A Half-Dozen Healys

The Adventures of Amy, Jason, Seth, Evan, Nora, and Maya

Blog Masthead: A Half-Dozen Healys

Blog Postings tagged with 'Author: Amy'

Ode to Kindergarten Teeball

It's finally Evan's turn at the tee after years of watching Seth; hold that bat, his coach decrees, lest its early swinging scare him to death.

This will be easy; this is simple as pie, thinks Evan at the plate. Yet, why do I keep hitting tee, not ball - how much longer must I wait?

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Alike But Not the Same

Nora and Maya were recently given a series of books authored by Grace Lin, detailing the adventures of a set of identical twins named Ling and Ting. Immediately, the girls were fascinated by these sisters, who as one title states, are "Not Exactly the Same." Ling and Ting have many similarities, but also have small differences that become more evident as you progress through the stories.

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Seth Turns Nine

Tomorrow, Seth will turn nine-years-old. I try to mark each child's birthday with a blog entry of some sort, sometimes lengthy, sometimes just a photo essay. This week, I felt inspired to write a haiku for Seth. He has been writing them in school this year and has really enjoyed their form and structure. I sat with it for some time, and I tried to pick the most accurately descriptive words about Seth at this point in time. Sometimes, fewer words say more than many.

Haiku for Seth on his 9th birthday

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Reflections on Turning 39 - Savoring Sweetness and Pursuing Wisdom

One early morning last week, I ended up with all four kids in my bed. In general, our children have been good sleepers (once they turned one or so), and sleep in their own beds through the night. But sometimes, they sneak into our room in the middle of the night. Especially one or the other of the twins. I have a soft spot for this behavior. I know they won't be little forever, so I have been known to let our little nighttime visitors snuggle up and stay awhile. It's usually only one at a time. Then, as each of the other children start to awaken, they all come in and jostle for their favorite cuddling spot.

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I Wanna Live a Life Like That...

We're just back from Seth's second annual guitar recital. In the middle of this snowy day, only the most die-hard fans of all the performers were able to attend (read: parents and siblings).

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Some Musings on Yoga and Prayer

What better way to dust off the old blog than with some reflections on the similarities between yoga and Jewish prayer. My religious experience is with Judaism, but I'm hoping that some of what I'm saying might translate well to other religions' traditions or meditation practices.

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To Nora and Maya: Three-Years-Old is Looking Good on You

Dear Nora and Maya,

My darling, bubbly, silly, loving, clever, verbal, gymnastics/yoga loving, infuriating, kissable daughters. You completed our family, rounding us out into four corners, adding symmetry to our hexagon. You made us into a family of six, and for that we are eternally grateful.

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To Seth, My Newly Minted Eight-Year-Old

Dear Seth, You are eight, and I am 38. You like to point this out, that we will always be 30 years apart. Your mind grasps things like this. You are logical and inquisitive, curious and determined. It has been a privilege to watch you develop and grow during your time at Spaulding School, from kindergarten through second grade. You are finishing up your final year at Spaulding, and will be starting a new adventure next year in third grade at McAlister Intermediate School. Even though Evan will be starting in kindergarten at Spaulding, you two will ride the same bus together, and I know this will please both of you.

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A Long Ago, But Not Forgotten, Twin Pregnancy

It's been a long time since I was pregnant with the twins. Three years ago, we were gearing up for the majestic unknown as we thought about how life would be after the girls were born. I've written before about all the turmoil and sorrow that was occurring in our lives during this pregnancy - my beloved father-in-law and my loving step-mother died within two weeks of each other just months before Nora and Maya were born. It's not possible to change that fact, or to have experienced the pregnancy with any other backdrop. However, I've never really written about the twin pregnancy itself, how it was as an experience. As the girls are approaching their third birthdays, it feels right to me to try to describe what an awe-inspiring experience it was being pregnant with them. Because I will never forget.

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Let's Go!

From the pictures I post on Facebook, it's easy to focus on the fun activity we are usually participating in and not think too much about all the other messy details. Social media is fun that way. However, a lot of the time, be it coming or going, I feel like my constant mantra is "Let's Go!" And it's not always said nicely or patiently.

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French Toast Thursdays

Every Thursday morning the dining hall is open is a French Toast Thursday. Jason has become the "brunch" chef in our house - when we have a relaxed weekend morning, he is a pro at whipping up french toast, pancakes, waffles, or crepes - following his recipes carefully. He is a computer scientist, after all.

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The Season of Legos

Legos. Yes, sometimes I might curse them under my breath when I step on an errant piece. But otherwise, they are the stuff of dreams in our house. I don't think I played with Legos very much when I was little, but my brother definitely did. He has donated his old Legos to us for now, and when my boys were itty bitty, I guess I thought about this amorphous category of toys (Legos) similarly to how I think of blocks - you use them to build things.

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Variations on a Theme

Friendships are important, life-sustaining. Friends from different stages of my life are crucial in different ways. Friends from youth have seen me develop from a little child into a teenager trying to figure out which direction my life would take (I am lucky to still have these same dear friends as my best friends, who have been with me along the journey for as long as I can remember). Friends from graduate school and early career have seen me traveling toward adulthood, still trying to figure out which direction my life would take! Friends from this unique place I live - Suffield Academy - are tremendous! A built in support network as I became a parent, and people I can always turn to for a laugh or a shoulder to cry on. Friends from town, my army of mom warriors, continue to support me and sustain me as my girls round the curve from toddlerhood to childhood, and I am so grateful to have made these friendships that buoy me up.

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Continue

I have been inspired by lot of blogs that I read online, and my style of blog writing has definitely changed since I first started writing. When Jason started our blog, I didn't really know much about blogging. It seemed like a really neat idea to have a place to record all our observations about Seth, so that our family could read about all his milestones. I didn't really consider writing too much about my feelings or my musings about parenthood.

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Grateful for the Chaos

We've celebrated Chanukah, and are now rounding the corner to enjoy Christmas, which will be followed by ringing in the new year. The kids are all able to understand and participate in holiday traditions at their own levels, and it's fun to watch.

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Thanksgiving, In a Nutshell

“She’s like a baby, I’m like a cat; When we are happy, we both get fat and still It’s never enough, It’s never enough It’s never enough… Her life in a nutshell No way would she want it to change me It’s not that easy ‘cause My time is often decided for me” -“Life, In a Nutshell,” Barenaked Ladies

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Sick Days

Sometimes, your plans fall through. Sometimes, when your oldest child is home for two days with a fever, you have to cancel your plans to take the twins to story hour. Sometimes, you have to accept that you won't get out of the house today. Sometimes, you have to abandon your plans of keeping the house organized, and just embrace the chaos. Sometimes, you focus on the fact that everyone is home and safe, and take care of your sick child. And sometimes you play in your house all day and treat that as an exciting event.

Sometimes, you play mommy and baby.

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The Neighborhood

We live at the end of a little street with three houses. We are fortunate enough to have our driveway plus some extra space outside our house which is just perfect for bike riding and outdoor exploring. It is a straight shot from our house to the first house on the street, and with our supervision, the driveway of this first house is often a manageable goal for the children to ride to on their various bicycles and tricycles.

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Fields of Gold

“See the children run as the sun goes down Among the fields of gold” “Fields of Gold,” Sting

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Change

When we celebrated Sukkot with our temple this past weekend, in addition to the usual meanings associated with the holiday, namely celebrating the harvest season and remembering the 40 years the Jews wandered in the desert before entering the promised land, our rabbi encouraged us to consider change. That things change, and we can't always do anything about the circumstances of what's changing. What we can control is how we react to change.

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Boys and Girls

I've written before about thoroughly enjoying the symmetry that the four children in our family provide. There's also something wonderful about the symmetry that the two genders of our children provide. Before I had the girls, I thought maybe I would be a boy mom. Once the girls were here, and they were sleeping enough that I was somewhat awake enough to have time to think, I realized what a cool and unique situation it was to be raising two boys and two girls.

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Maternal Identity

When Seth was born, all of a sudden, I was a mother. A mother of a beautiful baby boy. I remember a friend on campus admiring our family of three, thinking lovingly back to her own early days in the beautiful bubble of first-time motherhood. I thanked her, but secretly was thinking that time was going to go so blessedly slowly for me - I'd never outgrow that stage of sleepy, milk-drunk, trusting, snuggly slumber.

When Evan was born, I was a mother of two. Two boys. Brothers, who would be able to share clothes and interests.

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Round and Round

"And the seasons they go round and round And the painted ponies go up and down We're captive on the carousel of time We can't return we can only look Behind from where we came And go round and round and round In the circle game” -“Circle Game,” Joni Mitchell

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Just Another Tuesday Morning

Tuesday is one of my mornings to spend at home with Nora and Maya. Knock on wood, it has gotten a little easier to take them on outings this summer. Believe it or not, we recently took down the baby pit - gasp - and reclaimed the middle of our great room. In its place I purchased and assembled a writing desk for Seth and Evan to use for homework and projects. It feels like a whole new room!

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Confident and Ready to Go

Seth started second grade on Tuesday, and Evan started back today to his second year of our campus pre-school, Tiger School. In past years, the boys have both been a little reluctant or hesitant to start new school years, but this year they both had that confident swagger that comes with knowing what to expect.

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First Days

This week marks the beginning of back-to-school for all four kids - Nora and Maya on Monday, Seth on Tuesday, and Evan on Wednesday.

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Up and Running

Jason has been working hard this summer on reformatting our blog, as well as making it easier for me to post entries with pictures. Though I haven’t written as much in the last couple years as in years past, it is still very important to us to maintain our family blog. It seems appropriate to post a short welcome back entry tonight, as we are preparing for all the kids to return to school this coming week.

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Four

Four. Four children. Four corners. 1. 2. 3. 4.

There is a certain beautiful symmetry to having four children. Two boys, two girls. Everyone has a buddy. Four pairs of shoes lined up by the door. Four portraits hanging on the wall. Four toothbrushes waiting on the bathroom counter.

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Breathe In and Out

It is the new year - we dip apples in honey, and feel the tart burst of apple mix with the sweetness of honey on our tongues. Life is like this, isn't it? Always some tartness mixed with some sweet. The rub is learning to focus on the sweetness; of course, the tartness is always mixed into the background, that is part of life.

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Highlights From the Last Week - Summer Days in Shorthand

Because we've discovered that sometimes all we have time for around here is "short and sweet" (or nothing at all), here are some of the highlights of this last week, in bullet points and pictures. Because as they say, the days are long but the years are short. And we want to remember.

The babies had their first swim in the country club wading pool, with help from Grams.

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The First Day of Summer

Today was the first day of our summer vacation. Seth finished up kindergarten on Friday, and Evan finished up daycare. I do have a mega-post in the the works dedicated to the babies' development over the last year, but it might take me a little bit, so in the meantime, I want to blog little snippets of our summer, even if they are short.

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Happy Birthday, Maya and Nora!

It's been a very busy time around our house, but we wanted to share a little something for the girl's birthday! It's hard to imagine our life without 4 kids, and it's been a wonderful year getting to know both of you.

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They Smell of Baby Cereal and Milky Breath

Nora and May as newborns

As I cuddle them to my chest, sometimes together, sometimes one at a time, they smell of baby cereal and sweet milky breath. They are almost eight months old. I read other people's blogs, the monthly baby updates, and think, I will backtrack and do that! But there is never time to backtrack and start from where I left off. Inertia. To start writing again, I must just start writing. From here, where we are. And backtrack as I can. I feel that I have a lot to say, to document, to savor, to memorize, to process. Should I write about more of my feelings in this space, in addition to all the milestones and memories I want to record? Let's see how it goes. Back in high school I fancied myself a writer, and while now that is far from the truth, I still feel that pull to put words to paper (or to blog). I certainly have a lot of material!

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Firefighters, Zebras, and Owls, Oh My!

A successul, but tiring, Halloween here. The weather held out just enough for us to take the boys out for house-to-house (the girls stayed home and napped). Evan and the girls got out earlier in the day for the daycare parade, so everyone got to show off their costumes at one point or another.

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40 Fingernails and 40 Toenails

Amy, Jason, Seth, Evan, Nora, and Maya on October 10, 2013

Hello again little blog! It's been just about a year since we last wrote. What a year it has been, filled with many ups and downs. It is our intention to return more diligently to this space, as a way to continue to update our family and friends, and to continue to document our family life for us to look back on in the years to come. Recently, Seth has enjoyed hearing past blog entries read to him about when he was younger, and we look forward to sharing memories in this way with all our children. Jason has also been working away at organizing our pictures, and he has just posted the pictures from 2013 up through mid-May on our photo gallery site. Here's a recent shot of the whole family:

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Good Morning!

Got a great picture of the girls this morning on our new floor mat:

They're looking more and more alike each day, and are really smiling and looking around.

(Bonus points if you know which twin is which!)

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Vignette of Evan

A quick snapshot of Evan at almost two and a half years that I don't want to forget.

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Seth at Four Years and Four Months Old: Pajamas All the Time!

Seth has had a great start to the year with his second year of Tiger School. His teachers, Ms. Cathi and Ms. Barbara, are amazing, and we are so blessed that Seth gets to have another year of pre-school with them before he heads off to kindergarten next fall. (sniff sniff, can't believe he will be in kindergarten next fall!) He had a great conference at the end of last year, when Ms. Cathi provided us with this amazingly organized binder of Seth's work that she had put together throughout the year. It was so neat to see how he had progressed in terms of being able to write his name and draw a person, among other things, since the year started. They confirmed a lot of things we were seeing at home in terms of Seth always being interested in stories, having a good attention span and auditory memory, and starting to understand some sight words and phonics.

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Last Third of the Summer in Photos: Sleepovers, Swimming, and Sprinklers

Since we are midway through September, we wanted to catch up on the rest of the events of the summer before we start into pictures of apple and pumpkin picking! We had a great summer, and no better way to describe it than through pictures!

Posing with camp counselor (and Paint It Like Picasso teacher) Valerie:

Sitting in Suffield's brand new fire engine:

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Video Highlights From the Summer

Here are a few great videos from our summer. It is fun to be able to show what the boys have been up to.

This video sums up Evan's language development right now. Animal sounds, body parts, a few words, and a whole lot of "Dahhhh!!!" Love it!

This video shows some of Seth's progress at swimming lessons.

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July (So Far) In Pictures: Outings, Camps, and Blueberries!

Lots going on around the Healy house in July so far. What better way to show you than with pictures!

Concentrating at the sand and water table:

Playing with trains at the library:

Making fairy houses with Geema at a library program:

Snuggling with Geema after a long walk:

Celebrating the 4th of July in Shelburne Falls:

Waiting for the parade:

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June in Pictures: Concerts, Cape Cod, and Cousins!!!

We thought we'd show you what we've been up to this summer in pictures:

Building rocketships:

Playing ball (and playing with shoes):

Enjoying some snuggle time:

Having our annual photoshoot with Alexandra Tremaine, this year in Fairfield, CT:

Sitting in chairs in matching pajamas:

Having the Tiger Den End-Of-Year Show (in home-made tie-dye):

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Evan at 18 Months - Our Little Monkey

It's just a few days shy of Evan's 18 month birthday, and he has changed a lot since I last wrote about all his milestones at 13 months!

Here is a recap of his milestones from the last several months!

13.5 months

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Seth at Four Years - Such a Big Boy!

How did Seth get to be four years old? The time goes by so fast. He had a great time at both of his birthday parties this year. The party for his Tiger School friends at Bounce Town was so much fun! He was so excited to be the "guest of honor" - finally the birthday boy at Bouncetown! And there was a lot of bouncing done! Seth was so cute sitting at the head of the table with his birthday crown on. He was very excited about his rocketship cake! We had chosen that as the theme for his party when we picked out his invitations, and it's been fun to see how interested he has become in rocketships! Some of his favorite gifts were rocketships! He had a great time at his "grandparents"/Mother's Day party, too. It was fun to all be together and celebrate Seth.

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Seth Turns Four - and Gets a New Bike!

Seth on his new bike

We can hardly believe that Seth turned four years old today! I was just re-reading our blog entries from the day he was born, and it's so hard to believe he is a big boy now and not a little baby. Though I tell him he will always be my baby, he is more interested these days in being called a big boy (remember, after Evan was born, he wanted to be called a "little guy" even though he was still Evan's big brother).

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All the Family Favorites in Hawaii!

We still had a little less than a week of our trip left, so we were ready to visit some of the Healy family favorites with Judy. On Thursday, the first order of business was getting Seth's stitches out!! This all went smoothly, and he was so excited to be rid of those stitches!

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The Sun Comes Out!

The sun did come, and we took full advantage for the last few days of Mom's visit. Since Seth was no worse for the wear on Saturday, we headed out for another fun day of sightseeing. It still wasn't warm enough to go to the beach, but we had a great day driving to different places on the island. My brother's girlfriend joined us for our travels, and we all had a great time. First, we started out with a trip up to the Pali Lookout. It is a beautiful place to get a great view of the windward side of the island, and it sure is windy up there! Little Evan likes when we blow gently on his face, but he wasn't quite sure what to make of this!

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Keeping the Urgent Care Clinic in Business

Many of you already know that we had a couple medical bumps on our trip with the boys, so I'll give a quick summary here. On Friday night, after we had gotten home from our big day of sightseeing, we were getting the boys ready for bed. Seth had just had a bath, and I was getting him ready for bed in our room. He was sitting up on our bed (which he has done many times before), and I was getting his pajamas. He found a book that he wanted to show to Evan, and all of a sudden he was on the floor crying. Somehow, he had fallen off the bed, and as we pieced together later (he told us most of the story), he slammed his face into the side of the wall. It was a freak accident that happened in a split second (I guess that's how they all happen). We could tell right away that he would need stitches - he split the corner of his lip open.

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Hawaiʻi: The First Few Days - Amazing, Even in the Rain

We arrived in Hawaii in the early evening on Tuesday, March 6. We were all exhausted, but so excited to be in Hawaiiʻ! Mom and I waited at the airport with the boys while Jason headed out on the shuttle to pick up our rental car. For this trip, we rocked a sweet (ha!) mini-van! At home, we have our Mazda 5, but we knew we would need more room on our vacation since we'd have more adults with us. It was nice to have the extra space, but it was definitely more challenging having to drive and park a bigger car. All props go to Jason who did all the driving and parallel-parked that van in spaces that didn't even seem big enough for a compact car!

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Hawaiʻi: First We Have to Fly There!

We were lucky enough to be able to schedule a trip back to Honolulu to visit Jason's hometown. We last visited two years ago, when Seth was just shy of two-years-old, and we had a wonderful time. We decided it was time for another visit, one that Seth would remember (he "remembers" our first trip through pictures and video), as well as a chance to introduce Evan to Hawaiʻi.

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Happy Valentine's Day: Evan at 13 months - Dancing, Pointing, and Walking!

It's been a little while since my last blog update on Evan, and what better date to post than on Valentine's Day! Seth and Evan both had a fun Valentine's Day - fun at home, cute cards and gifts, and a fun party for Seth at Tiger School. Evan got to watch Seth make homemade Valentines this weekend, and I'm sure Evan will be right in the mix doing this next Valentine's Day!

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S-S-Seth Starts with S! Seth at Three Years and Nine Months Old

Lately, Seth has been focused on sounding out words, especially trying to figure out the first letter of words. He is pretty accurate at it (although there are those confusing similarities like K/C/S and G/J - why is the English language so confusing!), and it is lots of fun to hear him sounding out his words. "S-s-Seth starts with S...p-p-people starts with p," and so on.

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Evan Turns One!

Last week, on January 18, 2012, we celebrated Evan's first birthday. It is hard for us to believe that a whole year has already gone by since he was born. We looked at pictures and videos of little Evan from his first week of life, and smiled remembering the little, wrinkly baby from January 2011. We remembered how he was born with his little ears folded over (they have found their way to a more regular shape now), and we laughed when we saw the video of Seth meeting Evan for the first time. Through all the kisses and hugs from Seth, Evan just slept and slept, cozy and comfy. In retrospect, we had an amazingly easy transition from a family of three to a family of four, helped greatly by a mellow little baby, an easy-going, loving, brother and a very helpful extended family!

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Seth at Three and a Half

Today, November 8, Seth is exactly three and a half years old. Looking at his baby pictures, it is hard to believe that the vibrant, funny, energetic, curious boy we have now was once that teeny little baby! One thing that has definitely remained consistent with Seth is that he still loves to snuggle. As a little baby, there was nothing he liked better than to nurse and fall asleep on us. As a little boy, he still loves hugs, snuggles, and closeness, and is always quick to return or offer an "I love you." He is so loving and kind, and we are so thankful to have a little boy who so freely offers his affection. He has recently started hugging Evan while they are playing on the floor and telling him "I love you...I love you!" Couldn't get much cuter than that!

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October Adventures - Fall Fun with the Healy Boys

We've had a nice three weeks since we last updated our general goings-on. Enjoying the fall - my favorite season! We finished up the High Holidays by celebrating Yom Kippur at our synagogue. We brought the boys to the last service of the weekend so that Seth could hear the shofar being blown - the traditional ending to the High Holiday period. Geema gave him a shofar at Rosh Hashanah, and our rabbi was hosting a shofar brigade, where everyone could blow their shofars at once. Seth got to be part of a little parade and stand up at the front (with Daddy) and "blow" his shofar. He was so cute and excited to be part of the ritual, and he was also in awe at the loud noises coming from all the other shofars.

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A Rainy Hayride and Taking Care of Some Business!!

On Saturday, we went to an end of season farm festival at the local farm we had a farmshare from this summer. Papa was visiting, so he came along for the fun. It was a great little festival. Seth got to pet a goat, and there were also sheep there. Seth enjoyed playing with the little demonstration spinning wheel and looking at the yarn. There was a neat little craft where the kids could paint with vegetables - sliced peppers and apples and corncobs dipped in paint made beautiful patterns. Evan was content to observe events from the Beco, and the weather was beautiful. So beautiful that we left our coats in the car, happy for a nice day after two days of pouring rain.

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We Have a Crawler... And an Enthusiastic Big Brother!

The big news around the Healy household is that Evan just started crawling on Monday! He's been very close for a while now, rolling back and forth, pivoting and scooching, but he finally figured out how to get some forward motion! It's just an army crawl right now - he's not up on his hands and knees yet. But I just put him down on the floor and he used his little elbows to propel himself forward. He was very interested in some toy cars, and he figured out a way to get himself there! There's no stopping him now! Jason was at work and Seth was napping when Evan made this leap, and then we had to rush off to Seth's gymnastics class. By the time we got home, Seth was so excited to see Evan crawl, he just couldn't wait! Seth was very excited for his little brother, and got down on the floor to crawl around with him. I managed to get a little video of Evan's first crawling experience:

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The First Week of School, The First Cold of School, and Apple Picking!

Well, we made it through the first week of classes here at the academy. This week was also my first week back at work. Of course, to start it all off, we had the first cold of school. It is somewhat inevitable with all the little kids being back at Tiger School/daycare. Luckily this cold seemed to last only about 48 hours, which is not bad as far as colds go. Seth came home last Friday with a fever and a runny nose, so we took it easy Friday night and Saturday, and he was feeling better in time for our gathering on Sunday to commemorate my grandmother's yahrzeit (anniversary of her death). We had a nice day remembering her with Geema, Michael, Aunt Michele, and Uncle Bill. Seth also got to harvest his "potatoes in a bag" that Aunt Michele helped him grow - success! Lots of potatoes! Then Sunday night, Jason got the cold, then Monday morning Evan had it, and by Monday afternoon I was down for the count, too. A big thank you to Grams and Geema for braving the sick house to help us with the boys! A visit to the doctor with Evan on Monday confirmed it was just a cold and not an ear infection, and me staying home from my first morning of work to sleep capped off that fun! Luckily, by Wednesday, we were all feeling better and back to work and daycare, so that wasn't too bad!

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Baruch Chaim - Beverly's Namesake

It's been three years today since my grandmother, Beverly, died.

In some ways, it seems like it's been a long time since I last saw her, but in other ways, it seems like we were together just yesterday.

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Seth is a Tiger School Boy

Two weeks ago, Seth started pre-school. His pre-school is in the same building as our daycare; Suffield Academy's mascot is the tiger, so daycare is called Tiger Den, and pre-school is called Tiger School. Seth had seen the Tiger School classroom all last year, and was so excited when he would finally get to say he was a "Tiger School Boy". Tiger School meets Monday-Friday from 8:30am to noon. These first two weeks I was not working yet, so I could bring him and pick him up, which was a nice way to transition.

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August - End of Summer Fun

August was a fun month - we were all in the swing of our summer routine, and we enjoyed lots of fun time together. For the first two weeks of August, Evan and I took Seth every weekday morning to "big boy" swimming lessons. Two of Seth's best buddies were taking swimming lessons at the town country club, and even though we are not members there, we found out that non-members could take lessons if there was room. These were the first swimming lessons Seth had taken where he didn't need a parent in the water with him. There was one instructor, and the children sat on the wall of the pool (no floaties or anything) and took turns having one-on-one instruction from the teacher. Evan and I hung out on the pool deck and watched.

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July - Time in Cape Cod, and Lots of Lessons!

After getting back from the family gathering at Papa's house, we were ready to be in full summer mode. We got all the summer toys set up in the yard and porches, and enjoyed a lot of time outside. We celebrated the fourth of July with a fun barbeque at Uncle Bill, Aunt Michele, and Jason's. Geema, Michael, and Grams were also there. It was a beautiful day, and Bill and Michele provided delicious food as usual. Seth had a great time exploring the fish pond and gardens that Bill and Michele put together, and he also had fun looking at all of Bill's sculptures around the yard.

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June - Getting Into the Swing of Summer

We started the month of June with Seth's last week of daycare - they are closed when school is not in session. It was great to have Seth go to daycare in the mornings in the spring to give me some bonding time with Evan and to get used to parenting two kids, but by now it seemed perfect for daycare to be ending and to get to have Seth and Evan home all day. Seth had his first field trip - a bus trip to a farm, which he loved! We also had his end of the year concert, which was fun. They had been working on the songs all spring, so it was fun to see them all singing together! He was excited to have Auntie Kara and Grams at the concert, as well!

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What Happened to May? Germs at the Healy Household

Aside from Seth's birthday, and a couple fun visits from friends, May went by in a blur of germs! Before the germs settled, we had a fun visit from Chuck, Jenn, Katie, and Sam. We always have a blast when they come to visit! At the end of May, after all the germs had flown away, we welcomed Chris and Cathy for a visit with their daughter, Eleanor, who is two months younger than Evan. It was so much fun to see them and introduce them to Evan and meet Eleanor! We had only ever "met" over Skype before, so it was great to see each other in person!

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Seth Turns 3 - Rainbow Parties Galore!

Back on May 8, Seth turned 3 years old! Hard to believe that our first born little man is a big guy! Of course, he still likes to be called a little guy, not a big boy. When we started talking about Seth's birthday a couple months back, he decided that he wanted a "rainbow party." This came about because of an episode of the tv show "The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That" - the kids learned about rainbows, and sing this cute song which Seth loves to sing. So he decided that a rainbow party was what he wanted!

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Long Overdue Updates - Busy Month of April

Wow, it's been way too long since we've written an update! It's been busy times around here these last couple months! After our fun spring break in March, we had lots of fun visits, birthdays, and outings in April.

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A New Trick - Evan Rolls Over - and Seth Thinks It's Neat!

Time for a blog update to go with the big photo update Jason just did on our photo site. We had a great spring break in March, with Jason taking three days off each of the three weeks. It was really nice to have some extra time to just relax, catch up on sleep, and take a lot of day trips. We are doing pretty well going out the four of us now - we are definitely less hesitant to be out and about with Evan at his age than we were when Seth was this age. As a friend pointed out, having a second child is busier because you have two kids, but easier in some ways because you are not first-time parents and know what to expect a little more.

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Can I Have a Donut?

We have recently discovered that it is really true that toddlers generalize one experience and expect it to happen in other similar situations. When we go on car trips, we will often stop at Dunkin Donuts so I can get a coffee, and we will get some chocolate munchkins for Seth. We usually go through the drive-through, and Seth knows the drill. He always asks for a donut, and he has asked us for donuts at other restaurant drive-throughs as well, which, of course, makes sense. The other day we were driving to a medical complex for an appointment, and there was a guard station. We drove up and told the man why we were there. All of a sudden Seth pipes up from the back "Can I have a donut?" Jason was totally confused, but then I realized Seth thought anywhere with a "drive-through" would be able to serve him donuts. We laughed hysterically about this, and Seth realized that what he said was funny. We explained there were no donuts there because it wasn't a restaurant, and then he realized why it was funny. We all continued to laugh about this for quite some time!

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Getting in the Groove with the Healy Boys

We have been busy getting in the groove with Seth and Evan! Evan is now five weeks old, and Seth is 33 months old!! We were just talking about how quickly we progress from counting our little ones' ages in days to weeks and then months and then years. Well, we'd like to slow everything down a bit because we are having so much fun with our two little guys!

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Tomato on the Way!

Well, tomorrow is the big day - our c-section for Tomato is scheduled for January 18 at 10:30am. We are very excited - we've prepared the house as much as we can, and we are overjoyed to think about meeting our next little man. Of course, I am a bit nervous, even though I've been through a c-section before. We can't wait to meet him, and to have Seth meet him, and to be a family of four.

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Developmental Milestones - Things We Want to Remember About Seth Since He Turned Two

Well, it is the day before Tomato is scheduled to arrive via C-section, and my best intentions to backfill the blog have fallen by the wayside. I am going to compile a bullet list of all the things I want to remember from the time when he turned two until now, when he is two years eight months old, and then focus on being better about updating the blog in the future!

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Seth at Two and a Half - A Long Overdue Update! - Plus Some New Photos!

Well, it is a little embarrassing that it has been almost six months since our last real update to the blog! As most of you know, I am pregnant - we are expecting baby boy #2 on January 18. My energy level has been very low, or at least in the evenings when I would normally write blog updates. So, while many fun and exciting things have been going on, I have been very bad about documenting them.

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New Pictures Posted

School is finally out, so we're getting some time to catch up on pictures and other tasks here around the house. We'll have more news soon, but for now, feel free to check out the pictures through today.

Just after Seth's 2nd birthday, we were lucky enough to have Alexandra Tremaine take our family pictures again. We've posted pictures from the photo shoot for you to enjoy.

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Seth Turns Two and Gets His Cupcakes, Pudding, and Guitar!

Seth celebrated his second birthday on Saturday, and he had a great time at the birthday party at our house. Guests included Geema, Michael, Papa, Grams, Grandma Nancy, Grandpa Joe, Uncle John, Aunt Nancy, Auntie Kara, Aunt Michele, Uncle Bill, Ericka, Walter, Jessica, and Lisa. The theme for Seth's party was music, as he loves to sing and dance these days. We had some fun decorations, including an inflatable guitar and saxophone that Seth enjoyed playing with. As soon as the guests started arriving, Seth stood in the middle of everyone bopping a balloon around, laughing gleefully. He had fun being doted on and being the center of attention. We were so grateful to have our family and friends present.

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Little Sethie Gets Ready to Turn Two!

We can hardly believe that Saturday will be Seth's second birthday. The time has gone by so quickly! He has grown so much and learned to do so many new things since he was born that it is hard to keep track. We like to have these blog entries to help us look back and remember his growth and development.

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Back on the Mainland at 22.5 Months

Thanks to everyone who followed along while we were on our Hawaiian adventure! We've been back for over a week, and school started up again today. It's a good thing I had a week off when we got back, because it took poor Sethie (and all of us) quite some time to get back on a normal sleeping schedule. You can't blame him - when it was midnight here, to him it felt like it was 6pm). But after several days and some advice from our pediatrician (Benadryl for a couple nights before bed to get him back on track), he seems to be back on schedule.

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Hellos and Goodbyes

We started the process of saying our good-byes this morning, sending Tom off to work and hanging out with the Williams family.

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A Visit with Dolphins and (Wal)fish

This morning, Anne found a rocking horse that she had in the house and thought Seth might like. She was certainly correct: Seth had a great time rocking back and forth, and could even get on and off it himself.

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Around the Island

Today we decided to take a drive around to the North Shore to do some sightseeing. We started with a trip up to the Pali lookout, where we had a great view of the island. Seth thought it was very windy!

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Big Waves and Buzz's

This morning, Jason cooked a great brunch for the Williams, complete with eggs, bacon, and sweet bread french toast. It was fun to have a leisurely brunch together. Seth had been just a little fussy over the past couple days, and he had had an ear infection before we left home, so we decided we wanted to get him checked out just to make sure his ear infection hadn't come back. Anne told us about an urgent care center right in Kahala that was very good, so he brought him in for a visit. They were great - it was very quick, and they were very nice. We were happy to find out that Seth did not have an ear infection anymore!

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Off to the Zoo

We were very excited that Seth finally slept in until 7:00 am this morning! Yay for all of us! We got ready, and then decided to head off to the Honolulu Zoo before the day got too hot. We all had fun at the zoo. There were lots of animals, and Seth recognized many of them from his baby Einstein animals DVD. We saw elephants (Seth's first comment was "I get on him"), tortoises, monkeys, gorillas, flamingos, tigers (there was this very big picture viewing window where the tiger was on one side and you were on the other, very cool, but a little terrifying!), zebras, rhinos, giraffes, hippos, peacocks, and much more. Seth also had fun running around and playing on the playground.

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Hawaii, Here We Come!

Well, the day before Seth turns 22 months old we are scheduled to arrive in Hawaii! We are so thankful for the people of Hawaii that the tsunami missed the islands, and we can't wait to get out there and introduce Seth to all our favorite sights! He will be surprised that all of a sudden it is warm and we can go to the beach. I am also looking forward to going to places I haven't been before, like the zoo and the aquarium. We are very lucky to be staying with Cathy's parents on this trip! We will try to update the blog a couple times while we are there!

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"I'm Tired and I'm Bored and I've Kinks in My Leg"

Anyone recognize this quote? It is Seth's new favorite line from his new favorite book, "Horton Hatches the Egg." He goes through phases as to what book is his current favorite, and now he has a long enough attention span for books that he can listen to a Dr. Seuss book. He loves this book - he wants to read it downstairs when we are playing AND upstairs when we are getting ready for nap/bed, so we know it is really a winner! And he can even say "I'm tired, I'm bored, I've got kinks in my leg," about Mayzie the Lazy Bird!

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November Fun

We've had a great few weeks with little Seth. First, a few weekends ago, we took Seth to see the Williams campus for the first time! It was homecoming weekend, so Papa was generous enough to host us plus many of our Williams friends. Jess, Steve, Chris, Cathy, Chuck, Jenn, and little Katie all stayed with us at Win's house, and we had a great time. It was fun to all be together, and Seth loved being reunited and running around with Katie. Despite a rainy weekend, we headed over to Williams on Saturday, and Seth got his first tour of the campus. We headed down to the football game so Chuck, Jason, and Steve could hang out with the band (Steve was the only one brave enough to stay there the whole day to play with the band), and Seth got to see his first football game. He learned how to say "football" and had fun splashing around in his raincoat when we walked around campus.

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"Bless You, Mama"

Though almost anything Seth does warms my heart, the phrase "Bless you, Mama" when I sneeze or cough is about the cutest thing you could ever hear. In his sweet little voice, these words are just as cute as you would imagine! Jason has also been teaching him to say "I love you," and he is starting to learn that, too!

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From Baby to Little Boy...

At 17 and a half months old, we must admit our little Sethie is definitely more of a little boy than a baby (though he'll always be our baby, ha ha!). This has probably been obvious to most of you for some time, but perhaps the parents are always in denial as their little ones grow up? :)

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Raspberries, Haircuts, and "Beep Beep"

We've had a fun week with Seth, despite an early fall cold we all caught last week. Probably a result of all of us going back to school, and luckily, we all seem to be feeling better. Seth is such a trooper when he has a cold - really doesn't complain. All you hear is his little snuffly breathing when he's sleeping, and that tips you off that a cold is on the way!

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The Weekend In Which Seth Masters His Slide, Recognizes His Shadow, and Plays a Trick on Daddy

We've had a good week this past week; Seth is back at daycare a few days a week, and I was back at work. It seems like his ear infection is cleared up, though he's been having some trouble sleeping. We think he might be working on tooth #14 - good thing there are only 20 baby teeth altogether! He's also adjusting to the new routine for waking up for daycare, so I'm sure it will even out soon (we hope!).

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"No, No, Up, Up"

"No, no, up, up" is the phrase Seth uses to valiantly attempt to avoid naps and bedtime! Once he gets himself settled in his crib, he usually falls asleep without too much trouble, but as we get him zipped into his sleep sack and put him in his crib, we hear a chorus of "No, no, up, up." It is pretty heart-wrenching to hear his little words, but at least we know that once he is asleep, he enjoys it! We are hoping this stage will pass, and he will let us read him books before naps and bed once again without getting so sad!

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Back From the Cape, Family Visits, and "A This"

Wow, it's been a busy few weeks! We have had a great August so far! The first week in August, we went to Cape Cod with our friends Chuck, Jenn, and their daughter, Katie, who is less than one day older than Seth. We had a great time. We stayed in a cottage in S. Yarmouth, and the cottage cluster had its own private beach just outside our door. It was perfect - we just walked out of the house and the beach was right down the stairs. Seth had so much fun - he loved the water and the sand. He would run right in to the surf, slowing down to let us hold his hand. He liked jumping waves, as well as being tossed and caught in the water by Daddy. He also had his toddler routines - he liked to chase the birds up and down the beach, and tried to throw every stone and shell into the water.

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A Trip to the Zoo, A Great Swim, and a Clean House

We've had fun over the past few days! On Saturday, we took Seth on his first trip to the zoo. We went to the Lupa Zoo in Ludlow on recommendation from a friend at school. It was great! A zoo that started as Mr. Lupa's personal collection, all the animals were in habitats that seemed very comfortable for them. Seth saw a bobcat, birds, monkeys, pigs, chicks, guinea pigs, ostriches, and much more. The highlight was that we got to go up on a platform and feed a giraffe! This was definitely the tallest living thing Seth has ever seen, and he was quite impressed!

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Finally, An Update!

Well, we apologize for the long delay in posting a blog update. You must have wondered what happened to us!

The end of the school year snuck up on us, we went on vacation, and Jason's server broke. He had all the content backed up, luckily, but not the format, so he is working on fixing our blog and our photos page.

So, in the meantime, an update:

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How Big Is Sethie? So Big!

Our little Sethie is getting so big! At his last weigh-in, he was just 2 ounces short of 20 pounds! Seth (and his parents) have been very busy since the last time we wrote. We've just finished our first week back at work after a wonderful three week spring break. We wrote last after the first week of the break, when we had a great weekend with Grams and Papa. Jason had to work during the weekdays of the break, though we took a day or two off at the end of each week so we could have some long weekends. During the weekdays, Seth and I enjoyed lots of extra time together. It was also nice to spend extra time with Grams, who was here visiting, and Geema, who had an afternoon off. With the nicer weather, we started to go for walks again, which was great. We had some friends visit, and we went to the public library. One day, I took him to a free klezmer concert (Israeli music) at the public library. Since he enjoys his Music Together class so much, I thought I would see how he liked live music. He was very interested in it, especially when the musicians played the instruments right near him! It was cute to see him enjoying the music.

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Milestones Galore - Seth Walks, Gets More Teeth, and Gets His First Haircut!

It has been an exciting few weeks since we last wrote! However, poor Sethie was sick for much of the time - daycare was just decimated with so many germs, which is common for this time of the winter. Over the past month, he went from a cold to a cough to a stomach flu back to a could/cough. Of course, we ended up with the stomach flu, too, which was no fun. Seth finished up with an ear infection, but after starting antibiotics, seemed to be feeling much better. Now, he seems to be back to normal, as his appetite and energy are back. He seems so happy just to be feeling better that he is excitedly babbling and motoring around. We are so glad he is feeling better, though he was a good sport through everything. We have just finished the first week of our three week spring break, so we are hoping all the daycare germs will clear out in the interim!

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Seth Takes His First Step - Plus New Photos!

We had a fun beginning to our week, with Uncle Brian and Geema spending a couple days with us in Suffield. Papa also came by for a visit on Monday. Seth was motoring around his playroom, showing everyone what he could do. I went downstairs to change out some laundry, leaving Seth upstairs. All of a sudden I heard everyone clapping and cheering. When I ran upstairs to ask what had happened, they said, "Nothing!" As if I would believe that! Turns out Seth took his first step, from Uncle Brian to Jason, but they didn't want me to feel bad that I missed it! He is getting more and more daring and taking bigger steps in between objects, but he still usually is holding on to the edge. So, I haven't seen a step myself yet, but I am sure there are more to come soon! It is very exciting.

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Nine Months Old and Moving Right Along!

It's been a busy three weeks since we last wrote. A few weeks ago we realized Seth has been in the world now for longer than he was in utero - hard to believe time has gone by so fast! Seth has had lots of advances in the food arena. He is a very good eater, and almost always opens his mouth to be fed. When he is done, though, he is done - we can tell because he smears his food in his hair and his eyebrows! He is learning how to use a spoon - if we put a little food on it and hand it to him, he can usually manage to feed himself. He is learning to use his pincer grasp when picking up Cheerios and pieces of cheese. We notice that he does many things with his right hand, but likes to do the pincer grasp best with his left hand. It's interesting to try to guess if he'll be left handed or right handed. He is getting better at drinking water from a cup if we hold it for him, and he can also drink from a straw! They started him on it at daycare, and it is so cute! It makes sense, since he knows how to suck! Beef is definitely his favorite meat, but he is getting better with chicken. He's had cottage cheese, blueberries, raspberries, corn, potato, avocado, and pasta recently.

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Seth Gets His First Teeth!

It's been a busy two weeks since we last wrote. About two weeks ago, we started to see the first signs of Seth's bottom teeth! His right bottom tooth felt high in his gums, but hadn't actually poked through yet. Then, this past Tuesday night, his left bottom tooth caught up and poked through! He didn't sleep well Tuesday and Wednesday nights (who can blame him - it must hurt to have those teeth coming through!), and by Friday morning both little bottom teeth were poking through. He looks so cute with the little jagged teeth buds poking through (luckily, he hasn't really bitten us yet). He's been quite the trooper - other than a bit of difficulty at night, he's really not complaining.

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"You People Are Odd, Really Odd": Carolyn's Final Proclamation on Traveling with the Healys (Or, "Let's Walk in the Shade; I Burn Easily")

Amy: Today was our last full day in Paris. On Joanne's excellent recommendation, we started the day at a nearby open-air market, which is only open throughout the summer on Wednesdays and Saturdays. It was very interesting to see all the food on display for purchase - fish, sausages, meat, olives. I got to sample some cheese and olives, which was neat. I perused the jewelry and clothes, and you will be happy to know I passed up the sparkly ("bling") tank tops AND all the jewelry - a huge feat for me. Carolyn and I got some beautiful pashminas (scarves).

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Stalking the Eiffel Tower: Three Non-French Speaking Americans Explore Paris

Amy: We are thoroughly enjoying our stay in this apartment! We are so grateful to our hosts, who will be arriving home tomorrow. For those of you who were confused about yesterday's blog title, part of our "entrance ticket" to Paris was to transport a rather large and heavy copper fish pan that Joe and Lisa had bought for Joanne back in the states. Jason had meticulously packed the fish pan within our luggage (along with a bottle of Basil Hayden Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey, a request from our host), but the airlines decided to search that bag and throw the weight off-kilter. So the fish pan has heard some sarcastic comments from Jason as he wheeled it through the streets of London and up and down stairs in the subway. But, at long last, it has found it's home!

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Onwards to Bournemouth!

Amy: Alas, today was our last day at the fabulous Ritz Carlton Plaza (oh wait, I mean the Wellington, our home away from home). While the benefits of dorm living have begun to wear thin (no toilet paper in the bathrooms, damp towels, stickers on the furniture from former students advocating vegetarianism), we've made the best of it and figure we'll just appreciate our rooms at the bed and breakfast in Bournemouth even more. Jason and Carolyn headed down for the last breakfast of the never-ending stacks of toast, while Amy slept in a bit (gasp!).

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More Sightseeing Than You Can Shake a Banger at.

Amy: Today was our first day in London, and we certainly made the best of it. After leaving the hotel and marveling at the cool but temperate weather, we walked back into Victoria Station, which is the nearest tube station to our hotel. It's about a ten-minute walk, and it was much quicker without dragging the baggage. We decided we would buy a bus pass for the day. After figuring out the ticket machines and the bus maps, we hopped on our first double-decker city bus. We sat up on top, and we watched the sights roll by before we hopped out in Trafalgar Square. This is the famous location of the many flying pigeons. (Sidenote: Can anyone verify if Trafalgar Square is the location in that jewelry commerical for the three-stone ring where the man asks the woman to marry him again, and then all her family is sitting on the steps?). Anyway, it was cool to finally be in famous places that we recognized. We took pictures in front of the first of many statues of men with or without horses.

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