Thursday, August 27, 2009


As I was cleaning up the office I came across this slideshow I had saved on disc. I made it for Mother's Day 2008, but had technical difficulties getting it to play with sound on a DVD player. Talk about bringing back strong emotions and memories! This brought tears to my eyes, reminding me what life was like with a newborn. I can't wait for this baby to arrive this winter, I am ready for the newness again.

After viewing this I had to run and give Christopher a hug and kiss, I just can't believe how quickly he has grown.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Happy 18 Months Christopher!

Well big boy, you are now one and a half year old! You continually amaze me and Daddy, as well as others around you! You recently entered a new phase of "snuggling" with blanket, "Cook-Cook" and Snoopy especially in bed with Mommy and Daddy. You love giving hugs and kisses too! And you are a chatty little guy, saying new phrases like "let's go" and "miss you" everyday. Your favorite activity this summer is playing with puzzles, and they have taught you a lot! You know all your shapes, colors, numbers and letters. Favorite past times are going on morning outings with Mommy, like the petting farm, the park, and the library. You really like to climb, swing and slide. You have perfected (almost) the art of sharing, and like playing with "friends". When you play in your room, you always put on some "mucis", ya gotta have those tunes! Just today Daddy and I heard you singing "Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star" all by yourself. You have a great appetite, and lately you want oatmeal for breakfast, lunch and dinner (even if its just to use a spoon by yourself). Sometimes you play by yourself for up to 45 minutes; you are such a big kid. Things I catch you doing in your room: coloring, stacking blocks, puzzles, playing pretend, or just sitting and looking at books. Lately naps and bedtime are a breeze. You love getting cozy in your crib, sometimes you even ask for a nap! You are truly a joy, and are growing into a sweet little boy. You tell us everyday about the baby and that you are going to be a "bwrada". And what a great big brother you'll be!

Early am coloring session.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Christopher's First Photo Shoot.

Ryan's cousin Stephanie and I took Christopher and Matt to Sears to have their pictures taken. The idea was to recreate a picture of the Ryan and Stephanie when they were the same age as the boys. I thought it may be difficult to achieve this, but I had no idea how difficult. Lets just say the boys were more interested in running around than posing for a picture, who would've thunk it?

The boys play with a bucket of seashells together, but we couldn't get them to look up at the same time.

Mr. Serious. I ordered this one in 5x7. Now I wish I ordered the lollipop one.

I liked this but it was out of focus.

My Favorite.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Kings Dominion 2009, aka "Poppy Day"

Wednesday we went for our 2nd annual "Poppy Day"at Kings Dominion. When Ryan and his cousins were kids, their grandparents would take all eight of them out of school and to K.D. for the day. Poppy would get on all the rides with them, as he was a kid at heart. So last summer we decided to remember him by continuing the tradition with the next generation. It is such a good time. Despite the heat, the cost and the traveling time, it is so worth it. I am already looking forward to next year. Christopher was such a good boy, I was worried how he'd handle a day in the heat with no naps. But he was terrific. These pictures are in reverse order, sorry.

Tears fall just as we end the day. Good time to go home.

This is only half our group. Ryan was the pied piper the whole day. He asked each kid what ride they wanted to get on, helped them read the map, and made sure we spent enough time doing "kid stuff". What a great guy.

Christopher discovered the roller coaster and excitedly called them "choo-choos". He tried so hard to get to them. They kept him mesmerized for most the day.

Our only family shot of the day... and I'm in a bathing suit! Yikes! Anyway, the water park was the highlight of the day, because we were all able to cool off. Mom and Kristi played with Christopher in this very large wading pool, while some of us went down some water slides. Christopher loved the pool. Loved it.


"Like, who's that groovy group of kids, Scoob?"

Grant and Emily share a car.

Jonathan chills in his jeep.

One of the first rides was for the kids, they rode little go-carts. Here Emily stops for a picture.

Whoa, who's this big kid in my stroller? When did Christopher turn into such a big boy?
Shortly after we arrived Christopher took the first of two naps (thank God).

The Great Wall of White Marsh. I am very proud of Ryan with the completion of this retaining wall. It turned out awesome! I can't wait to see the pond finished and to begin enjoying it.

Pondering the pond. Ryan begins construction on the waterfall.

Christopher grabbed Ryan's tie after work one day and tried to put it on himself...

So Daddy helped him out.

a little crooked Daddy...

He checks himself in the mirror...

and likes what he sees!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A,B,C, Easy As 1,2,3.

No this isn't a tribute post to the late King of Pop, rather a little display of Christopher's alphabet skills. Earlier this summer I bought him a video by Leap Frog called Letter Factory. This video came recommended by several people, and I highly recommend it as well. He watches it in the car whenever we run errands, about 20 minutes at a time. Well after seeing it so often, he has learned phonics. He knows all the letters and most of the letters' sounds. Last week he came up with a game. He removes the magnet letters off the fridge one at a time and says their sound as he places them on the floor. Some sounds are harder for him to make, but in all he is amazingly accurate. As well as letters he can now count to eight, thanks to the book Eight Silly Monkeys which we've read to him many many times. Before you know it, he'll be ready for kindergarten, slow down Christopher!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Sophia!

Today is our sweet Sophia's First Birthday. We celebrated the event on Saturday during a picnic at Ft. McHenry Park. The weather was perfect, the food delish, and the company very entertaining. All the kids were busy playing ball, lacrosse and blowing bubbles. It was absolutely the best party. We should all picnic more often.

Just as the party got underway, a cruise ship left its port. We had a spectacular view, as we picnicked beneath the shade of a huge Sycamore tree with a constant breeze to cool us.

Christopher and Corey check out a grasshopper. Sarah and Madeline are chillin' on a blanket in the background.

It was hard to get a good shot of Christopher and the grasshopper, as they both were constantly moving. He really liked the bug though, even holding it on his finger once.

Enjoying some birthday cupcake made special by Grandma. (She made 60 and two cakes, yikes!)

Enjoying the yummy picnic food.

Sophia blows out her candles with help from Mom and Dad.

Eating the yummy cake.

Enjoying the party on Granddad's lap.

Taking The Good With The Bad...

Christopher and I had the best day today. I should preface this by saying we have had a rough couple of days. His mood had been pretty cranky from about last Wednesday. He'd whine and cry for no reason, then he had signs of tummy trouble. On Thursday and Friday he had temperatures and his diet started taking a dive. Ryan was the one to put it all together; the last set of molars were making their presence known. He refuses to let the toothbrush go near his right side. At the table he would eagerly start eating, only to stop and cry in pain. He lived on fruit all weekend. It was really hard to watch. Thank God for Motrin and teething tablets, or it would have been an even harder week. Then the clouds broke today. He woke up happy, played by himself all morning, had his old sense of humor back as well as his appetite. We went to Storyville after he was emphatically telling me "crab". You see, at the entrance of Storyville (an awesome hands-on library for kids under 5) there is a neon crab sign, which CRW loves. Whenever Christopher sees a neon sign of any sort in our travels he excitedly says "crab!" So I knew what he meant when he said "crab" this morning. We spent over an hour playing there. It had been months since we'd last visited and it is neat to see how he has change in his play. There was a lot of pretending (he'd say "tsss" when he put burgers on the grill) and of course lots of sorting. This time I noticed him organizing magnetic shapes into piles by their colors. He was such a good listener, and he cleaned up after himself every time he was asked. Then we returned home, where he ate a terrific lunch and slept for 2 hours! (I slept too!) In the afternoon he played alone again, stopping to come find me and request "hug". Then he'd return to play again. I hugged him so much today, he'd never let go! I was in heaven. I caught him playing a game with my perfume bottles while I was dusting my room. He'd take one down say "drink", then get another saying "juice", then another "milk", repeating with each bottle "coffee", "water". Then of course he'd return them to the basket and repeat this for 45 minutes! I couldn't stop him, it was just too cute. Of course I couldn't leave him either, in case he wanted to actually try some "drink". To cap off the day, he ate the biggest dinner, played happily with Dada and finally went to bed. As I rocked him in my arms, he rested his sweet head on my shoulder, stroked my hair and never moved. I found it hard to lay him down. The moment brought tears to my eyes, as he seldom is a snuggler. However snuggling seems to be something he is growing into. Sorry for the drawn out post. But there will be a day in the future where I will be at my wits end and I will reflect upon this post to give me the strength to carry on. After all, with toddlers you have to
take the good with the bad.

This was last week. Right after picture was taken he fell, hit his head and cried for the rest of the afternoon. But at least he looks cute in the picture!
This afternoon playing bartender.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Messy Summer Days.

Joe Cool outside finger painting.

Showing me, "suck it in" which is followed by "push it out".

The entire time he was saying "mess" to himself.

Speaking of messes, we have been letting Christopher feed himself more often these days. He likes it, we tolerate it.

Christopher plays with the frog Ryan had to relocate during the pond renovation. That afternoon, after I put him down for a nap, I heard him chatting: "pond, frog".
Have I told you what a wonderful husband Ryan is? I want a new kitchen, he says "no". Three months later we have a new kitchen. I want to update the basement, he says "no". Six months later we have a beautiful downstairs. I say I want the pond redone, he says "no". See above picture. I say I want another baby soon, he says "maybe"...

Funny thing is, there is a picture just like this dated probably 12 years earlier when Ryan first put the pond in.

Saturday we had a nice summer dinner, complete with squash and corn from Winterstein farms. Christopher could not eat enough. He kept saying "squash", as he eagerly ate it all up.

Ok, I need your help on this one. Christopher is in a new stage of "sorting". Everything gets removed from its place, laid out neatly on the floor, then put back in place. Then repeat entire procedure for the next 45 to an hour. He gets mildly upset if you try to interrupt him. He'll do it with puzzles, stack toys, stuffed animals and the other morning we entered his room to find every single toy off of his toy shelf and neatly place on the floor. Yesterday I rounded the corner in the kitchen to find him cleaning out our pantry. Is this normal? I find it funny and a little disturbing all at the same time.


Katie, Decaffeinated.

I have a confession to make. I love coffee. I really really love coffee. As my good friend and work buddy, Stacey puts it "coffee just makes everything better". I think Ben Franklin had it wrong, coffee is proof God wants us to be happy. But the strangest thing happens when I become pregnant. I can't stand the thought of the stuff. I mean I could use this instant repulsion as a very accurate pregnancy test. Before I even invest in First Response, I pretty much know what the result will be. I guess this is Mother Nature's way of protecting my babe. It's strange though, I find myself missing it. Morning playtime with Christopher feels like I have an amputation, without my stainless steel coffee cup in hand. And then there is the fatigue. I can only blame it on the pregnancy for so long. But I am a good girl, I pretty much steer clear of the stuff altogether. What makes me sad, and part of the reason I am writing this post, is the realization that the perky bubbly Katie is just a facade. Could it be that all this time it was the coffee talking? ....Come on January 27th, I want the old Katie back!