Sunday, June 30, 2013


We had a couple fun times in June that, unfortunately, we don't have pictures of.  Instead I will post (re-post?) some of these shots of Anna and just write about our fun parties.

#1 We had a Summer Solstice Party!  We celebrated the longest day of the year with a backyard campfire complete with s'mores and dutch oven cobbler and watermelon. We had several new and old friends over--including a couple we haven't seen in a few years!! They didn't even know we had Anna--too bad she was already asleep so they couldn't meet Her Cuteness-- but nonetheless it was delightful catching up. We had such a great time we're already gearing up for Autumn Equinox.

#2 Our fun friends from Ohio came to dinner. We ate out on the screened-in porch on a cool night. The little boys played soccer in the back yard. Their daughter and Uncle  Andrew both performed on the piano for us. They brought gifts including puzzles for Abigail who promptly climbed right into Emily's lap to do the puzzles together. So cute!

June 2013

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Smithsonian Folklife Festival

My all-time favorite Washington, D.C. event is the Smithsonian Folklife Festival held each summer.  My mom, Andrew, and I with all three kids headed downtown on its opening day.  It was another fantastic year: we participated in a Garifuna dance instruction session and listened to a performance of Tuvan throat singers. In a Q&A session after a Hungarian men's dance performance, Joseph asked how they learned to do this so well so they invited him up and gave him an impromptu lesson. He also got to learn some games from Bolivia. We also tasted a variety of the ethnic foods (Abigail commandeered the shared Indian chaat). 

Our first stop was a Garifuna dance lesson

Joseph learning games from Bolivia

Then on Saturday when Grandma and Andrew were on their road trip, we headed back to the festival with Marc for more!  We saw a parade of Hungarian dancers and musicians. 

I love this festival. Every year I come home wishing I was doing a PhD in anthropology. And wishing I could travel with my children and learn about the diversity of cultures and ideas the world over. And feeling grateful that we can go to this festival each year and for a few days live out those dreams. 

June 26 and June 29, 2013

Friday, June 28, 2013

Charm City

Grandma Charlotte gave us the best present ever! She took all three kids so Marc and I could get away for a night (26 glorious hours, actually). I know it isn't easy to take my three children overnight--I am so grateful for her sacrifice! Thank you Mom!

I picked up Marc from work in his parents' convertible and we headed to Baltimore, aka Charm City. We wandered around the inner harbor, rode the water taxi, ate crab cakes and shrimp from a fish market, slept in, and talked uninterrupted for hours on end. I don't think life gets any better than this.

 We ate Five Guys on a bench by the water as we soaked in the gorgeous evening views.

We got caught in a major downpour, but that didn't keep us for stopping for carry-out chocolate truffle tower cake from The Cheesecake Factory. One piece was enough to share, with plenty left over for breakfast.

 Day passes for the water taxi allowed us to ride all day long, just for the fun of being on the water. Next time we'd like to find a tour of one of the factories or shipyards in Baltimore--wouldn't that be interesting?

 We stopped and wandered around Fells Point and found a fish market to get carryout lunch for another meal overlooking the water.
We rode the water taxi until they shut it down for approaching storms, then raced to our parking garage, having fun getting drenched along the way. 

June 27-28, 2013

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Grandma Charlotte Visits

Uncle Andrew came to our house directly from college after his semester ended. This means our mother did not get to see him. When he came down with strep throat a few days after arriving, we joked that my mom thought we weren't taking good enough care of him because she promptly bought an airline ticket to visit and check out her boy.  We lucked out and got to benefit from the visit--and enjoyed over a week of Grandma time. It was perfect timing. Joseph's last day of school was Friday and Grandma arrived on Monday.

We had a good time together--we took Grandma to a couple of our favorite nature centers. And at one even included a wading spot in the stream. 

The kids love Grandma's electronics: ipad and iphone streaming their individual choices.

We went to "Taco Tuesday" one night and spent a rainy afternoon in the indoor playland at Chik-fil-a. Also, the Smithsonian Folklife Festival (post to follow).  And of course lots of time just hanging out and being silly.  

Mom and Andrew took a day trip to Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water, they had a great time and I think Andrew was able to convince mom we were taking good care of him.

June 2013

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Baby Gus Arrives!

Our friends Mark and Megan had their baby!  Welcome Baby Angus!  Abigail already includes Gus in her list of who we love.

I got to meet Baby Gus in the hospital! So cute! And Megan rocked labor--making the rest of us look like total wimps!

My mom and Megan's mom were here at the same time so of course we had to visit (and see that cute baby again!)
June 2013

Monday, June 24, 2013

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Saturday morning bike ride

Marc and Uncle Andrew took Abigail and Joseph for a Saturday morning bike ride.  Anna and I are looking forward to November when Anna is old enough to ride in the trailer so we can join in the family bike riding fun once again.

 Please notice Joseph's "Saturday shirt." You probably see it in every Saturday outing picture I post because he wears it each Saturday. Usually with his orange shorts. This week he opted for gray on the bottom.

June 22, 2013

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


It is 7:12 am. Abigail is eating "oats" which is actually Honey Bunches of Oats cereal.

Joseph is playing basketball in the driveway. He was supposed to be getting his backpack from the car, but he was distracted.

On the way downstairs this morning, Abigail was holding my hand and said, "Are we best friends, Mom?" 

Then I served her a bowl of cereal and she said, "Thanks for everything you are doing." 

Anna went back to sleep today after her 5 am wakeup, and she's still out! This week she has started waving hello. Irresistible! 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

First Foods

Anna first tried applesauce on May 19. She was interested, but was just trying to lap it up. Joseph was our photographer. He was most interested in taking videos, which I have not mastered putting on the blog.

One month later and she has gotten the hang of it. Anna is a now a champion eater: avacado, bananas, squash, sweet potato, peas, and even some pureed meat (if we mix it with applesauce).  Next up:  finger foods. She currently picks up the little cereal puffs, but can't quite figure out how to keep them in her mouth so we find sticky pieces on the side of her head or dropped down on her clothes. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day

We celebrated the three most important fathers in our family this year for Father's Day:  fabulous German pancakes for breakfast with Marc, face-timing on the i-phone with Grandpa Bill before church, and then having a feast at Aunt Rachel's house with Grandpa Lincoln.  There was also some singing in Church, "I'm So Glad When Daddy Comes Home" and other such activities!

Happy Father's Day DAD!!

June 16, 2013

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Blues Fest

After Joseph's final baseball game and after-season party, we headed over to the annual Columbia Pike Blues Festival. They shut down the street and there are fantastic performers, booths with crafts and food, and of course local politicians (inescapable in this area!!)

Joseph was pretending to sleep, both girls like to be on my lap at all times, and Uncle Andrew makes everything more fun

June 15, 2013

Finishing Baseball Season

We had a great season on the Rays little league team. We're planning to reunite with the same team and coach next season in the "minors" where the boys get to start pitching! 

Our coach was phenomenal; we are grateful for his generosity in sharing his time and talents. This is what he had to say about Joseph in an email to us, "He is such a wonderful boy, and I really enjoyed having him on the Rays this year.  He listens earnestly to all the coaching tips and tries so hard to implement them all.  And he always has a positive attitude."  

The assistant coaches were also great--it takes a lot of parent-power to run this little team!

Joseph and his best buddy, Jacob

The boys at the end-of-season party at Joe's Pizza
June 2013

Friday, June 14, 2013

All About Abigail

Abigail is such a bright spot in our family's life. She is a joy. An exasperation. Truly one-of-a-kind. I have a hard time even trying to describe this little radiant, enchanting imp who alternately skips, gallops, and dances through her days!

On Mother's Day, Uncle Dave and Aunt Joyce were in town and at the family dinner at Marc's parents' house. Abigail was in fine form--our little social butterfly. She's got brains, beauty, and the cutest little personality you'll ever meet! Uncle Dave came up to me and said, "That Abigail is quite a character. It's like she's right out of a storybook and I want to put her in my pocket and take her with me."  That same day, I have been told, after we left there was a discussion of how we could monetize this child's charm.  It's true, if there was a way to buy a little Abigail in your life, I know it would be a best-seller. Everyone needs a little of her.

Having a two-year-old helps you see a reflection of yourself. She is a little imitator. I love to watch her sing and blow kisses when putting her stuffed animals to bed. I will take credit for that because I have to take the blame when she is pretending to change her stuffed animal's diaper and exclaims, "Dang it! I got poop on my hand!"

Abigail, channeling her inner 30-year-old, announces that "Anna is so adorable!"  and tells everyone "Anna is seven months."  She loves to come up to Anna, squeeze her, put her face inches from Anna's and say, "Hi Anna, hiiiii!!" in a happy voice.

After visiting Grandma Donna (and getting a ride home in the convertible), I took Abigail with me to pick up Joseph in our 2001 mini van. She said, "Let's put the top down, Mommy!"  I wish we could, little girl.

She says the cutest things in her little expressive voice with bright, happy eyes.  After I hopped out of the shower, she said, "Mommy, you are so fresh and clean!"  She randomly asks cheerily, "How are you doing today?" or driving along, "It's a beautiful day Mommy!"  or when we arrive at our destination, "We made it!" with pure delight.  Another favorite of mine, "Mommy can you do me a favor?"

She likes to play doctor and asks me to "Take a deep breath" over and over again.

She loves shoes. Trying on grown-up shoes, wearing different shoes that she owns for inappropriate occasions (rain boots with a dress on a blazing how day, Sunday shoes to the park, ...)

She loves to sing and dance. Yesterday, I cheered for her after she finished a dancing performance. She then sat down on the floor, leaned back against the couch and instructed me to dance, after which she clapped and cheered.

One day, Marc asked her to stop doing something she wasn't supposed to be doing. He said it in a gentle voice, but Abigail reprimanded him, "Don't shout at me, Daddy!"

If Abigail is upstairs and I'm downstairs and it gets a little quiet, I always ask, "Abigail, what are you doing?"  If the answer is "nuffing," then I race upstairs as quickly as I can!

This morning as I was lying in bed nursing Anna, Abigail was playing next to the bed--trying on my shoes as she usually does. She put a shirt over her head and took Anna's hand.  "Hi Anna. Nice to meet you. I'm Mary. Do you like my hair?" 

Abigail has a make-believe friend, Louie.  I've overheard her telling Louie, "Wait just a minute. Can you be patient?"

Abigail loves to be read to--currently her favorites are any of the Babybug books, Pete the Cat, and Mother Goose rhymes. I love it when she reads/sings along with me.

Abigail loves to play hopscotch. Somehow, Abigail believes hopscotch is when you stand on the couch and fall face first into the pillows below.

When Abigail gets nervous or self-conscious (which almost always happens when she meets a grown-up for the first time and they speak directly to her) she puts her finger up her nose. It is an amazingly effective way to keep people from getting too close to her. I've even stopped trying to stop her. Obviously, she feels threatened and wants to keep people back. She's got her unique ways, I tell you.

I love my Abigail. She whispers, "I like you and I love you, Mommy."  And I feel the same about her!