Friday, December 29, 2006


Despite the poor lighting, and the toy explosion in our family room I could not resist posting this video of Claire.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

9 months old!

Yes, we're still just as far behind as ever. At least I have good intentions.

C'mon, Mom - enough with the excuses already. Get the blog caught up. Everyone just wants to see more pictures of me! I mean just look at me, wouldn't you want more of this adorableness?

And this month shall henceforth be known as the month of many pumpkins.

We had not one, not two, but three trips to pumpkin patches. Mostly just to keep your big sister's sanity intact. We went to pick out our own pumpkins first, then we had a visit with friends to play on the slides, climb hay bales, drink cider, and take more pictures of you looking as cute as can be next to the giant orange pumpkins. Lastly we went with Claire's school on an extremely cold and bitter day. There were lots of things to do, but it was so dang cold we wound up leaving early. But Claire got a free pumpkin! And that's all that really matters.

In between all of our pumpkin patch visits we managed to fit in a few other things. Like Aunt Renita's surprise birthday party at the lake. Or as Claire would say, "LAAAAAAAAAAAKE!" You got a chance to visit with aunts, uncles, and cousins galore. The weather was a little colder than expected, but everyone had a great time. Lili and Claire spent a lot of time playing, following each other around, and just generally having fun. She thought you were pretty cool, too. Especially now that you can sit up on your own. Much more exciting than at camp when you kept toppling over.

Look, we even managed to get a picture where Nonni was looking at the camera, and not at the adorable grandkids in her lap. And everyone is smiling, too!

We also went to another football game. Hokie football is always a good time, and despite having a rather horrific cold, you were a real trooper. Look, you couldn't even take your eyes off the game to look at the camera - it was just that much fun

You are learning so much, so quickly now. You will eat almost anything that you are given (though the baby food with spinach in it is not a big hit). You love to roll all over the floor to get to what you want. I'm not sure that you will crawl since you have become quite adept at scooching and rolling to move everywhere that you really want to go.

One of my favorite things right now happens when I am nursing you. If I look down at you while you are eating, you are almost always looking at my face. You will give me the biggest smile, and raise your eyebrows. It never fails to bring a matching smile to my face. I think that this is your very own silent version of the Joey Tribbiani, "How you doin'?" - watch out ladies! The charm is irresistible.

In the last nine months you have brought us so many moments of indescribable joy. You are the perfect addition to our family. We love you so very much, Ben!


Christmas in Review

Christmas was wonderful. The weekend went by much too quickly, and we were trying to spend time with a lot of different people. We survived, despite Ben being sickish. The doctor says a stomach virus combined with a new molar coming in. It meant not a lot of sleep for him or me, and a fairly clingy baby, but he still had many moments full of smiles and joy.

Despite the fact that I was too frazzled to remember my camera (no camera on Ben's first Christmas - BAD mommy), lots of other family members took pictures, so once I get ahold of more of those I will post some here.

We spent Saturday afternoon/evening with Brian's extended family. Ben got to meet one of his great-aunts and cousins for the first time, which was fun. Both kids had a lot of fun being spoiled. From there we headed to my parents' house where the rest of my siblings had already gathered. Since Claire was still very hyper we let her stay up for a little while. When it was time for bed she was willing to give hugs and kisses to everyone except Uncle Jon. But when it was time to say prayers he was the only one who got a special mention in the prayers.

Sunday we had a very yummy breakfast, followed by much loafing. The highlight of the weekend? My mom told Claire to ask Uncle David to go down to the basement and get the nativity so we could put it out. I didn't hear what Claire said to David, or what his smartass reply was, but then she turned to me and said, "Mommy, Uncle David doesn't like Baby Jesus." That one got a lot of laughs from everyone. And he promptly headed to the basement to get the box. Claire tried to fit everyone - camels, kings, shepherds - everyone in the stable. She said it was very windy outside. After the Redskins game and the kids' naps we opened piles of presents, and then had a delicious dinner and dessert.

Christmas morning meant Santa!!! The stockings were full of all kinds of treats. Apparently Santa thought I needed to be cleaner as I got three different kinds of nice-smelling soap in my stocking. We had another scrumptious breakfast, and then it was time to pack up and head to our next (and final stop). As soon as we arrived at Don and Cindy's house Brian took over the cooking, much to Cindy's relief. We ate a tasty dinner, and then opened even more presents! After presents we had dessert and coffee and chit-chatted. After Ben had a "diaper explosion" and then fell asleep on Cindy we decided it was time to head for home. Home sweet home. It only took Brian 13 trips to unload all of the goodies in the car.

Our kids made out like the little bandits that they are. We came home with 43 new books! Actually, two are repeats of books that we already have, but those will just become ones for traveling or that we will keep in a different location in the house. Now I have a lot of organizing to do. How to divide the books between the basement, main floor, and bedrooms, how to organize them in those spaces, where to keep the toys that Claire got that are best played with when Ben is not helping, and which old toys to weed out to make room for the new ones. Any advice?

I hope that everyone else had as wonderful and blessed a Christmas as we did!

Saturday, December 16, 2006


Claire is currently playing with her Little People - which includes the Little People Nativity set.

"let's go, guys"
"let's go to the punkin patch - see the punkins"
as one of the three kings drives the elephant away in the zookeepers truck

Other notable and cute things observed while she plays with these toys:

1. She thinks because Jesus' mom is named Mary, and the nativity set comes with lambs, that it is about the Mary from Mary had a Little Lamb, so she sings that a lot

2. She had the sheepdog pulling her Diego sled, and the camel from the three kings riding on the sled. Apparently Diego found him lost in the snow and was taking him home.

3. She likes to make all of the animals (including some of her stuffed animals) drink out of her "wishing well with WATER in it".

4. I love watching her imagination and trying to follow her logic. The mind of a child is really amazing.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Happy Birthday!

Yesterday was Brian's birthday. We had a weekend filled with festivities to celebrate. Dinner out on Friday, decorating for Christmas on Saturday and a visit from friends, brunch with my family on Sunday, followed by dinner with his family. All in all it was a good time.

Nearly ten years ago I talked Brian into coming to visit me at college in Maine by promising him home-cooked food. Several days into our visit I think that both of us knew. Knew that we would eventually get married, and build a family together.

We've come a long way in the last 9 plus years. We've had our highs and lows. We have accomplished so much more together than we ever could have separately, including being blessed with two beautiful children. I hope that this year brings many more wonderful things.

Happy Birthday, Brian - I love you!