Saturday, November 17, 2012

So it's been a while

wow so much has happened since the last I wrote. I've a million times over whether this should be the end of the blog.  Do I need to write about our lives?  Is Facebook enough? The truth is that I haven't even been FBing that much!  I think I'm just trying to be present and somehow writing takes away from that?  I know others NEED to write to digest their lives.  For me it almost seems to distract me. It gives me an enormous guilt trip, if I haven't done it. So I've just let go for the last few months.  However, in my usual fashion I eventually break down, revisit the idea and in the end decide that I like to look back at the blog. It helps me to remember the little things.  Today I needed to look back while writing an entry in Cole's most recent photo album.  What did we do last winter?  I have the photographs but was there anything that I didn't pick up the camera for?  So I am.  Months later, trips later, the start of a school year later!

First grade is going great for Cole. His teacher, Mrs. Bekenstein loves him and we like her too!  She is the mom of three, so she just gets it!  There is less homework and a whole lot less pressure on Cole. He is doing well there and is reading like a champ. We practice his words of the week spelling bee style.  It's fun to have a little one in school.  Cole lost his first tooth and also visited the ER for the first time (took a fall and resulted in 3 stiches) all in the same week.  We are gearing up for the upcoming Holidays and of course, the boys are super excited!

Brooksie turned 3 last month! Wow has time flown. He is such a big boy these days. Today he refused to use a sippy cup, he wanted a big boy cup instead. How could I refuse him?  He is acting so much like a big boy these days. He didn't like the idea of using the potty very much at first so we gave it a break for a week or two.  When we revisited, he took on the project like a champ and has been dry ever since.  We are keeping our fingers crossed that the night time string of dry diapers really does mean no more diapers.  Its funny to me that there seems to be a switch inside of kids that as it changes from 2 to 3 an independence button is clicked on.  Brooks no longer wants help with many of the things that he used to rely on me for.  "by myself" has become his personal motto :)  I'm okay with long as I still get to read books to him each night and he still wants me to sing him the ABC's before bed :)

Friday, September 07, 2012

This week...

Potty training and much praise from teachers... Read our headlines from today :)

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Back to school

Wow...a summer gone! Cole proudly moved on to another year of school and never looked back this morning. When asked about his day in the afternoon he said he loved it! The best part? Recess! Figures :). Mostly due to the fact that he was able to play with kids from last years class. Me? I felt like I needed to throw up all day! Can't figure out if it's because I miss him so much or I just hate change...regardless... Onward we go!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

One Fab Weekend

It's been a busy summer and we're still trying to make the best of it! Last weekend we headed to J-town to take Cole and Brooks to Idlewild, an amusement park not far from there. Just days before, Cole got to go there and Hershey Park, where he rode his very first roller coasters. I hear that he said "Awesome" as he got off!  This from the little boy that up till that moment was deathly afraid of most rides :) My Little Man is growing up.  So anyway, we took the boys to Idlewild with Scott, Allison and Quinn.  What a fun day!  The rides are geared toward young kids and were even fun for the adults.  We also got to visit the 9/11 Memorial in Shanksville, PA on our way home. I'm amazed that in the past 10 years we haven't made it there. It's beautiful. A totally different experience than the other 9/11 Memorials. Quiet...reflective and of course, a tear jerker. 

This past weekend we started our Saturday with a trip to Hollin Farms in Delaplane, VA to pick peaches. We also picked raspberries and blackberries. It was a hot, sweaty but delicious experience.  We picked some of the largest (big as grapefruits) peaches I have even seen.  After our furit picking, we headed over to Mac and Margie's for a family BBQ and pool party. The boys played to their heart's content in the water and mom and dad had fun too.

On Sunday, the boys and I were baptized. This is something that has haunted me for my entire life and I feel an amazing sense of relief to finally check it off my life list. While I totally respect my parents for not choosing to baptize me as a child, it has also been a source of distress for me as an adult. I didn't want my boys to ever feel that way. We have made a church home of a local Methodist Church and I absolutely love their services. Craig is often skeptical but coming from a Catholic past, I guess I understand.  This is no Catholic mass :)  It is uplifting and fun and best of all I understand the scripture...most of the time.

Overall this was one of my favorite weekends we've had in a long time. Good, quality family time and not spending a lot of kinda fun!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Beach Beauties

not the bathing suit kind but the more adorable type...two handsome little boys as sand rakers for Pap and Susan's wedding. My heart swells with love for them as I think back to how cute they were (and are!).  Great job guys...I really do think we should hire you out!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Bittersweet Endings

Summer vacation is here!!!  Best of all this means we have a first grader :)  We are so proud of you, Cole Harper. To celebrate we attended Herndon Live on Friday night. This is the fourth week in a row that we have been on Friday night to watch the live music in downtown Herndon. I LOVE doing this with the boys. It gives us a chance to slow down and spend some time with them.  We also rewarded Cole with a snowcone machine, which has proven to be a lot of fun. 

We're now into the swing of planning for a big wedding! So happy for the upcoming nuptials of Pap and Susan!

Monday, June 11, 2012


The spring has slipped by us which means that summer is upon us! There are 4 days of school left. I can't believe Cole is nearly finished with Kindergarten. Last Friday Cole's class performed a collection of patriotic songs. The Kindergarteners were adorable beyond words. Mrs. Sheaffer was choked up at the end and joked that all our children actually failed this year and would be repeating Kindergarten next year . A ploy to not give them up to the 1st grade :). Cole is super excited to move on to the first grade but not before we have a super fun summer. The pressure is on mom! I am hoping to have play dates galore, movies, pool time, and maybe a few secrets up my sleeves too!

Brooks is anxiously awaiting his brother's return to our daily routine. His vocabulary continues to expand . My favorite words he has spoken lately are "because" and " I don't know", because they make me giggle coming from a 2 year old. He is as rambunctious as ever, tackling without notice and taking prisoners at every chance. Brooks is also my shopping companion and dress advisor :). As much as I love spending time with him, it will be nice to have Cole at home to keep him busy.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Six years

Cole, I don't know why your birthday is always a time to reflect and look back on the past year, but it always is. You've grown so much this year, physically and figuratively. You are smart, independent, sweet, caring, inquisitive, and so many more things. You are a better big brother than I ever could have imagined. You are a candy-a-holic! You love video games and watching DVD's of Scooby Doo, Tom and Jerry and Dr. Seuss stories. You are a picky eater but you love carrots dipped in ranch dressing and salad of all things. You read part of a Dr. Seuss story to me at bedtime tonight and although some told me you would be reading by the end of Kindergarten, I guess I never believed it. The experience brought tears to my eyes. My baby is reading. I think reading builds your confidence and writing is challenging for you. Those small motor skills in your fingers just won't cooperate. I wish you liked writing and drawing more, maybe then writing would get easier for you. Until then we'll keep writing in your journal. Your birthday party this year was a Sunday celebration on your actual birthday filled with friends, some family, a moonbounce, all the candy a little boy could dream of and a 6 layer rainbow cake. I had a blast planning it for you and you are still talking about the best birthday party ever 2 weeks later. It's so easy to want to do these things for you because you are such a sweet little boy. Love you bunches!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Happy Easter

My cutie patooties this year complete with "pizza" hats, or Bagel hats as Brooks calls them :)

Happy Cherry Blossoms

Okay so I am lot late on my post but better late than never. Not only have the Cherry Blossoms come and gone but so have the daffodils, the tulips and the dogwood blooms are nearly off the tree as well. We've had a great spring with much welcomed warmer weather. This time of year always rejuvenates me, which only means I NEVER get to sit down! The garden seeds have been sown. They are well on their way and in the next week or two I'll plant them. We are hoping to have a bigger, better garden this year. I purchased a ton of sunflower seeds and I am really hoping that they grow. How amazing would that be in our backyard? Plans are underway for Cole's 6th birthday party. We are doing a candy theme with a moonbounce. So fun! There is even more fun to be had prior to the big birthday party. We're headed to New York city with the boys tomorrow! More details to come upon our return!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

March Madness

...unfortunately not speaking of the b-ball type...just our life right now, or mine at least. I am hoping I am making things as fun as possible for the kids...and as normal as possible. Ya see, mom is having housing issues again and as usual, this is a problem for all of us. As the house with the most space, it would seem natural for her to be here but that is not easy either. These are issues for another blog on another day...this is a happy place to talk about my boys; not my mother.

So you are getting big! I say that each and every time, but its true! You and I have had one heck of a winter with stomach bugs but you seem to take it all in stride and are the star getting me through the tough times right now. I love to hear you talk. I love having CONVERSATIONS with you! I love sitting with you at lunch. It's nearly as good as having lunch with a girlfriend! We ate at the Corner Bakery together this week and not only did we talk and eat together but we were having fun doing it. I wouldn't have traded it for the world. You proudly climbed the big kid play structure at the gym this week while I looked on and were so happy for me to see you do it. Your little personality is shining through in everything you do. This morning Cole and I had to wake you. You weren't surprised at all when we walked in, you jumped up in bed and surprised us! It is hard to describe how funny you are and how much you are just one more piece in our family's puzzle.

Cole is making amazing strides in Kindergarten. I am so proud of your READING abilities. I love to hear you read books, signs, magazines, anything out loud! Your class has also begun to tackle math and you have a natural talent with numbers. We are keeping a journal that we write in each night. I love to look at the progress you have made in a few short months. I am looking forward to spending next week with you...its Spring Break, and Brooks and I get to spend all day, every day with you. Even after three-quarters of the school year gone, we still miss you during the day and look forward to spending more time with you.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Forgotten February?

Yep February came...and it went. It didn't go unnoticed. Winter was here...mild, but here. School happened. Brooks and I hung out and did our usual routine: gym, lunch, nap, get Cole. There was a playdate or two thrown in there. Craig and I spent the month awaiting our passport renewals so we could plan a 10th Anniversary trip away. By Valentine's day, they were here and our trip was booked. Our trip to Jamaica was fantastic! It was wonderful to spend time with my sweetie. Our boys made it way too easy to leave. As much fun as our bigger adventures may be, it is our ordiinary days that I love more than anything. On Friday there was a Dr. Seuss inspired Read-in at Cole's school. He insisted on wearing his Dr. Seuss hat, bowtie and gloves. His teacher pulled me aside at dismissal and said the teachers were tickled at his cuteness all day. He's such a silly guy...and insisted on wearing the same get up today to the St. Patty's day parade. Brooks sends me into a laughing fit daily with some action or phrase. I'd say the funniest thing for today is him yelling out the door "Cole Harper!!!!" I mean really....when did he learn his brother's full name? and when did he begin to yell it just like I do? LOL!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Spring has sprung?

Not really...but I can dream! Actually it has been a rather mild winter so far, with the high reaching 60 today. Even with the higher temps, we've had a low key month. I have been entertained with brooksie's ever increasing vocabulary and Coles amazing ability to read simple books. One of the highlights of my month is that Cole has finally decided to master nighttime potty training! It has taken a while but what a glorious triumph now that we are there! There have been so many blogtastic moments this month, I am saddened that I have been too lazy to write about them. On the same note, it has been a very somber, reflective month. One that for some reason leaves me very thankful for my family, my friends and for the life that I have. Nothing bad has happened to me per say, just things around me...joepa's passing, a friend of a friend's hubby dying from cancer, nanny having yet another heart procedure, learning that life can be unfair even to people we love so much. Why do bad things happen to good people?

Of Kie-Kies and Lovies: love at first nite-nite

I had a conversation with Cole this week about the blanket that he carried as a baby, the same one he still sleeps with today. we talked about where it came from and how it was his uncle Justin's when he was a little boy. Cole nodded his head and proudly announced that he didn't need kie kie to sleep with him at night anymore. Fast forward a few days to 230 am this morning when a very upset 5 year old enters our bedroom, crying that he cannot find kie kie. Make up your mind kiddo!

Both of my boys have had a comfort item. That thing that they just had to have to play, to eat, to sleep. I remember lugging around Cole's blanket when he was young and being a little disgruntled that everywhere we went kie-kie came too. Wasn't it enough that I had to carry a bag big enough to fit a small child filled with all the necessary items for a baby, 2 jackets, but also a blanket ta boot? We never lost kie-kie, I was too afraid of the consequences, but we left him in familiar places plenty. Thankfully he was always retrievable.

When Brooks became attached to a small piece of fabric also known as a burp cloth, that was okay with me. It was small and most of all replaceable if lost! It was easy to clean and of course, it gave him comfort. What is it about these things that seem to replace us parents at times? I know I am thankful for them. Not only do they provide peace in our house, at least when we can find them, but they are wonderful keepsakes for my boys.