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Family

Life

OH, HEY.

Memorial Day 2017Oh, hey! It’s been a while. We went MIA for a little bit there, but I thought I’d stop by and drop a little update and some family pictures from our annual Memorial Day weekend down the shore.

The big update is … We moved! Still in Philly, only a few blocks away actually, but it’s been a busy few months getting the house ready and getting settled. We bought it as it was being gutted so we got to customize/design the whole thing, which was an intimidating, time-consuming, but endlessly exciting endeavor. It has the private office Chris desperately needed, a small backyard, more living and sleeping space and is in a prime location. We’re thrilled! Maybe I’ll share some pictures as we finish up rooms and buy fun things. I’ve posted a few glimpses on my Instagram, so be sure to follow along there if you’re interested.

Anyway, that’s about it. Hope you had a wonderful holiday weekend. I’ll be back soon!

xxMemorial Day 2017 Memorial Day 2017Memorial Day 2017Memorial Day 2017Memorial Day 2017Memorial Day 2017Memorial Day 2017Memorial Day 2017Memorial Day 2017Memorial Day 2017Memorial Day 2017

Life

CHRISTMAS DAY

Christmas 2016I hope you all had a wonderful holiday! We spent Christmas morning at home with the kids and it was everything I had hoped it would be, despite all four of us being sick. Isla sweetly helped Theo open all of his presents and they played nicely all morning. They giggled and oohed and aahed as they opened every gift. Theo kept picking up all the unopened presents (some were bigger than he was) and handing them to us so we could help him open them. We kept the presents to a minimum again this year because I’ve found they find one they like and carry it around and sleep with it and love it so much they forget about all the others anyway. Isla asked Santa to bring Theo a scooter for Christmas and boy does she know her little brother well. He loved it! Now they both have one and as soon as his helmet arrives we’ll go cruising through the neighborhood. My parents bought Isla a Peppa Pig doll house and she carries that thing everywhere now. She even slept with it on Christmas night. She’s at the age when she can spend hours playing make-believe with all her cats and dolls and kiddie kitchen. It’s the sweetest thing. Theo also got a drum (our little musician), a pair of sunglasses to match his daddy’s Ray-Bans and he was pretty obsessed with the Paw Patrol underpants Isla found in her stocking. It was a Christmas for the books.

Happy Holidays!Christmas 2016Christmas 2016Christmas 2016Christmas 2016 Christmas 2016Christmas 2016Christmas 2016Christmas 2016Christmas 2016 Christmas 2016 Christmas 2016 Christmas 2016

Life

HAPPY THANKSGIVING

Professional Family Photo, Philadelphia, Kate Leigh Photography

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.”

– John F. Kennedy

I hope your holiday is filled with laughter, kindness and love.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, and Happy Thanksgiving.

{image by Kate Leigh)

Baby

THEO IS ONE!

Theo is one!The other night at bedtime I was sitting on the sofa in the kids room nursing Theo. Isla was nuzzled under my free arm twirling her hair and sucking her thumb. The only light was from the moon shining through a crack in the curtains. It was a sweet, quiet, rare moment. Suddenly Theo pulled away, looked up at me with that huge trademark grin of his and said, “Mama!” When he realized Isla was there he instantly flung himself on top of her and nuzzled his head in her neck. She yelled, “THEEEE-OOOO!” and they both giggled. He did this about 10 more times. He’d look at me and smile then throw himself headfirst on top of his sister to cuddle with her before popping back up to nurse a little more.

These tiny, short, unexpected moments are the ones I never want to forget when our kids are grown. Between all the toy stealing, biting, pushing and craziness that is life with two kids, it’s these sweet moments that make me feel like we’re doing something right.

Theo adores his big sister. She refuses to share with him, grabs everything he touches the second he touches it and scolds him all day long. But she’s the first to say, “Great job, buddy!” when he climbs the stairs by himself, or “You can do it!” as he takes his first uneasy steps. He wants to hug her and kiss her and slobber all over her all day long, and she’s constantly teaching him new things and supporting him in her own toddler-ish way.

They spend much of the day playing side-by-side, her building things and him knocking them over to her great frustration. “NO BABY MONSTER!” she yells when he tears apart her train tracks, EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. And he screeches, “ISLA!” and then bites her (hard) when she steals from him or just when he misses her. If he wakes up before her he yells her name, pronouncing it almost perfectly, until I hear them both giggle and realize reluctantly, exhaustedly, joyfully that our day has begun.

Theo is one today.

It feels like just yesterday Isla came to the hospital to meet her new baby brother for the first time, yet the whole year feels like a blur. It’s hard to remember a time when Theo wasn’t smiling at us, yelling Mama and Dada and Isla, barking at his meowing sister, climbing on the furniture or turning the pages of his books all by himself. Before he was crawling or talking or feeding himself. When was that? So long ago. Just yesterday.

I dare say bringing home a second baby was scarier than the first. One baby, two parents. We got this. Or so we thought. Adjusting to life as a parent can be challenging. But when Theo came home I was suddenly outnumbered when Chris was at work or away. Two hands are not enough! At the same time, Theo was easier than Isla, calmer than Isla, chiller than any human I’ve ever met. Eventually we found our groove. I found time to shower and make sure both kids were fed. We figured out how to get to the park, take morning walks to get coffee and even managed to visit fun places like the aquarium or zoo. Somehow, outnumbered, we made it.

Though each new stage brings its own challenges for each child, we survived. No, we more than survived. These kids are thriving and we get better every day as parents. There are those days when Theo is covered in his sister’s pee because he found her potty before I had a chance to clean it out. The days when I yell at Isla too many times because she just will not listen. Or those days when they both watch too much TV because I just cannot get through one more minute and keep my sanity. Days when we feel like we’ve failed as parents. But at the end of those days these two nuzzle each other, giggle together, exchange goodnight kisses and remind us that it’s all going to be okay. Our kids love each other. They’re best friends and eternal companions. And they know how much we love them. All is right with the world.

If you can’t tell, I’m on a roller coaster of emotions right now and just typing when comes out of my fingertips because this is my last monthly update for Theo and I can’t deal. But thanks for listening and let’s get to it.

Last month Theo dressed up as Bat Boy for his first Halloween and celebrated his birthday early with my side of the family by throwing his piece of cake on the floor without so much as a lick. We went to the pumpkin patch and bowling, had daily dance parties and spent a lot of time with family. Theo TOOK HIS FIRST STEPS the day before Halloween, is learning new words every single day and is hell-bent on asserting his independence every chance he gets. He adores his book about dogs and loves to howl (at the moon) and cook naked in the kiddie kitchen. He insists on standing while dancing at music class (and gets very frustrated when all that booty shaking makes him fall over), loves climbing into his sister’s bed to snuggle with her and will no longer be carried up the steps because he must climb them by himself. He throws things onto the floor so he can say “uh oh,” says “oooooooh” every time he’s excited about something and points to animals and pictures when he wants us to tell him what they are and what sounds they make. He head butts us (hard!) and bites us when he doesn’t get his way and is like a bull in a china shop. He finally loves bananas, steals and drinks his sister’s milk and is showing no signs of wanting to wean. He only sleeps through the night when he feels like it, smiles constantly and leans in to give sweet hugs to all his friends.

Our Theo is sweet, loving, stubborn, hilarious and fiercely independent (he gets that last one from his sister). We’re looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving and Christmas with him and watching him learn to walk, talk and develop into his own little self.

Sweet Theo, you bring us more joy than we could ever explain to you in words. Your kisses and smiles brighten our darkest days. You are a gift and I hope you always know how much we love you. We hope you grow to be kind, loving, loyal, open-minded and accepting of everyone you meet. We hope the name we’ve given you makes you proud and reminds you that life is too short to take for granted. We hope you and your sister protect each other and remain friends and loyal companions for eternity. We hope you fiercely support each other and stand side-by-side through all of life’s challenges and greatest joys.

We love you to the moon, Theo Jon.

HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY!

(Theo at eleven monthsten monthsnine monthseight monthsseven monthssix monthsfive monthsfour monthsthree monthstwo monthsone month andhis birth story)

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