Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Time for a photo dump!  The kids have been awfully cute lately...

First, Easter.  I know, it was THREE weeks ago!  But I've been busy, alright?  Sheesh!

We didn't get any pictures of Dashiell coloring Easter eggs this year, but Rick managed to grab a few funny post-coloring shots:

BAHahaha!  I love the expression on D's face!

On Easter day we got semi-dressed up and headed over to Auntie Sue and Uncle Tony's house for dinner with the fam.  It was nearly impossible to get any good pictures, but these ones aren't bad:

This next picture was taken the week before D's mustache bash - you can see why he was inspired by the awesomeness of the 'stache:

I bought Aurelia these funny pink plaid pants at a consignment store and was trying to get a picture of her in them with her pink fuzzy sweater.  It's a look that only works for 1-year-olds and elderly ladies in nursing homes:

A few weeks ago Dashiell was trying to draw a person with a body big enough to include the digestive system.  He started drawing this picture and decided he didn't like it before it was finished.  Rick and I, however, love it. 
The arms in a little shrug?  Awesome.

Dashiell got a lot of cool things for his birthday.  Here he is taking a picture of the rocks he dug out of his rock excavation kit:

Here he's painting the birdhouse he built:

And probably the most fun gift is the SCOOTER that his grandparent's bought him!  Wow!

When Aurelia saw the scooter she TOTALLY wanted to ride it too.  Nudged D out of the way, grabbed the handles, and tried to step on it.  Then she sat right down on it.  I'm thinking next summer she might be able to handle her own three or four wheeled scooter.  Dashiell's is a 2-wheeler - oooh!!

Speaking of Aurelia, here are some random cute photos of our favorite girl! 

Enjoying some hummus:

 Climbing on the ottoman:

Saying "cheese!"

And playing peek-a-boo in her kitchen:

We went to a small carnival near our house this weekend, and D had fun on some of the smaller rides.  He loved the bouncy slide, and the woman who was running it was nice enough to let him go down it about 15 times.  I was able to catch one marginally okay photo:

He also dug the "loony airport" since he could "fly" in a plane:

There were also a couple of funhouses that he liked and the BIG slide that he went on with Rick (no good pictures, sorry).

While Auntie E was in town this past week we celebrated her birthday, which is coming up in a few weeks.  Of course Dashiell had to be part of the candle blowing:

This photo for some reason didn't make it into my previous post about Boston.  It's Elizabeth and Aurelia in surprisingly similar poses walking through the Public Garden.  Pretty dang cute if you zoom in...

And finally, this weekend we were able to spend a little time playing in the back yard.  I kind of love this picture of my two kiddos hanging out in Dashiell's "treehouse slide" (which, btw, is WAY too small for Dashiell, but he's not ready to admit that yet!):

My cutie pies!

A couple of developmental notes:  Dashiell grew 3 inches last year.  3 inches!!  No wonder he went from a 4T to a 6 in such a short period of time!  And he is happy to report that he will not be getting any more shots until he is 11 - that's more than twice his current age!  Yay!

Aurelia also grew a lot - 2.5 inches in 3 months, so she's now in the 90th percentile for height, just like her bro.  She's also REALLY working on talking.  She seems to speak in full sentences, but unfortunately its in a language no one else can understand.  We can kind of make out "thank you", "what's that?", and "cheese!".  But usually it seriously sounds like she's holding a conversation with us - even our pediatrician commented on it.  It's super cute, but I can only imagine how frustrating it must be for her!  And yes we have tried signing with her, but she wants none of it.  My little stubborn girl! :)

Whew, I think we're caught up now!  I swear I used to be good at keeping this blog updated!  Have a good week, everyone!

Dashiell's Birthday Weekend!

Time to finally post about Dashiell's awesome birthday weekend!

This year for Dashiell's birthday we gave him the option of either having a party with his friends or going to Build-a-Bear with just one friend.  D has been wanting to go to B-a-B again for MONTHS, so without hesitation he chose that!  And to make sure that is what he wanted, I asked him MANY TIMES before making plans.  Many times.  I did mention that we'd still have a small party for family, but he would only be able to invite ONE friend to Build-a-Bear.  One.  So of course the week before - after already solidifying plans with the parents of the friend he chose to go to Build-a-Bear with - he changed his mind.  And was SOOOO upset that he wouldn't get a party with his friends.  But, sorry buddy, it was too late.  So to pacify the situation, I asked him if he wanted a "mustache" themed party for the family affair (he was highly amused by the fake mustaches that Uncle David had brought to a previous family gathering and had asked him to bring MORE of them to his birthday party).  This made him feel slightly better, and we were able to go to Build-a-Bear with his friend Sophie without any hint of sadness!

Choosing his "bear", a My Little Pony named "Rainbow Dash".  
Sophie LOVES MLP, which I'm pretty sure influenced Dashiell's animal choice...

Making sure Rainbow Dash is the proper squishiness

Preparing to put his wish in the Pony

"Cleaning" the ponies post-stuffing

After B-a-B we met up with the rest of Sophie's family for dinner at the Border Cafe (yum!) and made a quick run over to the Barnes and Noble before bed.  It was a fun day!  And can I mention how cute it was to hear Dashiell and Sophie having a conversation in the back of the car when we were driving to the mall?  So cute.  I wish I could drive the two of them someplace every day!

The next day was the "mustache party" with the extended family.  With less than a week to plan the decorations, I think I did okay!

Mustache cake!  Surprisingly easy to make, just don't look on the top side of the 'stache, which is devoid of frosting...

Mustache themed "Happy Birthday" banner.  It's still hanging in our living room today, 2+ weeks after the party...

 Mustache balloons, and a big 5!  Yay!
  Checking out the mustache cake and blowing out the candles!

 'Reelsy looking all cute at the party in her leopard print

It was a good party, and a fun weekend.  It was fun figuring out the mustache theme (did you know mustaches are a "thing" now?), and I'm glad D got to spend quality time with the people he loves!  All weekend, no less!

On a side note, it turns out there is a subset of "hipster" guys who are My Little Pony fans, aptly named "Bronies".  So I guess my son is now a Brony.  Add to that the mustache party, AND his awesome name - he is now officially cooler than his parents, at the tender age of five.

Reflections on the past week

I have a million other things to post about right now, and will hopefully get to some of them by the end of the day, but I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the bombings that happened in Boston last week.  I should preface this by saying that I am so grateful that everyone I know was safe from harm.  I am saddened for the families that are dealing with the loss of their loved ones, and for those people who have a long road of rehabilitation ahead of them.  Their suffering trumps any anxiety I have experienced around this, no doubt.

That being said, it was a tough week to be a parent.  Not because of anything the kiddos were doing - if anything I appreciated their quirks and craziness a little more than usual.  But because the whole time the bombings and subsequent manhunt were playing out, I had to work to shield them (mostly Dashiell) from the horrors of what was happening.  I had to act like everything was normal, when in reality there were people suffering and scared just 33 miles away from our house.  People I could easily know or at least have had contact with.  Parts of the city that I have been to were crime scenes.  And there were men who wanted to hurt as many people as they could roaming free for days after it happened. 

I heard about the bombings while bringing the kids to a nearby park for a playdate.  I had very few details, only the radio report that there were two explosions at the marathon finish line.  When we got to the park, everyone else was oblivious.  But you could see it on the faces of the parents as soon as they heard the news.  That glimmer of awareness and shock that something like that could happen so close by, followed by the whispers to other parents, followed by the "everything is fine" mask that we all wore when our kids were watching us.  I know all I wanted to do was rush home and watch the news, but there was no way I could let Dashiell see what was happening, and Aurelia didn't need to have those images on auto-loop in her brain, either.  Then thinking about everyone I know who could possibly be there - it was tough to hold it together and not openly freak out, I'll be honest.

Obliviously playing in the sand the afternoon of the Marathon.  
If only we could all be so lucky.

However, I am thankful that my kids gave me an excuse to NOT watch the news obsessively.  They were a blessed distraction.  And they gave me something else to think about while the world was trying to figure out who on earth could do something so awful.

Two days after the bombings, spending time with Uncle Danny and Aunt Elizabeth at Stone Zoo.

Thankfully the manhunt is over, and Boston is beginning to heal.  We spent Sunday with Rick's family at the Public Garden, visiting the Make Way for Ducklings statues and enjoying the beauty of the city.

I may not live in Boston, but the city is what drew me out here over 15 years ago, and the people I've met have kept me here (happily!).  I am proud of the people here who jumped at the chance to help those who needed it, and of the law enforcement officials who worked so hard to put an end to this saga.  There are truly good people in the world, and this week was a reminder that they - the good people - outnumber the bad.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Portrait of an attempt to get a good picture of a one-year-old...

I tried.  She looked so cute in one of Dashiell's fire hats that I followed her around for 5 minutes trying to get a picture (this is about a third of the pictures I took).  Girl moves too fast!

That being said, it's nearly as difficult to get a good picture of a 5-year-old:


My Big 5-year-old!

Dashiell is 5 today.  It doesn't seem possible, but he is 5.  FIVE.  That's the big time.  Next year he'll have to use a separate hand to show how old he is.  Wow.  Five.

Dashiell, you are one of the most amazing kids I know.  You are so kind to everyone, and you love your sister so much that it makes my heart swell seeing you with her.  I LOVE the shear number of times you tell me you love me every day.  EVERY day.  Because I love you that much too.

You treat the world like it's one big science experiment, and it always amazes me to see what ideas and experiments you come up with.  Sometimes it's not always good ("what will happen if I move the ottoman while Aurelia is leaning on it?") and sometimes I just wonder exactly why you want to show me the things you're showing me ("look at this! If I gargle my milk it spills on my shirt!"), but I love that you always want to share what's going on in that head of yours.  I know that soon enough it won't be that easy to tell what you're thinking!

You are your own person, and always have been.  You live in your own world, and you hardly ever follow the pack.  You have a path that you're on, and no one is going to convince you to take another one.  Often you concentrate so hard on whatever it is that you're working on that you don't seem to even notice anyone else is around! 

You are so sensitive, and while it breaks my heart to see you sad about anything, I hope you are able to hold on to that trait.  It makes you a caring, sweet friend, someone who others feel lucky to know.

Next year is going to bring some big changes, I know, but I also know that you are up for the challenge.  You are my smart, funny, loving, amazing little boy, and I love you more than you'll ever know.  Happy birthday, sweet Mr. D!  I can't wait to see what the next year brings us!