Saturday, June 30, 2007

Don't Call It A Comeback

Sorry about the blogging absence, but we have been ever so busy. Maggie is now almost six weeks old. She weighs just over 11 pounds, and has grown somewhere around an inch taller since birth (or longer, technically, since she is not really upright). She is still a mellow girl, but has become highly opinionated, somewhat like her mama. Her list of likes includes: milk, mama holding her, light patterns, pooping (in or out of the diaper, both fantastic), more milk. Dislikes are mostly limited to anything that messes with access to the likes. She is just starting to smile, and she is becoming quite charming, again, somewhat like her mama :-). And oh, we do love her so.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Happy Birthday, Merritt!

Our very good friend (and Ian's godson) Merritt Maui turns one year old today. Happy Birthday, and we hope you are taking Disneyland by storm! We love you!

Friday, June 22, 2007

Counting Blessings

One of the things that I am finding more challenging since Maggie's birth is coordinating nap times. Don't get me wrong -- both my babies have mellow dispositions, and both are relatively easy nappers, and I am not unaware of or ungrateful for this gift. Nap time has always been a special time for Max and I, though -- we read a book, cuddle and chat for a little while, and then he drifts off to sleep in my arms. As much as possible, I am trying to preserve this ritual, since Max doesn't get a whole lot of private Mama time right now. Surprisingly often, Maggie will cooperate, eating a big milky meal and then sleeping in her bassinet while I nap Max down. There have been times, however (and today was one of them), where the delicate timing goes askew, and either Maggie gets hungry again too soon or Max takes too long to succumb to slumber, and a big yell-fest ensues. I have experimented with letting Maggie cry for a bit, but in addition to making me leak milk and feel terrible, this makes it harder for Max to go to sleep, thus creating a sort of a catch-22. I have also tried temporarily abandoning the nap idea and letting Max up while I pacify Maggie, but this throws off the schedule, and gives Max the idea that when I say nap, I don't always mean it. Mostly, I go get Maggie and bring her into bed with Max and I. Maggie has to nurse in a weird sideways position while I snuggle Max one-armed, which sort of works, although Maggie has made it clear that she prefers other nursing positions, and Max has made it equally clear that he prefers a Maggie-free nap time. Today, when everyone had yelled at me for a while, calmed down, and gone to sleep, I slithered out of the pile of Tillman babies and went to the bathroom. When I got back, I found them all snuggled together in their sleep. In all the cuteness, I completely forgot that having two babies is often hard, and remembered that it is an amazing blessing that they are both happy, and healthy, and mine.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Fans Of The Tillmans Flock To The Newly Expanded Family

We were visited this past week by my sister Dillen (from New York) and my Canadian papa Allan. It was great to have them here, firstly because we like them, and secondly because we are quickly discovering that two children somehow often equals four times the work. Both of our guests went above and beyond the call of duty to help us out. Dillen now bears the rare distinction of having been pooped on by both Tillman babies, and Dad, whose youngest child just graduated from high school, got to wax nostalgic about his diaper-changing, car seat-juggling days. That empty nest is probably looking a lot more enticing after being coated in baby barf a few times!

Dillen expanding Maggie's already daunting intellect.

New York, according to Dillen, subjects its citizens to a much more humid and brutal summer than we get here. Perhaps because of this, her tolerance for the Davis heat seemed much greater than mine, and she taught Max how to sun himself and look suave at the same time. The suavity is no mean feat for Max, given his somewhat ridiculous swim apparel, but he pulls it off.

You can tell that Dad has raised many daughters by the fact that he is continuing to smile serenely, even though Maggie is yelling at him and pulling on his chest hairs.

Max very much enjoyed having his grandpa as a constant playmate for a few days, and has asked for him repeatedly since his departure. This is one of the many reasons I am giving my father for retiring in California. So far, he has been hesitant to commit himself, but I feel confident that the combined cuteness of Max and Maggie (not to mention Ian and I) will eventually wear him down.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Happiness Is Your Own Fluffy Blanket

My sister Aly made each of the Tillmanitos a quilt, and my dad brought them down with him on his visit from BC this week. Not only are they puffy and warm and snuggly, but they remind us all of Auntie Aly and how much she must love us. (I hear that many a late night and a loving curse word went into the construction process.) We have been getting good use out of them ever since they entered our lives!

Maggie curled up into an adorable Lima bean and napped on her quilt yesterday.

Max, who tends to overheat while sleeping and therefore often refuses blankets, requested this quilt for his nap time, and has napped with it every day since.

I was feeling a tiny bit jealous of the kids' quilts, but Maggie was nice enough to share hers, and Ian was nice enough to illicitly photograph us napping together.

We will all cherish these blankets, and the love that went into them, forever.

(By the way, there will be pictures of Max and Maggie's visit with my dad coming up. I just couldn't fit all of the numerous photos into one post, so I thought it best to categorize them and break them up a bit. Those of you who are waiting with baited breath to witness the Canadianization of our household, just calm down and enjoy the tingly feeling of anticipation, all right?)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Happy Father's Day

Over the last two years, I have been privileged to witness Ian grow into the kind of father that lives up to the formidable example we have both been given. I feel very proud and grateful to say that all of these men belong to our family, and have each brought their own unique forms of devotion, sacrifice, and sense of playfulness to the role of Father.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Bathroom Adventures

No, Max is not in the bathroom in this picture, nor is he doing anything bathroom-related. He is, in fact, watching Shrek on the computer. I always feel that a blog post that includes no pictures is just a let-down, though, and I couldn't post one that fits the forthcoming news without compromising Max's modesty, so I thought better an irrelevant picture than none at all. So bask in his TV-watching cuteness while I proudly relate that Max TOTALLY JUST PEED IN THE TOILET! (Okay, technically he peed on the floor right in front of the toilet, but he is still the awesomest.) He has been asking to pee for a couple of weeks now, taking off his pants and standing in front of the toilet, but I kind of figured that he was just trying to get more access to the toilet-flushing and hand-washing that go along with the bathroom experience. We've been encouraging his interest, but not expecting too much in the actual toilet-training department. Today, though, he asked to go pee, went in the bathroom, stood there naked for a minute, and peed on the floor right in front of the toilet. "Pee? Pee, Mama", he said proudly, pointing to his accomplishment. I was so surprised that I almost peed. Maybe it was just a fluke, but I objectively attribute it to my child's infinite genius.

Technically, Maggie is not in the bathroom, either (I'm starting to think that this post has been poorly titled), but she did have her first bath this week. I was fully expecting a giant scream-fest, since Max howled his way through his first few baths, and Maggie is a loud and hearty objector to personal discomfort of any kind. She seemed to really like the bath, however. She was very quiet, calm, and big-eyed throughout the moistening, soaping, and rinsing, despite the three cameras (not counting the video camera) recording her reactions. She only objected at the very end, when her wet little self was removed from the tub and exposed to the cold, cruel world. Even then, a little swig of the old breast milk quickly reconciled her to the harsh air-conditioned climate.

I know she doesn't look all that happy, but she is still a newborn. She doesn't emote all that dramatically yet. Trust me, though ... not yelling = happy.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Tillmans Love Jessi

My little sister Jessi had her high school graduation ceremony this past weekend in British Columbia. We were unable to fly down and witness the occasion, since it fell so close to Maggie's birth, but we were all very much there in spirit. Jessi, you are much loved in this pocket of California, and we are all so very proud to be related to you (even Maggie, who so far has to take our word for it that you are great). I hope you enjoyed every minute of your weekend, and that you felt our love and our wish to celebrate with you cross the border. Congratulations, Jingle Nose!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Ladies' Night

Now that we have finally evened out the gender equation in the Tillman family, the women of the house held a conference last night in the rocking chair. Maggie voted, across the board, for more and better opportunities for breastfeeding, while Goblin Cat favored a fewer babies/more petting policy. My vote was neither counted nor cared about.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

You May Wish To Wear Protective Eyewear

Intense Levels Of Cuteness Are Forthcoming

Max slept in our bed, almost exclusively, from the moment we brought him home until he was over a year old. I have never regretted this -- Max will never be that small again, and I am glad that Ian and I took advantage of every opportunity to snuggle him. When we were pregnant with Maggie, however, we both agreed that it would be nice if she had some early training in solo sleeping, to make the eventual transition easier. As you can see, this plan crashed up against the brick wall of Maggie's extreme cuddliness, and has been failing spectacularly ever since. Look at her, though! Who wouldn't want those cheeks right nearby, available for constant kissing?

We are an often crowded, but always very happy and in love, bedful of Tillmans.

Friday, June 08, 2007


Everyone tells you to enjoy the newborn phase, because your baby changes so quickly, and outgrows those endearing newborn behaviors in the blink of an eye. I have been really trying to bear this in mind, but even so, I was amazed and dismayed by how fast my cuddly pink baby changed from this roly poly specimen of adorableness ... this hairier, ornerier creature. I love her as much as ever, of course, but I have to admit that the fur will take some getting used to, and we have already consulted with a cosmetic surgeon who specializes in tail removal.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Two Week Stats

I have been continually annoyed with myself for not doing a better job of recording Max's weight, height, and head size throughout his infancy, especially since I have the blog partially to keep track of notable things in our babies' development. Accordingly, I am recording the results of Maggie's two-week checkup, which will make for a really boring post (sorry about that, but the picture is still cute, right?), but will give me something to reference in later years.
Height: 22 1/2 inches (up one inch since birth)
Weight: 10lbs. 4oz. (up seven ounces since birth)
Head Circumference: 38cm. (I don't know what it was at birth, but Maggie's head size overall has been around the eightieth percentile -- large enough to prove that she inherited her parents' brains, but not quite so large as to require ultrasounds (like a certain big brother I know.)

Maggie meets or exceeds all her developmental milestones -- she can hold her head up independently, she coos at people (especially her mama; she knows I'm a sucker for that stuff), and she is very adept at letting us know if she is hungry. And she is, naturally, off the charts when it comes to delightfulness.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Soak In The Cuteness

Max was giving Maggie some kisses yesterday, and I tried valiantly to capture one on film. I somehow missed out on the actual kissing every time, but I did get some ridiculously adorable mutual gazing.

Sure, like five seconds after this photo, Max accidentally stepped on Maggie's hand, which made her cry, which made him cry, which touched off my first really stressful hour as a mom of two (climaxing in a giant, earth-altering poo of Maggie's getting smeared everywhere while both children howled and Goblin Cat escaped out the back door in the ensuing chaos, not that I exactly blame her). The nice thing about photographs, however, is that they capture a beautiful moment in time, and neatly edit out the less attractive moments immediately before or after.

Friday, June 01, 2007

A Word To The Wise

Ladies and gentlemen, this is what happens when you try to put on a diaper one-handed while juggling a nursing baby in the other hand.