Tag Archives: video

She Says… Olympic Gold

We have Olympic fever up in this hizouse.

But I’m still a stickler for screen time, so Owen hasn’t really gotten to watch much of it. (Benjamin and I, however, have spent most nights clicking away at our laptops while binge-watching any and all events. We sure know how to have a good time, eh?). Nevertheless, Olympic fever is contagious, y’all.

So we’ve come up with some new events to occupy ourselves through all of the unrelenting snowstorms.

She Says… Happy Holidays 2013

Santa came early this year!

FOR US: Both kids are plagued with RSV. Coughs, wheezing, runny noses and sadness abounds. Just in time for the happiest day of the year! Perhaps we’re continuing a fun family tradition, as the same thing happened last year, after two healthy fall seasons. As with last year, we’re determined not to let it get us down. Fingers are crossed that it passes sans chest x-rays and puking this year and Santa can make them forget the rest.

FOR YOU: The annual This Place is Now a Home family video Christmas card is here!

Enjoy. May you all have HEALTHY, happy, harmonious holidays with the ones you love.

 

In case you missed previous years’ videos…

- 2011
2010
2012

She Says… A Solid “Meh”.

A few days after Emmett’s 4 month doctor’s appointment we felt ready for one of my favorite baby milestones. Or, rather, something that was one of my favorite milestones for Owen, so it’s all I’ve ever known. In pure 2nd baby fashion, it went completely differently than what I expected.

FOOD.

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We started playing with solid food on the earlier side (a little over 4 months old) with Emmett for many reasons, not the least of which is that now that he is on gross hypoallergenic formula (another story for another blog post!), I feel strongly that introducing him to some better/more interesting flavors and textures is important. Also, it’s REALLY fun. I love introducing my babies to the tastes and smells and experience of enjoying food.

We were in a similar situation with Owen when he turned 4 months. The minute I put that first bite of avocado in his mouth it was like Christmas morning. His eyes lit up, his lips smacked, his toes curled in happiness. The kid ate like a Hoover from the very first day. And pretty much never stopped (save for some picky eating phases along the way, all of which ebbed and flowed and eventually left again).

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Emmett’s verdict?

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MEH.

I started him with avocado just like his big bro. Lord knows I ate enough avocados while pregnant with/breastfeeding him that he’s practically been eating it since the day he was created. However, that familiarity didn’t seem to help much. He just wasn’t into it.

He tolerated the spoon on his lips. He tolerated me dabbing a little avocado mush onto them. He licked. Scowled. Got full-body shivers. Used his tongue to push it right back out.

Given that he’s still so little (5 months yesterday — another blog post in the works!), I’m totally not sweating it. Or pushing it. After the first time I waited a week before trying again. Since then I’ve been offering a few bites every night when we eat dinner as a family. He sits at the table in his high chair and enjoys the company, if not the food so much. I’ve offered avocado and sweet potato.

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The only time he will really open his mouth and eat? When big brother Owen is doing the feeding.

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Which sort of feels like an accident waiting to happen (I heard myself saying, “Oops! Don’t stick the spoon all the way down his throat!”). But honestly? Both boys love it. Owen loves being the big brother (read: IN CHARGE), and Emmett sits there and giggles nonstop at Owen.

Owen’s new favorite game: Will Emmett swallow or spit his food back out?

So although he’s not exactly Hoovering yet, I’m hoping he’ll warm up to food soon. Yet another reminder of how different 2 kids can be!

She Says… 2 Months (and a “then vs. now” comparison)

Emmett is 2 months old! Today we saw the doctor for his 2 month visit.

Having been through this once before with a not-quite-so-easy baby, I can say with confidence that Emmett is SUCH AN EASY BABY. While generally happy and certainly not as hard as they come, Owen was a lot more “high needs” than Emmett. He needed to be held more. Rocked to sleep more. Fed more. It’s hard to say how much of this was his needs or my parenting, but looking back I think it’s safe to say he was a bit more challenging. Emmett, however, is easy peasy. He puts himself to sleep most of the time. He eats really well (aside from those random fussy times). He is insanely happy and smiley and social. He’s happy to lay on his back or sit in a chair and take in his surroundings. He’s even stretching out his night time sleep a little so that I have to stop saying, “Well, he’s perfect except that he isn’t into long stretches at night…”. In short, he’s awesome. I know that, soon enough, we will find his thing that he is not so good at. (Every baby has one. Even the perfect ones.). The thing we will struggle with. But for now? For now he’s making this transition to a family of 4 as easy as it can be.

He’s 24″ (88th %ile) and 11 pounds 11 ounces (35th %ile). That means he gained 3 inches and 3 pounds since his 2 month visit. All of that time we’ve spent nursing and nursing and nursing some more (and making little bottles here and there to top him off) has paid off! He’s round in all the right places and even has some delicious rolls on his legs and under his chin.

SUCH a contrast to his brother at this stage. At 2 months, Owen was 23″ and 10 pounds 10 ounces (19th %ile), and they were the same length and only a few ounces apart at birth. This was the last “regular” checkup we had for Owen because after that his weight took a nosedive and he slowly slipped into the single digit percentiles for weight and was diagnosed with reflux. Thus began the series of events that made me confront our nursing issues. Something tells me that isn’t going to happen this time around with Emmett. I was looking at these pictures of Owen from around this time, wearing an outfit that I had Emmett in the other day. The difference in how they look in the outfit is astonishing!

The blog is such a fantastic resource for me as I go through these newborn stages again. It is so helpful to be able to look back and see what I was doing/thinking/worried about/celebrating.

Speaking of which. When we were cleaning the basement during our staycation this weekend I pulled out our keyboard and put it in the playroom. I figured Owen would have fun playing with it. As we played on it together I had a flashback to him playing on it when he was a toddler. The blog saved this awesome memory for me and I had to share!

Then:

Now:

 

She Says… Role Model

Owen has a crush.

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A crush on Benjamin’s friend and coworker, Mike.

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Mike is a musician (when he’s not working with Benjamin on video production stuff). He plays a ton of instruments. Owen and I have taken a weekly music class since he was 8 or 9 months old, and he plays a ton of instruments too. Clearly, they are soulmates.

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Since Mike lives in New York yet works with Benjamin a lot, he often spends the night at our house when they have an early shoot.

You should see the love in Owen’s eyes when he hears that Mike is in our house.

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Last night, Owen and Mike had some quality time playing the sax together. It’s pretty much the sweetest thing. Owen was in heaven.

I adore how Owen looks up to Mike and pretty much worships the ground he walks on.

Want to see their duet?

She Says… A Little Ham

We’ve known for a long time that Owen is a ham. He will perform for anyone and loves to be the center of attention. Often this is very cute, sometimes it is downright embarrassing (like the time he ran over and blew out his friend’s birthday candles). As a fellow attention hog, I get it. I totally do.

One of his favorite things in the world is to watch videos of himself. I know, I know, I’m feeding his natural toddler narcissism. I’m hoping Baby #2 helps Owen realize he’s not always the center of the universe at all times. On the flip side, he’s gained quite a bit of confidence and a huge personality being the star for so long. He glows in the spotlight, my friends.

Over the weekend we had an empty cardboard box sitting around and we came up with lots and lots of hilarious games to play with it. Owen’s favorite game quickly became “pretend you’re going shopping to buy a box and then – surprise! – there’s a little boy in it!”. He played the game so many times that Benjamin and I thought it would be funny to videotape it. Unfortunately the minute we turned the camera on, he decided to sing really loudly instead of playing it the same way. So what you see here is an incredibly abbreviated version of the game, but it’s still funny.

Not pictured: Usually after he popped out of the box, we would say, “Oh! There’s a little boy in here! What is your name, little boy?” and he would shout out names like, “Bob!” and then laugh hysterically at his own joke.

My favorite part is how he pops up out of the box to finish our sentences (a la this post). Once you play it one way, you apparently have to play it the very same way, every single time. So much for improv.

She Says… Snow Day!

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This, friends. THIS is why I love living in New England.

Last winter we barely got any of this fluffy white stuff. This year looks like it may be similar, except that we got a nice 6+” dump last Saturday night. Owen was as thrilled as I was to go play in it.

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We grabbed our sled from last year (which he is almost growing out of now) and headed out for a walk. The streets had already been plowed by Sunday morning, so we had to search out snow so I could drag the sled.

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We quickly realized that we live a very short block away from one of the best little kid sledding hills in our town.

Well, I really have no idea if it’s really the best, but it certainly was crowded (and convenient), so it worked for us.

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As soon as Owen watched “the big boys” sliding down the hill, he wanted to try it. The little daredevil didn’t blink an eye at being pushed down a HUGE hill without much direction.

In fact, he LOVED it. He loved it so much that once he got to the bottom, he bailed out of the sled face first, grabbed his sled (just like “the big boys”) and hiked his tiny little legs back up the hill shouting, “I WANNA DO IT ‘GAIN!”.

He could have done it all day.

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It was AWESOME. I didn’t get to go down the hill myself this time (I figured even though it’s a relatively small hill, sledding probably isn’t the safest activity while pregnant), but watching the joy in Owen’s face as the wind turned his little cheeks pink was enough for me.

I was so proud to watch him, so tiny, holding his own on the sledding hill with kids much older than him. He even stopped at the bottom and chatted with some of the other kids before pulling his sled back up. I couldn’t hear what they were saying, but the idea of him stopping to have a conversation with another kid just cracks me up.

Watch him in action!

She Says… On to Next Year

Phew, friends. This has been a busy illness-ridden and family-filled holiday week. For many of you, too, I’m sure. If you missed our annual holiday video I posted earlier this week, you can watch it here!

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After I posted the video, I got a lot of questions like “How did you get Owen to do that?” or “How long did that take?” or “How do you get it to look so good?”. My response to the last question is that it doesn’t hurt to be married to a professional videographer! Benjamin and I love working on this project together every year, and he even sends it out to clients as a holiday greeting, so yes, we go a bit “over the top”.

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As for the first question, I gotta say, despite shooting the day between Owen’s stomach bug and respiratory illness, he was a total star. We always knew he had a flare for the dramatic, but he went far above and beyond our expectations this year. In preparation, we talked a lot about what each scene would entail and made “rehearsing” into a game. He didn’t really care for rehearsing at all, but when those cameras switched on, he did exactly what we asked… and more. So the answer to “how did we get him to do that” is mostly that he is a natural in front of the camera (though I like to say it’s because of my mad directing skillz).

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Well. Yeah. That and the promise of M&Ms. At first I hesitated to turn this into a bribery situation, but after a few takes, Benjamin gave me that look that I know from experience means, “Kate, you’re nuts. Just give him a freaking M&M.”. He was so right. We were asking a lot of Owen, and he was easily satisfied with one M&M per request from us. As I said before, they are powerful motivators in our house!

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For those who’d like to see a more behind-the-scenes look, we put together a quick collection of the funniest outtakes from our day of shooting.

This year’s video is such a gem that we’re already thinking about how to top it next year.

Thankfully we have a secret weapon in the works.

WE ARE GOING TO HAVE A NEW CAST MEMBER!

Wanna see?

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Uh huh. I’m 11.5 weeks (and counting somewhat nervously until I get past the point where I miscarried back in July) and due July 16th, a week prior to Owen’s 3rd birthday. I’ve been totally rocked by exhaustion, hence the sporadic blog posts, but aside from feeling particularly emotional (have you noticed how many times I’ve mentioned sentimental crying over the last 9 weeks, even though I’m generally not a crier?), I have felt pretty great.

We feel so, so fortunate that I got pregnant again so quickly and naturally.

This was a very merry Christmas for us indeed!

She Says… Happy Holidays!

Happy holidays, everyone! Merry everything, from our family to yours.

If you want to catch up on previous years’ holiday videos with Owen in them, check them out here:
2011
2010

She Says… Swingset Surprise

Operation: Hide The Swingset was in full swing on Halloween night. Thankfully we got Owen in the house without seeing it (you can see the tower over our fence, and his eagle eyes would have noticed it in a heartbeat) and when we returned from trick-or-treating it was hidden by the darkness. Success!

When I picked Owen up from school yesterday I told him we had a surprise for him. He guessed tons of hilarious things that it could be. The best: he was CONVINCED the surprise was a granola bar (???), and started crying when I told him it wasn’t something he could eat. I tried to console him by telling him it was BETTER than a snack, but apparently a granola bar was the best thing he could ever imagine.

I think his little mind was blown when he finally saw what it was.

 

To those who have asked what kind we ended up with: After much researching, many phone calls, and stalking our friends’ swingsets, we finally decided that Creative Playthings was the way to go. Benjamin and I stopped by our local store last week because they were having a sale, and it turned out to be an AMAZING sale and we bought the set on the spot. The best part? The sale included delivery and assembly, and they could do it as soon as the next week! Unbelievable. Swingsets are a serious investment (aka super expensive), but I am so glad to have gotten such a great deal from such a reputable company. Our family will play on this for MANY years.