Monday, December 31, 2007


Minnie, Pop-Pop, Aunt MB, The Wog, The Doodle, Maggie and I counted down to New Year's at 6:30 pm. A good time was had by all, with the likely exception of Maggie but the certain inclusion of The Doodle, who vastly enjoyed his festive maraca as evidenced here, as well as an inexplicable multitude of hats:

The Wog, meanwhile, celebrated with her "blowy fing."

And now The Wog has something important to say to you:

Sunday, December 30, 2007


Three quarters of our family remain here in New Jersey while Marc headed back to work last week. I'm working on getting up a few pictures until we're back on familiar internet ground later this week. In the meantime, here's one:

The Wog enjoyed her first real Christmas celebration exactly as we expected she would; when I put her down last night (not without some cajoling), she responded with great hope in her voice, "And when I wake up, it's Christmas!" The Doodle continues to be his usual jolly self (at least during the daytime); all he needed was a Santa suit.

Meanwhile, the jig is up...usually I use our Mac's photoediting software to keep our children looking their shiniest--ie. remove the standard daily ick from their faces; I don't know how to do that here, however, so please excuse the sweet potatoes!

Thursday, December 20, 2007


We caught a lot of slack for The Wog's first Christmas card. We'd just moved up here, and the town in which we were living had a festively decorated covered bridge in a loop just off the main road. We pulled the car over and placed the carseated 3-week-old Wog on the road beneath the sign that read, "Welcome to [OUR TOWN'S NAME]." Marc hovered nearby while I darted off to snap a picture. It was a dreary cold day, and not a single car came through the bridge (the town's population was just up three people to a whopping 856) during our photographic endeavor. We were pleased and proud as we manufactured and mailed the cards which managed to combine her birth announcement and news of our move, in addition to holiday tidings. (Three for one! We were "green" ahead of our time...)

Fast forward a week or two and right up until the present tense, when we started to hear (and continue to to this day to hear!) comments ranging from concerned to full-on horrified from numerous members--including some with whom I'd conspired in my finest collegiate hijinks--of our mailing list. We took a a closer look at the picture. While in actuality there were no cars anywhere near us, a quirky camera angle combined with funky lighting to make it appear that the headlights of the harmless passersby out on the main road were careening through the covered bridge toward The Wog. We had a lot of explaining to do, and to this day I don't think many people actually believe our story. To which, for the record, we are sticking.

So we have a lot of concerns regarding making a better impression with The Doodle's first Christmas card. Am I missing something obvious? We can't go wrong with this one, can we?

(If I can track down a copy of that incriminating card, I will post it here. Unfortunately, we did not keep a copy, as we'd sent one to basically everyone we knew, most of whom now believe we put our newborn child in the path of oncoming traffic for the sake of a cute Christmas card.)

Monday, December 17, 2007


We hosted a little Christmas soiree last night for The Wog's playgroup. Everyone made it out despite the heavy snow, and the kids had a great time.

Marc took The Wog to select an ornament for each of her friends, a task which she took very seriously. The results? A B&O train for Jett; a snowboarding Elmo for Chloe; and a My Pretty Pony for Lily. The Wog selected a bride (the whole princess thing, of course) and groom pair for herself, and she loves putting it on and taking it off the tree, and also pretending that her dinner napkin is a veil.

The gift exchange:

Meanwhile, The Doodle flirted up Laura:

We attempted a group picture at the end of the evening--a valiant if unsuccessful attempt with three 3-year-olds; 1 two-and-a-half-year-old; and three babies (Playgroup 2.0, as I like to call them).

The "big" kids were very diligent in their baby-holding duties:

Jett wasn't into sitting on the couch, so his father held him up in back:

A close-up of The Wog and The Doodle:

Saturday, December 15, 2007


Santa stopped by our local community center this morning for a pancakes and portrait session. We got there at 8AM sharp to be the first to greet St. Nick; despite his delayed arrival (Sled wouldn't start? Mrs. Claus was late with the coffee?), The Wog and The Doodle got plenty of face time.

Anxiously awaiting Santa with her friend Lily:

Also awaiting Santa:

Santa finally arrives and The Wog waves hello:

Sheer glee:

Up close and personal with Santa:

The little elf was adorable, and took his job very seriously. He wrote down the name of each child, and tried very earnestly to determine each request.

"And I'd also like a...."

The Doodle gets in on the Santa action:

Who is this big bearded man?:

Showing off their newly bedecked ornaments to the camera...

...and then to Santa!

Future members of the touring company of The Nutcracker:

Our ornament:

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Jolly alone:

Jolly together:

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Last week was "Open House" at The Wog's dance class. (Usually parents are not allowed to observe; and you can see why from this video--her father and I were both there, and she was clearly delighted...and distracted!) Unfortunately, the camera battery died about 10 minutes into it, so I hardly got any footage, but here's a glimpse.

Each child was asked to select an ornament and "dance it to the tree;" they were sternly admonished not to dally in making their selection. Alas, The Wog was called first, and she did not get the message--regarding both the selecting and the dancing. Cute, nonetheless!

(FYI, I don't know what is going on with The Wog's underwear; we seem to have a little bunching problem that I'm still working out.)


Originally uploaded by joannakhughes
The Wog was very curious and interested in helping as I set up our nativity. If you click on this picture, you'll link over to flickr, which has notes that tell a bit more. (When clicking through the notes, click Joseph, then Mary, then Baby Jesus, then the ewe for best effect!)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007


I am constantly amazed as The Wog learns and hones her language skills. We attended a birthday party over the weekend, where she very much enjoyed the "pink stuff on top" of the cake. I explained to her that it was called "frosting." She paused and responded, "Mmmmm. This frosting is sooooooo....frosty!" (And her favorite description of juice is an ecstatic proclamation of its "juicy"-ness.)

Friday, December 07, 2007


This morning while we were driving to playgroup I told The Wog, "You're wonderful." The Wog responded, "Yes, I am."

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


We had our first snow of the season on Monday--about a foot fell, and The Wog loved every minute of it. She continues to think every aspect of snow is great fun (including the shoveling and eating of), and we hope this lasts well into her teenage years!

The Wog's teacher declared her to be a very "cosmopolitan" looking snow creature; I'm not sure exactly what she meant, but I still like the sound of it:


Air Doodle:

(Yes, those are tights. It's 20 degrees here; what's a cold Doodle to do?)

Air Wog:

(No Wogs or Doodles were harmed during filming.)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


The Wog no longer calls them "Nis-Mas" trees. Sniff, sniff.

Nonetheless, she was very excited to go pick one out, and talked about it constantly. She asked if we could get a pink one; when I told her we could not, she said, "How about a green one?" Done deal!

It is our tradition to pick the fattest (most vertically challenged?) tree on the lot. I saw it immediately, but The Wog insisted on methodologically inspecting each one. When she reached my chosen fatty, she rejected it saying, "No, it's not right." (She obviously wanted to choose it for herself, and resented our pushing toward this one.) So Marc wove her in a circle back through all the trees so she could "find" it for herself; she immediately declared, "This one's perfect!"

The elfin Doodle wishes he could have some post tree-picking pizza, too:


Watch us get Elfed! (And is it just me, or does The Wog and The Doodle's father have the best moves?)

Monday, December 03, 2007


We attended a 3rd birthday party for The Wog's VERY sweet little friend Jett over the weekend. The Wog had a great time playing, and was through the moon when she saw that the gift bags contained tiaras and (clip-on) earrings; these kept coming off, causing her to panickedly exclaim, "My 'rings! My 'rings!"

Here she is with another self-declared Princess:

Alas, I could not get a photo with all three looking decent. (Lily is enjoying a wagon wheel noodle in this particular picture.)

The Doodle looks on from his preferred standing position:

The Wog was very excited about the cake. (Although when I told her that morning that there would be cake, her immediate response was, "Cake! And muffins, too!" Who knows?)

We went as a family to choose the gift since I thought it might be nice for The Wog to be involved and also to realize that all presents cannot always be about her. Before we left I asked her what she thought Jett might like for his birthday. She thought for a moment and responded, "A princess snow globe?" Just the day before I told her that Santa was making toys in his workshop at the north pole; her response was, "And princess snow globes?" Do you think there's a theme here?

The Doodle found himself a cozy resting place: