Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Florida (take 3)

I was 21-years-old when I went to Florida for the third time in my life.  Margo was 11 months by the time she made her third trip to the Sunshine State.  This past weekend we headed south for our cousin Zach's bar mitzvah.  We're still dealing with Margaret's inability to sleep soundly when outside her own crib.  So although the trip was good, we were all exhausted.

Whoa, have you seen what's out here?
We had some time on Friday to explore and spent the afternoon at the Boca Children's Museum.  We literally had the place to ourselves and both kids had a ball.
Boca Raton Children's Museum (DSC_0331)

Saturday morning was the bar mitzvah followed immediately by the party and luncheon.  I stole this picture from Facebook to share how adorable Aaron's cousins are.

As you can see from the pictures below, the kids were very interested in the service.
DSC_0351 DSC_0348

Zach really did an impressive job, essentially reciting the entire service.  The celebration that followed was a lot of fun.  It's a shame for Nate that it was midday because that meant he missed his nap and was too grumpy to enjoy kid-paradise.  Candy bar, cupcakes, sundae bar, games, and music.  I knew Nate was tired when Katy Perry's Roar came on and he showed no enthusiasm.

Overall, a really nice trip with family.  Looking forward to our next trip south sometime in 2014!
What I wouldn't give for one picture with both kids looking at the camera and no fingers in their mouths.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Fall Update

So, what's keeping us so busy that there is no time to tell anyone why we're so busy?

These two.  Known around our house as McGillicuddy and Magoo.  Or Magoogle if said in a "MacGruber" sing-song.

Two words - Constant motion.  If one of them is still, the other is likely climbing on top of the quiet one.  And it goes both ways.  They are the best of friends and clearly love each other so much.  Marg lights up when she sees her brother in the morning and uses the consonant N sound to "say" his name.  Nate looks forward to running into her room every morning and listens for the first sound of her stirring so he can loudly alert us, "Margaret's awake!"  He's been known to expedite her waking up process by creeping into her room when we aren't looking.  This morning he did so while I was in the shower.  He then excitedly ran into the bathroom to alert me that she was awake but too heavy for him to get out of the crib.  I'm not sure I want to know if he actually attempted this maneuver.  By the time I got out of the shower to get her, Nate had turned on her music, given her some toys, and was sitting on the floor next to he crib repeatedly saying, "It's okay, Nate's here."

For Halloween Nate knew he wanted to be Mike Wazowski so Aunt Meghan kindly made Miss M a Boo costume to go along with big brother.  Margo was surprisingly patient with the costume, once we got it on her, and didn't bother with it most of the night. She made an appearance at a few neighbor houses and then went home to hang out with her four grandparents while we took Nate around some more.


Then we were joined by these guys:
As a retrospective:
Kanga-Nate, Dino-Will and Toucan-Sam (DSC_0683)
Missing 2012 because we were stuck in Cleveland, thanks Super Storm Sandy.

Other things going on at Chez Davis:
Preschool open houses - Aaron and I have been looking into our options for Nate for Fall 2014.  We thought we'd tour one or two and an obvious choice would appear.  But we underestimated the vast number of options and some of the really cool things going on near us.  Words like Montessori, language immersion, Reggio Emilio, play-based, and creative curriculum are running amok in our house.  We've agreed to stop looking, there are already plenty of good choices.  Now we need to start deciding.  More to come on this, I'm sure.

Soccer - Nate's been playing soccer this fall.  I'm using the term "playing" very loosely.  I think everyone in the family will be happy after tomorrow's final soccer practice.  He was very excited about playing, and talks about it with enthusiasm during the week.  But then he get shy when it comes time to play.  The team is 3-5 year-olds so he is among the youngest.  The older kids' parents have told us this is really common and he'll likely be a different player by next fall.

Work - While there's nothing terribly exciting to report here, unless you count Aaron's trip to Reno as exciting, work has been keeping both of us very busy.  Thankfully, I've just finished budget season so things will slow down here until after the holidays.  Hopefully.

Planning for Margaret's first birthday - Nearly impossible to believe, but our little one is turning one in a month.  For her celebration, we're going to a puppet performance of the Nutcracker with a party afterwards.  We are really looking forward to having friends and family together for her big birthday.  We've been so blessed with this sweet little girl.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Friday, September 6, 2013

Summer, where did you go?

As you can tell from our lack of writing, the month of August flew by in a snap.  When Aaron worked in Congress, August was our month of rest, relaxation, and family time.  But this August?  It was one of those months we just braced ourselves and tried to make it through.

We got off to a great start with Nate's birthday party!  But then our work travel began.  Aaron and I both had trips for work this month that left our house feeling like a revolving door.  One parent came home and unpacked his/her suitcase just in time for the other parent to repack and fly off.  Lucky for no one, Aaron's trip to Louisiana coincided with a nasty stomach bug hitting our house.  It started with Marg and no sooner did I have her crib sheets changed and rocked her back to sleep, Nate wakes up and joins the club.  Get him back to sleep only to have Margaret wake up again.  Thank the good Lord that I managed to stave off the bug until Aaron flew home at which time I immediately got sick and holed up for the next 20 hours or so.

Between multiple work trips, we also managed to squeeze in a little family time with a weekend visit to our cousins in Princeton.  They have three girls who adore our kids and were fantastically helpful all weekend.  The highlight of the visit for me was when, out of the blue, almost-five-year-old Emme reaches for my hand and says, "I'm so lucky you're my godmother."  I'm sorry, what did you say you wanted for your birthday?  A pony?  Done.

Emme, Avery, Ryan, and Nate (DSC_1010)

Nate was in heaven with three "big kid" playmates and an entire house of new (to him) toys.  And a pool in the backyard.  Heaven.  He even sampled his first lobster and clam and enjoyed them.  Although not as much as he enjoyed his favorite, corn on the cob.

On the way to New Jersey, we spent a day in Lancaster visiting Dutch Wonderland with the Schochs.

And then on the way back, we spent the night with Nate's Bubbie and Zeyda and visited Sesame Place.  We were really fortunate to be joined by Aaron's best friend, Khyber, and his oldest daughter, Juniper.

Nate loved the park and rode all the water slides at least once and the roller coaster three times.  As we waited in line for one of the slides, he told, me, "We're not going home."  Thinking he was loving the park I asked, "You think we should live at Sesame Place?"  "No," he responds, "We're going back to my cousins' house." No doubt, you'd be welcome there.


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Belated Birthday Roundup

Nate's third birthday lasted 9 days.  On his actual birthday, we flew to Florida to celebrate Grandma Shirley's 90th.  Nate was in heaven spending time with his cousins.  He has asked many times since then when we can go back to Florida to see the kids.

with Great Grandma and Millie
Cousins Arianna, Zach, and Ben
Then the following weekend, we had a Handy Manny pool party for the Birthday Boy.  The lucky kid had all four of his grandparents, two uncles, and two aunts all come to town for the party.
Based on this picture, you'd never guess I'm 5'7".
Aunt Flann and Aunt Ashley made birthday cupcakes for the party.  I think they were a hit.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Another Easy Visit

Went in for Nate's three-year check up this morning.  Dr. Porras was happy with his growth, skill development, and general physical well being.  He measured 38.25 inches tall (71st percentile) and weighs 34.5 pounds (77th percentile).  Nate's trending on the tall side.  By tracking his growth pattern since birth and asking me about family height, they estimate Nate should grow to about 5'10" or 11".  Doctor sad he's sure Nate'll be taller than his Daddy.

And while there were no shots for the Potato Bug, poor Margaret had to endure two more shots as a follow up to last week.  But now we're set.  At least until late August when we go back in for flu shots!


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Tres Anos

I find parenting to be a constant back-and-forth between, "How has it been three years since you were born?!" and "I cannot remember a life without you."

In the past 365 days, you've stopped sleeping in a crib.  Mister Oso and Mister Monkey are no longer demanded bedtime companions (but you still like your "Peshal Blanket").  Your obsession with Thomas the Tank burned bright and then faded a little when you discovered Daniel Tiger.  And even poor Daniel has started to go by the wayside as you discovered that there is TV beyond PBS Kids.  You adore pizza and apples. You still hate avocado.  In one year, we moved from "Mama and Dada" to "Mommy and Daddy" and now we're mostly "Mom and Dad."  I wish I'd taken more opportunities to get your sweet little voice on camera.

Never in my life have I known someone who could cause such frustration (I'm looking at you, big boy bed and potty training) and spark such intense love (all the other minutes in this year that weren't focused on the aforementioned activities).  You amaze us constantly with your intelligence, your growing sense of humor, and your determination to do things we thought were beyond your two-year-old ability.  And despite your love of jumping, destruction, and general roughhousing, you posses the sweetest love for your baby sister.  We could not be more proud, Nate.

So here's to you, our sweet little Love Bug.  Happy third birthday!



Thursday, July 25, 2013

Talented Friends

As I've mentioned before, we have two good friends who have opened their own businesses as professional photographers.  Our friend Lindsay does our annual family photo shoots (coming up next month!) and she is the person who generously gifted her services when Margaret was born.

Now our friend Amanda has ventured into business too with Amanda Schoch Photography.  Although she's currently focusing on newborn photos, she asked if she could use our little one as a model for older baby shots.  Last night we met up at the park and while Matt watched Nate, Sam, and Will, Amanda took some gorgeous photos of Miss Mags Magoo.

More pictures: http://www.amandaschochphotography.com/a-night-in-the-park-with-margaret/

photo credit: www.amandaaschochphotography.com

And here she is getting some love from Sam.
photo credit: www.amandaaschochphotography.com

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

We Love Easy Check Ups

We took Margaret in this morning for what is technically her six month well check.  She's a healthy girl at 16 pounds 8 ounces and 26.25 inches long.  Both putting her right around 50th percentile.  The doctor commented a few times on how "advanced," "intelligent," and "adorable" she is.  Thank you, doctor, we think so too.  (Using quotes because those were her direct words, not just a bragging mommy.  Although I am, in fact, a bragging mommy.)
July 2013

Monday, July 22, 2013

Almost Three

Yikes.  Cannot believe the little Love Bug is almost 3 years old.

Visiting Shoe Train and the Ronald at the mall on his second birthday:

And same shoe store trip yesterday, 6 days shy of his third birthday:

Thursday, July 18, 2013

7 months old

Marg-a-larg is 7 months old today!  Because of summer vacation schedules, she won't have what is technically her six month appointment until next week.  So we don't have stats but I can tell you she's a healthy little girl.  Looks like she might be on the smaller end height wise.  But what she lacks in tallness, she makes up for in cute.

7 months old (DSC_0698)

Just the two bottom teeth so far but you can feel the top two through her gums.  Expecting them to poke through any day.  She's up on her hands and knees and can move if she's really determined to get something.  Daycare tells us she's crawling frequently but around here she seems content to sit and let us bring things to her.

Margaret has a very sweet disposition.  The biggest difference we notice between the two kids is sleep.  Not at home, both kids have always been great in their own cribs.  In fact, I'd probably say Margaret has historically been a better sleeper than her big brother.  (She required exactly zero nights of sleep training.)  But away from home?  That's a different story.  Nate is like his dad, he can sleep anywhere, anytime.  But Margaret seems to know when a crib isn't her own.  It makes traveling with the kids a little more difficult because we have to prepare for a baby who won't sleep through the night and all the crankiness that comes with that.  We don't let it stop us though.  Later this month we're heading to Florida to celebrate Grandma Shirley's 90th.  Then in August and September we have a few trips planned to see family and have some fun.  Lots to write about in the coming months!

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Half-Year in the Life of Margaret Elizabeth

The site I used to make Nate's fast slideshows (Pummelvision) is no more, so I can't do the same for Margaret.  But here's a gallery view of the last six months.

January 1st
January 1, 2013

July 1st
July 1, 2013 (DSC_0618)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Monday, July 1, 2013

Looking Back

This weekend we went shopping for furniture for Nate. He's been in his hand-me-down fire engine toddler bed for a year now and it's getting harder for Aaron and I to climb in for bedtime stories. I'll admit to some tears as we shopped at the same store where three years ago we were buying Nate's crib and nursery furniture.

But that's not what this post is about. I realized that I never shared these beautiful pictures as an entire set. We are really lucky to have a couple of good friends who have started their own businesses as professional photographers. Our friend Lindsay was looking to practice her newborn photo skills so she gave us a wonderful gift of a photo shoot with Margo back on January 1st.


Friday, June 28, 2013

Aunt Ashley!

Trying to explain to Nate that Cullen and Ashley's wedding meant Ashley is now his aunt was reflective of how we all feel about Ashley - she's been part of our family long before this past Saturday.  But the party was fun!
Conor, Cullen, Ashley, Chelsea
Conor, Cullen, Ashley and Chelsea
Nate was the ring bearer and the bride and groom were wonderful in being clear that they had no expectation of any specific performance when it came time to walk down the aisle.  As a result, I wasn't worried about it and we didn't have to put pressure on Nate.  So of course, he walked perfectly.  I stood at the end of the aisle, pointed to Uncle Cullen standing on the alter and gave him a little push.  I fully expected him to take a couple steps, stop, and turn around to look at me.  But once he saw his uncle, he walked at a perfect pace down the long aisle.  With a pew or two left to go, he took off in a run to his uncle's arms.  It was perfect.

That paint brush went down the aisle with him.
Margaret was the honorary flower girl.  Which means she got to put on a pretty dress and have everyone tell her she's adorable.  She was also perfect in fulfilling her duties.


We're so appreciative of Cullen and Ashley's inclusiveness!


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

DJ Nate

Our time in the car with Nate has become a series of song demands.  He's pretty good at remembering what CDs are in Mommy's car and what's available in the Toyota.

A typical line up in my car looks something like this:
The Sandwich Song (Cheeseburger in Paradise)
The Coconut Song (Coconut by Harry Nilsson)
The Shaka Song (Hooked on a Feeling)
The Burrito Song (Margaritaville)
Silly Marley (anything by Ziggy Marley)

The demands (and my attempt to translate) go something like this:

And a sing along goes like this:

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


I made it through another DDW and this year we took advantage of the fact that I was in Orlando.  Aaron and Margaret flew down Tuesday afternoon and my parents brought Nate on Tuesday night for a vacation in Disney World.  It was a great week with a lot of activity and exhaustion.  We stayed on property making getting to and from the parks very easy.  But the days were long and we discovered that while Nate will gladly nap in a stroller, Marg will not.  We were very thankful to have four sets of hands (and an Ergo) to take turns holding her when she needed to nap.
Animal Kingdom

I can't believe how much we crammed into our time in Orlando and I'm sure things will be totally different the next time we go.  We didn't spend time at Epcot because there isn't a lot for someone Nate's age.  But we spent three full days at the Magic Kingdom (and could easily have filled another), a day at Animal Kingdom, and a day at Hollywood Studios.

No doubt, the best part was Nate's reaction to the characters.  On our first night we had dinner at Chef Mickey's.  When he saw Minnie Mouse, he stood up in his chair and started calling, "I'm over here, Minnie!"  And with each character he jumped out of his seat and held their hand.

The characters were such a hit, we booked two more character meals.  One with the Disney Junior characters and another with Pooh and friends.  Nate was in absolute awe.  And we were thrilled to be able to skip the long lines at the character meet and greet stations through the parks.  Worth every penny.  (And the food was surprisingly good!)
Crystal Palace


Except for one line.  We did wait in line (indoors) to see Buzz and Woody.  Because, come on.  Who could pass up the opportunity for this?

Lucky for us, Nate decided to enter the "I refuse to look at the camera" phase just in time for our trip.

Hollywood and Vine

Animal Kingdom

Nate is still talking about the roller coaster.  Far and away his favorite ride.  Luckily there is a kid's coaster, Barnstormer, because he isn't quite 40 inches tall, the required height for most of the roller coasters in Disney.  On our last day, he chose to ride the coaster three times.  Hands up every second of every ride.


Oh and this one?  Another water baby, just like her big brother.
An evening at the pool