Thursday, October 23, 2014

North Carolina

We're back from our second of three planned trips to North Carolina this year.  (the 3rd being a trip to Charlotte in a couple of weeks)

The background for this trip started with our friends Erinn and Dan.  Erinn's parents had a house they'd won at a school auction but had to cancel their plans somewhat last minute. So Erinn invited us, along with two other families, to share the beach house Columbus Day week.

We left after work on Tuesday and stayed until Sunday.  Although we were there off-season, the weather was amazing.  Sunny, clear, and mid-80s every day.  And the house was one lot back from the ocean, so we were easily up and down from the beach all day.

As a thank you to Erinn and Dan for the free week at the beach, we hired a family photographer to take pictures on the beach.  I'm anxiously awaiting the files to see what she managed to capture!  In the menatime, some of the great shots we caught with our little camera.

Nate and his buddy Chase:

Margo being Margo:IMG_2052

Perhaps the best $11 I've ever spent. Kept them busy all week.
Levi, Nate, Callum, Maggie, Chase

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


So yes. We took the summer off from updating our family and friends about what we were up to. I guess we were just having too much fun to take time to tell people how much fun we were having.

So here's the quick summer update - started the summer with a trip to Lake Anna with our friends, spent lots of time at the pool, took a Davis family trip to the Outer Banks, and then Nate started a new school. And somewhere in there, Nate turned four years old.

Also this summer, Nate started Tae Kwon Do. He's been asking to do so since he's was probably about Margo's age. So we enrolled him in June and he's loving it.  He recently graduated to a new belt, Orange.  And he's working towards the next belt.

More about the new school. After 4 years with Tania and Raul, we thought it was time for Nate to move into a more structured, classroom setting. Not only for education, but also for social and behavior. He's an energetic kid (to say the least). We needed him to have more stimulation and ability to burn off some of that little-boy-energy. We're also debating when he will start Kindergarten. He's eligible to start in 2015. But his birthday is five weeks before the cutoff, making him one of the youngest kids in the class. Our hope is that observing him in a classroom setting will give us a better idea of whether we start him in 2015 or wait until he's six-years-old.

The report from school is great. He loves it and has made lots of friends. He's already been to three birthday parties in the less than two months he's been in school.

We love the teachers and the school community. Last Friday I went along on the class field trip to a pumpkin patch. You haven't lived until you've frantically chased four 4/5-year-old boys through a hay maze that's too high to see over the sides.

Margaret took a little while to adjust to not having Nate with her at TandR's but she seems okay now. She's growing so much and her vocabulary develops every day. Although we have the same problem we had with Nate. I think she's saying gibberish but she'll actually be speaking her version of Spanish. So she's a little delayed in English but we know from experience that it's normal and she'll catch up without issue.

This week we're headed back to North Carolina for a beach week with our friends. It's going to be 8 adults and 9 kids (6 boys!), should be a very loud and crazy week.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Spring! (and Trains)

Note: Flikr changed their page and I'm having a bit of trouble with photo links.  Sorry for the crazy looking photos and sizes, will try to fix it later.

With spring came the annual craziness that comes with celebrating two religions.  We started off Passover with a bit of an early celebration in PA.

But first, we went to Strasburg.  Trains.  I'm not sure which Davis male loves them more. I think Aaron.

We drove up to Lancaster on a Saturday afternoon and Bubbie met us for a lunch train ride through Amish country.


The train ride was followed by lots of playing shopping, and visiting Thomas who was hanging out in the back rail yard.  And then we checked in to our overnight accomodations, a caboose.

There was a lot of "All Aboard" yelled that night.

On Sunday morning we drove to Philly to have an early Passover Seder with the Davis/Kotranski family.  Margaret was, as usual, quite a character.  It is so funny to watch her begin to realize that she's funny and can make people laugh.

 Monday brought the actual first night of Passover and we hosted our annual family and friends Seder at our house.  A feat that could not have been accomplished without help from my wonderful mother-in-law who sent us home with plenty of delicious Passover food and treats.

We got some new kid-friendly games and books this year to keep the little guys entertained. And it was the first year there was a serious hunt for the afikomen.

And Will cried until he was allowed to eat more matzoh. IMG_0603

Thursday, April 3, 2014


After reading this blog post, I hugged Nate and asked him if he'll be my baby forever.  This request typically gets a, "yes" or at least a smile.  But tonight he said, "Sorry, Mom.  But I'm growing and growing."

Indeed.  The kids are both growing up so fast.  Nate's learning about letters - how to write them and the sounds they make.  Last night we were discussing the "D" sound.  When we asked him what starts with "d," he immediately answered, "W!"  It took me a minute.  Then I realized that he's not wrong, Double-U does start with D.

And Margo is imitating us in words and actions every day.  Even things I wouldn't think she notices, she does.  Like the other day when she had a (closed) can of soda.  She put her little finger on the tab, like she was going to open it.  All I could think was, "How in the world did she pick up on that?"

We're loving the spring weather and counting the days until the pool opens!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

One Year Check Up - And a Ski Trip

We had to cancel Margaret's one-year well check in December so it became more like a 13-and-a-half-month check up.  She's short and pleasantly plump.  29-and-a-quarter inches (30th percentile) and 22lbs 9ozs (70th percentile).

She greatly disliked getting her shots - four total.  And unlike any of my children's vaccinations before, she had a nasty reaction.  Fortunately, her reaction, although bad, was considered within the range of "normal."  But that didn't make it an easier for her (or us) to suffer through.  We were all thrilled when her fever broke and she went back to one of her favorite pastimes, eating.

Not knowing how sick she was going to be, we had already left for our annual West Virginia ski trip.  So another year of no skiing for me, but that turned out to be okay because Nate was a little too young for ski school so he needed to stay in the house too.  The house is right on the slope, so the three of us had a fun time watching skiers and looking for people we know.  And Nate looked forward to his cousins coming back at the end of the day so  he could sled and then they could visit the hot tub.

We do have some great videos of sledding but they live on Aaron's phone which means I might never see them again.

We were without one cousin - poor RJ had a school commitment that meant he couldn't join the trip.  Although that really bummed Nate out, he and Tommy managed to have fun and get into trouble all on their own.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Disney III

Thanks to another work trip to Orlando, we spent a long January weekend in Disney World.

It's funny how each trip changes for Nate.  Our first, a one day excursion to Disneyland when he was 22  months old, was before he had any idea who Mickey Mouse was.  He'd never watched a show nor heard a Disney song.  But the magic of Disney was enough to elicit excitement from that trip.

And this flashback picture makes me smile because we knew Baby Margaret was in there but it was still our family's secret.

Then we went again last May when he was 2-and-three-quarters-old.  He recognized some of the major characters, thanks to being introduced to Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  But even characters he had never seen (Pooh, Princesses, any one from any movie except Toy Story) he was excited by.

And then this time.  Mr. I'm-a-Big-Three-and-a-Half-Year-Old.  Both of our cameras were broken so I only have my Dad's photos to share:

Like he's too cool for Snow White.

Ariel got a little more excitement on account of the fact that he's watched Little Mermaid multiple times.

And Jake?  Okay, that will bring out a smile.  Or an, "Arghhhh."

Rides were a little different this time too.  Nate was a debatable 40 inches tall.  Debatable because some rides said he was, and others said he was not.  He was allowed to ride Big Thunder Mountain and the Test Track at Epcot.  But denied at the Star Wars simulation which was very disappointing for him.  He's never seen a single movie or show, but we have Star Wars books that he loves.  Thinking he was 40", since they said he was at Magic Kingdom and Epcot, we talked up the ride enough that when the guys at Hollywood said he wasn't 40", there were a lot of tears.  Luckily, nothing that couldn't be cured by an Indiana Jones stunt show and some ice cream.

Overall, we had a great trip.  With the very best part being the bonus night we got on account of a snow storm.  It was a very chilly 50 degrees in Orlando but we went over the the Magic Kingdom on the last, extra, night and had the best time.  There were no lines for anything.  Nate rode the Barnstormer 7 times in a row.  With a stop only to switch Mom for Dad.  Hands up every time, start to finish.

Then we met Ariel in her grotto, and rode the Little Mermaid ride (usually a long line) twice in a row.  We made a few more stops, Peter Pan, Pirates, and our final ride for the trip was on a Magic Carpet.

Before we left the park, we stopped in for a treat on Main Street and ran into Nate's little friend Miles from his days at the Little Gym.  Turns out, it's a small world after all.

Until next time, Disney!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Walking (or more accurately, Toddling)

So I'm a a bit late sharing this update considering she's been steadily walking for almost a week now.  But when it started, both our camera and my cell phone were broken.  (Camera still is, boo.)  So now that my cell phone/video camera is back in action, I present to you our newest Toddler.

Although she owns many pairs of shoes, none of them were quite right for a new walker so I took a trip to Shoe Train with the kids this past weekend.  Margaret was unsure about Miss Laura, our shoe fitter for this trip, until Miss Laura started putting shoes on her feet.  Then Marg proceeded to dance around the store, kicking her little feet in the air so everyone could see her new shoes.  We ended up paying for the sparkly pair while they were still on her feet because she was not giving them up.

Friday, January 3, 2014

365 Days of Margaret

Still working on tracking down a few photo files off phones or other cameras, but here is a rough cut of Margaret's first full calendar year:

January 1, 2013

December 31, 2013