's your favorite color - red, blue or purple?" "I like red, blue AND purple!"

Here's a video of Rose making some of her first catches. And check out her throwing arm! That's my girl!

And here's a quick clip from swim class last week. She's made huge improvements in the last year - from refusing to get into the bath tub for months to jumping in the pool on her own.

Mack and Rose are both napping right now. But my quiet is about to end any second. I like these moments of time to myself when they sync up their naps so I can catch up on household chores or my own hygiene. But I also love the moments of one-on one I get with each of them on those days when they tag-team nap. Laundry and showers can always wait another day.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Mack had his nine month appointment today. "Big Mack", as his doctor calls him. He's a healthy, happy boy. Doctor Birk always comments on how great his skin is for some reason. I thought all babies had healthy, good skin. "He's got beautiful skin. Fair, so every bump or rub makes him turn red. He's got great hair, what little he has of it." Funny comments, but good to know I guess. Mack is doing everything he's supposed to be doing at this point - sitting up straight, making repetitive consonant-vowel sounds, picking up little things and getting them into his mouth...crawling. Dr. Birk noticed that he bears his own weight pretty easily when he stands up, and said he'll probably be waking around a year. Oh boy. And he didn't seem too worried that Mack appears to have forgotten how to roll from tummy to back. Dr. Birk thinks it's for show.

Here are Macks stats:

Weight: 21 lbs, 12 oz - 85%
Height: 29 inches - 80%
Head: 45 cm - 50%

Here are Rose's at the same age:

Weight: 16 lbs, 13 oz -- 19%
Length: 28 inches -- 70%
Head Circ: 42.5 cm -- 24%

After Mack's appointment today, I had some time to burn before getting Rose from daycare. We went to the grocery store to get a few things for dinner (and some frozen peaches, on Dr. Birk's recommendation - apparently they work better than prunes, if you know what I mean). It was the first time I put Mack into the child seat part of the grocery cart. He was so cute watching everything in awe. It struck me that he hasn't had the exposure to people and places the way Rose had at his age - mostly because we live in a neighborhood now and not in the Pearl. Rose and I walked everywhere. And she came with me on most of my errands.

Being in the grocery with Mack brought back strong memories of the first time Rose had sat in the grocery cart. It was such a big deal to me to be able to just plop her into the cart and not have to carry her, or her car seat or put her in the bjorn. I remembered putting pictures on the blog about it, so I could recall exactly what she was wearing and how I felt that day.

Just now, I looked back at my blog entry for Rose's nine month appointment to get her stats. I was surprised to find out it was the same post with the grocery store milestone for her.

Speaking of milestones, Rose shocked me twice today. I picked her up a little early from daycare today, so the Twos were still in the outside play area. As I drove by and peeked in, I saw Rose on a tricycle, pedaling - competently and fast! I know it's not shocking that an almost three year old can pedal, but I had no idea. And she was good at it. When I mentioned it to her teachers, they looked at me like I was crazy. Apparently, Rose has been pedaling for months. Tonight I asked her if she pedals the trike Grandma and Grandpa have when she goes for rides. "No, Grandma pushes me." Hmm....

After I parked the car, I left Mack in his car seat and ran into the play area to get Rose. When she saw me, she screamed in delight. Then quickly told me she couldn't leave yet, jumped off her trike, and ran to the play house. When I caught up with her, she told me she couldn't leave yet because she and Marie were meeting up to make cupcakes for a birthday party. When Marie arrived at the play house, she told me she and "Rosie" were going to go to the store to buy cupcakes. Rose corrected her - they were going to make cupcakes by adding flour and sugar and sprinkles. Marie laughed and said "Rosie got sprinkles all over my dress!" Again, I really had no idea Rose had reached the point of such interactive play - remembering play plans to "meet" her friend, having conversations about what they were going to do, and working out differences in their visions of the plan. It was so fun to watch.

During bath time today, I noticed how different the skin tone is between Rose and Mack. Her skin looks olive compared to his. I wonder if that's a result of age, or if Mack really is that fair. So far their eyes and hair are pretty similar. Mack may have lighter eyes and darker hair, but it's so hard to tell at this point.

Here are some pictures from our Christmas Tree adventure earlier this month. Merry Christmas to all!


Monday, December 17, 2012


It official, Mack is crawling! We've had a few days of scooting and suspect crawling. I've been tempted to call it crawling, but each time I gave it a good look, there was something just off.  But he's got it now - in the arms and the legs. He's not fast and he doesn't go far, but he's on the move. Here's a video of what he got up to today while his big sister was napping. Ah, the freedom of riffling through all the toys without someone snatching them away, over and over, because they are too special. Only to replace them with the same old baby rattle you know like the back of your hand. You'll also see the challenge a hard wood floor presents when you're trying to learn to move about.

And in other big news, Rose has been napping without a diaper at daycare and staying dry. She's been potty trained for months now, but we had her official Potty Party last night - complete with balloons, cake and a few presents of new big girl undies and a new outfit. While Rose has been potty trained for a while, she went through a period of refusing to use the daycare potties. It all started when she didn't completely get her pants down and out of the way when she sat down one day. When the pants got all wet, she blamed the potty. For weeks she would use all other potties, except daycare potties. Some days she would insist on wearing diapers to daycare. Other days she would wear big girl undies, but hold it all morning until her nap time diaper was put on; then she'd unload, and hold it again all afternoon until I picked her up. Trevor promised her a potty party once she was willing to use the potties at daycare. Now she's a pro.

Here's Rose in her new outfit (for the second day in a row).

Trevor took Rose to the last Beaver game of the year a few weeks ago. Here's a picture of them on their way out the door for the 11:30 am game. The report from Trevor and Grandma was that Rose had a blast and loved every moment of it - from watching the cheerleaders warm up before the game, to the fireworks that went off with each Beaver touchdown to Benny the Beaver's antics on the field.

Practicing in front of the mirror.

Rose's first Santa sighting this year when we went to cut down our Christmas tree.

Securing the tree on the car...

The cookie decorating party this weekend at her good buddy Liam's house!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Dear Mack

Dear Mack,
My son. My big boy. My baby. My second born. You are the sweetest baby I know. A happy, easy going, silly, loving baby. (Thank you.)
I love you with all my heart, as I love your sister. When she was a baby, I started a blog to describe her adventures. In the past nine months, I haven't found the time to keep up with her blog, or to do anything to chart your adventures, other than take a zillion photos and videos. While those images are great to have, they don't tell the details of who you are or what you've really been up to. And you've been up to so much.
First of all, you've been growing a ton. 98th percentile all the way. A bouncing, roly-poly baby boy. At your sixth month appointment you weighed 19 pounds! And measured 28.5 inches long. You have six teeth already! Four on the top and two on the bottom.
You have been a great sitter for months now. People comment on your good posture - you sit with your back straight and your thunder thighs anchoring you down. Nothing is going to tip you over, except your sister when she tries really hard. But you forgive her immediately, meeting her next rushing tackle with a huge grin. Over and over and over. These days, you look like you're thinking about crawling. Moving on to all fours, but not quite getting the legs right, yet. You can pivot on your bum and scoot backwards a bit. You tend to end up under the table, or backed up against a wall - to your frustration.
You've become a good eater, too. Right now you love Cheerios, beans of all types, my super porridge (oatmeal and split peas), avocado, banana, Lima beans, squash and Daddy says you ate half a container of cottage cheese the other day...to name a few.
Speaking of Daddy, you two love to watch football together. Every Sunday, when I go to swimming with Rose, you and Daddy sit on the couch watching the games. You gnaw happily on a toy and hang out, much to his delight, I think.
On Mondays, you, me and Rose go to music class together. You love it. Bouncing to the beat, chewing on the instruments, dancing with me and other moms, watching the older kids. You're a good sport.
One funny difference (there are many) between you and your sister. She loves Scamper the cat. You burst into tears anytime you see Scamper - even if she is just sleeping next to Grandpa. One similarity, you've had some good naps on Grandpa, just like she did.
You've really started to talk, lately. Your favorites are MaMaMa (said in a deep growl), DaDaDa (said in a higher, clear pitch) and GaGaGa (very staccato). Speaking of growling, growls were one of your first sounds. And your favorite. Long, deep growls. Funny guy.
You love to give kisses, big, open mouth, gooey kisses. You lean forward slowly, towards the target and hope to land a yawning smooch. It's super sweet. When I picked you up from daycare the other day, you were giving some to Teacher Maggie. She deserves them. It melted my heart. You love to give them to daddy, too. I love to watch.
Right now, you love your daddy. No matter what state you're in, tired, hungry, sad...when he walks into the room you have a big smile just for him. And your big smile is quite something.
I wish I had more time in my days to give you more of me. I loved our time together before I went back to work and I miss it. It's a joy to be part of our family team with you, though. You are my son, my baby and my Mackado. I love you.


Friday, November 30, 2012

Back At It

After eight months of silence, I'm finally getting back at it! I've revamped and updated the blog to match our current family structure. I tried to think of some clever blog names, but when my best efforts resulted in things such as Rose and Mackaroni, I knew it was a lost cause. I was able to secure a new url for the blog: www.roseandmack.com. Pretty cool. And I created email accounts for both kiddos, mostly because I have things I want to say right now that I'll forget in a few years. And I'm not sure I want to say them on a blog. If anyone else is interested in sending Rose or Mack a message or two, now or later, here are the addresses: roseamelialivingston@gmail.com and mackmorrislivingston@gmail.com.

Here are some pictures of Mack, his first days and the last month to start. Hopefully, I'll find time to fill in the montage for both Rose and Mack in the next few posts.

Day one at the hospital, March 22, 2012; 7 pounds, 7 ounces; 21 inches. Welcome, Mack Morris, our big, happy, sweet boy!


At two weeks:

And last month, at seven months old:

And Rose this month (two year olds are hard to slow down long enough for a picture):