Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Train Table

The maker and destroyer of new friendships.

Elise and I have carried Sam kicking and screaming from Barnes and Noble as though from a burning building no less than three times because of this contraption. We finally learned our lesson and had to abstain from B&N for a few months, but with proactive parenting (and a little bribery) we were able to return to one of Sam's favorite places. Just in time, thankfully, to find a place to hide from the fall rains I recall from my days in Baltimore.

...Though the punk in green in the photo above almost upset the delicately-balanced apple cart when he stormed into the picture snatching trains from the little paws of boys and girls left and right, including Sam. Fortunately his nanny or au pair or whatever stepped in so I didn't have to knock some sense in the kid.

Officially Unofficial Race Day Photo

Uh ya because a certain maternal unit seems to be missing!? Good job race photographer guy, you took a photo of every other of the 2,000 racers and missed me.

Thank you. Maybe that is when he was dialing the ambulance for me? HA!

The Good the Bad and the Goofy.

I love my life right now. Love it. Little boys, play time, nap time, acting like I'm 3 again (oh wait), making up goofy songs for the boys, the 10,000th nap request, 'one cracker?' 'sip milk?' 'one more book?' 'your bed?' 'Petey bed?' (you get the idea), wandering the neighborhood, watching cranes and planes, playing in fountains. All of it. However some days, even when filled with the same routine and silliness and the occasional hiccup are just a little easier to navigate than others. For example:

Yesterday 4:15pm, The fountain near our building

Me: "Don't walk on the ledge Sam! You will fall in and you won't be happy!"

Sam: "Splooooosh"

[cue Sam crying] [cue me nearly crying]

just before the great fountain swan diver took to the water

Today 12:05pm, The 13th Floor of our building

Me: "Oh great our neighbors got a new obnoxious door mat of some football-ish/college-ish team" [heavy sigh] "ah football season, how I loathe thee."

[approaching our door]

Me: "Why won't this damn key work? What the heck is wrong with this door? The lock is jammed!?"

Sam: "Mommy? Mommy?" [he always repeats this 'just so' when I have landed myself in a conundrum]

[me looking up at the apt number to be sure I haven't lost my mind]

Me: "Oh my God! I've lost my mind, this is the wrong floor! Run!"

[us running back to the elevator laughing hysterically before someone calls the police because some crazy mom with two kids is trying to break in to their home]

Monday, September 27, 2010

From the mouths of babes...

This weekend Paul and noted to each other that Peter had taken "cat nap" in the stroller during our race.

Today as we stopped for bagel on our way back from our morning run Sam asked me if "Petey Kitty Cat Napped?"

So I demanded that he stay small forever so I could keep him in my pocket for a dose of cuteness whenever I need it throughout my life. He agreed. Shrinking machine please!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

What We Lose in the Fire We Gain in the Flood

The band is an hour late taking the stage. You're tired of standing. You know that no matter how late you stay out, you will have to get up at 5:30 the next morning...

...and yet, in that moment, you don't want the song to end.

I don't exactly know what the lyricist intended with the title of the song, "What We Lose in the Fire we Gain in the Flood." But I loved the feel of it. That we everything that happens, no matter how catastrophic on the surface, both good and bad can come from it, and that no matter what happens to take or give, there will always been something following to either take more or give back.

Thanks for getting the tickets, Hewie, and sharing this with me. I loved it.

Our Bed: Sunday, 3:35 pm

Day in the life: Saturdays that ROCK!

Weekends rock the house around here. Weekends have always rocked really, but when Paul 'stopped going to the office' (you know Office Space style) back in FL all our days began to run together. A 'melted in the sun Crayola-box' rainbow of loveliness. All days, good days. However, now that our favorite diplomat works government hours, all days are still lovely days, but Saturdays ROCK!

Sandwiched just between Friday where we'll often meet a group of friends in the evening for BBQing, Margaritas and the joyful screaming of our childrens; and Sunday, where we try to read as many books as we can and stay in bed or on the floor with the kids all day.......Saturday is where we maximize our physical, social and exploratory senses.

This Saturday we loaded up at the break of dawn to show off our double Bob Iron-man stroller for our first 5k race as a family of four. We metro'd a short way away into Clarendon, and ran giggling, joking and smiling for 3.1 miles while Sam cheered us on, read books and continually tried to re-route us like a mini race director "dis way, no dis way!' Peter cat napped, kicked his little legs and cooed at all the passers-by. We didn't win the 'unofficial stroller division' this time (like Paul and Sam have in the past) but we had a dizzyingly wonderful time anyway.

"Our double stroller is faster than your double stroller!"

Me after just realizing that I had a second baby. (It takes a 5k folks, the crying and diapers never get through to me!)

We leisurely walked back to the train station, through farmers markets and bagel joints and rested before an afternoon of beauty for me and a short jaunt to the park for the boys. We finished with a well deserved date night for the parental units. We had dinner at a fantastically hip neighborhood, at a lovely spot called Busboys and Poets, a magical place of comings together. Then redeemed tickets I'd bought Paul and I few months back, to see the Mynabirds at The Black Cat. We drank cheap beer, held hands and swayed to the music on black and white linoleum and cigarette burnt tiles of our yesteryear until we realized we'd better get home for our break of dawn revelry. We crept in the door to our zippy pj'd boys sound asleep in their beds.

We only 'look' crazy and drunk here due to the blinding nonsense flash of the iphone (after 12 attempts to not look crazy and drunk)

Friday, September 24, 2010

Bath time: 7:20 pm

The good news: Paul does baths most nights.

The even better news: Paul never has to baths alone again ever since our bath assistant arrived!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Swim Punny Swim!

Tonight was Sam's first (official) swim lesson. When your dad is "Mr. Butterfly" and has swum competitively for as long as he has, everything, including your first bath is considered a 'swim lesson'. Paul had been priming Sam for this day since he first came home from the hospital, practicing his dives at every diaper change by positioning his little chubby baby legs precisely and calling, "Pencil!, Jack-knife!, Cannonball!!!"

We packed his 'swim bag' earlier in the day and sat down for an early family dinner of spaghetti. We loaded up the stroller and walked over to the local high school. Petey and I tagged along as spectator, photographer and two man cheering section.

A proud Paul and nervous Sam emerged from their first father-son locker room experience and we headed into the pool. The lesson lasted a half an hour and was more of a sing along than a swim lesson, but we're easing in to the butterfly. Perhaps next week. Sam loved it and we've already inquired about getting Pete into the 'water babies' class next week because I was nearly mauled by attempting to hold him back from water for an entire 30 minutes.

"I'm too sexy for my stroller"

a boy and his swim bag

proud much?

Waiting for Dad, Arlington, VA: Wednesday 4:45pm

Peter: "Dammit! I'm sick of waiting, I'm going to find him!"

Things look a bit different around here everyday. Change has become a way of life. Adaptability, the breath to our lungs. Like Pete moves because it is simply 'the next step', so do we.

The scenery always changes, but our love never does.

(In other news: HOLY CRAP we just got our official date to leave for Brazil! ...and tonight is Sam's first swim lesson. As you were.)


Monday, September 20, 2010

1st Day of Practice

Last Saturday was the first day of practice for the Washington Capitals. Since the practice rink is located nearby, we decided to stop by. A few of the hockey players appeared to have let their conditioning go a little this past off-season, but from our persepective their skating was nonetheless impressive. I don't know who Alzner is, but I think he has a new fan.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


For those of you that may have missed the news on Facebook, my photographs were recently featured on the super stylish Bump Smitten. A website filled with baby shower design inspiration for hip mamas-to-be. Go check me out!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Nats vs Marlins: Sam's 1st Baseball Game

We walked up to the stadium just as the game was starting and fireworks were popping overhead. Sam was feeling a little overwhelmed so we ducked into the gift shop to buy baseball hats for us.

Awesome seats compliments of Nanny who had to temper her cheers for the Marlins whilst in enemy territory.

The biggest TV any of us had ever seen in our lives.

Rally cap.

Sam's favorite part of the game was when the 'Presidents' came out to race around the bases. We called them "Sir Top 'Em Hat's friends" because they looked kind of like the conductor of Sam's toy train set.

Final score: I have no idea, but I do know that we ate fries and ice cream and made it until almost the 8th inning! The ice cream kicked in as we rode the train home and Sam asked every time the train pulled into a station (all 14 of them!), "Sam's stop?"

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

The last days of summer.

As many of you know the boys and I recently returned from our 'west coast tour'. This summer's trip was so great that we called home and requested an extension from Paul. He (reluctantly) agreed, and so we remained for a full three weeks. Our days filled with exploration, soft grass, quiet parks, long picnics, train whistles, howling coyotes, day trips, family love (and many phone calls home).

With as much stress and change as we have endured in the past six months since our move, I had began to feel like a tightly wound rubber band, ready to snap and hit someone in the eyeball at any given moment. Sadly our house had not been the calm or dream-like haven that our Florida townhouse once was. With only a sixteenth of our things, a miniature apartment in the sky, a new member of the family to get to know and figure out, longer hours and separation anxiety from my best friend and the boy's 'daddieee', we're country mice turned city mice for an undermined amount of time.

We believe in making the best of everything we are given, good and bad. Exploring, engulfing and 'just being' everywhere life takes us, but sometimes this leaves me feeling like I'm devouring the cliff notes to War and Peace the night before book club. (as if, i totally would never do book club) I have held a bit of a short fuse trying to do it all, be it all and recreate our safe, soft nest. I struggle now weaving with old discarded caution tape instead of the fine silken threads I had collected back home. But, this will not stop me, nor has it. This trip home has been an important time for all of us. To step back, look up, and see how much we've built and with nothing more than our family. With so many more changes in store it has felt quite impossible to just live in the moment, until now...

The boys and I played all day, everyday, we read a million stories, we shared a room, we held hands at night as we fell asleep. We explored the streets and towns of my youth, shared ice cream cones, hunted (with our eyes) deer, moose and porcupines at twilight. We rolled our windows down, let the warm dry breeze blow through our hair, and chased each other through freshly cut summer grasses. We spent leisurely mornings at Starbucks sipping milk and lattes and leisurely evenings with my family on the front porch.

I've returned many times to Cheney. It never felt quite right. I visited in the years after college, I flew back many times from Florida, but something was always missing, something always keeping me from....being me. This time it seems I had it all. I came with a handful of babies (ok an armful.) I have buried all that was imperfect about this place about me and now only see the strengths and appreciate the flaws. I ran down roads I hadn't run on since high school and reflected on just how far I'd come. As I passed freshly harvested wheat fields leading to my old high school, a warm breeze blew carried me down the worn roads and the past came rushing back. The girls soccer team, just days before the first day of school, practiced on 'my' old field, the sounds of the marching band wafted though the town and I pounded the pavement as if time had never lapsed.

I reconnected with old friends and took a million photos. As I feel myself coming up out of the valley endless searching that was my 20's and emerging a top a peaceful mountain top in my 30's, I have experienced my friends doing the same. Stopped searching and started being. Friends with new and budding families smiles mirrored on their faces that I'm sure were never as wide since their youth. And I am thankful. For everywhere I've been and everywhere they've been that we should all be so lucky to find love and breed love and come together again in this same place where we all began.


Monday, September 6, 2010

Wing Man

After three weeks in Washington as a threesome, Sam and I took a solo trip to the grocery this morning leaving Pete at home with Paul. After leaving the store and returning back to the car, Sam looked at me with a look of panic and said 'leave Petey! mommy, leave Petey!" To which I replied, "oh no Sam, Pete is with Dad at home, I didn't leave Pete behind." (thanks for the vote of confidence Sam!)

After thinking about if for a few minutes on the drive home, I concluded that:

a. Hey! No need to worry about leaving my baby behind when I have Sam with me.


b. Wait a minute, maybe not a great idea to trust Sam considering that he didn't realize Pete was missing until after we had left the house, grocery shopped and then returned to the car.

Back to my usual way of remembering, hair band on the arm. Right wrist=both kids with me. Left wrist=only one kid with me.


Friday, September 3, 2010

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sleepy Head

Peter Grey. 8 months

Just one quick photo from our trip. Bazillions more to come....

Mr. Movement Explosion: Sitting up, standing up, crawling at lightening speeds, crawling up stairs, chasing Sam everywhere and giving extreme baby kisses to giant stuffed bears and relatives. All in a time period of three weeks. Help! I have been overtaken by tiny energetic boys! Send wine quick!