Friday, February 28, 2014


 Abigail and I took another outing together. This time we rode the metro downtown to the Natural History museum. She was in heaven. She said, "We love being together, don't we?" Yes, we do sweet girl.

In the metro station, she was twirling all around and then she commented on the "beautiful hexagon tiles" on the floor of the metro station. Where did we get this child? Love her!

When we got to the museum, everything we saw she was so delighted about. "Jellyfish!! My favorite!"  "Triceratops!!! My favorite!!!"
We watched the little evolution video in the animal section. There is an ape statue that all the kids always like to see; Abigail was hugging and kissing the statue like her long lost friend.

I’ve been thinking lately about how Abigail’s default setting is happy. Not that many people are that way, in my estimation. She is almost always smiling and dancing around—running through the house, jumping on the couch, teasing Joseph, kissing and squeezing Anna, wearing a tutu…. She wakes up happy in the morning and comes in to greet us—and it is like she is so excited to announce that she is here another day. I think 3 year olds are the best of times and the worst of times. They can be so defiant (Abigail has started spitting at me and on everything when she gets angry. She also shouts “don’t talk to me like that” if I tell her to do or not do something). 

But it is also so fun to see her discover the world and start putting the pieces together. This week when Abigail was eating walnuts she said, “Do these come from walls?”  Another day we were walking along and she spied some bamboo and she correctly identified it from the panda book we had read a few days before. Another day she asked me, "Where does the sun go when it goes down?"

She’s ready for summer and parks and water fountains. She asks me on a regular basis about “wearing a flowery dress in the summer” and doing specific summer activities (parks, zoo, etc.).

One day we were in the car driving around to kill time on a cold day. I was listening to NPR and there was an interesting program with an author who recently wrote a book about the challenges of parenting to marriage.  One of the callers said she tells all new moms to expect to feel angry at their husband's because no matter how much they do, it never feels like enough.  A few minutes later my little brilliant 3-year-old says, "Mom do you get mad at your husband?"  She is so, so smart!

And loves to take selfies:

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Cutest Kids Ever

Perfect cherubic baby!

Sharing Valentine candies. Valentines Day was a snow day--no better way to spread the love than no school!

Abigail loves to get ice cream after we finish our shopping at Costco

It is hard to say no to this face!

We love to snuggle!  We have a ton of jammie pictures this winter! Anna basically lives in hers--all the more better for snuggling!

February 2014

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Dress Up Stage

 We find Abigail dressed in all kinds of outfits! She is also almost always acting out some imaginary world. She still loves Rapunzel, and has found that pants worn on the head work well to create long hair. See below. Also, she is so tiny she wears shirts as skirts (her waist through the neck hole) with the sleeves as wings on the skirt. Other outfit creations I can't offer much more explanation--only let the pictures speak for themselves.

Monday, February 17, 2014

President's Day

Again this year we celebrated President's Day by visiting George Washington's home, Mount Vernon. This year our friend and former neighbor, Kirstin, joined us. It was a cold, but fun day.

Joseph even met the Governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe.

 I just love, love, love this photo Kirstin took of our Joseph. It captures this 7-year-old and I smile every time I see it.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Valentine's Day

Joseph is such a fun kid! For Valentine's Day, he made a heart scavenger hunt! He hid paper hearts all over the house for us to find. We had a little four-year-old friend, Bodie, over that day too and he loved finding Joseph's hearts. I got a kick out of Joseph's heart hidden in plain site over St. Louis on our wall map.  
My three kids sitting on the couch sharing Valentine's candy!
We started attending the Bella Vista Spanish speaking ward. Our first ward activity was a Valentine's Day party. There was a bounce house for the kids, dinner, and a dance! We decided we've found the right ward!!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

More Snow!

Joseph's snow fort was legendary on our street. All the other kids wanted his help as a snow fort consultant!

Anna mostly watched  from inside.
 For historical records, I felt I ought to snap a couple pictures of the chaos the house descends into on snow days!! Snow pants and coats and hats and boots everywhere! The kitchen filled with dishes left in the hurried rush to get back outside, and of course, the extra baking because snow days really are an excuse to carb load!

There's nothing like a fire to dry out all that snow gear!

February 2014

Sunday, February 09, 2014


Sister Murphy's German chocolate cake, which we had for Marc's birthday, made a comeback for my birthday. Marc felt badly that I made my own cake. I said it was okay--this was the cake I wanted to eat so I was willing to make it! Joseph made us newspaper hats to celebrate. I made the cake on a Sunday afternoon/evening so we celebrated that very night--a day early.

Anna is 15 months!

Anna is 15 months today. She isn’t walking, but is talking!  Tonight we had a birthday cake for me and after singing Happy Birthday, Anna said “Happy Birthday!” It was amazingly clear. She goes to the book shelf, picks a book (Brown Bear or a Babybug) and bring it to me, saying “please, please” over and over. She has this adorable way of crawling when she is carrying something. She holds the object (book, food, etc). in her hands and crawls using her elbows and knees. Her little bum wiggles and it is really cute.  She enjoyed all the love at the Bella Vista ward today—all the people are so friendly and loving to the children. And Anna does have the cutest baby face with those blue eyes and chubby cheeks. I learned the word, muneca (doll).She’s pretty irresistible.

She still crawls everywhere, but she has taken a few steps, and enjoys standing all by herself—while making a wide eyed surprised look at us and waiting for us to exclaim over her and start clapping—and she joins in, very proud of herself.

She loves to laugh and grunt and play with her siblings. She pulls all the books out of the shelves and will sit and look through them for a long time. She can’t quite make it through me reading a book, though. She wants to turn pages before I’ve gotten the words out. She loves to see the family pictures framed on the mantel and will have me show her over and over. She still likes to be carried around—pointing where she wants to go the whole time. She loves bath time, and I’ve taken to giving baths in the middle of the day so she and Abigail can play longer

Anna has started being picky about food. I place food (currently Clementine sections and croutons) on the little footrest of her high chair. That way she can stand and eat it on her own time, instead of having to sit in the highchair (which she resists). 

Another thing that I love is that she says “bye” but on a delayed time. When we take Marc to work in the morning, everyone says, good bye, but it is not until he has left does she finally say “bye” in this adorable soft, sweet voice. The same when we drop Joseph off at school. Those of us left in the car get to hear her “bye, bye, bye.” It is really fun to be able to communicate so much more with her. I weaned her this week. She still asks to nurse, but seems to be starting to understand it’s “all gone.”  Today she let me snuggle her a little before bed-without asking for nursing. 

The jammie and running shoe look

Lounging on the stairs reading a book, upside down

We had some friends to dinner and while we were in the front room visiting, Anna climbed onto the kitchen table and helped herself to the rest of the chocolate trifle

She loves standing at the toy kitchen and playing
Anna adores her siblings! And they adore her.
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Saturday, February 08, 2014

Saturday Naature

This week's Saturday outing? The Hidden Oaks Nature Center in Fairfax County.