Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A bridal shower for Rachel!

The Sunday before Thanksgiving, I got to go up to Queens for the bridal shower of one of my old college roommates!!  Rachel is working in the State Department these days, and is currently posted in Prague (after having been posted in Tel Aviv), so it's rare that she's in the States.  So you better believe I made the time to make the trek all the way out to her parents' house for this beautiful bridal shower brunch!

Rachel and Shay are such a cute couple -- they're really perfect for each other, and it's so beautiful to see that.  And it was so much fun getting to celebrate Rachel with other dear friends!  We had quite the roommate mini-reunion -- it was SO good getting to see all of these girls.

Princeton girls!  Karen, Diana, Yashih, Rachel, Shauna and me

The shower itself was lovely.  Hosted by Rachel's mom and sister, there were so many sweet little touches -- including a surprise guest at the very beginning!  Rachel was given a little gift to open, and then was told to guess who from her past had come to celebrate with us at the shower -- it was a favorite teacher from grade school, who had apparently made a huge impact on Rachel's life.  Which says something sweet and nerdy about our dear Rachel.  :)

The clue: a little flamingo figurine


We played silly games, ate delicious food, showered Rach with gifts, and had a wonderful time together.

Rachel, you're so beautiful -- can't wait to see you on your wedding day!  Much love to you and Shay!

Monday, November 29, 2010

PEF Barn Dance!

[Sorry about the long posting silence... It's been a busy few weeks, and we've got a very busy few weeks coming up!  I'm back-dating some of these posts, just because I'm a little ashamed at how long it's taken me to blog about these fun events...]

I remember now why I didn't end up blogging about the PEF barn dance last year... It happens in November, right on the cusp of the crazy busy holiday season.  And it's about the most difficult setting for decent photos -- dim lighting plus lots of fast movement equals difficulty getting the shots.  Especially if you're basically shooting in auto mode, which I was last year.  (Still annoyed about that, by the way... I can't believe how long I was in Program mode!)  Usually, the barn dance is held in the Rocky Common Room, which is a beautiful old hall -- with dim lights and really high ceilings so you can't bounce a flash effectively.  So last year, I made do without a flash or with attempts to bounce my flash off a wall, and then painstakingly went through hundreds of photos trying to find a few keepers... and never got around to blogging about it.

This year, though, the barn dance was held in the Wilson black box theater.  I was all excited, thinking I'd have a nice low ceiling for decent bounce flash, and looking forward to what I could get this year now that I actually know how to work some of the dials and buttons and doohickeys on my camera.  :)  And yes, there were low ceilings -- but they were black.  As were the walls.  And the floor.  Which makes sense, given that it's a "black box" theater... But they ATE my flash.  Literally zero light bouncing back!  So -- I had a crash course in trying out my new Demb Flip-It bounce card.  Which I think has a much steeper learning curve than I was expecting... I still haven't quite figured out how to make the bounce card work better than just plain old direct flash would work (i.e., not very well at all).  But I had fun playing around with it, and now have a whole new thing to learn and (hopefully) master!

But enough techy photography talk.  There's a mighty fine shindig to blog about!

The barn dance is always so much fun -- it's so different from your typical college night out!  There's square dancing, called by our very own Bill, a pie-eating contest, limbo... All manner of down-home country fun.  :)  And everyone really gets into it, coming dressed for a country dance -- who knew Princeton students had country dance clothing in their preppy closets?  ;)

Square dancing fun...

The end of the pie-eating contest:

And some good old-fashioned limbo competitiveness!

We had to leave early to relieve our babysitter (thanks again, Andrea, for staying with our little boy!), but this was a super fun way to spend a rare date night.  :)  Looking forward to the next big PEF shindig!

Thursday, November 25, 2010


This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for this face:

And this face:

And this face:

I'm also really thankful for this face:

And really, well, all of these faces.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Two(-ish) years, 200(-ish) posts

I realized the other day that we just passed the two-year anniversary of this here blog.  :)  And at about the same time, we crossed the 200 post milestone as well.

Now, I'm no Pioneer Woman with a huge blog empire and massive following.  And I'm afraid I have no corporate sponsorships to offer an anniversary giveaway or something similarly fun.  But I did still want to mark this momentous occasion somehow...

So I decided to revamp the blog!  Gone are the blue and brown stripes and textured blue background.  Hello, green polka dots, cleaner lines, and snazzier header!  (I'd also hoped to install a custom font for the blog post titles, but that appears to require coding beyond my meager abilities... But look!  Pretty new header!)

Notice the beautiful family photo in the center of our new header?  That was taken by the fabulous Deborah Cull Photography -- we had a family session with them last month.  I'll be sure to post more of our favorites, after we get our print order in -- because yes, we're finally getting some family photos to hang on our walls!  So exciting!

We wanted to thank all of you for reading and keeping up with our little lives.  From the very first post where we fully accepted the Keddiebears "brand," through the bump watch and Joshua watch series, it's been tons of fun chronicling our lives here.  And we're always surprised at just how many people are following this blog!

So yeah.  Thanks for reading, for commenting, and for keeping in touch with us.  We love you all!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Coasters are the coolest!

So lately, Joshua has discovered the wondrous joy that is the wooden coaster.  :)  We have an old set of six wooden coasters from Target, which are apparently perfectly sized and shaped for little hands to play with.  Joshua discovered the wonderful thwacking noise they make when you bang them together -- or against the coffee table, or against the hearth, or against the wall...  And, well, he's been enchanted ever since!

The coasters usually reside in a stack on the shelf in our coffee table.  So these days, once Joshua gets put down on the carpet to play in the living room, he'll immediately crawl over to that part of the table, pull down a couple coasters, and happily play for hours.  It's so adorable!

The other day, Joshua was sitting on the floor with a coaster in each hand.  He then wanted to pull himself up to stand so he could bang the coasters on the top of the coffee table, but couldn't figure out how to gain enough purchase on the table to pull himself up -- because, of course, his hands were full.  Much though I tried to explain to him that he needed to let go of one of the coasters, he just couldn't bring himself to part with either, so he gave up on the standing thing that day.  Over the past few days, though, he's become more adept at pulling himself up, and he's finally managed to pull himself up to standing using just his wrists, freeing his hands to cling to his beloved coasters at all times.  :)

So we're thinking we need to get him some wooden blocks or something similar for Christmas?  That, or we should never get him toys ever again, since he totally prefers random household objects to the toys we've already given him...

And what Keddiebears post would be complete without photos?  :)  Video at the end as well, so you can see just how earnest Joshua is when playing with his coasters!

Double coaster joy; pulling up to stand; "Yeah, I'm standing.  It's no big deal."

Stacking and thwacking

We just love this little face!!

Halloween and Steven's birthday!

I'm really late on blogging about this, but -- here's what we did on Halloween!  :)

Our friend Steven (known around these parts as Phil's dad) turned 30 on Halloween, so Hilary threw a Halloween/birthday party for him that evening after small group.  The kiddos dressed up (along with some of the adults!), and we all had a grand time eating Indian food, watching the kids play, and greeting trick-or-treaters.

I think it's so funny watching Joshua and Phil together.  Phil is about 4.5 months younger than Joshua, but he's bigger and heavier... So I'm always a little surprised that he's not sitting or crawling or anywhere near as active as our little guy!  He's certainly getting more interactive these days, though, and it's a joy watching our boys get to know each other and figure out this whole playing together thing.  :)

Before the costumes (since Joshua in his very padded tiger costume wouldn't have fit in his carseat):
playing with Phil's toys, Phil's mom, and Phil.  :)

The birthday boy and his son

Phil the puppy and Joshua the tiger!

The B family in their Halloween/birthday getup

Joshua got overheated in his tiger costume, so we took off the top part
Most of the gang who were there -- yay for small group friends!

We always have the best time at Hilary and Steven's parties.  :) Thanks again for hosting us and giving us great memories for Joshua's very first Halloween!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Joshua Watch: Nine Months

Oh, man, has this been an active and mobile month!  Here's the one and only tiger shot I got with Joshua during his nine-month "photo shoot":

I got this shot in the split second he was on his back after David tickled him to wear him out just a little, right after David stepped out of the frame and right before Joshua rolled over to tackle his tiger and then crawled as fast as he could out of the room... Whew!  I make no promises about having a tiger comparison photo for next month...

But yeah, this month has been huge in terms of developmental milestones!  At the beginning of the month (at 8 months and 1.5 weeks), Joshua pulled himself up to stand for the very first time.  He was crawling around on the daybed in his nursery, reached up for the railing, and pulled himself up to stand.  We were so excited!  Shortly thereafter, his new favorite game became standing on the daybed and slapping at the alphabet cards we have on the wall next to the bed.  He laughs especially at W is for Wolf (so silly that a wolf would ride a bicycle!) and X is for Xanthos (silly card makers had to dig into ancient mythology to come up with an animal for X!).

Within another week and a half (at 8 months and 3 weeks), Joshua took his first hesitant steps while clinging to the coffee table in our living room.  We now have a cruiser!  He doesn't do it very often -- he's clearly a goal-oriented little guy, and won't just cruise for cruising's sake.  But he will take a couple steps if it will take him from the couch to the coffee table... especially if there are coasters or books on the table for him to pull off.  :)  We've basically repurposed our wooden coasters as toys for him.  They're apparently much more fascinating than the pile of baby toys he's been given so far!

He's incredibly fast at crawling these days.  And he loves following us around and exploring the entire apartment!  We've had some success at training him not to go certain places -- when he starts heading in the direction of the kitchen or the bathroom, we'll sternly say his name and tell him to turn around.  I think he's puzzled any time my voice drops anywhere out of the silly and fun high register I usually use with him, so he'll stop short when I use a lower register to say his name, and then turn around to try to figure out what's going on.  We've been mostly successful in teaching him not to play with the cords to our laptops and the books on our lower shelves, which is encouraging!

And in other news, Joshua is now a full-fledged babbler!  The floodgates opened midway through the month, when he all of a sudden just started a steady stream of babbling while crawling.  He would lock onto a target across the room (usually the coasters or the desktop CPU), start crawling towards his objective, and so very earnestly babble along the way -- "DA RA RA ba ba ba gee gee GEE GEE!!"  It's so incredibly cute.  And then he started babbling "mamamamama," which he promptly figured out how to shorten to "mama... mama..."  Our doctor says we can count that as his first word, so that's been written up in Joshua's baby book.  :)  And I suppose it's possible that he's thinking of me and/or looking for me, right?

Joshua clearly understands at least a few words, too.  We've trained him to know to lift up his arms to be picked up when we say "up!"  And a few days ago, after I said "up" and picked him up, he looked at me and said "up!"  Granted, it was more of an "aahhp" kind of sound, but I think he was imitating me and trying to say the word properly.  So exciting!

Oh!  And we've got baby stats for him this month, from his nine-month appointment!  As of 10/27, Joshua weighed 18 pounds, 12 ounces, was 28-3/4" tall, and has a 17-3/4" head circumference.  So he's about 25th percentile for weight and 75th percentile for height.  Dr. N. was pleased with his growth, so I'm not going to worry about him not weighing as much as some of his 5- or 6-month-old friends (ahem, Evan and Phil)!  He's also cut his top two teeth, which are totally changing the look of his smile again... He looks more and more like a little boy than a baby every day!

Speaking of looks... I know most of you just want the Joshua photos.  :)  So here you go!  Our attempts at a nine-month photo shoot...

Target acquired...

Mission accomplished

Pulling up, standing to survey the possibilities on the daybed, and reaching for the pillow while still standing

Standing and smiling -- apologies for the baby handprints on the mirror!

It may be more exhausting taking care of our very mobile and curious little boy, but it sure is a ton of fun!!  We love you, Joshua, and can't wait to see what new milestones are on the horizon for you!