Saturday, December 27, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

A New Kitchen

My husband and father-in-law spent the weekend putting together Anna and Maddie's Christmas present - a kitchen. It has been a hit! Anna enjoys making food for me and washing her baby doll's clothes; Maddie just likes pulling up and looking around.

Happy with their Christmas kitchen

IMG_8825 IMG_8840

I highly recommend this Little Tykes wooden kitchen and laundry center. It includes a stove, oven, sink, dishwasher, refrigerator, washing machine, microwave and some additional storage space. It is very sturdy and it is absolutely adorable.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

My new purple phone

A few week ago I jumped into the texting world. I'm not really sure why I thought this, but to me texting was something teenagers and college students did - not "grown ups". Then I had a friend who started texting to keep in touch with her husband during the day; then I had a conversation with someone my mom's age who started texting to keep in touch with son who was in college. My stereotype was being dismantled as weekly I was talking with someone "my age" who had their own reasons for texting. Hmmmm.

One day I was telling my husband about all of the conversations I was having with people about text messaging and he asked me if I was interested in joining the ranks. Well, I did it. I bought the coolest, purplest phone there was and upgraded my cell package and I absolutely love it. I can text my husband during the day where as before I resisted calling his cell phone in case he was in a work meeting. I can send him pictures of things the girls and I are doing during the day so that he can better "experience it with us". I am even keeping in better touch with my college-age brother which is a huge plus; we now text almost daily. I get alerts on my phone whenever I get an email which actually keeps me off my computer (which is probably another reason why I'm not blogging as much). Needless to say I love it!

Saturday, December 13, 2008


A week and a half since my last post, this may be a new record for me. All is well here at the Burckart house - we've been busy visiting with friends and family and busy with everything else that goes along with the Christmas season. I love the age the girls are - everything is new and exciting.

Anna has become quite the chatterbox. Whenever we are in the car we talk about where we are going and what we will do. We name our friends and count the cars going by. There are times we will have a short conversation and my eyes almost fill up with tears because of her sweet and sensitive spirit. The other night we were going to bed and saying our prayers. As usual I asked Anna who she wanted to pray for - tonight she wanted to include the puppy. I asked her why and she said 'ears hurt, ears hurt' as she pointed to her own ears (she had seen my husband clean the dogs ears and thought they hurt). How sweet! Anna is continuing to fight naptime but I still try to make her stay in her room for at least 30 minutes. I think this time in her room by herself is really bringing out her imagination. Anna's favorite things to do these days are to feed and play with her baby doll and to have a tea party. I can't wait to give her the kitchen we bought her for Christmas!

Maddie is EVERYWHERE! This is a new experience for me since Anna would just sit and quietly play after she learned to crawl. Maddie on the other hand is the fastest crawler I have ever seen. She is very good at finding the things she should not have (such as computer power cords) and trying to put them in her mouth before I see her. There is no telling the amount of day old cheerios Maddie has consumed that Anna has left lying around. Maddie has also found the stairs and can climb up the first one (yikes!). All of this activity has helped Maddie's sleeping. Maddie is back to sleeping through the night on a somewhat consistent basis and has extended her naps so that they now last an hour or longer rather than the 30 minute cat naps (praise!!). We are moving on from pureed baby foods to more finger foods such as peas and green beans. I did not enjoy trying to turn either of these vegetables into pureed baby food so at last my daughter is eating something green. Maddie has the cutest personality - she smiles at just the right time to melt your heart. She has also a "battle cry" of sorts that she does whenever she is about to attack something or someone (especially something furry such as the dog); it reminds me of Xena the tv warrior princess. Well, there she goes off to the other room following her sister. Perhaps I haven't been blogging because those moments of sitting down are fewer and farther between :).

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

My New Seat

Anna's New Carseat

Here is Anna hanging out in her new Cosco Deluxe Summit High Back Booster. This now makes five carseats that we have in our possession which is a little excessive but each one has served its purpose well.

Infant carseats:
I still stick by the Chicco Cortina travel system as being a wonderful infant carseat. Thanks to the removable padding, Anna stayed in it comfortably for almost eight months and Maddie is still riding around in it. I will be sad to "retire" this carseat in the next month or two but I'm excited to pass it along to my sister-in-law.

Then there was the infant carseat we used with our double jogging stroller and in the second car which has never been a favorite of mine.

Convertible carseats:
We have two of these as well. An Evenflo Titan 5 which quickly got moved to the second car in favor of the Britax Roundabout (my reasons were listed in a previous blog). Anna has enjoyed the Britax but as she has hit this last growth spurt she seemed gigantic in it (the weight goes up to 40 pounds). The Britax also sat up rather high which helped Anna push and kick the driver seat in front of her. In hindsight, maybe we should have spent the extra $50 to get the Britax Marathon convertible carseat which goes up to 60 pounds. Oh well.

Sooo, off we went to find a new carseat for Anna. We looked at the Alpha Sport Vantage, the Evenflo Chase and the Britax Frontier at Babies R Us. Anna enjoyed sitting in them and trying out the cupholders. The Frontier was by far the coolest but I couldn't figure out what made it $150 more than any other seat in its division. We went home to do a little research and check with Consumer Reports and ended up ordering the Summit. As you can see, Anna is happy in it.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Maddie turns 7 Months

This past month has flown! So, what has Maddie been up to for the past month?

Mastering eating (finger foods and sippy cups)

Trying out the puffs


Enjoying the sippy cup

Playing with Anna's toys (Little People house, puzzles and the LeapFrog music table are her favorites)


Cutting teeth (which leads to lots of snot and sleepless nights)

Closeup of first two teeth

Following her sister everywhere!

"Playing with Cassie

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I can relate to this...

Since this is so small you'll have to go to the website to read it, but here's the gist of the Baby Blues comic from November 16: the mom is putting all of the items from her shopping cart onto the belt for the store employee to ring her up; the next thing you see is her child coming down the belt wearing a sweater with a pricetag on it; the mommy says "she really, really likes the sweater".

This is funny to me because it happens almost every Sunday, though not quite to this extent. After church on Sundays we go to the SuperTarget to buy our groceries for the week. During this time, Anna usually claims an item as "hers". This may be something yummy like rainbow colored goldfish but it may just as likely be a jar of spices - she is not overly particular. We then have to talk her into letting the items go long enough for us to scan it and then we hand the item immediately back to her. This isn't usually a big deal until you try using the self checkout at Harris Teeter where you have to put the items into the grocery bag or else it blows up - this is not a good situation for us and I have learned my lesson :).

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I love being a mom and a wife and am so thankful for my family. I love the midnight cuddles with Maddie, the cute conversations with Anna and everything about my husband. I have so much to be thankful for.

Anna & Daddy

Closeup of first two teeth

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Have you ever seen...

...Elmo ride a unicorn? This happens frequently at our house :)

Another Elmo riding a unicorn

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Crawling Update

It didn't take long for Maddie to perfect her crawling; she can now make her way around the house with ease. We are back to the days of keeping the puppy bowls on the counter and closing the gate to the stairs. Every item on the floor is fair game to go in the mouth and the puppy is in constant danger of having her tail pulled. The hardest part this go around is keeping Anna's smaller toys out of Maddie's grasp. Maddie also loves to pull up on anything/anyone she can find.

Madelyn standing

This is a relatively new experience for me - Anna was not overly curious and preferred to stay near me at all times. Thankfully this time I have Anna's help :).

Maddie is coming to attack my power cord so I guess that is my cue.

Friday, November 21, 2008

My "Blogging Spot"

This morning is the setting for perfect "blogging time". The house is quiet; the girls are yet to wake. I have a cup of my favorite coffee (Starbucks Breakfast Blend brewed on my Tassimo) and I can see and hear the SNOW falling through the window behind me. Ahhhhhh. There are cute Anna and Maddie events to write about, pictures to post and memories to be recorded - here is my favorite place to do it all... welcome to my breakfast nook :).

Breakfast Nook

Shiny Locks

Say "Cheese"

Doesn't her hair look so shiny? :) After getting a haircut I decided it was probably time to switch from the babywash to an actual shampoo for Anna. We bought Johnson's No More Tangles Shampoo with Conditioner for curly hair (who knew you could get a child shampoo for every hair type!?!?) It has really made a difference leaving her hair not as stringy as before and it smells great. I love the slogan on the bottle - when your child has outgrown the effectiveness but not the gentleness of Baby Shampoo.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Here they are...

By the time I got the picture of Maddie's first tooth, another decided to pop up as well:

Two Teeth popping through - closeup

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Madelyn crawling

This weekend Maddie broke out into a full front crawl. Oddly enough, her first "big" crawl was for the Sunday paper just like Anna's. This afternoon Maddie has been working on perfecting her crawl which has caused the whole family to constantly remove things from her grasp - Anna has been a big help in this. I have a feeling things are about to get busy around here.

Friday, November 14, 2008


In my husbands blog this week he referred to me as a homemaker which makes me smile. I have come a long way from when I got my first apartment 6 years ago - who knew frozen pizzas come with a piece of cardboard on the bottom that has to be removed?!?! Back then, I probably would not even acknowledge that "homemaking" was something that I would one day aspire to. Fast forward six years and I'm now slowly but surely gaining confidence in the kitchen. I now find myself seeking out new recipes to try and am even cooking for guests and new mommies. I've tried cupcake decorating, babyfood pureeing and now my latest endeavor... bread making.

Here are my cupcakes:

Anna & Taylor's Monster Mash Birthday Bash

And my first loaf of bread:

First loaf of bread made

One of the biggest things I have learned through this is you never know if you can do something until you try. Maybe next I'll try sewing :).

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Anna's First Haircut

I took Anna for her first haircut today. Per the suggestion of many friends, I took Anna to JJs Kids Cuts. On Wednesdays all haircuts are $12.50 versus the normal $17, so it seemed like a good deal to me. The waiting area has a big slide, kitchen set and lots of puzzles which Anna loved. When it was time for her haircut, Anna chose to sit in a police car and watch an Elmo video. Here she is in her cape:

During the haircut

The lady asked me what I wanted done to it - my only request was to leave the front long. So Anna ended up with a few snippets to "shape" her hair and a layer in the back to enhance the curls :). Five minutes after it began, the haircut was over - Anna did great. We left with a certificate that had Anna's picture on it, a little baggie of her hair and most importantly, a happy child. I highly recommend JJs.

Here's the before and after (yes, I realize there isn't a big difference):

Before the haircut After the haircut

And here's my favorite, Anna with clips in her hair:

During the haircut

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

First Tooth

Yesterday was a day of two firsts for Maddie which may or may not be related. While playing outside Maddie threw up all over me. Sad. Then while playing inside (after throwing up once again) she started nibbling on my finger and I felt it, a tooth! We tried to get a picture but Maddie didn't feel like cooperating.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

After posting my blog, Maddie decided to prove she could do even better. Here she is in her favorite yoga position, downward dog :).

Still on the move

Saturday, November 8, 2008

On the Move

Maddie has been impressing me with her moving skills lately. She is not quite crawling but that doesn't stop her from making her way around the room. She'll roll, scoot, twist, whatever she needs to do to get to a nearby (or far away) toy. She is even getting up on her hands and knees and rocking. I think she'll be crawling anyday now. Here are a few action shots:

On a Mission On a Mission On a Mission On a Mission

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Halloween Recap

We had a great Halloween day. The girls and I joined some friends at the local library for a Halloween program that included songs, stories and a costume parade. I have not taken Anna to the library for Rhyme Time since she was 17 months old (before Maddie was born) and this experience was so much better. Before, Anna clung to me and wanted a snack; this time Anna was up dancing and clapping her hands - so fun to watch. After the songs, the kids were turned loose to make their way around the library collecting candy from the library staff.

Halloween night we dressed the girls in their costumes yet again (Maddie made the switch to her comfy cow outfit) and met some neighbors for trick or treating. You have never seen anything as cute as five 2 year olds parading down the street in their costumes. Anna loved knocking on doors and putting candy in her bag. Somewhere along the way one of the parents told their little girl to just take one piece of candy and Anna was determined to do the same. At every house she would pick out one piece and place it in her bag then it was time to move on to the next house. Anna was having so much fun I had to make her go home after 10 or so houses because her hands were ice cubes. She spent the rest of the evening on the front porch with daddy handing out candy and glow necklaces to the kids that stopped by.

I have never been a huge Halloween person but I must say, there's something about watching your children get so much enjoyment out of something that really puts you in the spirit.

Here's the family ready to trick or treat:

Halloween Night

Halloween Night

Saturday, November 1, 2008

2 Year & 6 Month Checkups

On Friday the girls had another wellness checkup and I braved the doctor's office by myself. The girls were great - Anna was such a big girl and didn't even cry when she got her shots.

Maddie -
Weight: 16 lbs, 12 ounces (75%)
Height: 25 3/4 inches (50%)
HC: 43.7 centimeters (80%)

Anna -
Weight: 31 lbs (90%)
Height: 34 inches (50%)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

From and little bumblebee and ladybug.

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Naptime / Big Girl Bed Update

Anna has definitely discovered the freedom that comes with being in a big girl bed. Each day when I go get her from her nap (or playtime as it has become) I hold my breath in anticipation of what the room will look like. Some days her babies are spread out around the room, some days she has gotten into her closet and pulled out all the shoes, some days the diapers are all laid out in a row, and yet some days the room looks just as I left it - could it be she took a nap!?! Anna is not overly adventurous and so to date the worst thing that has happened has been the removal of all of the baby wipes from their container (I no longer leave those out). Here's a picture from today's aftermath:

Naptime Aftermath

I think I'm ok with this. I would love for Anna to nap for three hours a day as she once did but I've started changing my expectations and naptime is much less stressful these days. I know I "need" a few minutes of downtime in the afternoon to regroup and Anna needs the opportunity to rest and so we are both getting what we need. I have secured and put away everything in Anna's room that could be a problem and so I feel comfortable with her being in her room without supervision for a little while. So for now this is working for us.

On a related note, as of Saturday we are pacifier free. Anna has given up sleeping with her pacifier in celebration of turning two. My husband took the lead on this one so I'll let you read about the experience on his blog.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Birthday Day

I woke up at 5:15 on Friday and hit the ground running. I was so excited that it was Anna's birthday and I had lots that I needed to get done. By 7:00 I had made muffins, brewed tea, straightened up the house, watered the lawn, fed Maddie and was anxiously waiting for Anna to wake up. Once I heard 'Mommy' I bolted up the stairs and entered Anna's room taking pictures and singing Happy Birthday.

Good Morning Birthday Girl!

We had birthday muffins complete with an Elmo candle and of course I sang 'Happy Birthday' once again. I loved seeing the huge smile on Anna's face - she knew the day was all hers :).

Happy Birthday to you...

Once Maddie went down for a nap, Anna and I got busy painting the pumpkins we got at Hill Ridge Farms. Daddy had taken us to Michael's craft store the night before to get our supplies and set up a nice painting area in the garage.

Our supplies:
- washable tempera paint: this paint took a long time to dry on the pumpkins but was very easy to clean up
- paint palette: this kept the paint colors from mixing for awhile
- brushes: we bought a cheap pack of various size brushes
- art smock: this was WONDERFUL; the one we purchased had long sleeves with elastic around the wrist which kept it in place and Anna's shirt sleeves from getting paint on them. I think I'm ready to tackle any art project as long as she wears this :).

Painting Pumpkin

The rest of the afternoon we spent running a few errands and getting ready for the party. At 6:30pm the guests arrived and we had a great dinner catered by Bella Italia. Here are a few of my favorite pictures.

Anna's Birthday Anna's Birthday Anna's Birthday Anna's Birthday

Now only one more birthday party to go :).

Saturday, October 25, 2008

As a two year old I can...

Brush my own teeth (though daddy helps me sometimes)

Posing in her Halloween Outfit

Make tacos...

Taco Making

Help mommy around the house...

Helping mommy

Show "issy" how to play with her toys...

Playing together

I love being two!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Happy Birthday Anna!

Here's my beautiful two year old in her birthday outfit from Mimi.

Bday Picture - 4x6

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sitting Up

Sitting Up

How cute is this!! Maddie is now sitting up by herself - it seemed to happen overnight. She gets a little wobbly when she gets excited so there are now pillows on the floor in every room :).

Monday, October 20, 2008

Busy Times with Birthdays and Babies

Birthdays: We are nearing the end of the "birthday season" for our playgroup. On Friday, Anna will be the last of nine girls to turn two. Two recent parties took us to new places in the area.

Pullen Park: As a college student, I spent some time at Pullen Park but I had never been as a mommy. When we arrived we joined our friends for a ride around the park on the train. Anna did great! She waved at people as we rode around and she loved to make the choo choo sound. As soon as we got off of the train Anna ran over to the playground. I must admit I was a little disappointed in the playground equipment since it had very little for toddlers to do. I guess I have just been spoiled by all of the nearby neighborhood parks. After yummy cake and feeding the ducks, we moved on to the carousel. After our experience with the carousel at the NC Zoo I expected this one to be just as much of a disaster, but I was up for the challenge. A friend of mine held Maddie for me so that I had both arms to hold a screaming child if it came to it but Anna loved the carousel so much, she almost threw a fit when it was time to get off of it. For those who do visit the carousel at Pullen Park be prepared that the carousel goes faster and the ride lasts longer than any other carousel I have ever been on (i.e. I had a little motion sickness).

Kidos: Kidos is a new drop-in day care center at the front of my neighborhood and was a great place for a party. There was a lot of stuff that was age appropriate for a toddler and it is always nice to go somewhere that they can't break anything :). Anna especially enjoyed the train table.

Babies: All four of my friends having babies in October have now had their little girls and are doing well; next in line are the triplet girls coming near the end of the year. Of special note, baby Lily is now here! Lily was born on October 16th to my bestest bestest friend, Suzanne.

We have been busy lately and it doesn't look like things will slow down anytime soon - that's ok though because we are having so much fun!