June 30, 2012

Right Now: Busted!

I couldn't believe it! I put this very tired little guy down for his nap (at Grandma & Grandpa's house) and within a few minutes I heard knocking on the bedroom door. NOOOO!!!

He was so proud of himself!

An hour later I tried again; hoping and praying it was a fluke. Hoping and praying he would be so tired that he wouldn't want to try again. But knowing all too well that it was only the beginning of him mastering the skill of escape.

I left the door open just a crack so I could spy on him. He rested for a few moments. Then stood up, threw his binky on the floor and proceeded to scale his prison walls. There's no stopping him now!

It's a good thing he's so darn cute!

June 25, 2012

Right Now: MegaBus

Expectations can be a powerful thing. I was expecting this trip to be difficult. Lots of frustration and crying from a very busy, unentertainable (yes, I just made up a new word ;)) 18 month old. Lots of arguing over the iPad from Isabella and Oliver. There was some of both. But it's a pleasant surprise that both boys are napping.

This is my first time attempting to ride MegaBus solo with the kiddos. We still have 20 blocks to go before we hop off manhattan (and still trek home), so I may be premature in saying this, but I'm calling it a successful adventure!

June 19, 2012

Why I don't make dinner anymore...

In the middle of making a real dinner*, I caught this little dude helping himself to a snack...and spreading the love.

I love how he's trying to get it off his foot.
*real dinner: referring to a meal I made that wasn't pb&j, quesadillas, pasta, smoothies, or popcorn.  A rare thing around these parts.

June 18, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

Yes, this is slightly belated.  But, here, we aim to make everyday Father's Day.  Okay, not really, but we should.  We should praise and honor Brian for the amazing dad that he is; every day!  It is something I want to improve on!

He works so hard.  He dedicates so much of his time, energy, and life working so that his kids (and me too) can have such an abundant, wonderful life.  We are very blessed by Brian's dedication to our family.  He would much rather be running around chasing the kids or teaching them new things.  He has an amazing talent of teaching complex ideas to Isabella and Oliver in a way that they comprehend and understand.  He can captivate them while teaching them about gravity or the four states of matter.  Seriously!

He's the most creative, loving, patient, intelligent, dedicated, talented, and perfect father I have ever met.  I'm so blessed to have him as my partner in this crazy thing called parenthood.

Brian was made to be a fantastic daddy!  He's fulfilling that challenging calling perfectly.

Brian is...
the perfect playmate
an amazing teacher
a comforter of sick, tired boys
a rider of carousels
a lover of hot chocolate
a creator of wonderful memories
an adventurer
a very fun uncle
a lover of boats, trains, planes, rockets, etc.
an amazing example of goodness
a giver of wisdom
a creator of much laugher
a juggler of many busy bodies
a champion wrestler
a strong guiding hand
an explorer
a daddy who loves his little New Yorkers with all his heart.

Brian, we love you, adore you and miss you!  Thank you for all the amazing moments you share with us!

*all photos were taken in the last 4 months...I could go on and on!

June 16, 2012

Right Now: Rowing

Brian and the "big kids" are row boating in Central Park. My favorite part is hearing the distant bursts of laughter.

Only 4 people are allowed on a boat and Simon didn't want to wait by himself ;), so he and I are hanging out in the park enjoying this amazing day.

June 14, 2012

Going the Distance: Brooklyn Half Marathon

I started this post weeks ago and haven't gotten around to finishing it.  I'm going to just post it as-is! I find this can be therapeutic for my perfectionist tendencies. 

I LOVE the Brooklyn Half Marathon!!!  (If Isabella heard that she'd say I'd have to kiss it and then marry it...oh, five year olds!)  A year and a half ago I would have never-ever thought I would have run 3 half marathons by now...maybe one...but three?!?!  That's just plain crazy.

Last year a friend asked if I wanted to buy her Brooklyn Half Marathon spot because she had just found out she was pregnant and didn't want to run 13.1 miles at that point.  I was excited to sign up for such a big race, but I didn't prepare well enough.  Simon was only 5 months old and I was still struggling with juggling 3 kids (okay, I'm still struggling now, but it is much easier :0)), so finding the time and energy to train for a half marathon just didn't happen.  I had only ever run as far as 9 miles and that was a while before I had Simon.  Needless to say the Brooklyn Half, last year, kicked-my-butt!  My calves felt like stones by mile 9 and the cramping was as painful as contractions.  I was still proud of myself for doing it.  But this year I was determined to be prepared.

I was only planning on doing the Fitness Women's Half Marathon this year, but Erica asked me to do the Brooklyn Half with her and I just couldn't say no.  And I'm so glad I did it.  As much as I love Central Park, it gets a bit dull once you've run the same loop a gazillion times.  And, that's what the Women's Half was: two times around Central Park.

But the Brooklyn Half...it felt quite a bit more exciting.  They changed the course up (just a little bit) since last year.  And they almost tripled the number of runners, so it was crazy packed full of people.  And it felt much more organized compared to last year.  A run through Prospect Park and then straight on to Coney Island.

Brian surprised me by coming to Coney Island with the kids.  It's a long subway ride from the UWS (about an hour...longer often on weekends, when train schedules are sporadic).  It was so fun to run in the water with the kids for a little while.  On the way home we hopped off the train in Chinatown to search for some amazing noodles.  We found some.  Hidden deep--off of Bowery.  I wish I could remember the place, because I often crave that cheap, hand pulled, umami goodness.  (I should have taken a photo!)  Brian, I see another trip to Chinatown in our near future!

A week via my iphone

I love my morning runs in Central Park. 
Women's 10K race with Erica
Water balloon fight at the church picnic
Riding a pedicab around the UWS.
Thanks Lauren & Lena for Oliver's very fun bday gift!
She soaked me!  From the waist down.  I got her back!
Luckily she can usually take it as well as she can dish it out.
This was Simon's first time walking freely into the sprinklers
A beautiful blond boy blowing bubbles in a black and blue bathing suit.
Central Park early in the morning.  Perfect! 
An early morning walk with my sweet girl.
We silently watched the turtles climb on land and get food close to our feet.

June 13, 2012

Oliver: 3 years!

My sweet, amazing boy turned 3 years old on Monday!  I wish I could jot down everything about him, as a way of capturing him at this moment in his life, but I just don't know where to begin.  He is, simply, amazing.  I wonder if each year I will continue to remember his dramatic birth and thank my lucky stars that this little guy is all mine.

His laughter is the greatest thing!  He laughs easily and it is incredibly contagious.  When he laughs other kids gaze from their strollers at him, or stop their playing just to look at him.  And they always smile, just watching him laugh. 

Oliver is very generous (for a 3 year old).  Often if Isabella or Simon are sad about something he will try to figure out a way he can help.  If Oliver has a snack he will give some to others without being asked.

Oliver loves to cook.  He's a happy boy to be standing on a chair beside me in the kitchen making something yummy to eat.

Lately he has been saying some funny things and in really exaggerated tones (I need to be better about writing them down).  If he is mildly disappointed he will say, "ahhhh!"  The tone is almost a "that's cute" sort of sound (not frustrated) and makes me smile every time.  He energetically says, "Thanks!" all the time, and "please" without being prompted.  He's very good at begging, when it is completely unnecessary, "Mom, please, please, please read me a book!" with hands clasped tight and eyes all puppy-dog-ish.  "please, please, please can I eat an apple".  Of course I say, "yes" and he gives me a huge hug like I'm the greatest person ever.  It's pretty adorable.  

Recently he has started saying, "I have a question..." (and asks a really good question).  Or he'll scratch his head with his index finger, get a perplexed look on his face and say, "I thinking."  His speech is still very staccato, and difficult for many to understand, but he's making a lot of progress. It is rare when I don't know what he's talking about (and he is sharing some pretty complex ideas now).  Brian has been working on some speech therapy with him, and my favorite times are when Brian says, "Say computer."  Oliver will respond, "I dan't say computer!" He will do it over and over again, silly boy.

Also, no matter what I say, his response is always, "Why?" If I turn it around and ask him "why" back he will always sweetly respond, "I don know."

He likes to say "no" just like any kid, but lately he says it in a very deep and slow voice every time.  "Oliver, do you want some more water?"  "nooo."  

"Oopsy-Daisy" is another frequent exclamation.

He knows his letters and numbers really well.  He loves the iPad more than anything and watching movies, aka "mooo-vies".  Second best to movies is reading books.

He loves being at home, playing with trains, rocket ships, and airplanes.  He loves playing with his family more than anything.  Even though he's adjusted to Isabella being at school I think he still misses her.  They play together really well most of the time.  When we pick her up from school he gives her a huge hug and doesn't let go.  She laughs and loves his adoration.

He is still a very passionate boy (I don't think it is just a phase).  When he is sad, he is very, very sad.  When he is happy, he is very, very happy.  The world laughs, and cries with Oliver.  He laughs loud and he cries very loud.  I do what I can, within reason, to encourage the laughter.  :0)

We are in the midst of potty training.  And the best tactic that works for us right now is pure reverse psychology.  In other words, we make it a game.  I'll smile and say in a serious voice, "You sit on that potty, but whatever you do don't pee."  He then thinks it is hilarious and will actually sit down and pee. 

Oliver loves games.  He loves to play UNO, red light-green light, and tag.  And, especially, hide-and-seek.

His imagination is amazing.  He's always in space or flying on a rocket ship.  I love hearing all the amazing stuff that his mind is thinking--he's got a lot going on in there.

When he points to something he uses his whole hand, palm up.  It is very formal.  And adorable.

Oliver we love and adore you!!!  We are so glad you are part of our family because you are so much joy.

Isabella made this crown and he loved wearing it on his birthday...but only on his birthday. 
If you ask him how old he is he will respond, "Three...No, I five!"

Oliver...looking back!

two months old
1 year
2 years

June 9, 2012

Today is going to be a good day

It's only a quarter after 7:00am and I know it's going to be a good day.

Getting ready to celebrate my big boy's big 3rd birthday.  Crazy!

Tagged and ready to run 10K with Erica!

June 1, 2012

Newport, Rhode Island

While we were at the Carini's home in CT Brian's aunt informed us she had a timeshare in Newport that she was going to use only for a few days. And offered the rest of the week to us, if we wanted. We jumped with joy, booked a rental car and headed east. Well, I should say, the kids and I did. Brian had to go back to New York to earn money so his wife and kids can take spontaneous vacations. ;)

The photos are of our day today. It rained in the morning and threatened to more the rest of the day.

--The sunrise on the harbor from our living room.
--Save the Bay Aquarium (a small educational space with touch tanks)
--cute kids by the beach
--Oliver rolling in the sand 2 seconds (literally) after I said,"don't get dirty; we are about to get back in the car!"
--Simon making sure we know he is 18 months old, by throwing tantrums every few minutes.
--playground play
--proving that I am actually in Newport too.

Not pictured:
--scenic ocean drive when I attempted to get 1-3 children to sleep. I was 100% unsuccessful.
--swimming in the resort pool. 3:1 ratio is not recommended when going to a pool.
--the hunt for ice cream. I made the mistake of promising an ice cream cone after an early dinner. And not realizing all ice cream vendors near enough to walk to were closed by 5pm. And then settled on an overpriced, lousy piece of cheesecake.
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