Sunday, December 28, 2008

The happiest place on Earth

I can only imagine what Cole might have been thinking as we entered the most magical place on earth. I myself was brimming with excitement at the sounds, sights and smells of Disney. Although timid at first, Cole warmed up to the rides and characters and began each morning with a groggy voice requesting to go see Micky Mouse.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The days of Christmas

Cole's favorite day of Christmas is the Fifth Day. That's because that is when Daddy's bursts into our nightly storytime routine to announce that Cole's true love gave to him...."FIIIIIVVVVEEE GOOOOOLLLDDEENNN RINNNNNNNGGGGS"! Cole bursts out laughing EVERYTIME to this sillyness and Daddy has to stay close so that he can throw the door open at every verse of the song. I'm wondering if we are going to have to read that book every night from now until the big day...cause Mommy's singin voice isn't so good.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Let it Snow...Let it Snow...Let it Snow

Cole's first real snow was during Thanksgiving Weekend in Johnstown. I say real because he was way too small to appreciate it any other time in his life. He had a ball sledding down Grammie's hill and making a snowman in her front yard complete with a carrot nose. The nose seemed to be Cole's favorite part. Now that we're home he continues to ask when we can go out and play in the snow!

Monday, December 01, 2008

Giving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving!

Cole, Blake and Connor made their own tablecloth for their big meal. I think we spent more time cleaning off the markers/crayons from this exercise than the food from their meals!

More about our PA weekend in the next post.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Playdates and Cookies

One of the many things that Cole and I have filled our time with lately are playdates. Last weekend our friends Erin and Ella made the trip down from Bethesda (you'd think this was hours away since we've seen each other 2 times since Erin, Carl and Ella moved up this way in July!)...but such is so in DC. A mere 20 or so miles and you see folks every few months! In fact, it is just the same for friends of ours that live minutes away. Being at home with Cole all day has left me craving adult conversation and I have realized just how bad Craig and I are about keeping in touch with our friends. The sad thing is that I can't promise that this experience will make me any better about it. Sometimes it takes too much effort to coordinate children's schedules, then there is the space issue. I love to entertain but the house can seem so small when even 4 people are in it :)

Anyway other than playdates we have been taking part in plenty of free library story times and also spending time at the park, when weather allows. I am also trying to get motivated about job hunting! When every call I make ends with "No, I'm sorry we don't have anything right now," it gets a little distressing and each time it's easier not to pick up the phone. Hopefully things will look up after the Holidays...and after the Inauguration.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Full-time mom ....or not?

Cole and I have been spending lots of time together lately...and neither of us is very good at it. My mind is elsewhere pondering what the next job will be, having to update my resume, put together a portfolio, thinking about the cleaning that I am not doing, feeling sad for Craig now that he is the only breadwinner in the family....the list goes on and generally not a single one of the things is about the little guy. I do feel guilty that I am not taking advantage of my newly found time with him to do something educational. I tried to take him to story time at the library on Tuesday but forgot that it was closed because it was election day. By the way, Cole says "barack obama" in the cutest way. I have got to get it on video. Cole misses his normal routine..seeing his Maw-maw and spending time with his favorite playmates, Emmy and Checkers. I know with time, we'll find a routine that works for both of us. For now, we're stuck in a don't know what to do with each other phase.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Toddling Tiger

Happy Halloween!!!

Thanks so much to Grammie for making this wonderful...and adorable...costume :)

Cannons go "Boom"

Cole, Craig and I spent a wonderful weekend down in Hampton, VA with Jussie and Emily this past weekend. Best of all Jus took us on base to see his most recent boat, the Tampa. Wow is this boat big! Another very proud moment for me the big sis, knowing that my bro spends 2-3 months at a time living on one of those things in the middle of the ocean or touring our borders.

Cole loved the boat's cannon best. Ever since Alexandria's 4th of July celebration where they ignited cannons in celebration, Cole has had a fascination with cannons. The minute we mentioned we were going on Jus' boat he asked, "cannons?" and didn't stop asking till we saw the big one. All in all, it was a very neat experience. You can never possibly imagine what the inside of one of the vessels looks like and I feel honored to have had the opportunity to go on one.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fall Festivals

We are having a fabulous time attending various fall festivals. On Saturday, Cole, Grammie, Aunt Tiffy, Chloe, Emmy and I went to Fairfax's Fall Arts & Craft Festival. Cole had his first pony ride on a miniature horse named Lucky and he also sat for a face-painted pumpkin on his cheek. There were also lots of inflatable slides and jumping rooms. Most of them were a little too advanced for Cole so I had to jump right in and participate along with him. It all made me realize that I am not nearly as nimble as I used to be!

Meanwhile Cole is the biggest jabber jaw lately. From the moment he barks his first words in the morning..."Mommy,I'm up!" to the minute I lay him down at night,"I see maw-maw and checkers tomorrow?"...Cole always has something to say. Craig and I were trying to pay attention to a newscast this week and we couldn't hear over our jibber-jabbering toddler!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Almost Famous

Nope we're not talking about our Daddy! This time Cole gets the media attention. A little story to go along with this week's blog...

One of the first times Craig, Cole and I visited the Pentagon Memorial together, Cole was being his usual 2 year-old self playing in the gravel walkways and putting his hands in the fountains among other disrespectful things. Daddy doesn't like it when Cole does these things so in our usual Mommy and Daddy fashion we had to distract. I bribed him with a snack while sitting on the perimeter seat walls and observing how people interact with the Memorial. About this time, Cole peered up from his fruit snacks and commented on the "dolphins". At this stage of his speech I often have to nod my head and acknowledge that I understand (when many times I do not!). I figured he had read a book during the day about underwater creatures...and then it hit me...he was talking about the benches!

This is what appeared in an issue of the Boston Globe from October 5th...

"Falsani, who writes a religion column for the Sun-Times and who is the author of the new book about grace, "Sin Boldly," compared the benches to dolphins - a comparison, I later learned, that was first noted by the 2 1/2-year-old son of one of the memorial's builders.

"From a distance, and even as I walked among them, the underlit 'benches' looked like the dorsal fin of a diving dolphin - a pod of dolphins moving together," she wrote me. "Dolphins historically symbolize safe travel and were also used on ancient tombs - the Roman catacombs, for instance - to signify a love that remains even into the depths (of death, despair, etc.)."

So funny...maybe our Little Man has a future as an architectural critic. Here's the link to the full article:

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ideas/articles/2008/10/05/everything_is_illuminated/

Monday, September 29, 2008

Crazy Busy

Wow...where do I even begin about our last few weeks? First came all the events surrounding the Memorial Dedication. Craig and I were fortunate enough to attend the Donor Dinner, the Dedication, many happy hours and celebration dinners and finally the Design/Construction Team Celebration at the Hard Rock Downtown. We had tons of fun and are sad to see this time in our lives pass. Hopefully Craig will move on to even better projects with not-so-tragic beginnings.

Next came a very fun extended weekend with our family from Michigan. Dad's house became family and party central as we celebrated Emory's 2nd Birthday and Beth's 49th with a delicious brunch and yummy crabs (if ya like that sorta thing). We were also able to become tourists for a few days while we bounced around town to the various Memorials and touristy sites.

Unfortunately our fun weekend came to a screeching halt when Nanny was rushed to the hospital. She had suffered a stroke some time during the day and lost her speech. Her recovery is going well and we are very hopeful that she will regain everything in the coming weeks.

Cole has managed to be a trooper through all of this. During the Memorial events he spent lots of time with his Maw-Maw and returned easily to his normal routine. On the weekend of our family visit, he stayed up late without a fuss and somehow managed to be pretty good natured during the day. During Nanny's hospital stay and recovery he has been a constant source of smiles and laughter that has been much needed by all.

Thank goodness for children. They give us all a reason to wake up in the morning and smile.

Monday, September 08, 2008

In Remembrance

As you may all know, Craig has been involved in the design and construction of the memorial for the 9/11 terrorist attack at the Pentagon. After 5 years of planning, design, and construction the Memorial is finally opening this week. While it has been lots of hard work, it has truly been a labor of love for Craig. He has formed bonds and relationships with the designers, the family members, and other consultants that I believe he will carry with him for the rest of his life.

The Memorial itself is a beautiful place. One cannot help but feel (and show) emotion as you step across the zero age line and run into the first bench, that of 3 year-old Dana Falkenberg. As Cole and I visited the site last night with Craig, a sneak peek offered to family members prior to the Memorial's "real" opening on the 11th, they were testing the audio system. A Norah Jones song played across the "park", slow and mournful. I crossed the zero age line and stopped. A swell of emotion hit me. I couldn't look at Craig, he would surely make fun of the tears in my eyes. It is the most awesome, and the most awful place all at the same time.

I encourage you all to visit it, particularly at night, when you just can't help but feel the site's intensity and the love that is present there.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Labor Day

We didn't spend Labor Day, or the weekend associated with it, working at all. Instead we headed up to Pittsburgh, PA where we spent a fantastic weekend of friends, fun and kicking back. Cole was thrilled about the wide, open space to run and roll down the hills, the dogs, the cats, the horses, the boat and so much more. On the way there he couldn't' tell us enough about the "Big Hills"...aka Mountains...that were all around us. He was also sure to point out all the castles on the way (usually churches).

Cole also bonded with our close friends Scott, Allison, Jenn and Shawn...which gave me a little time to relax. Relaxation was a key this weekend. We spent our Saturday out on the river boating and attempting a little tubing, water skiing and knee boarding. I was quite surprised at the hubby's athletic ability when he got up on the water skis his first try and awed us with his abilities on the knee board. In the evenings, Shawn lit a wonderful fire for us to roast marshmallows and to make mountain pies (I recommend peanut butter, banana and chocolate...just don't do it on a full stomach!). All in all....it was a fantastic weekend. I can't wait till next year!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Terrible Two's make for a Terrible Mom

They have finally hit and all I can say is "wow". My little angel is an angel no more. I was really looking forward to spending the weekend with Cole after a long, hard week at work and now that it's Monday morning I am sad to report that I am GLAD that I am here...and not there. I am a bad mother. I know this was bound to happen but just like motherhood, no one can prepare you for toddlerhood!
The thing is that I still don't think he's THAT bad...I just can't hack any of it...not even one iota. We were on one of our many errands yesterday and he demanded gum (for the 3rd time that day). Now don't think bad of me yet, I am doing the responsible thing and at least giving him sugarless gum but come on...not 3 times a day...the answer was "no". This is sure to elicit a screaming, fit-throwing tantrum out of any toddler and lucky me it was in the middle of the fabric store. Not Target...not Walmart...where any number of children are screaming for one thing or another... but at least in one of those stores you are able to duck down an aisle to reprimand your misbehaving child...but right there in the middle aisle of the fabric store for all to see. I simply had to smile, while thinking, "Yes this is my toddler screaming, "GUM...MOMMY I WANT GUM" at the top of his lungs. While also thinking to myself, "Oh great...now they not only think I am a bad mother because I don't know how to control my child but I also give a 2 year-old gum!"

Monday, August 11, 2008

More beach pix


Wow we had fun..even if it wasn't too far from home. While Cole was afraid of the waves, he was into the sand...big time! Here are some shots of our fun.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Mr. Hollywood


Greetings from the Beach! Cole is having a fantastic time rolling around in the sand, chasing the seagulls and spending some good ole time with his family.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Planes, Trains & Autos

Wow what an adventure we had this weekend! We began our fun-filled weekend on Thursday evening with a drive to Yorktown, Va where we would be attending Justin's graduation from the Coast Guard Training Center the following morning. Cole had a wonderful time hanging out with his cousins while swimming in the hotel's pool. The following day was filled with activities at the training center. We are so proud of Justin!

On Saturday, Craig, Cole and I started at Gravelly Point, next to National Airport, and rode our bikes into the City. This was the first time we had taken Cole to Gravelly Point to see the airplanes and boy was it exciting. I used to go there a lot as a child and it is still an excited place to watch the planes landing at the airport (they are RIGHT over your head!). Our ride into the City was fun too. Cole saw 2 helicopters and wanted to see more. We stopped at the WWII memorial to dip our feet, had ice cream on the mall and then headed home to cool down and have dinner.

On Sunday, we visited our friends, Carl (well he was at work), Erin and Ella, that just moved to the area. We took Cole and Ella to a park where there are train rides! It was fun, Cole said.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Back to Basics

So I was going to post a hilarious video clip of Cole singing his favorite song but technology has got the best of me. What good is having a video camera if you can't get the video into a usable form? What mother has hours to spend to convert, edit, etc a video clip in order to share the moments with friends and family? It seems I'll have to stick with the basics...my trusty ole camera (well not that basic, it is digital!).

Onto more basics....our evenings lately have been spent taking bike rides and watching baseball. Cole absolutely loves both! I think he just likes spending time with his dad.

Speaking of...Craig is finally finished with bathroom renovations. Hip hip hooray! We are thrilled to finally have him back into the mix for our weekend activities spent at the park, pool or just hanging out.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Happy 4th of July

Wow, we can't believe that Independence Day has come and gone! We spent the day going to the Fairfax City Parade, watching the Old Fashioned Fireman's Day water battle, attending a BBQ on Keota Street and of course participating in the Annual Parade. The kids also went on with the water gun battle despite the afternoon rain. Cole loved it all and even stayed up for some fireworks.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Proofs

video
here is a sneak peak of more pics we took for cole's 2 year old pix. He looks like he is having so much fun. More of the fun we've been having, when Mommy recovers from strep throat...blah :(

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Yummy

As expected it's been a busy late Spring/Early Summer. We have found some time to enjoy the steamy weather at the pool, spend a weekend in C'ville and just this past weekend we found a few moments to finally take Cole's 2 year-old portraits (finally without boo-boo's on his face). I decided to have a little fun with it this time and present Cole with a gigantic Lollipop. He dug right in and I did too, with the camera. Of all the photos we were able to get, these were the most successful on the bright, sunny day (too bright honestly to capture many good shots...next time we'll only shoot in the shade).

Monday, June 02, 2008

Best pals

I realized a while ago that one of the most prominent figures in Cole's life was missing from his blog! Of course, the biggest reason for that was that we didn't have any photos of Cole and Emmy together :) So on Friday I took advantage of the beautiful weather, the cute outfits, our time at Nanny's, and my new camera lens to grab a shot of the two cuties together. Cole and Emory, while cousins, are more importantly best pals. When we aren't with Emmy on the weekends, all I hear from Cole is something about his friend. Now if Emmy could just stop stealing her friend's "kie-kie"!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

"Mommy Fight..."

"...Daddy go to hockey, " says Cole. I do believe that was his first 4 word phrase! Last night as Craig prepared his hockey gear for his game, Cole went over to his bag and kept repeating a phrase. I had no idea what he was saying until Craig translated..."Mommy Fight". Huh? I was still lost. Then it became clear...he wanted Craig's hockey gloves so that he could chase after me and "fight"! What a silly little boy :)
Cole is as much of a boy as ever. He has 2 skinned knees and a skinned nose and chin to match. Silly me thought I was going to get the opportunity to take his 2 year-old pictures this weekend.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Favorite Things Installment 2

What a May we have had so far! We've celebrated Cole's birthday to no end with cake on Tuesday afternoon, Tuesday evening, Friday night and finally again on Saturday afternoon at a combined birthday party for Cole and his cousin Blake in PA. One of Cole's favorite gifts was a battery-operated bubble blower. Wow can this thing put out some bubbles! 5000 per minute I think it says! Anyway, he loves to chase and pop them and of course with that many bubbles flying around, it leads to one busy toddler :)

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Oh Happy Day

Cole is 2 today! Wow it's so hard to believe that our little ball of joy is now a racing, babbling toddler and that he's been in our lives for 2 years (longer actually!). Cole is spending the day with his maw maw and cousin Emmy. I can't wait to get home from work and give him a big, fat kiss...and a balloon. We're keeping it low key as far as celebrations go but there will be cake for sure. We'll post photos of that soon. For now, here's another from the beach. Cole had so much fun in the icy cold waters of the Outer Banks.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Beachin' It

We've spent the week at the beach celebrating Scott and Allison's wedding and having a little fun on the beach too. We'll write more later but just wanted to say hi to all and share this pic.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Favorite Things

A friend's blog, as well as a photography website that I frequent, gave me the idea of documenting Cole's favorite things. Right now they all seem to start with "B".

Balls, Balloons, Bubbles and Blankie (or "kie kie" as Cole likes to call it).

I thought I'd try to take a photograph of each of them with Cole. Blankie was the most obvious to begin with, since Cole and "kie kie" are inseparable. I was hoping to get a really nice image of Cole holding "kie kie" in his sweet embrace but this will have to do for now.

Monday, April 07, 2008

To the Circus we shall go...

Cole's first Circus experience was a blast! Although a smile never came to his face, his eyes never left the activity on the arena floor. He was particularly enchanted with the tigers as he pointed and practically demanded to be let down to make his way to the cage (Sorry little guy...not gonna happen!).
Grammie also came for a visit. We went Downtown to the National Geographic Museum to see a frog exhibit...how cool! Sunday brought cool, rainy weather so we spent the day indoors watching videos, playing with Cole's new toy (video coming soon) and watching Hockey.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Happy Easter

Despite the fact that Easter was a tad bit early this year, and thus a bit chilly, we spent a wonderful, sunny day at Mommy's Aunt and Uncle's house in Fredericksburg. Mom, Dad and Aunt Tiffy hid over a 100 Easter eggs and then the hunt began! We designated a small person zone so the big kids wouldn't trample the little ones during the hunt. Then the candy eating began! Cole was so hyped up on sugar, he babbled the entire car ride home (normally he would have slept). Cole loved the treats that the Easter Bunny brought. A big plastic bucket for our future summer beach excursions, an Elmo stuffed animal, a Sesame Street video (he soooo loves these right now!) and lots of yummy candy. This year the Easter bunny even brought Mommy a basket :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Jibber Jabber

Cole has turned into one talkative little guy these days. I specifically noticed this past weekend when I rendezvoused with some girlfriends (yes sans baby and hubby) in Texas and called home to say hi. I was speaking to Craig and there was all this raucous in the background. I figured he had visitors. As it turns out, it was our Jibber jabbering toddler! Wow! Dazed with the normal business of everyday, I can say that there are a lot of things that go unnoticed and just how much he is now speaking was one of the things that had escaped me. It’s so amazing to hear him actually speak words (now granted he probably knows and says about 10 x as many as I can give him credit for). I hear that some time soon I will be sorry for “wishing” for more words, but for now I’m simply amazed.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Hot Rod

 
Posted by Picasa

Demo continues...

 With Craig in the middle of our bathroom demolition, Cole and I have been spending lots of time AWAY from the house. One thing that Cole likes to do is to go to Nanny's house and play with her birds. This photo is of Cole and Sunny but Nanny also has 5 baby Cockatiels right now. They're ugly and cute all at the same time!
We also took a metro ride to Pentagon City this past weekend (a favorite of Cole's...the metro ride that is) and we went to Toys R Us to check out the new toys. All in all it was a quiet weekend spent recovering from pink eye (yes...the adults avoided it!).

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

One colorful week...

Wow what a weekend! First Grandma and Pap came down from PA for a visit. On Saturday evening, we threw a surprise 30th Birthday party for Aunt Tiffy. Cole spent the evening charming the adults and going up and down and down and up the carpeted stairs (and shutting the door again and again..his new favorite hobby). On Sunday, Cole met our friends Jimmie and Kristen from North Carolina, up for a baby-free weekend of fun.
The spectacular weather on Monday (high of 67!) sent us outdoor seeking some fun. We went to the playground then headed into Old Town for the President's Day parade. The weather began to change mid-day and we were forced to run home while it drizzled...Mom was soaked by the time we got there. Although the weather had made a change (but still nice) some new friends invited us over for an impromptu BBQ...yummo! When Cole and Oliver (Cole's new Stroller Strides pal) disappeared into another room....and were wayyyy too quiet...Craig and Tony discovered that they had found the markers and were eating them! That was fun to clean up (Cole chose the green one). It was a great addition to the purple bruise on his forehead from his very first ever fall down the steps earlier in the day (Yes, he's okay). Last but not least we have to add pink to the mix....that is PINK eye. Yes...but noooo! The doctor confirmed it this afternoon. So far it's been a healthy winter...I guess we couldn't keep a perfect record.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Our very Hungry Caterpillar

On Sunday, Cole ate…..

One cup of milk
Snack trap of fruity cheerios
One bowl of oatmeal
One coconut cupcake
One bowl of chicken noodle soup
2 marshmallows
One lollipop
Handful of craisins
Several pretzel fishy crackers
One apple with peanut butter
6 pieces of cantaloupe (okay I didn’t count!)
Many pieces of shredded Chicken
Another cup of milk…

Phew!

As I was reading Cole the real Hungry Caterpillar yesterday, he made me laugh as he tried to eat the book. He wanted the lollipop on that page and was going to go to any length to get it! We then proceeded downstairs, where he ate an entire apple by himself (he never ever ever does that!)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Rub-a-dub-dub

...three boys in a tub! We made a trip up to York to visit Dave, Amy and the boys this weekend (and the girl in utero!). With each trip, Cole seems to enjoy playing with his cousins even more. Its lots of fun to watch them be crazy with one another. I think most of all Cole enjoys the indoor space to run around (and all the toys). It makes me sad that he doesn't have that same luxury at home....oh maybe some day!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Boys and their Trucks

By the title of the latest installment of "Little Man" you might have thought that Cole got a nice, new Tonka truck but instead its Daddy that got the new toy! It was difficult for Craig to part with the green Cavalier of his youth (yes we're getting old!) but he finally did it! Craig is a big boy now...or has he regressed? Either way I think Cole and Dad are going to have some good ole' times in this blazing red beauty...Mom might even have some fun times in it too ;)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Testing 1...2...3

video
So one of our big Holiday gifts was a video camera. Craig and I had decided we were much more of the still picture type but I've always been a little envious of friends and the video they have of their kids. Well...never fear...Pap steps in and gives us a way too generous gift. Not just any video camera but the mega of them all...complete with its own hard-drive. So now all I have to do is figure out how to use the thing, transfer the video to the computer, edit it, post it, archive it...phew. I'm exhausted just thinking about all of it. So whether we use it weekly, monthly or heck yearly, we'll have some cute clips of the Little Man.

Here's my first attempt...Cole bath time. He just learned to blink this week and still one of my favs...his version of "moooooooom".

Enjoy!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Christmas Morning

I was so proud of our little man for standing tall for this Christmas morning photo...such a big boy! Now that the holiday season is over with we are happy to have some time to rest and relax (as much as any almost 20 month-old will allow). Santa was very good to all of us and even required us to leave some gifts in PA b/c they were too big to fit in the car! Thanks to Grandma and Pap for that one...yes, yes we know it was on the list!
We're looking forward to our next "projects"...truck shopping for Daddy (he finally is going to get something to replace his 10+ year old high school vehicle) and remodeling the bathroom (ugh!).
Cole is busy working on speech these days. He mumbles a ton, but i still can't understand much. Craig is dictating that bath time pick up by me is preceded by a request from Cole of "Muuuuuuum". It's really cool to hear. I've never thought much about how hard that probably is to say...much more difficult than "ma ma".