So this morning I was doing my usual thing, trying to decide which cup to drink out of. First I wanted the pink one, then the purple one, then pink, purple, NO PINK! It’s so hard to decide!

Then the phone rings and Mom starts chatting away which I found very rude because I just wanted to talk about my milk cup. So I started to do whatever I could to get her attention. I tried climbing her leg, I tried hollering, I tried screaming, I tried crying.

Finally Mom bends down and looks me straight in the eye and says in her most serious voice “Tess, I’m on the phone trying to make arrangements to go see Santa Claus, so please be a good girl and be quiet until I am off the phone.”

Wha-wha-whaaat???? We’re going to see SANTA CLAUS!

When she gets off the phone she explains that Santa picked us to ride on the real Polar Express to see Santa and his workshop!

Why didn’t she just say that in the first place? I mean, I couldn’t care less what cup I use, I don’t have time for those details, I need to start thinking about my Christmas List so I can present it to SANTA!

Polar Express 2008

So yeah, we’re going to see Santa. Mom says that many children want to go see Santa but each year only some can go – there’s not enough room on the train for everyone! I’m SO EXCITED! Mom says its a long way off, but the better to prepare my Christmas list.

What’s that? Oh, Story is telling me to mention Halloween. Yeah, next week is Halloween. We’re still working on my costume, but don’t worry, I can still work on my LIST, I’m great at multi-tasking.


March this year is stacking up to be quite a month. So many awesome things happened this month, I don’t know where to begin!

Story and I took our first bath together!!! Twice the fun!

I started my art class, and have already made a ton of fine art projects:

My artistic skills came in handy when I was tapped by Mom to manage the Easter Egg decorating project.

This past Sunday was Maine Maple Easter Sunday, which is the day the Easter Bunny makes all the maple syrup, and puts baskets of candy in your house while you’re out freezing your butt off eating pancakes outside! It really is a spectacular holiday, especially the ice cream and maple syrup.

Here I am with my friend Nina enjoying ice cream after our pancake breakfast:

After we got home from pancakes, I took a nice warm nap, and woke up to find bunny tracks all over the house! This made it super easy for me to hunt all the eggs.

Oh yeah, and Story ate avocado:

I think Story did some other stuff, but alas, I’m out of time!


Phew! Christmas. Where do I begin? If I had known what was coming I would have been a lot less patient through the month of December. This year it sort of snuck up on me, but Whoa boy, what a holiday!

It all started about a month ago when Mom and Dad took me to the town square to see the “Christmas Tree.” I thought, “yeah, nice, lights, hmm, whatev.” But then Mom says, “Tess, would you like to have a Christmas Tree at home?” I think to myself, yeah, that could be interesting. I could put my stuffed animals in there. Story would be entertained for hours by the lights.

So next thing I know we’re hauling home our very own Christmas Tree, right on top of the Prius (hey, with what we’ve done for the environment, we can cut down a few trees without remorse).

And then my bedtime ritual started to change. First we introduced a new book, Olivia Helps with Christmas. Then there were a few unfamiliar songs: Jingle Bells, Frosty, and one about a german reindeer with a drinking problem. Like I said in my last entry, I knew Christmas was coming, but how do you know when it is? Is it when the snow falls? Or when the cookies are done?

But I’ve finally figured it out. It’s Christmas when the presents arrive! See, when you wake up in the morning, you know it’s Christmas if your tree looks like this:

Well, what comes next is sort of a blur. Opening presents is hard work… if you get toys you have to stop and play with each one…

if you get clothes, you have to put them on….

if you get books you have to stop and read them…

if you get candy in your stocking you have to eat it…

And if all that’s not enough work, then you have to pose for pictures!!!

I did acquire one or two new friends, my favorite being my new Racoon friend.

I love that Racoon!!! No, I REALLY I LOVE HIM!!

Phew!!! The whole thing really tired me out!

I love that dog, but he never shuts up!

Oh yeah, and Story got presents too.

Wow, just thinking about it makes me tired all over again. So I’m off to bed. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!!! Can’t wait until next year!!!


Well we’ve been busy here at the Strawberry Patch. In the last few weeks we had Thanksgiving, Dad’s birthday, AND Dad got sworn at by the State of Massachusetts. I’m not sure why that last one is such a big deal, Mom does it all the time. But this time they made a big deal over it with a ceremony to swear at a bunch of men and women in suits.

Happy Birthday Dad!

Thanksgiving was a blast. We spent it with Grandpa Marino and the cousins. Dad tried to explain the whole cranberry–turkey thing to me, but I stuck to the basics this year.

The best part about Thanksgiving is the duck pins bowling!!! Apparently this is a long standing tradition in my Mom’s family. Dad had to help me out a bit, but apparently I have bowling in the blood.

Did I mention we also had our first snow here in Maine? I was a little confused when I first woke up, I thought it was Christmas!! But Dad explained that it snows on other days too. So confusing. Anyway, snow is very cool. No, seriously, its downright COLD. You need to be prepared before going out in it:

It took me and Dad most of the morning to get all these layers on:

Trust me, it was worth it.

Where was Story during all this fun in the snow? She was inside in her swing. Yeah, babies can’t go out in the snow. Maybe next year.

Well, gotta run I have to catch up on my sleep. I’ll come back later and tell you all about my weekend in Connecticut.


I don’t know if my regular readers are aware of this, but I’ve been getting some pretty crazy comment action these days. I mean seriously people, I’m a toddler, watch your language!!!!!

So I just want to make a couple things clear to my new readers (I’m sure all my regulars understand the essense of the blog of Tess, so you guys can just skip ahead…) But for all you newbies… listen up! I need to make a few things very clear. I’ll put it in numerical list format for easier comprehension, I know how you newbies like to skim:

1) I loved the Bumbo;

2) I never really intended to file suit against the makers of Bumbo (please people, are any of you crazy noters actually READING my blog??? see for some help on this one!);

3) I STILL love the BUMBO!!!!! Check it out:

So with that, I would like to close the chapter on the Bumbo controversy. That’s it, case closed!

In other news, last weekend we went to the spectacular Mom to Mom Halloween party. Can you guess what we are?:

It helps if you can see a closeup of Story:

Any guesses?

Ok, this is a little weird. One of these photos is Yours Truly at 8 weeks, and the other is Story. Can you guess who is who?

I didn’t include links so there will be no cheating. I’ll give you a hint: one of us is known for our famously adorable cheeks.

In other news, Story and I are having a great time together these days. We have a little arrangement. I’m showing her the ropes, and in return she’s providing excellent distraction while I watch episode after episode of the Backyardigans. It works.

She still gets a little nervous when I hold her, I don’t know why.

I’m late for a Halloween Costume brainstorming session, so I gotta run.


As I mentioned, Story keeps us busy around here. It’s a full time job just trying to coax a smile out of her. Apparently Story did not get my sense of humor, I’m sure I was never like that! I don’t know, maybe she’s upset about living in my shadow. It certainly looks that way:

Anyway, we’re still having fun. A couple weeks ago we had a visit from Aunt Jackie (I think that’s her name, I’m having a tough time keeping track of all the dark haired ladies that come around here).

We’ve also got a full agenda for Fall in Maine, here’s our to-do list:

1. Apple Picking
2. Cider Donut Eating
3. Pumpkin Procurement
4. Corn Maze
5. Leaf Peeping
6. Cider Donut Eating
7. Costume Development
8. Halloween Partying/Trick-or-Treating

I have to admit we’re not doing so well on our list, but the season is still young. Last weekend we set out to do #1 and #2 at Thompson’s Orchard. Unfortunately, we got waylaid in the donut line and by the time we had our tummies full of fresh fried dough, it was nap time and the apples went unpicked. Well, I guess we did capture ONE apple:

Those were some mighty fine donuts, so I’m glad Mom and Dad knew to bump the apples off for another week.

This weekend I think we’ll tackle the corn. Stay tuned for details.


Happy belated Easter everybody!!!!

Well my 2nd Easter was a great success. My Easter Egg hunting has improved dramatically from last year (if you recall, last year I had the Stroller Handicap, so unless the eggs were perched in the treetops, I couldn’t see ’em let alone trot over to pick ’em up). But not this year. Now that I’m MO-BILE no Egg was outside my potential grasp. My Egg yield went from Zero last year, to Two this year! Pretty good growth, year-over-year, don’t ya think?

Check it, I scored a pink one:

and a blue one:

The weird part about Easter is the dressing up part. I had to get all girlie and everyone was ogling me all day, and I couldn’t walk around outside too much because Mom didn’t want me to get muddy. Why can’t they make an Easter dress out of fleece or something?

In other news, I also upgraded my wheels this weekend! Mom and Dad got tired of bending over my old scooter to push me around, so they got this sweet model with a handle bar for them to push and steer. I can’t really reach the pedals, but that doesn’t matter when you’ve got Dad to power you around everywhere!!!!

I also got to play with my cousins, and their dog and cat, which was awsome. Mom tried to get me to pose for a picture, but I was too busy trying to squirm off the couch and show off my walking skillz for her to get a decent shot. Oh well.

Well, gotta get to bed, I’m still trying to sleep off the sugar coma!


I told Mom we’d find something to spice up the montage. I’ve gotten much more mobile these days, especially since Mom and Dad let me open my present from Grandma and Nana early!!! Check it out:

I’ve got the need for speed too, I tell ya. Once I get going at a good clip, with the wind blowing in my hair, there’s nothing more thrilling. Look at me here, totally in the zone:

Occassionally when I forget how much it hurts to fall, I’ll take my hands off the wagon and do some freestyle standing, but only for a second. Mostly I like to push the wagon back and forth across the apartment, sometimes Rag-a-muffin Girl tags along for a ride which is fine by me, she doesn’t say much, which is how I like it.

Anyway, only One More Week ‘Til Christmas!!!! I CAN’T WAIT!


Happy Belated Thanksgiving!! Sorry I’m late, but I actually didn’t know what was coming. I thought we were just going to my aunt’s house for an ordinary dinner, I had no idea it was going to be so awesome!

We started out the weekend by packing up our new wheels with all of my toys and accoutrements. Then we made the trek up to Vermont where we had Thanksgiving dinner at my aunt Jackie’s house.

Here’s a shot of all the ladies:

You all know I’ve been around the block a couple times. In fact Dad says Vermont is the 13th state I’ve visited (I’m a little sketchy on counting for myself, plus I don’t remember much before what happened yesterday). So anyway, I think I’m qualified to declare Vermont a pretty cool place, and I’m not just talking about the weather.

Listen up. Two words: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.

Not impressed? Ok, One word: Apple Cider Donuts.

That’s actual fresh cider making happening in the background.

And if Ice Cream and Donuts don’t float your boat I have just Two more words for you: The Great Outdoors.

This was my first real hike in the woods. I have to say, I’m hooked. I can’t wait to move to Maine next year!!!


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