Friday, March 30, 2012

While Mom's Away

Last weekend I took off for New Orleans for a wonderful weekend with some of my girlfriends.  I've visited NOLA many times but this was the first time I felt like I saw the city more from a resident's perspective than a tourist.  It was great to see where Rebecca's living and to catch up with people I've known for a long time but see so rarely now that we're all spread out.

I also got to see my baby cousin Joe.  Joe is the youngest of the 16 Pratt cousins and although he's the baby, he is hardly a little kid.  He's in his freshman year at Loyola so it was nice of him to spare some time for his old cousin.  After we dropped him off back on campus, one of my friends said, "He's a serious catch.  Girls must be after him."  Joe's confidence and ability to carry conversations with anyone were so impressive.  I was very proud of my "baby" cousin!

While I was out of town, Nate and Aaron decided to drive up to Philly to visit Nate's Bubbie and Zeyda where Nate is king (or at least prince).  Clearly, Nate wasn't missing his mommy.



And a nice shot of Nate with his father, grandfather and great-grandfather.


Thursday, March 29, 2012

What a Difference a Year Makes

I unintentionally took these photos almost exactly a year apart.

April 1, 2011
waiting for Dad to come home (DSC_4905)

March 28, 2012

Friday, March 23, 2012

Maybe We Watch Too Much HGTV

Every couple of years, Aaron and I forget what a pain in the butt home renovations are and we decide to do another one.  In 2006 we gutted and rebuilt our condo kitchen. (gosh I loved that kitchen)  In 2007 we again gutted a kitchen, this time in our house.  And then in 2009 we decided to rip the back off of our house and build a dormer, adding two bedrooms and a full bath.

As you can see, it's been a couple of years of peace and quiet.  So last week we began renovating our downstairs bathroom.  This project was badly needed, the bathroom is the original (1947) and only the toilet has been updated.

Here it is, the day we moved in:

1st floor (DSC_0676.JPG)

And here it is last week:

Day 1 (DSC00180)

So much better, right?  Despite the fact that the second picture there has the old cast iron tub, that went too and was replaced with a new tub.  The work is going quickly and we're hoping to have it almost done next week. Almost done because one very important piece is backordered - the toilet.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Party Boy

This weekend we celebrated four of Nate's friends' birthdays, jam packing our weekend with a series of 2nd birthday parties.

We missed Charlie and Cooper's birthday party last weekend so we spent Saturday with the Teals in Annapolis.  We has this conversation about a million times Saturday morning:

Maura - We're going to play with Cooper and Charlie!
Nate - Cha-wie!
Me - And Cooper.
Nate - No.
Me - No Cooper?
Nate - Cha-wie.
Me - What about Cooper?
Nate - No.

I have no idea why he was refusing Cooper.  But the good news is once we were there, he played beautifully with both boys.  C and C have a lot of cool toys, we got some great ideas for Nate's second birthday.
Charlie, Cooper, Bentley and Nate (DSC00203)
Hmmm, how does this Thomas work?

Sunday was a double-header starting with Declan's second birthday party, a Thomas the Tank Engine theme.  We're sad that Declan and his family are moving to Texas this summer so he's leaving daycare.  Nate and Declan are buddies, they're the closest in age and Tania says they tend to pair up for play.  It was nice to have a celebration with Declan before he leaves.

Declan's Birthday Train Party (DSC00242)
Nate and Sam with their train conductor hats

Then we headed to the Stanyard's house for Ramsey's pizza birthday party.  The day was gorgeous and we were able to play outside for a while before enjoying pizza and cupcakes.

Ramsey's party (DSC00258)
The only thing better than cupcakes, are truck-themed cupcakes.

Friday, March 16, 2012


Last weekend we took a family trip to Chicago (nate = ca-cago) to visit Dara and Brendan.  Little did we know when we were planning the trip back in January that we would be their last Chicago house guests.  Next week, the Beer family is packing up and moving to California.  We are excited for them but sad that our little niece or nephew will be so far away.  Plans for a spring visit to LA are in the works.

Chicago is one of our favorite cities and we were glad for the opportunity to see the Beers' new house and explore their neighborhood.  We even got to meet their new renters!  Dara and I took Nate out for a walk and when we walked past the fire station Nate was invited inside to sit in the truck.  The firemen were very nice and although Nate was totally overwhelmed, it was an exciting afternoon.


I would say the firetruck was the highlight of the trip except that Aaron would absolutly disagree.  Saturday night we had dinner at Gibson's, one of Aaron's favorite restaurants.  Nate wasn't terribly impressed (several bites of steak were spit back into my hand) but the rest of us were very happy and enjoyed a great meal with a toast to Dara and Brendan's 2nd anniversary, their move and Baby Beer's impending arrival.
Nate with Aunt Day-ya and Uncle Brendan
I really need to figure out how to work my new camera.  Aren't point-and-shoots supposed to be easier than the digital SLR I'm used to?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012


I caught Nate sitting still for once and used it as an opportunity to capture the names he's getting better at pronouncing.  Here's a list of the people Nate loves.  (not all inclusive)  He gets sick of preforming near the end so Uncles Will and Brendan shouldn't take it personally.

I started with the easy ones, people he sees everyday.  And then his beloved muppets (forgot Grover and Oscar, oops!) and finally on to family.  If you want to fast forward to family, it starts around 1.05.  Especially the way he says Cullen makes me smile.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Smiley Nate

Last week my parents visited and attended Nate's Little Gym class on Saturday morning.  They were sitting in the lobby area watching us in the gym when the owner started chatting with my Mom.  She asked who she was with and my Mom pointed me out and described what we were wearing.  The Little Gym woman's face lit up and she said, "Oh, Smiley Nate!  He always has a smile on his face."

Bethesda, Lunch with Maura/Mommy, 2/28/12

Smiley Nate indeed.