Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Shoes mean GO!

As we may have mentioned, Mae is now walking... everywhere! There's no holding her back! She seems to have learned that it's just the best way to get around.

It is amazing to see what she is learning, and how quickly. Today she taught us that putting on your shoes means it's time to go out. For the first part of the morning, she carried around Kirsten's flip-flops and kept throwing them down in front of either of us. We clearly didn't pick up on her meaning, so she finally toddled off in almost disgust muttering something... did it sound like "shoes! socks! shoes! socks!" She toddled off to a large bin we store eveyone's loose shoes and dug out her sneakers.

Here she is, still in her pj's, intent on wearing her little Seasame Street sneakers -- so we let her. She went around for an hour doing laps around the kitchen as happy as she could be... until it was naptime. But that's always another story.

Monday, May 26, 2008

... and now about the boy...

The new nursery "before" picture

We spend so much time blogging about Mae and spend little time on her siblings. Robyn is doing well and busy in college (we are so looking forward to seeing her in June!). Mae and Robyn's new baby brother is still in "hiding," so to speak, but we are making plans for his big arrival.

A BIG thanks to Jenn giving up her Memorial Day Weekend, we are on our way to having a room ready! Jenn and Rich spent the entire weekend clearing out what will be "the boy's" room and painting it. We did decide to paint it blue, but not because we are having a boy. His room is connected to Mae's room by a common bathroom (Jack 'n Jill rooms), and her room is the same shade of blue with the same textured blue wall (which was here when we bought the house). We picked up the paint for both room's when we got her nursery ready.

Now we just have to move around furniture, clean bedding and clothes, and finish decorating! More pictures when we make more progress (likely after our first and last 2008 summer vacation next month). But just having the blue paint makes the room look fabulous, and puts this momma-to-be at ease ... for now.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Playpens are for everyone!

First it was the cat that had to get inside Mae's playpen. But then it had another unexpected guest -- Aunt Lulu! She decided it was a great place to just take a nap.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Baby Boh!

While we were visiting Maryland, we went to visit Jenn at work -- a real estate office in Canton. While we didn't get a chance to take any pictures inside her office, we had a great time taking pictures of the building -- the old National Bohemian Brewery.

We were so lucky to have our own "Baby Boh" with us for the photo shoot!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Happy Graduation!

What a day! It's hard to even put the day into words, so Rich is going to post something here. In the meantime, we wanted to share some of our pictures.

To see more graduation pictures, see our family albums: Kirsten's Graduation and More Graduation Pictures.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Graduation Reception

Thank you to the wonderful folks at UMUC for a wonderful evening reception honoring the future graduates. Hosted at the University Inn and Conference Center (which is also home to the UMUC offices), it was a fabulous affair with many of the college's bachelors' degree candidates, masters' degree candidates, faculty, alumni and administrators. The food was wonderful (University Catering always does a lovely job) and Kirsten even ran into a classmate from her online class last fall! It was also a great opportunity to take a few pictures of things on campus -- which is a treat for someone who has enjoyed most of her classes from her living room (and the occasional international hotel room or curling event).

For those of you interested in a few of our random pictures, you can see them online in our family photo album: Graduation Reception.

Tea Party!

To celebrate a variety of fun family events, the Frese ladies went out for high tea at Tea on the Tiber in Ellicott City. Usually, they do not allow little ones under age 7 but made a very special exception for us because of the great distance we drove (300+ miles) and the uniqueness of the occassion -- and we are incredibly thankful!

We had a lovely time, giving Mae her first tea (naturally decaf from her sippy cup, of course)! Everything tasted wonderfully but we don't think Mae was as into the event. I think it will be a few years before we try bringing her out for tea again.

More pictures of our tea adventure available in our photo album: Mae's First Tea Party.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Surprise Mail!

Some of you may have heard about our neighbors, a family of hawks that live just outside out kitchen window, part-way down the ravine in our backyard. Rich has a keen eye for these birds, but Kirsten had yet to see them ... until this afternoon. Out on our mailbox was perched what Rich believes is a small female hawk.

To give you a better perspective, our mailbox is oversized -- at least 12 inches tall. Beautiful wildlife, but a major reason why we can't let our silly cats outside and why some of the neighborhood strays go missing. A little while later the hawk took off up our driveway and in between the houses after what was likely dinner.

Monday, May 12, 2008

First steps

On Saturday morning, Mae took her first official unassisted steps to her dad and sister (although there was much coaching on their parts). Everyone was very excited, but we are still days away from much more... or so I thought. On Sunday, she stood up in the middle of a "ball" game with Rich and I and took two steps to him all on her own. Later that night, she stood up in the middle of the floor and started "dancing" -- stepping side-to-side but picking her feet off the ground -- to music she heard on the television.

This only confirms what we suspected -- the kid can walk, she just has to decide to. Unfortunately, all of these steps have caught us by surprise so no pictures yet. But, we're keeping the camera close for next time.

Good luck, Robyn!

We just wanted to wish Robyn good luck as she starts her summer semester at FSU this morning!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Going Wild!

We are so excited to have Robyn home for a brief visit before going back for summer semester! Poor kid, so many people to see, so many things to do, and only a few days between semesters.

But, we are so happy to have her with us that we all took Mae to the NC Zoo in Asheboro for the first time! Having Robyn, a biology major interested in zoology, with us made the day extra special and extra interesting. It was like having our own personal docent who shared with us all kinds of fascinating animal facts, and taught Mae all kinds of animal noises! Luckily, the storms had passed us by and it was a lovely day but soemthing must have happened at the zoo the night before because half of the zoo was closed Friday due to a water main break. Whatever the problem, we read it was so bad that they had to close the zoo for the remainder of the weekend (lucky we got there when we did!).

What we did get to see of the zoo was pretty incredible -- they have these fantastic kids play areas that will be great when Mae is a little older. It was definately different than the Washington, D.C. and Baltimore Zoos that we are used to, but still nice. In the center of the zoo, there is a beautiful caurosel, but we didn't get to ride it before it closed. Something for next time! All in all, if you are in or near Asheboro we recommend a visit!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

MIXX-ing it up in Detriot!

(L-R) Rich, Mae, Emily, Cheryl, Russ, Rusty, Megan and Kirsten

Rich, Mae and I had a great time visiting with Rich's brother, Russ, and his family at their home near Detriot. We really enjoyed hanging out at their beautiful lakeside home and catching up with everyone! Luckily for us, our trip overlapped with Rich's parents -- also in town for Megan's graduation -- and Jenna's last day -- Cheryl's daughter -- so we all got to spend some time together. Good luck to Jenna, who this past weekend moved to Arizona. Also staying with Russ and Cheryl is their granddaughter, Emily, who is now one of Mae's favorite people! Poor Emily couldn't get two steps away from Mae without her crawling after her. But Emily and her friend Hope were so sweet to put up with little Mae's excitement.

While we were there, we got to see Cheryl's new salon -- MIXX -- in downtown Rochester. What a beautiful and glamorous place! Pictures hardly do it justice! Cheryl and Russ have put a lot of work into this new venture and it more than shows. If you are EVER out that way, it is worth a visit -- they have every kind of pampering service you can THINK of!

We had such a great time seeing everyone and catching up -- we were sad to come home! But we hope to be out visiting again soon (I hear from Megan there's an unbelievable scrapbook store that I somehow missed...)

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Congratulations, Megan!

We are just so proud of Megan -- our fabulous graduate of Michigan State University! Rich, Mae and I flew out to Detriot to be with the family for the big event!
Megan (right) and her buddy, Alisha. The Department of Interior Design awarded them a "Joined at the Hip" award during the graduation awards reception.

Megan with Omi and Opi

Friday, May 2, 2008

Mommy Momment

Do you ever have those moments and go, "Now I know I am definately a mom" or "... definately a wife" or "... definately adult"?

Here's mine: Mae and I spent the afternoon shopping at Babies 'R Us picking up supplies for the house, for our big trip to Detriot and for Mae's soon-to-be little brother. Part way through the adventure, as is the norm in such a large store, Mae needed a diaper change. So, we went to the ladies room to take care of business -- but Mae was in no mood. Nothing would keep her calm (and still) enough for a change. Except her Momma's keys. Oh, how she loves the keys.

Ok, I think, so I'll hand her the keys but worried that she might drop the keys (which are electronic) into the toilet. Sure, I knew better; but sometimes you have to learn the hard way. But no, she didn't drop them -- at least I thought she didn't. We got the diaper changed and got on our way back to shopping.

An hour later (this is a big store), we check out and go to the car... except, I have no keys. Not in the diaper bag. Not in my pockets. Not in Mae's pockets or even her diaper (sometimes it happens, so I checked). Not in the cart, not anywhere.

So frantically, I go back in the store (with the shopping cart full of bags) and frantically retrace my steps. No luck. And then, I remember the bathroom trip. Hmmmm... the bathroom... but where?

After completely checking the diaper pail (because these kids are fast, maybe she chucked them? Maybe she hid them in the dirty diaper while I was getting her cleaned up?), still no keys. Frantically searching and racking my brain and then I wonder -- could they be in the changing station? Didn't I have some trouble closing it -- or was that just the buckles?

For those that have not had the pleasure, the changing station (typically found in public restrooms) are these tables that fold out from the wall and have these belts and buckles to secure your squirming darling before taking care of business. They are secured VERY WELL to the wall, and are pretty indestructible as I can now attest having tried to DISMANTLE the one that I discovered holding my keys hostage.

It's amazing how in a flash you suddenly remember things you didn't know you had seen -- like my daughter dropping the keys near the joint as I put on her diaper and scooper her up before she twisted off the table. Immediately after this thought, the scary thoughts of having to call Rich and explain how I lost the keys or having to live in the Babies R Us because we can't get in the car raced through my brain.

Two fantastic store associates, a screaming Mae (mad she can't be part of the fun), three paper clips, a pen, several coins, an hour and a coat hanger later -- we were able to retrieve the keys (YIPPEE!!!). What a moment of relief!

And that's when I knew, I was a mom. And I also knew from this moment on, I can never let Mae hold my keys again. But, now I have a great "Mae story" for the future.