Thursday, August 12, 2010

We're Moving (Digitally)!

We've moved to

Tyler and I have relegated the computer to the guest bedroom, and don't spend much time on it anymore. We need a way to blog which involves our iPhones, and hence the new tumblr address. Join us there! It'll be fun!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Not Standing Still

By the lack of posts you would think that time is standing still around the Gibbs household... you know, the usual... nothing happening. But that is definitely not the case. Reasons for lack of posts include:
1) Tyler's intense work schedule
2) Far too much work to do on the house and garden
3) My training for the
3 Day (now 1.5 weeks away - I am READY - just wish our team could raise that last $2k so we can say we reached $100k in 2010!)
4) Noah's all-over-the-map nap schedule
5) Noah's freak outs whenever we are on the computer
6) Natalie's lack of desire for pictures to be taken
7) Facebook, which gets more immediate pictures and updates


Natalie is veering rapidly toward three - her birthday is in precisely two weeks. We are both extremely excited for her party, and discuss it all the time! She feels that the hostas out front have thrown up their purple frondy flowers specifically for her party, to welcome our guests to our house... Also, her most recent declaration is that she wants a Taylor Swift birthday party. I love her total confidence that her mom can make it happen! On another note, I also love that she LOVES Noah so much. Tyler and I decided when Natalie was one that she was not an only child - that she needed a sibling to take up her time and attention. And boy were we right. Just today, she strong-armed Noah into attending a tea party and a sleepover party, and read him about 50 books (i.e. she read them and he tried to take them from her). She is unfailingly sweet and considerate of him, though she of course has her moments when doesn't want to share like any almost-three-year-old. At the end of the day, though, the two of them honestly seem to enjoy each others' company. It's truly a delight to spend time with such happy kids.

She still has an amazing vocabulary for her age, and is very very adept at expressing her feelings. Her declaration "Mom, I'm bored" never fails to garner chuckles when we are out and about (particularly waiting in line to pay at stores). She is eco-conscious, at least as far as plastic bags are concerned... she gathers her (miniscule) three-year-old courage to say "can I please not have a bag????" if I forget to tell a checker at a store that I have brought my own. It's so cute to see her 3 ft tall, shy little self gather up all of her courage like that, just to save a bag. Natalie declares that she loves Ariel the most of all the princesses, though she also loves Belle because "she reads a lot" and Jasmine because "she likes tigers". Speaking of the aforementioned, our girl also loves to copy whatever I say or do - hence the appreciation for Belle's reading and Jasmine's tiger Rajah. :-)

She starts school in just over a month - attending a little preschool near our house two days a week, 3 hours a session. Needless to say, I am not entirely looking forward to having my sidekick away from me, though I am VERY much looking forward to her making new friends. As much as she adores our family and all of our neighbors and our little group of friends with whom we've reconnected here in MI, she really needs to hang out more with kids her age. I think it will help her with sharing and possibly her confidence as well. Her weekly swimming lessons with Tyler have certainly helped, and they are the highlight of her week, but more time away from the nest will be good for her (if not for me). She is out of diapers and very good about it, except nighttime/naptime is still a work in progress, and will be for some time I imagine. Her very favorite things to do right now are acting out scenes from her favorite books (Franklin the turtle is tops right now), playing with Polly Pockets and princess dolls, setting up endless tea parties with all of her pretend food, reading-reading-reading, and helping me do whatever I might need to do (watering flowers, cleaning out the car, vacuuming, baking - you name it, she'll do it gladly, as long as I am doing it too). We remain a tv-less household during the days. Tyler and I agreed long ago that we would try to keep tv from the kids until they turned two because of that whole brain development thing... when Natalie turned two we were ok with her watching it if she wanted to - but she refuses to be separated from Noah and I, so she doesn't want to watch it. Unless it's World Cup soccer with Tyler. :-)


And Noah. Now where do we start with Noah. Well, at least I know that wherever I start, it will change tomorrow!

He's 15 months old and very sure that walking is entirely inappropriate for someone of his dignity. I think his body is lately trying to trick him into doing it though, as he nonchalantly has started using his walking toys correctly (vs. before, when he would sit on the floor to play with them), and has taken to standing by himself unsupported for several seconds at a time just this week. Strangely, he seems to think that he is totally capable of walking by himself in the swimming pool... now, granted, if he falls while in the pool it won't *hurt*, but there is that whole faceful of water thing (not that he really minds). Seeing him try to walk by himself in the pool really makes me realize that he just feels unwieldy walking by himself and is very nervous, but when he decides to take the plunge and do it, I think he will be fine.

He can say the following words, when the fancy strikes him: mama, dada, ah-tee (natalie), paci, shoe, car, tree, kitty, Reese, dog, "eh eh" which means woof, cheese, yes, all done. He should have been pointing over 3 months ago, but has only pointed *twice* in his life - he really just doesn't get the big deal (Now that I think about it, Natalie was never a big pointer either)... He understands "wave bye-bye to daddy", "give me your paci please", "do you want some (insert food item here)", "do you want to take your nap now". **It should be noted that both children take after their mother in that they request naps on a regular basis.** He giggles often, hugs and kisses his mother quite a lot, enjoys playtime most when Natalie is playing beside him, and adores terrorizing our poor beleaguered cat. Noah screams nonstop (shrieks and shrieks and shrieks) when he is learning a new skill or getting new teeth but is pretty quiet otherwise. He very very very much favors PINK sidewalk chalk - no other color - and will carry a stick of chalk around as long as he is allowed to do so, marking everything in his path. He seems to prefer red crayons - all this to say that he has started to very much enjoy scribbling with Natalie. He adores music still and dances and shakes and claps his hand delightedly! We have many options for him outdoors (baby pool thanks go grandma, grandpa, and great-grandma, and sandbox due to aunts/uncles/step-grandma, two slides, and not one but FOUR ride-ons thanks to neighbors and aunt/uncle) - his favorite seems to be the baby pool when it's set up, followed by climbing UP the slide, followed by being driven around in his little kiddy car. It's really super-cool that he can now ask for what he wants to play with - he gets it into his head that he wants to ride in his car, so he will crab-walk all the way around the house and into the garage and gesture/babble until i get out his car and drive him around in it! Awesome.


As we head toward tomorrow, and the sad 1st anniversary of my father's
passing, it gives me comfort and happiness to think of what will be passed on to my babies from my side of the family and from myself. My mom used to jokingly call me jabber jaws, and even once apparently said "Julie, you are talking so much you are driving me to DRINK!" (Young Julie responded "beep beep! I am driving you to drink! beep beep!" complete with crazy wheel-turning driving motions). Natalie's nonstop conversations ALL DAY LONG with me, with herself (particularly at the lovely hour of 6 a.m.), and with Noah/Tyler/anyone else who may be around really earmark her as the jabber jaws of this generation of the Gibbs clan.
Also, my mom always was always surprised at how much I sweat on my nose (earning me another flattering moniker, Sweat Nose - I know, nice). And today I realized that Noah sweats there just as much as I do - a trait that neither Natalie nor Tyler nor really anyone else in my family shares. My little guy has my father's eyes and broad forehead, too. And though he has a bit longer for his brain to settle on "handedness", if things were to continue as they are, he would definitely be left-handed - just as I am, and just as my father was. He holds most chalk and crayon in his left hand (though lately has gone for a stick of pink chalk in both hands) and grabs for almost everything from me with his left.
All in all, things are proceeding here. Not standing still by any means. If I were to sum up, I would say that all of a sudden we have TWO active children who must be watched at all moments, instead of one active child and one calm, watchful baby. As we are adjusting to our new normal we are also just enjoying the time with these two happy kids.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


Our lovely daughter is quite observant, curious and conversational these days. Today's example from dinnertime, completely out of the blue:

"Daddy, why do you have gray hair?"


Thanks for noticing sweetie...didn't have a good answer for that one. :)

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Noah's Favorite Song

Our little guy is most definitely expressing his preferences these days.

When we play with Little People, he very much prefers the leopard. He seeks the two leopards out and carries them all around the house with him. And every morning, when we get downstairs, he heads straight for the "Busy Little People" book. He summarily refuses all sippy cups but a very specific type of Playtex cup which earned his approval early on. Duplo is fabulous yet Mega Bloks not so much in his world. But Tyler and I feel that his most interesting and obvious preference is in the realm of music.

Very shortly after Noah was born, I decided that the song "Lucky One" by Vertical Horizon was to be "his" song. We listened to the song frequently while I was adjusting to being a stay at home mom and gearing up for our move, driving all over the Bay Area and beyond to see our wonderful friends. It doesn't even need to be mentioned what a difficult, trying time that was in our lives, so the song was especially meaningful for me as I was trying to cope with a newborn, a toddler, and the need to be near my father in his last days. On a lesser note, I had also been dealing with guilty pangs for months since I hadn't chosen a song for him when he was in the belly, as we had with Natalie, but it turns out that I was glad I waited.

After a year of total indifference to our now-sporadic playing of his song, all of a sudden during the last few weeks, he has absolutely shown that he loves it. LOVES it! When he is screaming and crying and having a tantrum, all we have to do is turn on the song and he perks up, stops crying, then smiles and starts clapping his hands. It works like a charm and is so cute to see. I am so glad I chose a song that really thrills him, and can't help but wonder why he likes it so much. Does some part of his brain remember that I played the song a million times in a row when he was a tiny baby? Or is it the fact that, when we turn it on, everyone (*particularly* Daddy, Noah's preferred person) stops whatever they are doing to smile and talk to him? Or is it just a good song? I'd like to think it is the first reason, but my common sense assures me that it is the second... :)

We carried all the colors
from the portrait of our summer
We never felt the answers
weighing down our shoulders

Time goes fast when you wander
and nothing lasts forever
but I still feel the power
of you and me together
and light surrounds you.

I know I'm the lucky one
though I'm always the last to believe
I know I'm the lucky one
'cause I'm here, and you're with me

So tell me are you willing
to try this thing called living
'cause there's so many edges hidden
and it's so hard to be forgiving

But I'll try once if you'll ask me
and once again everlasting
for all my days I love you
and all the stars you run through

See the light surround you

I know I'm the lucky one
though I'm always the last to believe
I know I'm the lucky one
'cause I'm here, and you're with me

When the wrongs and the rights all have been pushed aside
you're my favorite color
You're the black to the white and the warmth inside
You're the sun I'm under

I volunteer to watch you
through the dreams that haunt you
I promise to wake you
before the fear takes you

May the light surround you

Sunday, June 20, 2010


We just returned home from a wonderful week in Cape Cod - our first vacation as a family of four! The drives to and from were long but manageable since the kids are such pros at car rides. There were lots of different places to explore, fun times catching up with old friends and their little ones, and a whole lot of time on the beach!

Let's go Mommy and Daddy! We've got places to go!

This is SO FUN! (Many thanks to J. for the beautiful picture)

I like the beach!

Let's see if they notice if I sneak off...


Monday, May 24, 2010

The Thrills of a Backyard

So, so happy these days.

Loves chewing on the "helicopters" (possibly just for the never-ending, hugely amusing thrill of hearing Mom say "No!") and crawling through the jungle of our backyard.

So Big!

Giggling in the pool (thanks, Great-Grandma Freda, Grandma Kathy, and Grandpa Geoff!)

Bathing beauty wearing Ariel (predictably)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


This image demonstrates how Noah felt about his birthday gifts this year. -- Edited to note, he is HAPPY in the below! HAPPY, I tell you.

This child has an incredible knack for discovering exactly which cabinet has been left unsecured. His sister had no curiosity for learning the mechanics of the cabinets. It was enough for her that one cabinet was left open for her private usage (with plastic containers, bibs, and the like)... she attempted the other cabinets, they did not open, and that was all she wrote. Not so for Noah. He hoots with excitement when our childproofing devices are left awry, army-crawls with a vengeance toward said cupboard, and then opens/closes/opens/closes until he bonks his head or his hand or until mom removes him from the premises with copious tears. Whichever happens first. Either way, no good can come of our laxity.

Natalie has taken to screaming "Noah's getting me!" whenever he comes near. It doesn't help that five times out of six, he is in fact headed toward "getting her"... grabbing at her pants, trying to take her toys, trying to stand by holding onto whatever chair she is currently sitting on. Poor guys. It's just a phase but what a phase.

And now, Noah has awoken from his nap in a mood. He is crying. Natalie is highly disturbed that Noah needs us and I am writing, so off we go.