Okay, so yesterday was a pretty rough start to the new U of M era. To say that it is the proverbial "rebuilding year" is an understatement. But...all that aside, I find it hard to say how thrilled I am to be back in Ann Arbor in football season. The students are back in school this week, the energy is high, the town is a madhouse. Stores are crowded, there's a lot of traffic. I love it. Every street I go down here is filled with memories from the last 15 years, and this is my favorite time of year.
So go ahead. Rebuild. We'll be here.
Posted by Gwen Papp Sunday, August 31, 2008 at 3:43 PM
Posted by Gwen Papp Monday, August 25, 2008 at 8:40 PM
There has been a pile of stuffed animals in the corner of the girls' room since they were born that nobody really pays attention to. We've offered them, but until very recently they just didn't get that excited about them. Lately Saoirse loves them all. But Rowan has picked just one. Her first lovey. Or "transitional object," in psychologist-speak. At first she just slept with him.
Now when I go in to get her in the morning, she first bends down and scoops up Froggie, so that he can come down to breakfast.
She took him with us to the lake, and held him in her carseat all the way there.
It's so cute, I can barely stand it.
Posted by Gwen Papp Thursday, August 21, 2008 at 5:24 PM
To my dear sweet babies-
I know that this may come as a shock to you, but there are a few things that do not help when mommy has a very very bad headache and yet has several hours to go before daddy gets home.
Like screeching very loudly right next to my ear. Or hitting each other a lot, forcing me to raise my voice. Ditto biting, scratching, and pushing each other. Or poking me in the eye really really hard, even if it is to show me that you know how to say "ah" (Saoirse, I'm talking to you on this one). More non-helpful things include crawling on top of my head, sitting on my neck, stepping on my hair, slamming your head into my lip when you're trying to lie down on my chest, pulling my hair when you're trying to look at my face after crawling over my head. Did I mention whining/crying/screaming roughly once every 3 minutes? NO? Weird, because that's a big one.
Okay, I'm going to wrap up, because I think you get my point. And because now that daddy is home to take you outside, I need to go lie down.
Love you, Mom
Posted by Gwen Papp Wednesday, August 20, 2008 at 8:47 PM
Posted by Gwen Papp Tuesday, August 19, 2008 at 7:59 PM
So Chris's vacation came to an end, as all good things must. And it was a good thing. Momma got some time to herself, went running (desperately needed), the girls spent lots of bonding time with Daddy. Interestingly, spending so much time together during the week revealed something about the girls. Saoirse, who has been obsessed with her dad since she was about 6 months old, kind of chilled out this week and rediscovered her mom. And Rowan got to spend some time with Chris and decided she's crazy about him. It's interesting how different they are like that, Saoirse really loving whoever is more unavailable, and Rowan loving familiarity. It was great that Chris got to spend more time with Rowan, though. With Saoirse being all over him most nights, it's hard for him to pay as much attention to Rowan, and I know that worries him.
We spent this last weekend at the lake, probably the last weekend of the season since we have plans for the next couple of weekends. The girls love it there. It turned out to be a great weekend, Blake and Katie came, Grandma and Grandpa were glad to see the babies, Chris got to come along this time. Six adults to two 15 month olds is just about the right ratio, I think. Chris played golf & wakeboarded. We all went for boat rides, and had a bit of an adventure on one of them when we almost sank the pontoon boat. Take home message: Keep the weight balanced!!
Grandma brought doll strollers for the girls. They loved pushing them around, and riding in them and having us push them. Rowan even took the baby out of Saoirse's stroller to add it to hers. Because two babies go in the stroller, of course.
This summer has gone WAY too fast. We've been having so much fun with these little girls, it seems like life can't get much better.
Posted by Gwen Papp Wednesday, August 13, 2008 at 7:47 AM
Chris is home with us this week, and for the most part we're sticking close to home. We're going to the lake this weekend, but other than that we're in Ann Arbor still. I've read in the news lately that because of the economy lots of people are doing this, rather than going away for their vacations, the media calls them "staycations." We're not doing it to save money, just because we're tired and we want to spend some time with the girls. The whole phenomenon is probably being overstated by the media anyway.
Chris took the girls out for an adventure yesterday. They went to the pool, then to campus to run around, then to Gautam's house to watch Olympics and play with the kitty, Luna. It turns out it's relaxing for me to have Chris home, because the girls are so excited to have him around that they never want to leave his side.
Here are all my loves at breakfast this morning:
Posted by Gwen Papp Tuesday, August 12, 2008 at 9:13 AM
This past Sunday afternoon, Chris and I took the girls to the mall. The weather was chilly this past weekend, and it reminded me that the girls and I are not really prepared for fall. So we went and bought some jeans, long-sleeved shirts, and socks for the girls. I guess they can't go barefoot forever.
While we were there, Chris decided to take the girls to the little play area in the mall. I've walked by it with them, but I've never stopped and let them out. When I'm at the mall I'm usually alone, and it seems so crazy in there, I didn't know if they would get run over by the big kids. But they loved it. They watched all the other kids, ran around. I love the padded floor, even the big toys have some padding to them, they're not as hard as they look. It was so fun being able to sit on the bench on the side and just watch them play. We will definitely be visiting the play area again, this will be so handy this winter when we're stuck inside more and they need a way to burn off energy.
Posted by Gwen Papp Friday, August 8, 2008 at 4:33 PM
Sleeping has been rough around our house lately, so in an effort to wear the girls out I took them outside for a few hours this afternoon. First we ran some errands, went baby shower shopping for the twins we're anxiously awaiting (along with Auntie R) in October/November. Then we got hot cocoa and scones at Sweetwater Cafe and sat outside and shared the scone. Rowan and Saoirse charmed some passersby, of course, and ate blueberry scone like it was going out of style. Then we headed on over to campus and the girls got to run around for a while in the courtyard by the League and the MLB. Saoirse fell about a thousand times, and she scraped her knee again. I had to wash the blood off in the fountain, which caused Rowan to have a major tantrum when I would only let her stick her toes in the fountain rather than going swimming. While we were there, Rowan decided she wanted to push the empty stroller herself, which she's never done before. I had it sitting on the grass, so I didn't think she would be able to move it. But she used the bar that holds the basket underneath and just dug in her feet and it worked. It was hilarious watching her pushing this huge double stroller around, she's so teeny. Maybe it's time for a doll stroller?
A couple other funny things lately:
The other day I was taking a shower and drying my hair, so the girls were in the bedroom/bathroom with me. While I was drying my hair, I heard some thumping from the bedroom, so I thought I better check it out. When I went in there, both of the girls were lying next to each other on the floor, lifting their legs into the air and then kicking them down hard, flopping around and giggling at each other.
Rowan has started sharing food with Saoirse in their highchairs. For a while now they have wanted their highchairs next to each other in the kitchen, so they can reach each other's hands. They also sometimes grab the other girl's tray and pull themselves around with it. (Both chairs are on wheels) But in the last couple of days I've noticed that Rowan has started handing Saoirse food sometimes. Chicken, a couple days in a row. At first I thought it was just stuff that she didn't want, but then I noticed Saoirse pointing to her tray and whimpering, and Rowan just handed over what she appeared to be asking for. So I guess it is genuine sharing.
They really don't seem like babies anymore. Now I know what moms mean when they say...well, but they'll always be MY babies.
Posted by Gwen Papp Wednesday, August 6, 2008 at 8:00 PM
I always show you photos/videos of Saoirse climbing. For a while, she was the only one that was reckless enough to try most of her stunts. But lately Rowan has been getting bolder. Maybe watching Saoirse was giving her ideas. I don't know. But here's a recent shot of her finding new ways of using their Little People garage.
And here's another one that I think is funny. All crouched behind the garage, apparently having a serious secret conversation with the woman in the car. "Look, I can't talk long, my mom's going to catch me. But you've got to get me out of here. My sister won't stop poking me in the face and saying "sis"...I'm like...yeah, I'm your sister, get over it."
Posted by Gwen Papp Tuesday, August 5, 2008 at 9:05 PM
Yes, I've been slacking again. Well, not exactly slacking, but slacking on blogging. We've been having a very busy summer, actually.
We've been in the new house for about a month now. We love it. It took a long time, and a lot of hassle. But we love the house. It's so good to be somewhere that you anticipate staying for a long time. We even bought some furniture, so it's not quite so bare now. :) I haven't really taken pictures of the new furniture, so I can't really show you that yet.
The girls have been really enjoying summer. We've been taking them to the pool pretty often. There's an Ann Arbor pool near us that has a cool kiddie part that goes all the way down to zero depth, so they can walk in. Rowan likes it. Saoirse loves it. She will wade right in up to her neck, whine for us to walk her around and around in the water. They scream and kick when we have to take them out. It's been really cool seeing them having so much fun.
They've started saying words. Saoirse has about 10 words, and Rowan has about 8. Of course, most of them are words that only we can understand. But they're real words. Both of them said "dada" first, and neither one of them will give in and say mama, although they clearly know what it means. Well, more accurately, Rowan does say mama sometimes, but I think she teases. She'll say it sometimes when I'm in the room, but she's looking at something else, and then when I say, "That's me. Mama, that's me" she giggles and stops saying it.
We've been really enjoying hanging out in Ann Arbor, and taking the girls to places we love here. We're regulars at Good Time Charlie's, the girls love Count Twists as much as I do. Good taste. We took them to Pizza House the other night, it's gotten a lot fancier since the 90's. Here's Rowan enjoying her freedom.
Here are the girls a minute later after Daddy scooped them up.
The girls have both been practicing eating with utensils. They have trouble getting the food on the fork/spoon, but if you put it on there for them, they're great. And they really enjoy eating that way, they are very pleased with themselves.
The girls got to go to their first baby shower this last weekend, for Ashley's baby girl. Yay!! Another new girl cousin. Here's Saoirse looking angelic in her white dress, minutes before she covered her front in chocolate.
We're having a great summer. It's going too fast!