First Amusement Park Trip

About 45 minutes from where we live is a local amusement park that specializes in families and wholesomeness.  I have been there many, many times as a child and always had wonderful memories of the merry-go-round and my first roller coaster ride.  Just good, old fashioned fun.

Chris has never been to this park and neither has Jack, so we figured a beautiful Sunday of 82 degrees and sunny was as good a day as any to venture there.

Considering that I haven’t been there in well over 15 years, it was nostalgia all over again as we drove in the grassy field to park the car.  My father used to ride the rides with us and my mother would be off to the side snapping photos of my sisters and I having the time of our lives.

Jack was told before we left that we were going to a special park which had rides instead of monkey bars and slides and he was intrigued.

When we arrived, we all stopped and ate something as it was lunch time and we needed our strength!  After eating, it was time for Max’s lunch, so we sat on a bench in a shady area so that Max could eat and Chris and Jack were off to ride the rides!

Fireman Jack

Initially, Chris said that Jack wanted to get off the first ride as he was unsure, but after that, he was thrilled!  He loved the cars, the train, firetrucks, everything!  Chris was enjoying himself just as much!  So much so that when my in-laws are in again from California next week, Chris would love to bring them there for the day again.

On the kiddie ferris wheel

Jack has not stopped talking about the rides, especially the helicopters.  He had seen the helicopter ride and had said that he did not want to ride it as the helicopters went into the air.  We spent the day avoiding the ride only to get to the car while Jack cried about not riding the helicopters.  He has since said each day since, “Mommy, are we going to go to the special park to ride the helicopters today?!”  It looks like he will give it another try if we go back again soon.

Captain Jack

We were all overdue for a family day together, so I am glad that we dropped everything and spent this day together!

Oh, and Max was wonderful!  He was happy to be in the carrier and occasionally in the double stroller as we navigated the park.  So well behaved!

Max watching big brother on the rides

I absolutely cherish these family days!

Taking a cruise with Daddy

Jack’s First Swimming Lesson

After taking Jack swimming at a friend’s pool a few weeks ago, Jack developed gills that day and swam alone, jumped into the pool, went underwater and began using his arms to move while kicking his legs.  I mentioned to Chris that I thought that it was time for swim lessons to help develop his skills.  Chris agreed.

So, off we went to our local community pool and registered Jack for his first solo swim lessons.  In the two weeks since registering, we have been talking about it and Jack has told everyone he sees that he is a big boy who is going to have swimming lessons.

This morning, I feed Max, pack up the bag and drive the boys over to the pool where several anxious children are waiting for their lessons.  Jack is excited and his looking forward to getting in the pool.  I am looking forward to leafing through my J.Crew catalogue and reading my Parents magazine during the 45 minute lesson.

When the lifeguard came over, Jack was a little apprehensive about going with her, but she was friendly and I assured him that I wouldn’t be far away.  Cue Jack freaking out that I am not getting in the pool and the hysteria begins.  So, for the 45 minute lesson, I stand on the steps in the pool, holding his hand, assuring him that all is ok and that I was right there with him.

Every now and then, the lifeguard got him into the pool and got him to blow bubbles, do ice cream scoops and kick his legs, but he lost it at the end and as begging to go home.  Fine, kid.  You win.

But we go back on Wednesday, Friday and Monday, Wednesday and Friday next week too.  So, maybe…I win.  🙂

Learning to kick (And yes, Jack refuses at any point to not wear shoes. Even in the house)

Kicking on the steps

Ice cream scoops!



Watching Over Us

Jack has been mentioning my mother a lot recently.  Not that he never speaks of her, but not as often as he has recently.  He gets excited when we mention that we will be building and living in a new house, where he almost immediately follows it up with “Mom will live there too.”  I explain now that Mom is in heaven with God, but she is always watching him and will continue to watch over him in the new house.

He still calls her on his play phones and carries on conversations with her while on the phone.  His new, and funny phrase is, “Hey Mom.  What’s up?!” when he answers the phone.

Yesterday, Chris was driving Jack home from school, and unprompted, he says to Chris, “Mom sleeps with me at night.”  Chris tried to probe for more and he said that he sees Mom when he is sleeping and that he misses her.  To be honest, I don’t doubt it.  One of her wishes was that Jack would be big enough and that she would feel good enough to have Jack stay with her overnight like my sisters and I used to do with our grandmother.  Unfortunately, she never had that chance in life, but maybe now she is having this chance now.

When Chris told me the story when he got home, I had chills and was immediately immersed in a sense of comfort and peace.  Maybe the young really do have a better sense for these things.  Either way, it makes my heart smile to know that he misses her and that he believes her to be with him always.

Fourth of July 2012

Max got up with the sun for his first holiday and was soon followed by big brother Jack.  After a quick breakfast and letting Daddy sleep in for a little while longer, we got the boys dressed in their red, white and blue outfits and off we went for a walk before it became ungodly hot.

We ended up stopping at our friend’s house for a quick hello which turned into spending the majority of the day with them.  It was very nice to relax, let the kids play, talk for a while and soak up the air conditioning instead of spending the time out in the hot and humid air.

Our friends were heading to a party and we decided to get the kids home and off to bed at a decent hour as Jack is terrified of the sound that fireworks make and to alleviate the crying and late bedtime, if he would just go to sleep, we wouldn’t have the hysteria when the fireworks started.  Our plan didn’t work out, but at least we tried.  😉

Jack and Max enjoyed a few sparklers before bed, and that was the extent of our day.  Not very exciting, but that was the best part.  Just a day to enjoy and take it easy.  Exactly what the doctor ordered!

The patriotic boys

Jack loves his baby brother!

Jack in his red, white and blue

Max in his red, white and blue




Max is Two Weeks Old

I’m a little behind on my posts, but Max has had a busy two weeks of life! Lots of visitors and lost sleep, but all are wonderful little things to anticipate with a new baby.

Max has been phenominal with eating, sleeping and truly doesn’t cry unless he’s not happy with something. We are just praying that he stays this wonderful!

Transitioning from one child to two hasn’t been too difficult so far, but it can be very trying when I am nursing Max and Jack decides to roam the house or that he needs me to play with him that minute. Jack has been pretty understanding about me having to sit and feed Max and I will usually ask Jack to bring some books that we can read together while he eats.

A typical morning will be me waking around 6:00am or so, showering, Jack will then get up, diapering everyone, nursing Max for about an hour, cooking breakfast for Jack, getting the kids dressed, and then it is usually around 10:30am and I am already ready for a nap! But then, before we can go anywhere, Max is starving again and I am nursing him for another hour. The lunch, naps and me cleaning the house and doing chores while the littles nap. I laugh when Chris comes home and asks me about my day and what had happened.

Planning anything in the coming weeks will take a lot of skill and patience, however I’m sure it will be easier with Chris home to help get the boys dressed, etc… My promptness for arriving on time will probably be challenged a bit with the two littles and all that comes with having a newborn. I wouldn’t have it any other way though. 🙂

This past week, I took both boys to the pediatrician for their checkups. Max went for a weight check and Jack for his two and a half year checkup. Below is the information for both of them:

Max’s stats:

21.5 inches long (Can we say holy growth spurt?!)

7lbs, 13oz (He has been losing weight and I nurse him every 2-3 hours, so we have to supplement a bit until we get his weight up)

He still has the beautiful dark blue newborn eyes, dark hair and beautiful coloring to his skin. I could just eat him!

Considering all that has been happening, he is such a sweet and easy going baby. He only cries when hungry or when he wants to be held. Dirty diapers don’t phase him and he just enjoys being with people. Such a good baby!

As far as clothing goes, he has me packing away his newborn clothes, and some 0-3 months Kissy Kissy sleepers already! He’s definitely not as chubby as Jack was. He is going more for long beanpole at this point. I’m sure he will be packing on the pounds in no time. 😉

Jack’s stats:

37 inches long (He’s already the size of a 3 year old!)

30.2 pounds (Growing strong)

He is healthy as can be and still keeps his long and lean frame.

The doctor said that he doesn’t need to see him again until December for his three year checkup other than a quick visit for a flu shot in the fall.

So blessed that both of them are happy and healthy!


Jack- 2.5 Years Old

Yesterday, my first born turned two and a half. Yep, inching ever so closely to childhood and out of toddlerhood.

Other than testing the boundaries recently and trying to assert himself, I do have to say that we have a pretty amazing child. He is very easy going, but extremely active all of the time. Here are some of the things that he is doing:

Speaking in full sentences and is able to use his words to convey what he wants

Follows simple directions

Sings songs- Wheels on the Bus, ABC’s, Twinkle Twinkle, Rain, Rain Go Away, and a few others from school

Eating with utensils 100% of the time

Has entered the “helper” stage where he wants to help Mommy fold clothes, empty the dishwasher, help Daddy mow the lawn, etc…

He is also telling us what he did at school and remembers all of the names of his classmates, and if one misbehaves, Jack can’t wait to tell us about it

Semi-regularly using the potty (especially at school)

Hi favorite toys are still cars and trucks- hands down. Thomas the train is also another toy that he is really beginning to enjoy. We swear that if we never bought him another toy that he would be perfectly fine with that. He enjoys playing with other children and is pretty decent about sharing his toys and other items.

We are so blessed to have such a wonderful little boy. I can not wait to see how he reacts to his little brother, who is hopefully coming any day now!


Crazy Two Weeks

From the fall, to giving birth, it was already a pretty momentous week when Max was born.

Of course my story doesn’t end there. Sunday morning, Max begins to fuss a bit around 6:00am, so I wake up and bring him downstairs as not to wake anyone else so I can feed him and hopefully get him back to sleep to get some more shut eye myself.

I came down and got Max situated on the changing table and began to unfasten his diaper. being that it is 6:00am and we had woken several times to nurse, I was a bit delerious, but I noticed that his entire diaper was dark and somewhat appeared to be a large bowel movement. Thankfully, I turned on the light to get a better look and to clean him up. Once the light turned on, I looked down and saw that the diaper was actually filled with blood and Max was bleeding from his penis. Immediately, I screamed for Chris to come down and help. He came running down and we both went into shock. He was still bleeding profusely from his penis and was now crying to boot.

I rushed him to the ER after we applied pressure to stop the bleeding and the physician’s assistant checked him over, said to continue to apply Vaseline until the would healed and to follow up with my pediatrician in a few days. They never sent a doctor down or anything. Turns out that the late bleed was due to an artery close to the skin. What a mess.

A few days later, I stopped by a friend’s house with both boys for a visit and she called to tell me that she was picking up steaks and we could all just have dinner together at her place. A excuse for not cooking? Count me in. Chris came over and we began preparing dinner. I washed all of the steaks and my friend prepared the sides to be cooked. Meanwhile, Max had a dirty diaper, so I went to change him and Jack went out in their backyard with the babysitter to play. Chris went to fire up the grill and realized that the tank was empty, so he was off to get a new tank.

In a split second, Jack was walking back in the house as I was finishing Max’s diaper change and all I hear is a dog growl and Jack scream a blood curdling scream. My heart absolutely stopped and I came running. My friend reached Jack first and when I looked at Jack’s face, he was covered in blood. I tried to remain as calm as possible, but was slowly losing it. We called Chris to come home and rushed Jack to the plastic surgeon for stitches. Chris in true Chris fashion remained calm, cool and collected. I passed Max off to someone in the house and jumped in the back seat of the car to apply pressure to the bleeding on our drive to the surgeon’s office.

Several stitches later and lots of screaming heard from the waiting room (they don’t allow the parents to go back to the OR), Jack came out bandaged and swollen, but happy to see us.

We found out afterwards that when Jack was coming into the house from the backyard, the dog had secretly grabbed one of the raw steaks from the counter that I had washed and was eating it in his cage when Jack stopped to scold him for eating the food on his way into the house. That is when the dog attacked him.

We finally had the stitches out, but it has been a long week of not going outside, not swimming, no bathing, and playing as many quiet games as possible to ensure that Jack’s face healed.

The plastic surgeon told us that it is too early to tell whether or not he will have scarring, but we have all of the lotions and potions to try and avoid scarring as much as possible.

When I brought him home from getting his stitches out (he was so brave!), he felt very hot and over the 2 days before that had developed a wet cough. I took his temp, which was 101.4. Off to the pediatrician again. He has a right ear infection and a cold and is now on Amoxicillin for 10 days with a follow up appointment to discuss tubes in his ears. The poor kid can not catch a break.

That has been my 2 weeks in a nutshell, but I am so thankful that both boys are ok and on the mend.


Jack right after the bite


With stitches and steri strips


After the stitches came out

We Have Entered the Why Stage

We tried to ignore it a few weeks ago.  Answering or correcting Jack about something that he saw, and it happened.  “Why Mommy?”  Another response.  “Why?”  And it went on and on and on.

I’m not annoyed by this newfound curiosity, but it does get me thinking that our little two year old is growing up and heading into a new developmental phase.

Jack is also in the stage where he wants to do everything himself and is testing Chris and I to see how much he can get away with.  He loves to have an opportunity to tell the dogs what do do.  “Sit down, Bailey” can be heard all over the house.

He likes this newfound freedom and makes sure to let his presence and his thoughts known.

The occasional “Why?” will be followed up with several more “Why’s?” and then eventually concluded with “Oh!”

Sometimes I feel as if we are just ripping through these stages where he begins one and is finished before I know it.  Chris and I found ourselves discussing his start of preschool this winter as well.  Preschool.  Third birthday.  Big brother.  All are things that are making my first little baby more grown up each day.

He is also soaking up each bit of information that we give to him.  Typically, the information will come out during a conversation with friends or in public where he wants to know something or begins reciting his newest lesson in public.  He just cracks me up and brings me so much joy that I often feel that my heart will explode with all of the love that it has for this little boy.

First Class Field Trip to see Trains & Trolleys

Jack’s school is wonderful when it comes to child-centered learning.  His classroom curriculum is focused on learning on a topic a week, or over several weeks and encompassing that topic in their everyday learning.  For example, when his teachers were focusing on Trains and Trolleys, they will center the topic with train tracks and trains for play, reading train books, singing train songs, doing train crafts, etc…  It is such a wonderful way to see him learn and soak all of the information in.

A few weeks ago, his teachers planned a day at the Steamtown Railworks, which is the local train museum and historic society.  The majority of his class came with their parents and grandparents and Jack had a wonderful time.  As he is already a huge fan of Thomas the Train, this was right up his alley.

We went through the museum and ended with a trolley ride past his school.  Let me tell you…he was beside himself with happiness!

Walking through an old trolley car with Daddy






























A train table with a mock-up of our entire hometown and surrounding counties






























Little conductor!


















Most of Jack’s class


















My little engineer

First Swim of the Season

On Saturday, Chris and I had plans to get so much done, after Chris was done golfing, but from 7:00am on, every plan that we had went to the wind as everything began to change.

Chris had planned to golf in the morning, but had to cancel to run to the doctors office.  I had planned to get a much needed pedicure (can’t reach my feet comfortably), but was home with Jack cleaning, doing the wash and trying to organize.

One thing that we did make a priority was to go out and buy a swimming pool for Jack.  We knew it would be hot and since Jack loves to be outdoors, a pool sounded like the perfect solution for an active and beautiful day outside.

Once he awoke from his nap (Daddy mowed the lawn, Mommy set up and cleaned the sand & water table and hosed down his house), he jumped into his swim trunks and off we went!

He is still ever so much the water baby that he has always been with trying to lay down in the water, splashing the dogs, pouring water over his head, playing with his toys and just having a wonderful time.

It makes my heart sing to see him enjoying something that he truly is excited about.  I’m absolutely sure that this pool will get a lot of use this summer!!

Oh and Rogan the lifeguard (the dog) was on constant watch on the side of the pool and would become hysterical if Jack splashed or became excited.  (I really should get it on video…)

Jack playing and Rogan “lifeguarding”




































“Rogie Baby, stop barking!”


















Water baby