Thursday, January 29, 2009

Week of milestones!

We've had a big week here in the Collins house! On Wednesday, Ben finally rolled over on his own (back to front). He had been rolling over for almost two weeks, but only when he is crying in a major fit or asleep. It wasn't until Wednesday, when he decided he wanted to look for Kirsten in the kitchen (not that he could crawl into the kitchen, but he doesn't seem to know that). Not back to front action yet, but he does get on his belly and spin and inch around.

The big day, though, was Friday! It began when everyone woke up to learn that Mae can open doors. Over Christmas, Mae moved into a big girl bed because she showed us that she could put her leg over the side of her crib. It only took a day or two (and a few days since then), but she goes down for her nap and for the night no problem. At night, we keep our door open so when she gets up we know she is up but we keep Ben's door shut to keep her out unsupervised. But on Friday, Kirsten heard an odd noise over the monitor and went in to find the little girl playing on the futon with the television on (frustrated because she can't figure out how to change the channel to Playhouse Disney). Not sure how she got in there, Kirsten asked Mae to open the door and sure enough, she has figured it out. On went all the door guards that morning!

Then at lunchtime, Mae and Ben were playing on the floor, both on the their bellies, and Mae decided to show Ben how to crawl. First she crawls a few inches, then sits down and looks at Ben. Then she crawls back next to him and tries again. One of these times, Kirsten put her hands behind Ben's feet so he could push off, and he actually scooted the few inches to Mae. It was really exciting, despite this poor narrative.

But THEN the big moment came -- after Mae went down for his nap, Ben said "Da-da!" He had been talking all day long; they both had (inspired we think by the awesome Hurricanes' hockey game we took them to the night before)! And he had been making all kinds of new sounds, but he got it all together and blurted out "Da-da" and kept saying it until bedtime. (For those keeping score, Mae's first word was "Ma-ma" and we *think* Robyn's was "cat").

What an amazing week!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Little Mommy

Mae has been very interested in Ben's care for sometime now. When he cries, she tries to give him (sometimes a little forcefully) a pacifier or brings over a new toy for him to play with. When he is in his swing, she will often go over and push him (sometimes a little forcefully). When he is on the floor for tummy time, she will often go over and show him how to roll and crawl.

Now that Ben is also being fed with a bottle, she has been asking to feed him, "Momma, bottle Ben. Mae help." So, today we let her and she did a great job!

They are so cute, it almost makes us cry!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Happy 6 months!

Sorry, Ben, no cake for you.

Our boy has hit the 6 month mark! This morning we celebrated with a little party and an equally little cake. (Kirsten thought this pineapple-upsidedown cake was somehow more helathy than regular cupcakes). Ben has been doing well, and is now well over 17 pounds! Now he needs to stay this way (well, he can get bigger if he must!).

Thursday, January 22, 2009

More snow pictures

Since snow is so rare here, we had to spend more time appreciating it up close! Here are more pictures!

This was taken in the evening when the snow had already started to melt.

Snowman Jim with Snowman John (We don't know where Mae comes up with these names!)

Mae and Ben's first sledding adventure!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Snow Angel

So last winter when we first introduced Mae to snow on our trip to Vermont, Rich "helped" her make her first snow angel. This process included some pictures of an unhappy baby who did not care for the white stuff (how different a year makes!).

Not a bad angel if it weren't for all the grass! This was made early in the snow fall, before it reached more than 5 inches.

To ensure that Ben will not feel left out of this wonderful tradition, we subjected him to the same test. Please note that his distress was not at the snow -- that he liked; he was upset that Kirsten set him down when he was in a mood to be held.

Let it SNOW!!!

Imagine our excitement and surprise when we awoke this morning to find REAL SNOW!!! We had to run right out and play before it melted! (Although, Pop-pop told us with the weather forecast it would probably last the day). Kirsten did not think it would ever "really" snow in our new home, but Rich knew better!

Pop-pop helps Mae make snowballs for her very own snowman, before heading home to Maryland.

Ben seems to like the snow (until we put him into it).

Their first snowman! Very NC -- using acorn caps for eyes and nose. It was so small, we put it on our steps afraid we would lose it in the yard.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Tea Party!

With Mae and Ben and Kirsten still recovering from their colds, Pop-pop came down to visit while Rich went to Maryland. While he was here, he helped Mae have her first NC tea party (Mae had her first tea party with Nana last May). But this time, Mae got to serve the pretend tea (with a little help from Pop-pop) to her special guests: Pop-pop, Momma, Ben, Elmo and Abby Cadabby. Mae was a delightful host, Ben a pleasant guest, and we forsee many more tea parties in the future!

Ben's first food: pretend tea!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Snowman slippers

As many may know, Mae loves snowmen. So Nana and Pop-pop sent Mae a snowman bouncy ball, a pair of snowmen mittens and a pair of cute snowmen slippers! Nana also got Mae a matching scarf with a reindeer on it -- too bad we probably won't get to use the cold weather gear down here. Unless we make our way north, it could be awhile before Mae sees a real snowman.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Sick, but stately

The babies and Kirsten are fairing well so far this year -- all home sick with a virus. So, fun time for them has to be creative and low-energy (have to save up strength to heal!).

Today's fun was putting Mae's hair up in a pony tail. It's hard to tell with all her curls, but it's almost long enough! She was very proud of her "punny tell," as she called her through her congestion. When not sick, her pronounciation has gotten very good and becomes clearer every day. Ben, on the other hand (who is also talking all the time), is still hard to understand :)

We hope everyone is staying warm and healthy so far this year!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Snowman Jim

Since we started celebrating Winter (we had to make a choice to celebrate, as much of the season it's been pretty warm here), Mae has been fascinated by Snowman. Forget Santa, the reindeer are OK, and trees are only cool if they are lit -- which my toddler thinks should be all the time. But SNOWMEN -- they are just "awesome," as Kirsten and Mae are fond of saying.

Since we have no snow, Kirsten and Mae made their own snowman today using old socks, some yarn, washable markers (in case we ever need to use the socks) and a scrap of paper. Now, we aren't trying to be sexist -- Mae decided hers was indeed a snowman, who she promptly has named Jim. (Rich said, "Jim? Really, Jim?")

Snowman Jim has been helping Mae over her cold, watching Seasame Street, sharing her breakfast, getting lots of smooches, taking naps, basically doing everything with Mae. She even had to have his picture taken! (Momma's pictures weren't good enough, and Mae had to take a few herself.)

Guess we really didn't need to her much for Christmas.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

First Friendly

For a blog that's called, "Curling Collins" and is supposed to be about our family's curling and fun, we don't seem to talk a lot about curling. The reason for this is we keep having babies, and they seem to get in the way of our curling.

That said, today Rich helped orchestra the Triangle Club's first in-house friendly. The format resembled that of a MACA (for those involved with MACA). For those who are not, it just means that randomly assigned teams played regular games but were forced to shift positions every two ends giving each player an opportunity to try out all the team positions. It can get confusing sometimes, but it is a great learning experience. For those that have not tried it - we highly recommend it!

Today's event was a huge success with the 24 players involved, three of which were brand new to curling (talk about a crazy way to learn about the sport)! Kirsten and the babies were sorry they missed it, but they were busy spending time with Omi and Opi who were in town. Next year!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year, Babies!

Happy New Year! Mae and Ben were too grumpy last night to celebrate, so we did their New Year's party this morning.

I think Mae was still too grumpy, but Ben was his usual chipper self!

Here's to a great year!


"Now there are more overweight people in America than average-weight people. So overweight people are now average. Which means you've met your New Year's resolution." Jay Leno

"We know you know the number! Tell us your calories or we'll dip you in the melted chocolate again!" Torturing Snowman Peeps

Farewell, 2008! We are so happy for all the friends and family you brought to us, but now it is time to go!

Rich prepares the Feuerzangenbowle, German for "fire-tongs punch"

We had quite the day, this last one of the year. We all got up early to have homemade donuts with Robyn just before she made the trip back to school. Then we celebrated a belated Christmas with Omi and Opi before our friend Sherri came over for a special New Year's Eve dinner and fun, complete with the Collins' famous Feuerzangenbowle! (If you have never had Feuerzangenbowle or seen Feuerzangenbowle, we totally recommend it!)

We even got Omi and Opi to curl against each other on Wii!

Just seconds after 2009's first breath! Sherri, Rich, Kirsten, Mom and Dad