Music Class

On Wednesdays Max and my mom go to music class. Since I’m at work when they go, I haven’t gotten to take pictures yet. This week I had a shorter workday on Wednesday so I was able to get away from the office and join them at class. Here are the pictures:

This was the first class of a new session, so they had name tags out. Max didn’t think they belonged on his shirt (or on mine, for that matter) so we put it on his back when he wasn’t looking:

Sitting in a circle, watching the teacher:

They did a new song that involved rolling over. Here’s Grandma helping Max try it:

Maxwell thought it was really funny when the teacher rolled over:

Saying and signing “More” when she stopped:

Fun with Grandma:


And quite possibly Max’s favorite part of music class: Snack time afterward! For the last 10 minutes or so of class he would sign “Eat” every so often, and we’d explain that snack time would be coming soon.

Max didn’t want to do much rolling over in class, but since then he’s very interested in it. He’ll say “Wo ober” and have one of us do it. Very cute. He still does lots of saying “hi” and “bye” to things. The other day I was giving him some string cheese, which was a big hit. After he finished a piece he would say “More chee” and I’d pass him another piece. When it was gone I explained the cheese was all done. He thought for a minute and then said, “Bye-bye, chee.” It is so fun listening to him talk and try out new words. Maxwell’s current favorite thing to play is Hide and Seek (“Hi-See”). He gets the general idea but not always the fine points of the execution. Sometimes he’ll hide under his coloring table or behind the rocking chair, and other times he’ll stand in the middle of the living room and we pretend not to see him as we hunt all around. As soon as we find him he’ll immediately say, “More!”

I’ve entered week 19 of pregnancy and am feeling good. I am feeling the baby move every day, which is always wonderful. So far the flutters aren’t strong enough to be felt from the outside, so Jeff is still waiting to feel it. We find out this week if the baby is a boy or a girl….or should I say, we get confirmation that it is a boy. Hopefully baby is not shy and shows off the goods!

Coming In June…

….or potentially in early July: A baby! We are thrilled to share that our family will grow by one this summer. I’m due June 26 with Maxwell’s little brother or sister (though I’d bet you money it’s a brother, I’m positive it’s a boy).   I’m in that wonderful second trimester, where I no longer want to gag at the thought of a salad but don’t yet have constant back pain. We know how blessed we are to have one healthy son and another baby on the way. Here’s a current belly picture:

We had a fun and busy weekend. Max started another session of swim lessons on Saturday. I didn’t get pictures this time, but we’ll get some soon. Max enjoyed being back in the water and thought it was hilarious when Jeff would put his face in the water and blow bubbles with force. From swim we headed south to a birthday party for Maxwell’s friend Holden. The party was a robot theme and I wish I’d taken pictures of the decorations, everything was so cute and well done. I didn’t get too many pictures, but I have a few to share. Here’s Max handing me my lens cap back:

Then they got out the bubbles, which were a big hit:

Let’s not forget the cupcakes! Max chose one with orange frosting. I wish I had gotten a picture of him practically face-planting into the thing, but he moved so fast I missed it. Here’s a bit of the evidence on his face afterward (there was more, but he helpfully wiped his mouth with his sleeve):

Maxwell was so hopped up on party excitement that he didn’t nap, even though the drive home was just over an hour. So by early evening he was pretty tired. We enjoyed some snuggle time on the couch, checking out the Penzey’s catalog together:

I may have mentioned in an earlier post that we’re pretty sure Maxwell is working on his two-year molars. He’s been doing a lot of this lately:

Saturday night some friends and I had a moms’ night out. I stayed up later than I have in I don’t know how long and had fun talking with everyone who came. And I have to give a shout out for the chicken sandwich and fries…simply amazing. I’m still longing for those fries and their homemade ranch for dipping. Locals, you must visit Roosevelt Ale House in north Seattle.

Today I got to meet my friend Laura for coffee, and then Max’s friend Emmeline came over to play for a couple hours, while her mom and dad got time to relax. Emmeline is about two months older than Max, and her mom is due about three weeks after me this summer! It’s fun to have kids so close in age. They had a great time today, here are a couple pictures:

We wound down the weekend with a little football. Sadly, neither the Vikings nor the Seahawks made it this far, but we still wanted to see the games. Max spent quite a while laying on our glider chair with his feet hanging over the side, holding onto the colored sugar shakers he’d been playing with, watching the game:

A most excellent weekend!

Ordinary Week

We had an ordinary week this week. I don’t take that lightly, our ordinary life is pretty amazing. This week we had time with friends, Max had gymnastics class, and we’ve had time to relax and play at home. Max’s music class that Grandma takes him to was cancelled this week because of snow…we got a few inches of snow here on Tuesday night. It was still around Wednesday morning, which is enough to cancel school around here, but it changed to rain by that afternoon.

Maxwell is showing us his opinion on things lately, just as an almost-two-year-old should. For a long time his “No” has sounded more like “Nyeh”….almost as if he had a bit of a Russian accent. But now he’s mastered the “o” sound and very clearly says “No.” Even though he’s sometimes saying it when we’d rather he didn’t, it’s so cute to hear his little voice. Max also has formed new opinions about what he wants to eat. Gone are the days when he would happily gobble broccoli and spinach. Now he’ll either just not open his mouth at all, or open his mouth and then spit the offending item out. As I write this, Max is in his crib, not napping, because he threw his Chester Bear out of the bed. He did this yesterday too, both times we retrieved Chester once and warned that we wouldn’t pick him up again. No Chester equals no nap, so it will be an early bedtime tonight! I will say that Chester has very good manners, Maxwell likes to give Chester a pretend drink or bite of snack, and then he always has Chester sign “Thank you” (sometimes using Max’s own chin for the sign). It’s really cute to see.

A few pictures from our week:

Max while playing at a friend’s house on Friday:

Saturday we went to gymnastics and then took Maxwell to get his hair cut. I don’t have any pictures of the hair cut, because it required both Jeff and me to be on our toes distracting Max so he’d stay in the chair. But the place we go has a small creek and a bunch of ducks, so we did get to see the ducks first. Max was enthralled and said “Quack quack quack” and waved to the ducks:

After the hair cut we went out to lunch at a restaurant that has a train running on a track suspended from the ceiling. Max loved watching it and saying “Choo choo” every time it went by.

We have a couple small leather boxes with removable lids in our entryway. Maxwell recently discovered that he can take the lids off, take the blankets out, and sit inside. This has provided lots of entertainment lately.

It’s even more fun when Daddy peeks over the railing from the landing above.

Christmas 2010

We had a wonderful time with visiting family this Christmas. We love having everyone here and having lots of time together. Max enjoyed the company as well and definitely got the concept of opening presents this year. We ate lots of good food, played with our new presents, and did some fun projects with the girls. I’ll keep my text short this time since I have lots of pictures to share. Enjoy!

Opening the blanket his cousin Elizabeth made for him:

Can I fit in this box?

Mmmmm, ketchup!

Cathie helped the girls sew pajama pants. They turned out really cute!

The girls and I made “melted snowman” cookies. They had fun decorating them, and we all enjoyed the finished product.

We had booked J. Shelton Photography to take a family picture while everyone was here. The appointed day was cold but clear and sunny, and Justine captured everyone wonderfully as always. Here’s the sneak peek on her blog. We love them and can’t wait to see the rest!

I hope you all had a very Merry Christmas, and wish you a happy 2011!

A Visit to Santa

We took Max to see Santa last weekend. We thought he might not be too sure about the big guy in red, and it turns out we were right. Maxwell was fine when we go there, and was okay standing near Santa with me holding him, but wasn’t interested in sitting on his lap. We decided he was going to cry no matter what, so I quickly handed him to Santa, they took the picture, and then I rescued him again. You can see he has a tight grip on his good friend Chester bear, whom we brought along for moral support. The picture really is priceless:

We also recently did a holiday mini-session with the fabulous J. Shelton Photography . As always, we love how she captures Max, and he looks like such a big boy in these pictures! Thanks Justine!

After our session we wandered around the grounds a bit. Max was fascinated by the big water wheel. He kept saying and signing “Ball,” as in this picture:

What’s better than a ride on Daddy’s shoulders, and keeping the rhythm on his head?

Max’s Oma and Opa arrived yesterday and we’re having a great time together. Pictures of that to come next time!

O Christmas Tree

Last weekend we were blessed with dry, sunny weather, so we took advantage of the opportunity to go out and get a Christmas tree. We went to a farm not far from our house to cut our own, which was definitely cheaper (not to mention more fun) than the pre-cut trees we’ve gotten in the past. I wasn’t sure what Maxwell would think of a tree in the middle of the living room, but so far it’s gone remarkably well. We brought it in and decorated it while he was napping, and he was certainly interested when he woke up, but then it was back to his toys, no big deal. He likes to point out the ornaments but has yet to try to take them off.

Here we are deciding on our tree:

We’ll take this one!

Max and I were excellent supervisors while Jeff cut down the tree:

What Seattle rain? Look at that view:

That afternoon I wanted to get some pictures of Max in what Jeff calls his “Breakout” sweater though the pattern is technically “Jelly Bean.” Now, don’t start to get impressed that I made this. I only knit things that are flat, like scarves and blankets. Max’s Oma (Jeff’s mom) is a very talented knitter who has made Max several beautiful sweaters, including this one.

I know this one is dark, but it’s such a cute smile!

Don’t you just melt?

Here’s Maxwell doing one of his favorite new tricks: Head on the floor, sometimes with hands in the air. He’s come close to going over in a somersault, but hasn’t quite gotten there yet:

Max is working on saying more words. Usually he just says the first sound of a word, which can make interpretation tricky….”Ba” could be Ball, Book, Box, etc. But it is great to hear him talking more to communicate. I get to hear a lot of “Mama” these days, which I love. We’ll be taking him to see Santa this weekend, which I’m sure will be interesting. My guess is Max may not be so happy in the picture, but who knows, maybe he’ll surprise me like he did at the dentist. We have been talking up how nice Santa is and how fun it will be to see him. Stay tuned for photos!

First Dentist Visit

Happy Thanksgiving to all! I don’t have many pictures from yesterday, but I’m happy to report we had a snowy but safe drive to my Grandma’s house for Thanksgiving dinner with about 20 extended family members. Max didn’t eat a lot of the feast, but he did enjoy some sweet potatoes and turkey. Mostly he wanted to play with all the cool toys Great-Grandma has. I am so grateful for my wonderful husband, our amazing boy, and time spent with family.

I recently took Max on his first visit to the dentist. I figured it would be more to expose him to the dental office than to really do a cleaning, as I didn’t know how comfortable he’d be. The office we visited was recommended by a friend and specializes in pediatric dentistry. They had a cool train table in the lobby, so that was a good start:

Once they called us back, the hygienist explained that they would just get as far as they could with the exam, and stop when Max had had enough. We decided to see how he did in the chair, but she said we could do the exam with him in my lap if we needed to. Lo and behold, Maxwell surprised me by sitting in the chair as nice as you please, and letting both the hygienist and dentist clean and look at his teeth. This was good news on many counts, not the least of which was that it allowed me to take pictures of this historic first visit.

Checking out the chair:

Looking up at the TV:

Examining the toothbrush she’ll use:

This isn’t so bad:

I don’t know what you were worried about Mom, this is no big deal!

Max loved the water sprayer. I don’t know how long he would have kept drinking from it if she hadn’t moved on:

Look Mom! A light-up mirror!

At the end of the exam they let Max try on the sunglasses, which were a bit hit:


This month Max has been taking a gymnastics class on Saturdays. It’s “Parent-Tot Gymnastics” since of course it’s not like he’s quite ready to just hop on the uneven bars and learn a routine. We figured it would be a fun activity and good for his gross motor skill development. I’m happy to report that it has been a great success, Max really likes the different things he gets to do and is eager to get started when we get there. At the end of class the kids sit on the edge of the gymnastics floor and the teacher comes down the line and stamps their hands. Maxwell wasn’t sure about this at first, but once he had a stamp, he was sold. At today’s class he got stamps on both hands and on his feet. The class session is over now but we’ll definitely be doing this again in the new year.

We had a home visit earlier this week to evaluate Max for speech therapy. We weren’t surprised that the results of the evaluation were that Max is ahead of his age as far as receptive speech, and behind in expressive speech. The therapist was impressed by how much he understands, and says that she sees a lot smart kids who figure out that they can get by with “yes” and “no” and pointing, which Max does, though he does say a few words and signs nearly 20 words. She gave us some techniques to use to encourage him to talk more, and we’re already seeing progress. We’ll have another visit in a month to touch base and see where to go from there.

Max is definitely showing his own opinions on things more and more. The other night Jeff was putting pajamas on him after a bath. I was downstairs and heard Max crying. I figured he must have slightly hurt himself, but he was still crying when they came downstairs. I tried giving him a hug, but he was having none of it, just crying and tugging on his pants. Jeff explained that Max was suddenly NOT a fan of the pirate pajama pants (never mind that he’s worn them oh, 50 times). His favorite owl jammies were in the wash, so we offered the dog jammies as his other option, and that was satisfactory. Since then we’ve been trying to give him a choice between two options whenever possible when dressing him, and that definitely helps.

And now, gymnastics photos! Maxwell and Daddy wait for class to start while admiring all the fun equipment:

Every class starts with the kids picking a small stuffed animal out of
a basket and then climbing up these ladders to retrieve it:

Running down the trampoline ramp. This ends in a big pit filled with foam blocks. Maxwell wasn’t too interested in jumping into the pit the first couple times, but by the third class he figured out that it was fun. To be honest, I wanted to jump in there myself. They even have a rope swing so you can swing out over the pit and then jump in. How fun is that?!

The balance beam:

And assorted other fun things:

Halloween, and the Rest of Fall

So we’re not quite halfway through November, and here I am finally getting caught up on October. Whew! I’m sorry to report that I don’t have any pictures to share of Max in his cute monkey costume, because Maxwell hates said costume. We attempted to try it on once, and great protest ensured. Thereafter, any time I would even hold up the costume, unpleasant sounds and frantic “All done” signing would commence. So, we compromised. We attended a birthday party for one of Max’s friends a couple weeks before Halloween. The party was a “pizza party” theme (really well done, may I add) and all the kids attending got chef’s hats to wear. Max loved his and wore it all through the party and later at home. So when we attended a “wear your costume” party held at a friend’s house, Max wore his chef’s hat and carried around a measuring cup (something he likes to play with anyway), as a makeshift costume. Here he is at Hailey’s party, wearing his hat:

And the group picture at the baby costume party. Can you see how thrilled they are to be posing?

Not to worry, fun was had at the party. Max discovered a Bumbo chair, which occupied him for quite some time:

And there were balloons! Here’s a series of Maxwell and his friend Holden enjoying them. First, Max finds an orange balloon:

Then, there’s some disagreement about who should hold the balloon:

But not to worry, there’s another orange balloon!

Hooray! Balloon fun for everyone!

We didn’t take Max trick-or-treating this year, since (a) He hates his costume and (b) He really has no concept of what the holiday is. I’m sure next year will be a different story. He did help hand out candy, and before the trick-or-treaters started, he helped Daddy sort out the candy. What? Everyone knows you save the best candy for the end, so if you have leftovers, it’s the good stuff.

And to close, here are a couple photos of Max being cute in his new hat from our friend Leanne of Tiny Toppers. He loves the hat and likes to wear it around the house.

Fun with Family, Round 2

Two blog posts in one day! I just may get caught up after all. My dad and Helen also visited in October, we had a great weekend with them and we all wished they could have stayed longer. It rained most of the time they were here, so we did some shopping, some lunching out, and some general relaxing around the house. We did have a brief period of dry skies Sunday morning, so we stopped at a pumpkin patch near our house to get a pumpkin for our porch, as well as some yummy pasta sauce that they have at the farm stand there. They have a cow train like the one at the other farm we visited, so Maxwell and I went for a ride on that, since it was such a hit before, and it did not disappoint this time. I thought I had more pictures to share with you from this visit, but apparently I did something wrong when uploading the ones from Dad and Helen’s camera. Here are some pictures from the farm trip:

Watching the train:

Wheelbarrow ride!