Originally uploaded by melmelmel.
Well here I am again... sitting upon the lap of Mr. Claws. I did much better this year, although the smile on my face is not a happy one. It is the begrudging smile of a toddler who's just been told that if he smiles pretty he can tell the big guy just exactly what he wants for Christmas (a guitar) and get the heck out of this merry hellhole. So although my smile is forced and my Christmas socks are dominating the picture, I am secure in the knowledge that I will see said guitar under the tree on Christmas morning. I know Santa understands my request since "a guitar, a guitar, a guitar" became my mantra during the life-long picture-taking session. And I do have to admire my little sister's cunningness for if you look closely at her hand gesture, she's subtly telling Santa and all his merry little elves just what she thinks of this picture taking business!

Props go out to daddy for fixing mommy's computer. It died, and she lost all her emails and addresses, BUT he was able to recover her missing D: drive. So, picture CDs may be a viable Christmas solution this year. yippee.

Speaking of drive, Miss Esme Claire has discovered the ever-delightful but exhausting feature of existance known as "mobility." She can crawl, cruise, pull-up, roll, shimmy, creep and clamber to any and all places her little 9-month-old heart desires. This is exciting and terrifying all at once to everyone involved and although M&D have experienced this before with the infant version of myself, they are still novices at the art of keeping the baby out of trouble. Their only solace lies in the fact that she's not walking...but they fear that day is right around the corner...

Over & Out,


Cowboy Holden & Fairy Esme

Originally uploaded by melmelmel.

Hello World!

Sorry we've been MIA for awhile, but we're still around and I've posted pics to prove it. This is me, all cowboy'd out. Yes, the picture is fuzzy and my lips are bluish -- both due to the fact that Portland decided to bestow upon us unsuspecting trick-or-treaters the coldest weather imaginable. We only managed to make it half a block before me and my pack of 8 or so toddler friends wimped out. And mommy only got to snap a few pics before I completely lost it. As you can see, Esme was perfectly happy fairying around at home while we braved the elements...


So, we survived Halloween...onto Thanksgiving!



Big Boy Blues

Wow, can you believe it's already October? What the heck happened to the summer? It's like I blinked one day and suddenly mama is dressing me in sweaters and talking about Hollow Beans.

Speaking of which...this hollow bean business is creeping me out. Everywhere I look there are spider webs and eerie floating mummy heads and worst of all...COSTUMES! I am not a fan of this crazy dress up business. Mama tried dressing me in a yoda costume and I would have none of it. When people ask me what I want to be for Hollow Bean, I tell them "Holden." And that's that. Well, I might don the nifty cowboy rainboots that mama bought for me on ebay, only because she is trying so hard to ease my qualms.

In other news, Miss Esme Claire (who, incidently, doesn't mind her fairy pixie costume) is imminently close to crawling. Her favorite pastime is getting up on all fours and rocking rocking rocking, then crying crying crying when she realizes all that effort led her nowhere. Mama is enjoying her last few days of sanity before having two mobile monsters to contend with...

Oh and I almost forgot - I am officially a Big Boy, as I am now sleeping in my Big Boy bed and residing in my Big Boy room. The cute pastel giraffes and happy dancing hippos adorning my walls have been replaced with Robot paraphernalia and Joan Miro prints. I do still let Pear Bear sleep with me at night since I, errr HE, can feel a little lost in the vastness of a twin bed.



Dastardly Deeds

It seems SOMEONE experimented with putting various objects into bean's cd player and got a penny stuck in there...

And SOMEONE turned the volume up to the max on our living room stereo and blew the speakers completely out...

And the same SOMEONE hasn't been taking his much needed afternoon nap for the past few days and is a bear to be around in the evenings...

Tico and Esme are usually the first to be blamed for this recent string of NoNos, but if they're not around I'm not above blaming any random tiger or monster that happens to be passing by. I think M&D are onto me though, as my imaginary prankster friends aren't as *cute* as they once were.

Off to find more trouble...


Sick House

Poor us...we barely had a chance to enjoy our half-year unbirthdays before getting smacked with head colds. Especially poor baby Esme - only 6 months old and already has an ear infection. Sad face. At least we got to see the cute man doctor today and I got a toy for being good during the exam.

Tonight I helped with dinner, really and truley. I personally helped shuck the yummy little fava beans out of their little green pods. M&D were so impressed. Oh and another Holden milestone: I rode the horsie at Freddies and was brave enough to let daddy put money in him to make him run. I held on tight and figured this was the first step toward riding the neat rollercoaster I saw on TV today. Baby steps...

Good night [sniffle, sniffle]


Our 1/2 Year Unbirthdays!

Can you believe I've existed for the past 2 1/2 years on this planet? And that my little sister has already been here 6 months??

So, Things I can do as an official 2 1/2 year old (AKA, things they don't mention in the "What to Expect" books):

  • Stand on one foot -- literally! When M&D ask me to stand on one foot, I place my left foot on top of my right and literally "stand on one foot."
  • Stand at the top of the slide at the playground and dictate who can go down (and up).
  • Make "pancakes" out of bark chips at the playground. "Feed" various passerbyers if I'm feeling generous.
  • Finish the last word of sentences in most of my books (um, we really need some new books around here???)
  • Open the refrigerator and take out/put away my sippie drinks (M&D not thrilled about this one).
  • Go through my very own mail at the end of the day (I get alot of credit card offers and donation requests - go figure).
  • Hold a 5+ minute conversation on the phone about various toddler topics with various grandparents.

    And, Things Esme Claire can do as an official 6-month-old (AKA, fun baby tricks):
  • Sit up without toppling over.
  • Eat rice cereal, carrots, peas and pears (her favorite). Scream between bites because mama is not quite fast enough with the spoon.
  • Grab anything within a 1 foot radius of herself, be it a toy, someone's dinner or someone's hair.
  • Laugh hysterically at my crazy antics.
  • Smile real big at anyone and everyone that even halfway glances her way.

  • So, here's to another half year of baby milestones and crazy toddler antics!!

    Fava Revisited

    I was just about to describe the yummy little fava treasures we found at farmer's market today when I was hit with deja vu... I realized I was blogging about the exact same thing a little over a year ago. So although I missed my blogiversary, I wanted to say thanks for keeping up with my toddler ramblings and insights over the past 16 months!

    Anyway, back to our farmer's market adventure... I confirmed a very important culinary fact today: watermelon rinds are truly inedible. I attempted to sneak a bite to validate the theory which instantly set off mama's toddler alarm. She had her hand in my mouth scooping out halfway masticated rind before you could say "choking hazard."

    Aside from the watermelon incident, we had a nice day today. After naps we took a lovely walnut levain to Laurelhurst park and had brie and pear sandwiches on our picnic blanket. Nothing like an impromptu picnic amongst the pines and shrieking toddlers.

    Side note: Miss Esme Claire has a cough. Nothing sadder than a 6 month old hacking between her rice cereal feedings (Yes! She'll be 6 months old on Tuesday!!!)



    Holden Sheets, PhT

    Ever-inquisitive toddler that I am, I'm beginning to question anything and everything that I encounter: Why is that man wearing a hat? Why can't I have my feet on the table at dinnertime? Why can't I put french toast on my head? And M&D are becoming quite creative answerers: ...because his ears are big. ...because they smell funny. ...because we SAID SO (not so creative).

    I've also mastered the art of the long, drawn-out bedtime ritual: I ask for more [fill in the blank] water, hugs, kisses, songs, etc., pick out the longest books and ask tons of questions on each page (my "whys" come in handy here, too). And if I'm refused said water, books, answers to questions, etc., I pull out the all-time surefire way to buy more time: "Holden need to go poopoo on the potty." I think M&D are quickly losing their enthusiasm over that one ;-)

    Hugs and slobbers from HS & ES!!


    The Potty Train

    Mommy and I (and Esme) went on an underpant excursion and to mommy's relief, I decided to forego the pretty pink sparkly panties for the ultra manly spiderman briefs (although mommy would've loved me just the same if I was wearing barbie underwear). No poopies on the potty today, but I did manage to impress some playgroup friends by peeping on their pot. It's fast becoming my new favorite party trick. I'm just wondering where to board this "potty train" that M&D keep talking about?

    In Esme news, my little sister is getting more fun every day. She adores my somewhat whacked toddler sense of humor and lights up every time she spots sight of me. I dare say she loves me even more than M&D, as I'm the only one that can get her to giggle without the merciless tickeling strategy. And unlike myself, she loves food. In fact, if she doesn't get her allotted meal of rice cereal + veggie during dinner time, she SCREAMS until someone gets up and feeds her.

    Pictures promised for next post!



    Potty Pooper

    Guess who pooped on the potty tonight? Meeeeeeeee did!!

    Yep, I am blowing M&D's plan to ignore potty training for awhile right out of the water (pun intended). During jammie time I told mama I needed to poop. I ignored her suggestion to go in my diaper, and instead insisted on sitting on my porta-potty. After the usual grunts and strains, we peered into the little bowl and voila -- two toddler-sized poops peered right back at us!

    Mama was so excited she called daddy upstairs with the video recorder and we recorded the moment, and the two nuggets, in history. We then proceeded to flush the little guys down the toilet (M&D were quite relieved that I wasn't too attached to them and let them flush, flush away without protest).

    So, tomorrow we venture to Target for an underpant quest. M&D are hoping my new My Little Pony infatuation doesn't extend to fashion accessories (but are willing to let me don MLP underpants if that's what it takes!)

    Over & Out,



    This blog is dedicated to my new, not-so-imaginary-friend, Tico. Tico is a bear that lives under our living room couch and eats sandwiches. I haven't decided yet if he is a nice bear or a mean bear and sometimes he pops up in unusual places (in Esme's carseat, inside the inner-workings of my umbrella, etc). But, he's the newest member of our family and we're all growing to love and appreciate him.

    In other news, my little sister is not so little anymore. She's actually quite the little chunk-chunk and getting more animated and fun to be around. She started sitting up a few weeks ago and is an old pro at it now. She can also skooch around on her belly to get to her newest most favoritest things in the world - TOYS!! Mama is not encouraging her efforts to crawl, as if having two small humans isn't terrifying enough...imagine when we are both mobile!! So, we're trying to keep Esme stationary for as long as possible.

    Daddy is still toiling away on the NoPo house. It should be done in a couple weeks (ya, we've heard THAT one before!) and then he moves onto finishing pinky's landscaping. They tell me that someday soon I will have a small park of a backyard all to myself. Well, me and Tico, that is...

    Sweet Dreams!


    Hi Friends! We're still here. Still starring in the Holden and Esme show...

    Can you believe Esme is almost 3 1/2 months old? She's all smiles, but apparently we're not funny enough around here because she's not laughing yet. Seeing as how she spends about 17 hours a day in sleepyland, it's not too surprising.

    And I am the ever-busy toddler as always. Mommy asked me what I want to be when I grow up and threw out a few suggestions (fireman? teacher? doctor?) NOPE! I told her I want to be a rocketman!! And I've been refusing to sleep until someone sings me the entire rocketman song before naps and nightnight.

    bye for now,
    HS (future rocketmaaaaaaaaaaaaaan)



    For the inquiries regarding my sister's bowel habits (or lack therof)...Yes, she finally pooped after 7 days. And miraculously, it wasn't the huge blowout we expected. Just a delicate, mustardy little load inside her sweet little diaper. Unlike me, Esme is just not a pooper. (I, on the other hand, went 3 times today).

    School is going well. The novelty has worn off a little and I've decided to resume napping. Little e and I are actually beginning to give mama a break and coordinate our napping schedule. Mama's much too frazzled to "nap when the babies nap" as everyone tells her to do, but she's working on it. Right now she's content to just sit on the couch and stare into space (she's careful to stare UP and not DOWN at the incredible mess that is our home).

    And, big boy that I am, M&D bought me a little seat that fits on the back of daddy's bike. It's pretty nifty to be able to sit back, relax and wave to the passing neighbors while daddy bikes me around. I offerred to do the biking and let daddy sit back there, but he didn't think my feet would reach the pedals. Maybe next month...



    It's 7:47pm (hey I should be in bed!) and my weatherbug says it's 70 degrees outside! Once again, Portland is skipping spring and heading straight into summer. It's ok with me as it means park days and stroller rides galore.

    So guess where I went on Tuesday...SCHOOL!! Yep, M&D decided that I needed some socialization in a somewhat structured environment (what's wrong with staying in our pajamas until 4pm???), so now I go to school 2 days a week. I guess "school" is an overstatement. It's more of a toddler utopia...jungle gym, sandbox, bunnies, playdough, paints, hairdressing station, 'tactile' station (huge bowl of flaxseed), playhouses...the list goes on and on. There's even a toddler-height sink in the pottyroom to encourage my current OCD-like handwashing obsession. What more could you want?? (OK, Mommy wishes I'd take a nap there, but could YOU nap in the middle of nirvana?) We're even growing baby chickens under heat lamps for peeps sake!!

    Baby Esme is on her 4th poopless day today. We're finding an inverse relationship between the amount of smiles and the days she goes without pooping. So send some poop vibes her way!!!



    Cutest Easter outfit EVER

    Cutest Easter outfit EVER
    Originally uploaded by melmelmel.
    As promised, more pics!!

    Unfortunately, I need to figure out how to become a flickr "pro" before I can organize these into a set. So for now, click on the pic and hopefully you can rummage around in flickr to find the other easter pics.

    Over & Out,

    We're Alive!!

    Hello world!

    It's been an insane month but my goal was to post a message before my month ran out, so here I am. I'm learning how to be a good big brother. Some days it's hard and the overwhelming urge to poke Esme in the eye overtakes me... But most days I am a true sweetheart and have only smiles and hugs for baby sister.

    Mama spends quite a bit of time nursing baby sister which leaves me to explore my newfound independence. Usually I am good and catch up on my TV watching (mama wouldn't let me watch TV the whole first year of my life!!). But sometimes I am beckoned helplessly into naughtiness.

    Like yesterday, for instance. I tried to sit quietly and play with my legos, but somehow couldn't resist the urge to unroll a whole roll of toilet paper into the toilet and try to flush it (doesn't work). Mama figures that as long as I don't burn the house down, we're ahead of the game.

    Little Esme is two months old today, can you believe it? She's getting her chubby baby face (as opposed to her chubby newborn face) and is starting to wake up to the world. She's full of smiles and can stand up (with M&D's assistance, of course). Other than that, she's still just a little eating, sleeping, pooping machine. She's not much of a playmate yet. I'm looking forward to the day that we can build forts together. Maybe next week??

    Bye for now. I promise to post pics asap!!


    Hi All,

    Just checking in... I've been busy busy with gamma and gampa. They are helping Mama out alot by entertaining ME so she can tend to 'baby sistah.' They leave on Thursday, sad face :-(

    I'm happy to report that I am a very good big brother! If anything, I can be a tad bit TOO affectionate with baby sistah. The family member that M&D are more worried about these days is kitty. It seems I've been taking some frustrations out on poor kitty. (I got a time out yesterday because daddy caught me toting my golf club around saying "here kitty kitty kitty.")

    Anyway, all is good. Wish us luck when we're on our own on Thursday!!



    Rocky Rain

    Originally uploaded by melmelmel.
    So first, a pic of my sweet sister in her favorite sleeping position...

    And now onto the ever-interesting toddler news... We all thought spring was on its way after last weekend's 65 degree weather, but in true Portland fashion it changed on us and by Wednesday morning it was snowing in our backyard (and everywhere else I guess, but I was glued to our back door watching the white specks float down to the ground). The specks didn't stick, but it was fun anyway. And THEN...

    Yesterday was a little warmer but still drippy out, so we had hail. Although I didn't think the term 'hail' appropriately described the little white balls falling out of the sky, so I renamed them 'Rocky Rain.' A much more toddler friendly term for such a neat-o precipitate.

    That's about it. Oh, little sister wants to add something...

    Hi! It's Esmé. I weigh 7lbs 5oz and grew a whole inch in a week. My bellybutton fell off, so I got my first bath today (didn't like it). byebye!

    HS & ES


    A message from Esmé

    Hi!! It's Esmé. I love my big brother, my fingers, my hands, my mommy, my daddy and my fuzzy blanket. I don't like vaccination shots and diaper changes so much.

    I had my 1 week dr. appt. this morning and am happy to report that I'm back up to my birth weight and have a clean bill of health! Did I mention I love to eat, too?

    OK. Bye!


    She's Here!!

    I'm a big brother!!!
    Originally uploaded by melmelmel.
    Introducing our newest family member...my very own little sister...Esmé Claire Sheets!!! She was born February 22 - one day after my birthday and the same day as Gamma's birthday!! She weighed 6 lbs. 8 oz. and was 19 inches long...another string bean joins the family!

    See her flickr set here!

    So here's baby sister's debut story for those interested. I, the toddler, have a rather limited perspective on the whole birth process, so bear with me...

    2/22 11:30am: Mama, dada, Tutu and I happily shopping at Costco. Doctor calls to say delivery table available and to please proceed to the hospital. (Not exactly the traditional "Honey, it's time" scenario)

    3:00pm: Mama all settled into her (not) comfy hospital bed and happily watching HGTV (special treat!). Doctor started the pitocin and everything fine and dandy. 4cm and 80% effaced.

    5:20pm: In the middle of "What Not to Wear," some insane person decides to break mama's water.

    5:30pm: 7cm and wanting epidoodle.

    5:45pm: Wanting epidoodle NOW.

    6:00pm: Get epidoodle.

    6:05pm: Waiting for epidoodle to work...

    6:15pm: Still waiting...

    6:30pm: Get checked - 10cm and fully effaced. No epidoodle for mama today.

    6:43pm: Baby sister is born!!!!!

    So, a very happy ending to a not so fun labor. But baby girl was worth it! I'm a great big brother. I asked Esmé to read to me last night before bed, but it seems she still has some learning to do. Maybe next week...

    Hugs to all,


    Official 2.0 Release...

    My new "bobot" shirt
    Originally uploaded by melmelmel.
    OK, so my pre-release party was a little fancier, but I still had fun today on my real bday. We opened presents, ate pizza, stuffed ourselves with bday cake and took looooong naps to sleep off our sugary highs. My favorite present was my very own robot shirt that mama sewed for me. Check out my flickr set for more pics!

    Latest news on the baby front: mama's doctor wanted to induce her today, but since it’s my bday, mama thankfully talked her into tomorrow (to avoid future “it’s my birthday” “no it’s MY birthday” wars). So now baby sister's on the waiting list to be born tomorrow. I have no idea what that means… I guess the doctor calls and says, “Mel...party of 2...your delivery table is ready...” Geez!

    Excuse me while I go sleep off my sugar high...


    I'm a String Bean

    I had my 2.0 doctor's appointment today: I'm 34 in. tall (50%) have a 49 cm. head (75%) and weigh 24.5 lbs (10%). I'm basically a string bean with an inflated head! I did manage to impress the doctor with my charm and wit, and giggled uncontrollably during the exam. It was all fun and games until the mean nurse came by that likes to shoot vaccines into unsuspecting toddlers. Ouch. At least I got a plastic dinasour out of the deal...

    Nothing much else to report. I was such a good boy at my dr appt that mama decided to lift our house arrest and venture to OMSI for fun and frolic. Always fun times there, and I came home caked in sand from visiting the sandbox after the water fountain. Mama always forgets to do those activities in reverse (lucky me)

    Oh and not that mama likes when I get shots, but I did take a loooooong peaceful nap afterwards (my signature post-vaccination nap) that she managed to finish up a few projects. I'll try to post pics soon.

    Over and Out,


    EEP OPP ORK Ah-Ah!

    Originally uploaded by melmelmel.
    I almost forgot to write about my most recent milestone: today I got my very first song stuck in my head!!

    It was "EEP OPP ORK Ah-Ah" by the Violent Femmes (from the Jetson's episode where Judy is in love with Jet Screamer). I was happily singing away when mama realized what "eep, ork, ah-ah, flyyyyyyyy me" meant. Aunt Steppie put this on my bday CD and I think it's been stuck in everybody's head ever since...and I've proven that toddlers are not immune to sticky song lyrics!!

    OK, happy toddling again...

    Counting down

    So we are about settled into our new temporary life. We've all survived the first week of mama being home with me all day and it's actually been alot of fun! Portland helped us out a little by being sunny, bright and cheerful and allowing us to spend time at the park and go on leisurely walks around the neighborhood. Messy art class has been a toddler's dream: all the glue, glitter, pens, paper and paint that you can get your hands (and hair, and clothes...) on. And I've been able to catch up with a few friends that I lost touch with for awhile.

    Alas, it will only be short lived. Mama's doctor has put us on 'house arrest' until baby sister arrives because her bud pressure is rising (couldn't have anything to do with my new "NO mommy, DADDY do it" phase, could it?) So we will just have to concoct our own messy art projects here at home and think up other creative activities to spend the remaining 11.5 hours of the day doing...Any suggestions? Mama didn't seem to go for painting and glittering the kitty...

    Happy Toddeling,


    Holden 2.0!

    robot cake
    Originally uploaded by melmelmel.
    I'm finally getting around to posting my Bday party blog (yes I got mama's slacker gene). Mama decided on a Sci-fi themed party with lots and lots of robots. She realizes that although I drooled and gushed over Thomas and Elmo in the Birthday Express catalog, this very well may be the last year that she could dictate my party theme so went ahead full force (although she's already hinting about a kung-fu party for Bday #3).

    So I set up a flickr set for you to peruse. It's my first ever set, so I hope I did it right...

    Anyway, the party was a hit. Mama & Steppie made robot costumes for us toddlers to toddle around in. They made little felt robots for party favors. And even made the robot centerpiece to watch over everyone's food and alcohol consumption. The only thing mama FORGOT to do was videotape and take decent pictures (thanks to aunt steppie for remembering to take any pics at all!!)

    So, the memory of my 2.0 release party exists happily in our minds alongside a few fuzzy pics. (Actually, the party was celebrating my pre-2.0 release as I won't actually be 2 until Feb 21. This was mama's sneaky way of getting out of throwing a bday party when she's 10 months pregnant!!)

    Sweet Dreams!



    Originally uploaded by melmelmel.
    This pic is for auntie steph. She was sad that I haven't posted pics lately, so I drug this one out of the archives. Can you believe this is ME? Back when I was just a sleeping, drooling, pooping, adorable lump of a baby...almost 2 years ago!

    Now I'm a big boy and can walk and talk and chase kitty and vacuum and do all kinds of big boy things. I can even count all the way up to "Twentyteen" like I did with Auntie Steph yesterday!

    Boy do I have lots to teach baby sister when she arrives!!



    Bouncing Toddler

    I am into making sentences these days, and busting them out faster than my little mouth can say them. Some favorites so far:

    Hi baby chicken (my first sentence)
    My butt poop
    Poop in here (pointing to diaper)
    Daddy's shoes outside
    Daddy's shoes stinky
    Holden shoes on peeeeez
    Holden brushing daddy's hair (longest sentence ever!!)

    I may have others, but they become lost on M&D's untrained ears.

    M&D and I went shopping for a big boy bed today. We came home with a nice bouncy one, along with a new raspberry on my forehead from test-bouncing all the mattresses. We also got me some new sheets and a guard rail to keep me from flying out of bed at night. Now we just need the courage to let me try sleeping in it (and potentially giving up my perfect 12-hour a night sleeping sessions!)

    Aren't I a big boy??