“If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder without any such gift from the fairies, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in." - Rachel Carson

Thursday, January 31, 2013

For the Birds

Last week my dad surprised us by coming down for a last minute lunch date, and he also brought along a fun project--a birdhouse to build with Rowan! For Christmas he had given her the pre-cut pieces and had drawn some plans to follow as well. Rowan loved hammering all the nails in and writing "Rowan's birdhouse" on the bottom. I was thrilled to see her so enthusiastic about building things--a nice departure from the current princess obsession! Thanks Gramp!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Double Digits: Retta at 10 Months

Woah, wait, how did this baby get to be 10 months old already?!! Seriously, only two months until I'm baking a little baby cake?! Ugh, it's great to see your baby thriving, but little people are great measuring sticks of time passing. At least I can look at her and think about all the good stuff that's happened to us because of her over these fast 10 months.

Retta is full of it at the moment....chomping on anything in sight to get those two top front teeth to break through. Our coffee table now has a cute little bite-mark border around the top edge, as do most of our books. Over the past month I've retrieved a giant ball of cat hair, multiple wood chips and pieces of bark, a tube of paint, a tube of diaper ointment, and a shard of glass from our daughter's mouth (I really do watch her vigilantly, I swear!). She has developed lightning fast Go-Go Gadget arms as well- while riding around the house in her baby carrier, she flings an arm out and grabs whatever is in sight, like a blender jar full of smoothie ingredients. Retta and the cat's food dish also seem to share some sort of magnetic relationship, and in the last week she has banged her head on more objects than I can count. It seems like nearly every day I am wondering if I need to take her to the E.R., or at the very least invest in a bouncy house for our living room that she could just bop around in. As our neighbors like to remind us, "It's all about containment right now!" So true, so true. When we are going somewhere and I finally have both girls strapped in their carseats and have that momentary piece of mind knowing that they can't get into something and hurt themselves, I feel so at peace. After we buckle the girls in, Aaron and I have started joking, "We have achieved containment folks!"

The wonderful thing is that the little grins and giggles, the waving, the blowing kisses, the wild tub splashing, and the peekaboo more than make up for all the baby chasing. Every chance I get I find myself drinking in that baby smell and that soft baby fine hair that's just starting to get a little curl to it, and kissing those cherub cheeks... and every time I hear, "mmma mma, ma-MA, MAMA!" I want to capture those cute sounds in a bottle and keep them close to my heart for all of time.

Chewing on a tape measure

Chewing on a sock

Still chewing...this time on a book


Wearing her aptly named Wild Thing hat

Trying to figure this sippy cup thing out


Baby Jowls

All packed up and ready to go

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


A magic potion. Secret ingredients? Eye of newt and the hair of a unicorn.

Potions have become of Rowan's favorite new activities. This is something that Aaron loved to do as a kid, and now she is carrying on the tradition. We put a mixing bowl and spoon in the sink and let her go to town with adding ingredients and stirring them together to make a magic brew. She likes to use spices, food coloring, bits of food from the cupboards, and especially any kind of cooking oil, which makes instant bubbly gook on the surface of the potion. I am always surprised at how long she will spend tweaking her concoctions and stirring...it's a great time-suck, like at the end of the day when the last 15 minutes until Aaron comes home feels like forever. So, maybe it is magical after all--saving my sanity while occupying her!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Family Portrait

The artist at work
This week Rowan drew her first family portrait of all of us, and I was so excited to see the emergence of cute, amoeba-like people with legs coming out of their heads and big googly eyes. It is so cool to watch the evolution of drawing skills as your child's motor skills develop. She was very proud of her creation and we framed it right away and hung it in "Rowan's Art Gallery," a new designated wall in the stairwell where her masterpieces are now on display!

Proud of her creation

The finished product: Aaron, Rowan in the middle, and me holding Retta. Wendell the cat is underneath Aaron's feet, and then of course, an artist always signs her work. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

The New Year

So I don't really want to start the new year off by apologizing, but I just had myself so much fun over the holidays that I didn't find time to write, despite the 478 awesome Christmas-themed blog ideas I had stored up for the season...they'll have to wait for next year. This year we had a particularly special Christmas because my brother and sister-in-law were home from Hawaii, and my husband's sister was home from California, and of course it was Retta's first Christmas, and then there is the unfathomable excitement of a 3 year old over Santa and elves and Rudolph. I swear that if we could've figured out how to harness Rowan's energy and enthusiasm for the holidays we could have powered a small nation for at least a year.

We enjoyed our family visits oh so much- there was fondue-eating, ice skating, gingerbread house making, wine tasting, the releasing of wish lanterns, parties, a new Christmas-themed Baby Talk, and then there was Christmas itself, when Santa left **gasp** a magic Dora doll that turns into a fairy when you wave a wand over her chest. She also sings an incredibly irritating song about "our fairy wish can take us anywhere, let's explore, and make our fairy wish come true!" but in the spirit of the season I am trying to calmly tune her out.  Rowan also got a bike from one set of grandparents and her first camera from the other set. She's been practicing using training wheels in snow pants and becoming a real shutterbug with her camera-- she's taken over 300 pictures on it since Christmas...it's a mix of portraits of her favorite people and blurry pictures of the ceiling, but I love hearing her say, "Daddy! Let me bring my camera when we go out in the woods so we can take pictures of nature things like grasshoppers and chameleons!"

By the time the siblings headed to the airport, we were ready for some home time, so New Year's Eve was probably our quietest one yet, involving sushi, a bottle of wine and a movie, but as we watched the ball drop and another year begin, I looked down at baby Retta sleeping in my arms and felt thankful for the year that was and the year that is to be. Last year at this time she hadn't even arrived and now she's saying "Ho,Ho,Ho," and "Jesus" and will be walking soon. It feels like a blink since 2012 began, and yet so much happened in the space of time between then and now.

A lot can happen in a year, or so little for that matter, depending on what you make of it. I am hoping the coming year will be one of peace and good health for everyone, and a transformative year for our family. Things are great as is, but I feel like we have some exciting things on the horizon.  I have been enjoying my coursework with the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and am excited about becoming a certified Health and Wellness Coach this year.  Aaron has been growing his environmental consulting side-business, and we have some other plans in the works for exciting changes regarding our careers. I'm sure the girls will surprise us with many new tricks, and hopefully we'll be able to manage a little traveling this year too. Anyway, at the onset of this new year,  I am happy to report that the Megquier household is bustling with activity and all are well and excited for lucky 2013!

Here's what we were doing while Wonder Parenting gathered dust:

Choppin' down the family Christmas tree

Rowan puts the star on our tree

Retta's first ornament!

Rowan took money from her piggy bank and bought treats for the cats and dogs at the shelter

Proud little volunteer

She had so much fun playing with and feeding the animals!

Rowan enjoyed addressing the gift tags this year

Rowan and Aaron with the first little snowman of the season

Retta checks out the snow

The stockings (my latest sewing project) all hung by the chimney with care

Rowan wearing my Christmas dress from when I was 3

Santa baby

Rowan's adorable letter to Santa (with a portrait of Santa and a tracing of her hand at the bottom)

Fun toys in the stockings!

Major Christmas Jesus-cloud action on the drive to Ellsworth

Retta liking the Elmo teether from Rowan

Cold smiley baby

9 months on Christmas day!!!

There are lots of other wonderful photos with extended family, but I don't even know where to begin--these are just a sampling of what was on my iPod.

Last but not least, the latest episode of Baby Talk! My brother actually put all of the Baby Talk episodes on a blog so they're in one place..the latest episode is "Christmas."

Here's the link:

The New Baby Talk Blog