Friday, October 2, 2015

Bike Riding

In August Nolan woke up one day and said he wanted to take his training wheels off and learn to ride on two wheels.  Uhhh... ok!  So we geared up, consulted Facebook for ideas and headed out to a park with a gentle slope and plenty of grass.
 I also geared up with my running shoes, tons of water and a positive attitude.  This boy was EXCITED!
 And then... he was off.  On his first 'try' he rode for about 45 seconds, pedaling and turning and riding on the dirt and the grass then back up the slope to me to go again!  HIS FIRST TRY!  He rode around for at least 45 minutes on the grass.
 Then we moved to flat pavement.  He didn't fall down!  He's amazing.  (he has since fallen, several times and has begun riding his big kid bike!  He's a rock star!) 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

How's Nolan enjoying kindergarten?

oh!  hi!  Here we are again.  So Nolan started kindergarten!  crazy right?  And the kid loves school.  His teachers tell me he's perfect.  The described him as an angel.  And he's thriving in school- drawing pictures and making letters etc.  The trouble is--- he's a complete mess at home every afternoon... except yesterday something magical happened...
 But let me back up... so every day after school Nolan comes home and has a cup of hot cocoa- which I think is adorable and funny that even when it was 95 degrees out, he still wanted a cup of hot cocoa.  He also gets one video.  And then it all just falls apart.  It's a complete disaster.  Then it's kicking and screaming about one thing or another.  He's upset because he wants to watch tv all afternoon.  Because Emily looked at him wrong/was touching his stuff.  Not just upset and whiny, but meltdown and tantrums for 15 minutes!  A few days ago he had a 35 minute tantrum because he got half a box of chocolate covered raisins... he wanted the whole box.   sigh.
 So, we were at a loss.  I felt like I was in an abusive relationship with him - the way he yelled at me, hit me, got mad at tiny things I did.  So we made some changes and recruited some help from his teacher.  Well, that changed things.  At least for yesterday it changed things.
Because yesterday, with the new reward system in place and the discussion with his teacher, something magical happened.  Yesterday we had a nice afternoon.  A REALLY nice afternoon.  He behaved like the boy I knew he could be.  He was happy, friendly, shared with emily, used a nice voice, got upset about a little thing but let it roll off his back (even though my stomach was in knots thinking it was all going to fall apart- it didn't!).  He didn't hit me, yell at me, snarl at me or cry.  And you know what?  I didn't do any of that stuff either.  It was joyful.  It was fun.  He was absolutely lovely.  I was emotional putting him to bed because of just how NICE it was to spend those few hours with him!

So I'm praying for another good day today.  Come on, join in the prayers!  I need all the help I can get!  Fingers crossed we have another lovely night!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

vacationing with kids

This is what it's like.  For real, people

Monday, August 3, 2015


We rode on rides!  Oh did we!
Emily is a bit braver than Nolan was at this age.  Perhaps because Nolan is doing it.   
 So the picture above, this ride WHIPS the kids around the corners.  Nolan loved it last time.  Emily seemed unsure.  She was scared, but then Nolan was laughing so she was ok and laughing because he was.  She went on it a second time, and seemed equally as scared.  But laughing too.

 The same with this giant slide- she wanted to go on it and seemed to love it and went for a second ride but at the time she changed her mind.  I just grabbed her and went anyway.  She seemed less thrilled at the bottom the second time.  
The rides are fun.  It is VERY hot

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Back to Blogging

ok, let me try to get back to blogging!  I feel so delinquent.  Sorry Mom and Paul, the only two people who read this blog (I think).
 So we went on vacation last week.  We spent a lot of time on the beach.  It was lovely.  It was exhausting.  It was patience wearing.  It was a lot of effort.  It was HOT.  But it was vacation!  And we were all together.
 We rented a place in Ocean City NJ, our third time there.  It's a great spot, just a walk to the beach, park the car upon arrival and leave it all week.  We love it there.  The beach is clean, the town is family friendly, the atmosphere is relaxing.  It was a good trip, truly.  
 We were sad to see the ice cream shop that was 1/2 block away closed which meant we had to walk a few blocks (waaahhh, first-world-problems).  Otherwise the town seemed just as we left it, even some lifeguards were the same as last year- ooh lala.  
 On our last morning there a pod of 30 or so dolphins swam horizontal to the beach about 300 meters out from shore.  It was really cool to see that.  It was a peaceful morning on the beach, really a great top off of the vacation.
 And these little monkeys!  They had a good time too. With some hiccups, it was a great vacation

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Our Heat Loving Child

Emily was so excited when we got home.  She immediately took to her mousy and put on fuzzy pjs and did a puzzle.  The strange thing is, the temperatures keep rising and Emily is still begging for a sweat shirt and fuzzy pjs.  It's like 90 degrees with 90% humidity and she's got on pants, a shirt and a sweat shirt and perfectly happy.  If we tell her no to the sweatshirt, she cries and screams so ok, she can wear it!  What a goof!

Thursday, May 7, 2015


And we went to Disney.  Just one day, it was... well... underwhelming.  Nolan was not very into it.  He did try to pull out the sword from the stone!
 And he loved the It's A Small World ride but was otherwise not really into Disney or the rides.
 In hindsight I think he was scared after the Pirates of the Caribbean ride and rather than say that was scary, he just didn't want to go on any rides.  Or have his picture taken.  Or get a Mickey shirt.  Or hold my hand.  Or see the Laugh Floor.  Or see any more 'shows'.  Or watch the parade.  So we went home.

After we put him in stocks!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


We did lots of swimming!  Nolan and Emily both willingly wore their floats making our trip a lot more leisurely.

 Nolan had some sinking sharks and perfected his surface dives, despite the flotation devices.

 The pools were fantastic!  One had a giant pirate ship in the middle with alligators shooting water out, etc and two slides that were about 6 feet high, going into the knee deep water.  The other pool had a 1 story winding water slide going down it and both were a graduated entry.  They were wonderful!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

we're back!

We went on vacation!  A real vacation!  We FLEW to Florida!  And it was great!  The flight was great, the kids didn't even make a peep on the plane or in the car driving to the hotel.  They were excited, patient and wonderful!
We stayed in a 2 bedroom villa and rented a full sized crib for emily.  The rooms were lovely, nolan had two queen sized beds in his room!  Emily stayed in the master.  Dave and I stayed on the pull out couch.  The first night we tried to sleep in the master but I couldn't sleep, too worried Emily would wake up, Nolan would wander into the hallway looking for us and get locked out and we wouldn't hear him- you know the usual stuff I worry about.  So midway through the first night I tried to sleep in Nolans room since sleep wasn't working in the master but I kept 'growling' (snoring) and Nolan kept waking me up.  So I bounced back from room to room the first night and decided the second night I'd sleep on the pull out.   
 This worked out great for the kiddos who every morning would lay in the pull out and watch 2 hours of cartoons while we started our day.  Emily played in the laundry basket and Nolan just zoned into Disney Junior channel.

All in all, our vacation was relaxing and great.  More pictures to come!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Happy Birthday Emily

Emily is TWO!  How amazing is that?!  Man, these two years flew!  Somehow this birthday seems impossible!  And the girl SHOT up in size.  The official stats are : 34.75 inches (81%) and 25 lb, 10 ounces (36%).  She's lean!  which is awesomely hysterical since her belly is so round.
 But she is otherwise perfect!  We went to the butterfly conservatory for her birthday.  It was loads of fun... well, somehow that place makes my whole family EXHAUSTED.  Maybe it's the warmth.  Humidity?  The peaceful music?  Whatever it is, it makes us all sluggish.  
 So again we spent some time sitting on the bench, resting, waiting for butterflies to come near.  Emily was very curious about the little birds, the butterflies, the fish, it was great!
 We came home, took a nap and then did presents and cake.  Emily has been talking about cake and pizza for her birthday for weeks.  It was so funny how much she talked about the cake!
 She did a super job blowing out the candles, loved her presents and played with them a lot!
 A few days after her family party I found her doing this with her doll.  Completely unsuggested, she was just sitting on a bench feeding the baby a bottle.  Oh so sweet.
Happy Birthday Sweet Emily!  

Sunday, March 22, 2015


We're not exactly sure where it is.  he was eating an apple so my guess is down the hatch!  He is so proud and for some reason this milestone is monumental!   

Friday, March 20, 2015

Still Not Always Comfortable

Emily is a very happy girl.  She loves to play with Nolan and is becoming a bit of a dare devil and a kookoonut.  She seems happy and just loves life.  But when she gets into situations that are new or overwhelming, she clutches to us.  Sometimes she clutches and then puts her head on my shoulder.  i'm not going to lie, I love it.  LOVE IT.  But sometimes my arm and shoulder and back desperately want her to suddenly feel comfortable and explore.

I don't think Emily will ever warm up quickly to a new situation.  Once she is comfortable, she's good to go, but I think she'll always be a bit cautious, a bit timid.  And that's just perfect for me.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Festivities Are Officially Over

This guy is 5.  we get it!  He's had birthday celebrations and exciting birthday stuff happening for weeks now!  And today was his 5 year doctors appointment so here are the stats:
Height: 46.3 inches (96%)
Weight: 46.4 lbs (81%)
A completely balanced dude!

He had his kid birthday party this weekend too!  Lots of fun, we had it at an indoor soccer arena and the kids finally got to RUN!  It was great!  Happy birthday to my buddy

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

I Miss Her Already!

My mom came and stayed with us for 2 weeks.  TWO WEEKS!  And it was amazing.  It was easy.  It was nice to take care of her.  And the kids just loved having her around!  Emily took to her right away (oh what a long way she has come, that little one!).  And Nolan was just over the moon that Gramma was here!
Of course there were the occasional awkward situations, like how Nolan so matter of factly stated often that 'Grandpa Jack is dead'.  But he was right.  Or the times the kids were acting nutso for no reason -for some reason it's embarrassing to me when I can't control them.  
 Her being here felt so awesome.  The kids just loved it.  Nolan often woke my mom up in the morning which was cute that he wanted to.  He was sneak down to her room and put on his 'nice' voice and tell her it's time to wake up.  
I really do miss her already.  I wish she could have stayed longer. 

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Happy Birthday Nolan!

We have officially entered into the lego building age and I LOVE IT.  and so does Nolan.  Except when he's melting down because he wants to do more and he's already been at it for 2 hours and needs me to sit next to him even though he does most of it on his own.  So with my mom being here, he's gotten a ton of great one-on-one time.  And had a spectacular birthday party
 So this guy turned 5.  He's still a delight when he has attention.  He's fun, energetic and fast.  so fast!  He just has so much fun with life.
And he's growing so fast.  He's the size of this shark, below!   
 on his birthday he played hookie from school and we went to the aquarium.  We've done that every year on his birthday, it's fun.  this year was great, chaotic but great.  Emily loved saying hi to all the fish.  Nolan was very interested in the rays this trip.
 And here he is on our official measuring wall.  This kid has grown so much, he's so tall!  I'm just amazed at how big he is and how strong he is!  He's a lot of fun, i'm having fun with him these days.
Happy Birthday Buddy!