Saturday, June 30, 2012

It's a Girl!

Joseph and Abigail are excited to welcome a SISTER! 

The ultrasound today was so fun--it makes it all seem so much more real. And now, as Joseph likes to remind me, we can call the baby "her" instead of just "the baby" or "it".

Bring on November....we're so excited for you, little girl.
June 29, 2012

Friday, June 29, 2012

Catch up

I finally posted about our awesome trip to the Outer Banks in February. Link here

And can you believe it-- Halloween?!?!?  Here, here, and here.

Aunt Rachel's birthday here
And more Thanksgiving fun  here and here and here

There is still more catching up to do, but this will have to be enough to tide you over....

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Date Night

Marc and I went on a date to the Eden Center, an amazing hidden gem of Vietnamese shops and restaraunts. We'd heard rave reviews and had been intending to go for a couple years now. Last Friday, Donna generously offered to babysit for us and we headed out.

I just have to say how much I love Marc.  It had been a rough week: sick, puking kids, the transmission dead in the car, etc.  To tell the truth, I wasn't in the mood for date night and was a bit grumpy as we headed out. But it only takes a bit of time out with Marc and I feel cheered up and ready to face the world again.

We wandered around the shops and markets--surprised at the true authenticity of the place- we were the only Caucasian people in sight on a Friday night in the summer.  We saw everything from meat markets to herb shops and pharmacies,  as well as travel agencies and beauty salons.  It felt like we had stepped into another world.  We went back into the shops further from the main drag (Marc jokingly said it was beyond the reach of the health department inspectors), and ate at a little place that had been recommend by Marc's cousin, David.   The woman who greeted us didn't speak English, but gave us menus with basic English translations. We didn't quite know what we'd ordered until the food started arriving at our table--and the adventure began!  A large plate of raw marinated beef, shrimp, cuttlefish (a seafood that I only knew of from my visits to the invertebrate house at the zoo with Joseph!!!), okra, and onion.  A plate of greens including lettuce and mint, among others I couldn't identify.  A plate of noodles. A bowl of warm water and a plate of dry rice wraps that you dip in the water to soften.  Bowls of a spicy dipping sauce. And finally, a little griddle-with a real fire under it--that sat on our table. The server then played charades with us as she explained that we cook the meat and veggies on the grill, soak the rice wrapper and then fill it with the cooked meat and fish, noodles, greens and dip in the sauce. It tasted good and maybe more importantly was just really fun to cook our meat with chopsticks and enjoy the experience. 

I only had my phone so sorry for the grainy picture, but I couldn't pass up a photo of Marc grilling with his chopsticks. Isn't he handsome?

On our way out, we stopped for the famous "bubble tea" which are fruit smoothies with black tapioca balls that look like bubbles.  We also were approached by several different children asking for money for their mother in the hospital. It seemed strange to me (and similar to some human trafficking scenarios I've heard of) so after asking one of the children if he was safe and needed my help (and then realizing he was being watched by someone in a van), we ended our night by reporting the van's license plates to the local police.  Marc doesn't complain about going on dates with a grumpy mom or a social worker, isn't he a gem?

What a fun night!
June 15, 2012

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

First haircut

I took Abigail for her first official haircut today (I've done a bit of snipping here and there previously). She did pretty well--sat on my lap and clung to her lollypop for dear life. I think she looks darling.  The stylist asked me if I wanted to keep the clippings, and I said no and felt a little like a terrible mother; I'd also neglected to bring the camera.  But, when we got home I snapped a picture of this doll with my phone (sorry for the poor quality). 

I love this pose because she often folds her hands like this--so dainty and sweet. How did we end up with this child?

 June 22, 2012

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Party Time

Even though the whole weekend was a party, we had an official graduation party on Sunday night. I'm guessing 150 people stopped by to share best wishes with Hannah.  Once again, lots of delicious food and fun people.  And once again, I visited and chatted while Marc watched all the kids and along with my sister Catherine kept the buffet replenished.  What a guy!

Nanitzi and Jacob with Abigail and Thomas. These two cousins are six months apart and had quite a ball together.

 After arriving at home, I thought Abigail was constantly asking for hummus. I finally figured out she was saying Thomas. She misses her buddy. 

Hannah, Lexy, and Andrew
Carter, Ellie, and Joseph: the kids found where we stashed all the toys that had been cleared out for the party
It was quite a party--scheduled from 4-8 pm, but at 10:30 Marc and I went to bed before the last guest left!
June 10, 2012

Monday, June 25, 2012

The Fun Never Ends

Another festivity: a backyard barbeque and swim party.  As always, quite a feast of food and fun. Dad grilled hamburgers and hotdogs; we got carryout ribs as well as pork, chicken, and beef barbeque from Bandana's Barbeque. Nanitzi made her to-die-for homemade salsa. Plus all the sides including Mom's "ward picnic salad."  The kids and adults alike loved the bottles of St. Louis Fitz's rootbeer.

I "borrowed" this photo that Aunt Joanna took of the kids in the backyard

Aunt Meridith captured this action shot of Joseph at the end of his slip 'n slide run. Like always, Joseph gave it his all.  He actually played so hard, he went to bed during dinner--covered in grass scrapes and utterly exhausted.

The cousins and Uncle Marc

As you can see, Abigail didn't want to be in the water, but had a great time just being in the midst of all the action.  It was fun to introduce Abigail to my sister Joanna and her family for the first time. Joanna said Abigail reminded her of a cricket; Grandpa Lincoln has said a hummingbird. Abigail does have a way about her that is distinct as she dances, skips, flounces, and flits about. 

June 9, 2012

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Photo Shoot

In addition to Hannah's recital, we had an extended family photo shoot with Ben and Becca Munson in Old St. Charles. Who knew family photos could be so fun?  I haven't been together with all of my siblings in years--let's just say we laughed a lot (I mean Catherine was laughing so hard she was crying while we were trying to pose!) 

During the 3-hour photo session, we all chatted and hung out while various family groupings had their pictures taken.  I can't wait to see the end results. For now, here are some shots taken while we were waiting...

Cousins: Lexy with Joseph, Carter, and Thomas

Ally and Joseph

Marc took Carter and Joseph to see the old fashion car show down the street

Joseph's "attempt" at staying clean during the shoot

I spent a lot of time chatting while Marc spent his time trying to keep Abigail out of the Missouri River
 June 9, 2012

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Hannah's Senior Recital

 Hannah at her senior recital!

Hannah with her teacher, Mrs. Fleisher 

All eight of the Moore kids with Mrs. Fleisher. She taught each of us at one point.  At the end of the recital, Mrs. Fleisher got up and talked about my parents. She paid tribute to them for raising eight children with values and who each contribute to the world. It was touching--I think it really is an amazing accomplishment to raise eight children to happy, productive adulthood. They made a lot of sacrifices--and continue to do so.

June 9, 2012

Friday, June 22, 2012

Road Tripping

We made a "quick trip" to St. Louis to celebrate my sister Hannah who graduated from homeschool high school this year. She had a senior recital and all of my siblings (8 in total) were there to hear her play. We haven't all been together in years so it was a fun reunion in honor of Hannah.

It was an action packed weekend; the Moores are typically an intense bunch, but this weekend beat all.  Two weeks later and I'm still recovering!

Since Joseph's school is still in session (and we've already gotten into a bit of trouble for taking him out too much--another post for another time), Marc and I thought we'd "just" make the 14 hour drive on Friday and drive back Monday.  Whew!  This is the first really long drive we've made with two kiddos. We survived....barely!

 Abigail looking at a Richard Scarry book.  She is not wearing clothes because she dumped her water bottle all over herself--probably within the first hour of the trip.  She actually did much worse on the trip than I expected. Normally she is happy in the car--singing to herself and just being her pleasant little self.  Unfortunately, we bought her a new carseat and had her front-facing for the first time on the trip. I think it was too low and she couldn't see out the window.  She did not sleep for one minute during the entire 14 hour drive.

Joseph enjoyed reading the whale books that I checked out from the library for him--(ones that I wouldn't let him look at until we were on the trip.) He also loves "doing math" with Dad on the drive. This entails Marc giving Joseph story problems to solve. On this trip, Joseph begged for Marc to teach him multiplication. And, 14 hours later, I think he's got it--and I may never think again about homeschooling!  He was so excited to arrive in Missouri, he kept asking the classic "how much longer" question; I think the first time he asked, we were still in Maryland! 

 The kids loved it when Dad sat in the back with them while I drove. He is an entertaining fellow.  Plus, he could distribute all the treats.  I made homemade hummus and muffins; I packed Costco cartons of fruit and veggies.  Yet, Abigail spied the one bag of potato chips and insisted we open them--everyone obliged and helped eat them--at 8:04 AM. That is when I knew we were in trouble!

I did some driving--until my lower extremities started falling asleep.  Long road trips while pregnant can be fun!

When we arrived in Missouri, it was only 7:00 pm (thanks to our 6:20 AM departure and the switch to central time).  Joseph dove right into playing with the cousins.  Joseph had said Grandma's house was going to be a "kid warehouse" this time because there were going to be so many fun kids to play with.  Indeed.  He also dug right into Aunt Joanna's sweet and sour meatballs (he even ate the peppers and peas she served him!!)  My favorite moment:  not long after we arrived sitting down to dinner at the kitchen table, Joseph turns to his cousin Ellie who lives near Dallas and he hasn't seen in a couple years and says, "So, they say everything is bigger in Texas.  Is it true?"  Yep, that's what he said. I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried. 

We jam packed the weekend and then headed home on Monday....

Even though we hit a some traffic and a major shut-down-the-road accident that slowed down our trip and we didn't arrive until 11:00 pm, the drive home was a little more relaxed for all of us. Joseph quietly(except for occasional bursts of giggles) listened to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on CD with earplugs. We switched Abigail's carseat to rear facing, and she actually took an almost two hour nap. We also figured out a way to play Abigail's Ella CDs from the CD player facing her so Marc and I could barely hear it.  Victory!
What a weekend!
June 8, 2012

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Marc's Work Picnic

Abigail and I joined Marc for his work picnic. Joseph was very disappointed that kindergarten got in the way of his attending and winning the hula hoop contest like he did last year.
 Classic Abigail! She loved running up and down the sidewalk--luckily the fence separated her from the bank of the river.

 Marc with a couple colleagues

 It was such a beautiful day.

 After eating, Marc spearheaded getting a group of his co-workers to rent segways for an hour.

June 6, 2012

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Al fresco

We've eaten dinner outside almost every night since Mother's Day.  The weather here has been gorgeous!  Eating dinner together outside on summer evenings is one of the things we love best about summer time!

Grilled kebabs!

 Joseph picked mint from our garden to garnish the lemonade.  He also loves to light the candles for the table

Abigail seems to have more of an appetite when we eat outside.  Here she is having some cheese as an appetizer. She's not much on the kebabs--except the grilled mushrooms and "cchini" (zuchini), and she'll eat a bit of the accompanying rice. 

June 3, 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012

20 months

Abigail is my dream child. She brings me joy and a smile every single day. She is still our "Happigail" and cheerful and sweet. She also is smart as a whip, and a bit stubborn, which I find to be adorable.  She is talking up a storm. A couple of my favorites: "Bless you" and insisting on singing "Popcorn" over and over again.  She also will fill in the blanks to the ABC song with Joseph and the "Whenever I hear a song of a bird" primary song.  She says"I love you,"  but my all time favorite is when I whisper "I love you" and she whispers back, "I love you too"

She randomly runs up to me and hugs me around the knees throughout the day.  If I am in another room of the house and walk into where she is playing, her face lights up and she says "Hiiiiii, mommy!" as if I've been gone all day.  She is a pure delight. (And she's chugging those Pediasures, gaining a bit of weight, and all biopsies came back negative--20 months is looking good for her.)

June 5, 2012

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Glen Echo Folk Festival

 We visited the Washington Folk Festival at Glen Echo Park.  There were folk music concerts, instruments for the kids to try, a carousel to watch or ride, family dances in the ballroom, and a playground. Perfection!

Abigail and Daddy wathcing the dancing
Exploring the stream on the way back to the car

Joseph taking pictures of himself on the drive home.
June 3, 2012

Monday, June 11, 2012

Welcome Summer

The first weekend in June was wonderful. The weather was perfect (well, after Friday night's storms which cancelled our plans to attend the Nationals game), Joseph was cast-free and ready to play ball again, I was finally feeling significantly better.... the stars were aligned!

 On Saturday morning, Joseph and I made blueberry muffins together. It has been awhile since we've baked together (or since I've cooked much of anything, actually), and this was officially the first time Joseph could read me the recipe as we baked.  We ate breakfast together as a family on the front porch-- in our uniforms!
Abigail wearing Joseph's soccer uniform

Then, off to the park for Joseph's t-ball game.  Joseph had a huge cheering section--Uncle John & Aunt Gwen & Cousin Lucy down from New Jersey, Aunt Rachel, dear friend Meg, Grandma Donna.... But the game was cancelled due to the storms from the previous evening.  Instead Grandma put together a delicious picnic, and we played  and chatted at the park in the beautiful weather.
Uncle John and Joseph playing ball
Photo courtesy of Gwen

Cousins: Lucy and Abigail
Photo courtesy of Gwen

Joseph up to bat
Photo courtesy of Gwen
June 2, 2012

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Daily Life

Abigail loves climbing up on the couch arm to push the buttons on the cd player
 Backyard playtime: the best time of the day!

May 2012