Friday, September 28, 2012


September has been a busy month around here.  School started for Joseph--with homework and more rigid schedules, new teachers and new friends. Abigail and I have been enjoying little outings that are geared toward her--lots of trips to the park where she can swing "super high", storytime at the library, play groups at church, and even a trip to see the "Banjo Man" perform at the Lebanese Taverna (Abigail likes falafel!).

September has brought strep throat and a stomach bug, new eyeglasses for Joseph, and more frequent visits to the doctor for me since we're nearing Baby O's debut.  I look like I'm going to have a baby at any moment, but have six weeks to go.

We've started our Tuesday afternoons with Grandma Donna again, which the kids look forward to. I also look forward to them and have gotten an unbelievable amount done on my dissertation proposal. I hope to defend the proposal before the University committee and send it on up the approval chain before the baby arrives.  That might be a bit over-ambitious, but it gives me something to work toward.

Marc's pumpkins and butternut squash have exploded and our crop is overflowing the backporch.  Tomatoes are still coming in too, but Abigail loves to help pick them when they are still green. Good excuse for fried green tomatoes, Joseph reminds me.

The weather has turned cooler--enough to allow for baking and soups with all those squash family foods we keep harvesting. Last night's Thai pumpkin soup was a bust--I was severely disappointed when the "taste test" bite gave me heartburn so I had to skip it for dinner. But the black bean pumpkin soup continues to be a hit; my friend Joelle brought this to us when Abigail was born--it has been a favorite of mine since.  Today I made some homemade granola and muffins (in addition to dinner of cheese enchiladas, rice, and a big pot of black beans), but didn't quite make it to the granola bar recipe I was going to try for the first time.

We celebrated the official arrival of fall (Joseph is our keeper of the seasons) and I received a "Happy First Day of Fall" card decorated with beautiful leaves and a truck carrying raking equipment from my little man. We still have some apple picking (and eating) to do before we move ahead to October....

The pumpkin and squash harvest (early on)

Abigail sitting among the pumpkin vines in the backyard eating her banana muffin. She loves to be outside.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Catch up, again

I think these two posts ( here and here) from November of last year finally catch me up on the blog.

Now I'm ready for all those new baby photos! How about you?

Friday, September 21, 2012

Family Photos

Because Baby O. is expected to arrive amidst the electoral college furor, all of the "countdowns" and reminders that the presidential election is almost upon us serve to remind me how soon we will be welcoming a new life into our family.

Since, as of today, we have 49 days (thank you Obama feed on my facebook account), I realized I ought to post these family pictures while they are still current.  That is not to say we will not still use them for the Christmas card this year--we're taking it a day at a time when this third child arrives."Embrace the crazy!" is a mantra a dear friend of mine suggested I adopt based on her experience with #3.

 Thanks again to our photographers, Ben and Becca Munson!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

National Arboretum

Our good friends Lisa & Bodie invited us for a spur-of-the-moment outing  (aren't those the best?) to the National Arboretum.  It's been years (long before Abigail's birth) since I've been. It really is a great spot. Abigail loved feeding the koi fish, which seemed as if they'd missed a few feedings. If you ask Abigail about feeding the fish, she raises her eyebrows and says "They went crazy!"  

Bodie and Abigail are good buds--they both liked to get in the water at the fountain, poke at the ants and catepillar and just explore life to its fullest!

September 13, 2012

Monday, September 17, 2012

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Joseph won Nationals tickets for some kind of math achievement last year, but the original game in June was rained out. We traded our tickets for a September Saturday afternoon. Perfect weather and great seats (especially since we actually sat in the shade higher up even though our tickets were technically closer to the field. Marc and I haven't been to a professional baseball game since our second date to the St. Louis Cardinals many moons ago.

We parked at Marc's office and walked along the river to the stadium. The kids had a fantastic time--we all enjoyed cheering after the home runs!!  Abigail has been having us sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" for her bedtime song since the game. We didn't stay for the whole game, but it turned out perfectly. Not long after we left, a huge thunderstorm came through and caused a several hour delay. But when they resumed the game, the Nationals made a comeback and won the game in extra innings, we learned from the internet in our dry house.  Also, it was fun to see the pitcher for the Miami Marlins was Mark Buehrle, a guy who went to high school with me (he was a couple years younger, his brother Jason was my year)--since I don't really follow baseball, it was a fun surprise to see his picture pop up on the big screen.

September 8, 2012

Sunday, September 16, 2012


We celebrated our annual reunion with Marc's good friends, Ryan & Nick. The wives and kids get to come along for the fun. 

Oliphants on the left, Kigins on the right, Nick in the middle
Abigail loved the Kigins' trampoline--she held her own with all the big boys

She also loved (and hunted) their kitty cat.

September 2, 1012

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Back to School

Joseph headed back to school for 1st grade!  He was excited to see good friends that he has missed over the summer.  The main report after the first day?  "It is a long time before lunch." 

I was crying before we even got in the door at the school.  Shouldn't I be over this by 1st grade?  I'll just blame it on the pregnancy.  I will miss my little guy,  but I know he loves school. He didn't even look back once he was with his class. We waited to wave as they walked out of the gym, but he was off in 1st grade world already.

It will be fun for Abigail to have some one-on-one time--especially before the arrival of the baby.  Immediately after dropping off Joseph, we took Marc to work and then headed to playgroup at the church. I rarely go, but we were looking for something to occupy our thoughts.  Abigail couldn't have had more fun!  

Joseph--First Grade

Abigail missed Joseph--she gave him lots of love when he got home.
September 4, 2012

Tuesday, September 04, 2012


We started and finished our summer at the Donaldson Run swimming pool.  It was fun on Labor Day to see how much the kids have changed over the summer. On Memorial Day, Abigail had been terrified of the water, but now is having a ball--especially if she has a shovel or scoop or cup or if she is jumping off the side to Marc.  On Labor Day, Joseph was going off the diving board--real dives, flips, back dives, cannonballs--you name it. He even went off the high dive!!! What a brave little boy!

Abigail now loves the water

Isn't she a doll? He's pretty cute too!

Joseph diving!

A cannon ball

That is 11 foot water!!!

Our Joseph

So, farewell to another summer. Farewell to slow summer days without schedules, to slurpees and ice cream cones. Farewell to barbeques and swimming pools, vacations and sunscreen. We bought our last watermelon and corn on the cob, but luckily we'll still have tomatoes and squash from the garden for a few more weeks to ease us in to autumn. 

September 3, 2012

Sunday, September 02, 2012

August Days

We have tried to squeeze all kinds of fun into August. I have been surprised at how much Abigail has enjoyed our outings. She is really growing up! Joseph still gets to pick most of the places we go, but I have a feeling she'll be voicing her opinion before long!
One morning and I looked at the clock: 8 AM.  "My children have been up for two hours and we have two hours more to go before anything in this city opens!"  We needed out of the house so we headed on over to the Natural History Museum.  The up side to arriving hours before opening?  Parking is easy!! Actually, the timing was great--I let the kids run and run around the National Mall (Abigail loved seeing the carousel, but is terrified of actually going on it so it didn't matter that it wasn't open yet).  We found an outdoor butterfly garden that is just along the sidewalks on the side of the museum (open 24 hours a day).  And we were right in line to get in first so we got 10:15 tickets to the Butterfly Exhibit. Abigail was absolutely delighted by the butterflies flying all around her.  She also got a kick out of the termite mound or "tunnel." Joseph got to hold a cockroach and catepillar, as well as hear the lesson on tarantulas. Plus, all of the "stuffed animals" and dinosaur bones (Abigail is a bigger fan of dinos that Joseph ever was).  All this and we were home by nap time....

Frying Pan Park with  our friend Bodie and his always fun mom. The kids loved it--seeing the animals, riding on a wagon pulled by a tractor, etc.


A public bus ride over to Georgetown where we finally succeeded in scoring a place in line at Georgetown Cupcake! 

Abigail loved the bus ride

Joseph and Abigail on the bus

The trick was to leave home on an early bus so we arrived just as the store was opening--so our line wasn't unbearably long!

We met Autn Rachel and enjoyed cupcakes and played in the fountains, fed the ducks, enjoyed the city.

Then off to lunch with dad and more city fountains

A back-to-school carnival at the church where Joseph got his face painted and rocked the 3-legged race (multiple times)
 A day at the zoo.  Abigail couldn't stop telling us about the "yoctopus" (octopus) she saw at the zoo. We all had a great day--sloth bears, Asian river otters, and the ever fantastic invertebrate house!

August, 2012

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Baltimore Aquarium

Joseph is our little marine life lover. For a long time we've been talking about going to the National Aquarium in Baltimore, Maryland. One Saturday, Marc stayed home with Abigail (and they had lots of fun bike riding and going to the park and reading) while Joseph and I had a special outing to the aquarium.

Before we went in to the aquarium, Joseph found lots of crabs at the pier in the Inner Harbor. He showed any kids whose parents would let them get close enough to the water to see!

We saw all kinds of animals including sharks and stingrays. We especially liked watching the scuba divers feeding the fish. Joseph even got to drop weighted lettuced heads into the water to feed the fish.

Joseph's shark face. 

Jospeh before the dolphin show. We sat in the "splash zone" so Joseph was disappointed when we didn't get splashed

A mom and Joseph outing always calls for a special lunch--this time at Five Guys
Mom and her little man!
We went to every part of the aquarium--even though the place was absolutely packed--we were gone from home for almost 10 hours!  We had an awesome day together (one-on-one time is so great!!)

August 18, 2012