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!!!


My little sister Story really had a rough time during her first few weeks here in the Straw household. The poor thing had her schedule all messed up. She didn’t know when to eat, when to sleep or even when to poop. Sometimes she did all three at the same time!

So a couple weeks ago I decided to take Story under my wing. I put Story in Tess Boot Camp for Aspiring Toddlers. So far, we’ve covered Naps, Bottles, and Reading.

I have to say, Story is turning into quite the star pupil.

She’s got the naps down – today she took three solid ones!!! Bottles, no problem!! She’s taking bottles from Dad, Amanda AND MOM. Even I didn’t take bottles from Mom!

But reading… I don’t know if she “gets” it. See for yourself:

Well, I guess you have to give her props on her Bumbo work.

Ok, gotta run. I have to go monitor Story’s tummy-time.


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?

You know I’ve always been a sophisticated consumer. My loyal readers will remember that I was not a fan of the Bumbo from the very beginning. Not only did that company engage in blatant false advertising, promising non-stop parties and beach outings, but the seat itself was rather intimidating for a young three-month old Tess.

This is my very unhappy reaction to the so-called Bumbo:

Note that my parents had the good sense to place the seat on the floor, and not an elevated surface.

Anyway, where was I? Oh, yeah. Just as I predicted back in April 2006, the Bumbo seat has actually been RECALLED!!!!

Now a note to all you new readers who have come looking for information on the Bumbo recall, and instead have found my blog: of course I have nothing but the utmost sympathy for any child injured by the Bumbo seat.

Well, gotta run, who knows what other hazardous toys I can uncover – I have to get to work!


Well we’re moving right along on our Fall To-Do List. This weekend we went to the Raven Hill Orchard for some apple picking. The weather was sunny and crisp — a perfect day for roaming in a beautiful apple orchard!

I highly recommend the Raven Hill Orchard. It’s certified organic, and no long lines!!! They don’t have the donut machine hooked up yet though. That’s ok, we had our fill of donuts last weekend. And I do have to say I’ve never tasted a better McIntosh in my entire life! I know, I didn’t have any molars last fall, but I’ve sampled plenty of apples THIS season.

The best part about Raven Hill was all the eye-level apples. You know how I love to be self-sufficient.

But occasionally I spotted a real winner that was up too high, and that’s where Dad came in handy.

So we’ve still got a busy agenda for the rest of the season. I still don’t know what I’m going to be for Halloween. Any suggestions?

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.


Did I ever mention how much I love books? Some babies have their blankets, others have binkies, yet others have loveys, bottles, nuk-nuks, pacis, thumbs, teddies, tattered pieces of worried thread-bare fabric… (woah, are we babies a bunch of comfort addicts or what?). Well, I have my books.

When I get down I like to go to my little library and just start swimming in the books. Mom likes to keep them lined up neatly on the shelf, just so I can pull them all down, one by one. She knows I love nothing more than a floor covered with a sea of books.

Whenever I’m bored I can take a book to Mom or Dad, say “Book!” and they’ll drop what they’re doing, pop me on their lap and read my chosen book to me. It doesn’t get any better than that.

It doesn’t have to be a story, or even a real book. I have a subscription to Wild Animal Baby magazine that makes for some very interesting reading.

Nothing beats a good educational magazine with breakfast.

At night I like to take good bedtime titles with me when I have my milk: Goodnight Moon, Goodnight Maine are some of my favorites.

Speaking of which, I’m headed to bed now. I had an AWESOME day with Mom out in the beautiful weather today. Unfortunately I’m too pooped to write about it. Tune in later and I’ll tell ya all about it!


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!


Man oh man I’ve been doing too much walking!!!! My dogs are KILLING ME!

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