Saturday, October 11, 2014

ellie: 10 months


oh my, so late.  sorry elle.  we still love you loads. this is basically 10.5 months but i'm sure you'll forgive me, right?  i could make this really short and say YOU ARE SO MUCH FUN and I LOVE THIS AGE.  in fact the only thing i don't love about this age is that your sleep is still not so good. but here are a few details anyway.

...  you are talking!  you say mommy, daddy, doggie (this sounds a lot like daddy), baa baa (for sheep although you say this randomly all the time anyway), and cat.  i really do love this milestone.  so fun. 
...  you're still a crawling machine.  you're fast and you get where you want to go no questions asked. 
...  you're climbing stairs.  uh-oh.  
...  you're pulling up on anything and everything and starting to walk with your walker a bit.  you will also walk when you hold our hands and you get the proudest smile on your face when you do this.  
...  you 'read' books.  you like me to read to you and you turn the pages and you will also flip through on your own.  board books are pretty much the only ones that are safe around you.
...  you love to wrestle with your daddy.  avery too if she's gentle enough.  
...  you are a really tough kid.  you don't cry for much (except when you don't get your way).  in fact at one time this month avery hit you in the face because you took her toy and your lip started bleeding.  you didn't even think about crying but you did give her a look like, 'oh hell no'.  i think she's in trouble when you get bigger.
...  speaking of toys you love to play with anything and everything your sister is into.  we're constantly hearing from avery that "i'm frustrated!" and i get it.  but thankfully when she's in the mood you guys are starting to play together nicely.  this usually involves her dictating the game and giving and taking toys away from you at random but you're usually amused enough by her made up games that you play along for a bit.
...  you eat everything.  you're eating three meals a day and i usually just give you whatever we're eating unless it's really hard or tough to chew.  dinner is your favorite meal and i'm always impressed with how much food you can actually eat. 
...  you have three teeth.  two on the bottom and one on the top.  
...  you do not like sleeping without me.  you've regressed to waking up after a short period of time after i put you to bed and you will scream your face off as long as you deem necessary (until i come and rescue you).  we probably need to night wean at some point but i'm not mentally ready for that battle yet.  
...  you hate the car and only tolerate the stroller when you're tired enough to be sleeping.  i really hate driving anywhere longer than 20 minutes with you because there's a change you'll scream the whole way.  i moved you into a convertible carseat this month in hopes that it would help but no such luck.  
...   you love ollie and like to lay your head down on his fluffy, fat belly.  he's pretty good with you, too.  the rest of the animals are a distant second to him.  

you love your sister, your dad, and i'm guessing me, too.  and we have loved watching you grow.  lately we've been thinking that there's a good chance you'll be our last baby, which is sort of bittersweet.  it's made me cherish those snuggles that i get from you even more and worry a little less about when you'll start sleeping through the night.  you are the sweetest baby and as hard as those first few months were with you these past few have been so sweet and happy.  love you big e.   

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

telluride 2014


telluriiiiiide!  man, i love that place.  this is becoming sort of a bi-annual (biennial?) tradition for us to visit in the summer.  crazy to think that our first trip was 4 years ago when we were much younger and kid-free and the last time we went avery was just 6 months old!  traveling with a toddler/two year old drama queen is never easy but it was still really, really nice to get away.  i love this place so much and have been mildly obsessed with it since college when i listened to tim mcgraw's set this circus down album pretty much nonstop.  if we ever win the lottery you can bet we'd be buying a place here.  funnily enough the kids pediatrician is also slightly obsessed with this place and every time they have an appointment we have a conversation about just how awesome it is.    


our drive out was actually pretty horrible.  we took the 'back way' and completely forgot that the pro cycling tour was going on.  they closed one of the roads that we needed to take and we had to make a four hour detour that turned a 6 hour trip into a 12 hour trip.  the kids actually did amazing until maybe the last 2 hours when ellie was just over her car seat.  really couldn't blame her since i was pretty over it, too.  we didn't get there until around 9:30 on wednesday night and after we found our place and unpacked everything we just tried to get the kids to bed.  they both had a hard time that night.  avery climbed into bed with charlie who was sleeping in a room with her and ellie was flopping all over the place in our bed.  when we woke up the next morning we walked to find breakfast and let the kids sleep a bit as we walked around.


we usually stay in mountain village (charlie's favorite) when we come and this was the first time that we stayed in telluride.  i actually really liked being right in town but charlie said that he really missed taking the gondola into town even though we rode it a bunch while we were there.  after breakfast we rode the gondola into mountain village and walked through a bunch of shops since charlie was on the hunt for some ski deals.

avery throwing a giant fit for some unknown reason.

avery loved the gondola ride and we did it again that night and each day after that.  after the gondola ride we went back to our condo to try and get the kids to nap but they were doing construction right outside our building and we ended up moving to a different house where it was a bit quieter.  the nice thing was that the house was actually much nicer than the condo we were in.  one sort of funny thing about it was that it was a really tall and narrow house (4+ stories) and avery kept getting confused about where everything was.  and another bonus was that there was cable in the house which meant that charlie and i binged watched hgtv after the kids went to bed.  i really miss that channel. 





we ate out for every meal when we were there but we usually just ended up eating breakfast and then a late lunch/early dinner and then giving avery a snack before bed.  the kids actually did pretty well at the restaurants, which is something they're often pretty hit or miss with.  the one meal that was pretty awful was on saturday i took them to breakfast alone and avery was just not into having proper restaurant behavior or really proper anything behavior but we survived and left and then i walked around with ellie in the ergo and avery in the stroller until they both fell asleep.



i love this place so much that even just a morning walk is so amazing.  the san miguel river runs through town and there's a really nice path that runs along it and we walked there a few times and then took avery to the playground at the end.  charlie and i always talk about how awesome it must be for kids to grow up there since there are so many amazing outdoor activities that are literally right in your backyard.  the playground was pretty awesome too, avery really liked it although we had to book it home pretty quickly because it started to rain. 


charlie got some new skis one of the days that we were here and then exchanged them a few hours later.  i think he's pretty excited about our steamboat trip this december now that he has new, 'fast' skis.






on our last say here we ended up doing the bridal veils hike that we've done every year in the past.  i was actually not at all in the mood to be hiking since i thought the kids would probably freak at some point (they did) but i am so glad that we did it.  the waterfall is the tallest free falling waterfall in colorado and not a terrible hike.  it's a decent climb but pretty short, which was good since both kids were ready to get out for a bit.  on the way down they were not into the hike at all.  i think we were all hungry and tired and just ready to eat something.  it was 3 pm at this point and we hadn't eaten lunch.  so we made it down as quickly as possible and then headed to brown dog (one of our favorites) for pizza and beer.


on sunday we ate breakfast, checked out of our place, rode the gondola one last time, and then finally headed back home.  the kids did pretty well in the car but we were all really happy to be home.  i know ellie was so excited to be out of her carseat and she spent the hour after we got home before bed crawling around the house as if she was trying to remember everything.




until next time, telluride!  i know charlie really, really wants to make a winter trip here at some point but i see no point in doing that until the kids are old enough to ski and not whine about the cold.  also, i cannot even imagine how expensive it would be to plan a winter trip here.  summer is still pretty popular because of all of the festivals that they have going on but not nearly as popular/expensive as the winter time.  it's really the funniest down because it doesn't look like anything crazy.  it's tiny, there are no stop lights, no chains or big box stores, etc. and the houses are pretty modest and some are really, really tiny and yet they're over a million dollars and really, usually several million dollars.  it's also not easy to get here.  even if you fly you can't really fly direct (unless you're one of the super wealthy) and obviously driving from anywhere is a huge pain.  so it's sort of funny that the little town is as expensive and popular as it is.  i have heard that the skiing is amazing but obviously we've never done that.  anyway.  i totally get the charm but probably will not be buying a second home here during this lifetime.  that's okay.  we'll just visit when we can and take lots of pictures while we're there.


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

ellie: 9 months


happy 9 months, elle.  i feel like this was a huge month for you, filled with lots of changes.  i cannot believe how fast you are growing and changing.  

... the biggest change this month is that you are full on crawling.  you started right after your 8 month 'birthday' so by now you're not only on the move, but really fast, and really good at it.  you crawl 'normally' and have officially mastered the cross-crawl.  you are literally moving all over the house, from room to room, eating all the dirt you can find and messing with your big sister any chance you get.  i thought that crawling would make you a happier baby and i was right, but man it is exhausting chasing you around all day.
...  you're also pulling up on anything and you even try and stand on your own, which hasn't been successful for you yet but i can't believe you're even trying.  you like to try and stand from a sitting position and you also love to pull up on all furniture and people.  
...  your sleeping sucks.  i started having you sleep in your crib for at least the first portion of the night right before you turned 8 months and i really didn't think that you would be screaming your face off a month later.  i will nurse you and rock you and then put you down in your crib and about 50% of the time you'll wake up, pull up on your crib and scream for a while.  i've tried going back in to rock you or pat your back but that never worked because you never really fell back asleep and would always start screaming the second i left your room.  ugh.  i hate this part of parenting but i know that you need your sleep and letting you cry a bit before you fall asleep on your own seems like the only thing that's going to work for you.  one thing that's slightly hilarious/annoying is that you almost always fall asleep sitting up and holding onto the crib.  it drives me nuts that you won't lay down to sleep after all of this but i've learned that going back into your room to try and lay you down only makes things worse.  you're napping twice a day.  the morning nap is often on the go but your afternoon nap is usually your longer one at home.  you prefer that i lay with you for this nap and i really need to work on getting you to nap alone so you don't develop the same bad habit that your sister had of needed to be held through her entire nap.
...  you have a tooth!  finally.  and i actually thinking you're working on more with the crappy sleep and the constant chewing on everything.  
...  you're eating just about anything these days although i've been much less structured about feeding you than i was with feeding avery.  you don't really like purees from the spoon so all of that baby food that i made is still in the freezer.  luckily avery likes it so i know it won't go to waste.  you love eating solid foods and i can usually feed you some chunks of whatever we're eating.  you also have started to like pouches, so i've been buying those too since it's easier to get more fruits and veggies into you that way.  you're still nursing approximately a million times a day/night so i know you're getting a lot of nutrients through that, too. 
...  you took your first road trip this month and did pretty good.  you slept terribly, but did pretty well in the car although we did have some rough moments.  feeding you puffs seemed to keep you entertained for a bit and you eventually fell asleep, too. 
...  you are one determined child.  you know what you want and you're going to get it.  you will throw a fit if we take something away from you and you have no problem attempting to push avery around if she's in your way or not 'sharing' with you.  i actually have to watch you two pretty closely because you're officially into everything and she officially hates it.  
...  but despite that you really love your sister.  your face lights up when you see her and you love to touch her, play with her, wrestle around with her, and basically do all the things that she's doing.  she's actually not all that into you at the moment with is a little heartbreaking as a parent but i'm hoping she'll warm up to you more once you can actively play with her. 
...  you are a physical kid.  your favorite game is to flop around on our bed and wrestle with your dad.  you'll throw yourself backwards and you think it's the funniest thing ever.  you're constantly banging your head on things and scratching yourself.  luckily you seem to be pretty tough and get over things quickly.
...  you're getting to be weary of strangers.  you like to people watch but if they make eye contact with you you'll start crying.  i think you prefer me to other people but you really love your daddy, too.  i'm so thankful that you're so into him at this point.
...  you love baths.  you will seriously throw a fit if i don't get you in the tub fast enough and you always scream when i take you out.  you splash around like crazy and love all of the toys that we have.  this is actually one of the few times that you and your sister play nicely together. 
...  you also started climbing stairs this month.  woah kid, too fast.  our house in telluride had two stairs from the den to the kitchen and you quickly mastered going up those but would then face plant down them.  uh oh.  you haven't attempted to do this since we got home but it's only been a day.  :)  i think we might have to invest in some baby gates for you.

happy 9 months baby girl.  we love you!

Thursday, July 31, 2014

project 52:15


happy are they who take life day by day, complain very little, and are thankful for the little things in life. 


it must be pretty wonderful to be two.  ellie can't wait. 

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

some two year old updates.



the grumpy toddler.  i always dreaded two in my mind because everyone always talked about how awful that year was.  although i sort of feel like now people are onto how much worse three is than two so maybe we have a lot to look forward to. :)  anyway, know that a's more than two and a half (do not forget that half!) i feel like we're solidly in two year old territory and i actually haven't found it that bad!  i mean she knows what she wants and isn't afraid to tell you about it, she is starting to be a bit manuplitative, and she's just getting into the world of having a sibling who she can't always boss around, so there are definitely challenges but there are also some good changes too.  she knows what she wants which means that she can actually tell you why she's upset.  this is huge.  and she's also getting good at identifying feelings so she can tell us if she's frustrated or excited or mad and why.  this is one of my favorites.  lots of times we can't do much about the reasons behind why she feels something:  i get that your frustrated that you have to go to bed but uh, you have to go to bed.  BUT sometimes just talking about those feelings and acknowledging them makes a huge difference in her world.  

i'm so interested in seeing how her relationship develops with her sister over time.  ellie is now at the stage where she will yell if she doesn't get what she wants.  not putting her fast enough into the bathtub?  she screams.  took the mail that she was eating away from her?  she cries.  and what this means for avery is that if avery takes a toy away from her (something she does all the time) then ellie cries and avery's quick fix of giving her something else no longer works because ellie knows that she wants that toy, not just any toy.  the whole concept of sharing is sort of strange to me because i get that we want kids to play together nicely but i don't feel like it's fair to expect them to hand over their toys because it's the nice thing to do.  so we're trying to teach avery that if ellie is playing with something than it is ellie's to play with until she decides that she is done and likewise if avery is playing with a toy she doesn't have to hand it over just because someone else thinks it looks cool.  

a is also having a hard time lately with charlie traveling.  i noticed this happening back in may when he was gone a lot and then i forgot about it because he was home for a month and then we went on vacation but now we're back into our normal routine of him being gone maybe 50% of the time and avery is having a hard time sometimes.  this past week she actually got upset before he left for the first time, which was hard to see.  but what i've noticed is that when he gets back from a trip she's extra clingy to him (totally understandable) but to the point of not going to bed because she 'won't let him leave the room'.  when it's just me with both kids her bedtime and naptime routines are pretty short and sweet because i have two kids to take care of and therefore she knows:  she gets two books and one story and one kiss.  always.  sometimes she cries about this and tries to drag things on but this is always what she gets from me so she gets over it pretty quickly.  unfortunately when charlie travels a lot it seems like she is just getting back into 'normal mode' when he leaves again and she has a hard time again when he gets back.  i actually think she could use a later bedtime but i can't figure out yet how to put ellie to bed (this usually takes about 20 minutes) before avery goes to bed without letting avery either play on the iPad or watch tv, something i don't really want to do.  when charlie's around it's not a problem since he can just hang out with her but if it's just me i'm not sure what else to occupy her with during that time when i need her to be occupied, safe, and quiet.  

   and because i can't end this on a negative note i have to talk about how sweet she can be.  she says 'i love you' unprompted to charlie and i and ellie and the dogs.  she always tries to comfort ellie when she's crying.  when ellie was crying the other night because she was having a hard time going to sleep avery was visibly upset.  she kept saying "mommy go get ellie and bring her downstairs".  she wants to feed ellie.  the other day she fed her yogurt and a few days later a banana.  pretty sweet.  she's nice and polite to other kids at the playground and is really warming up to people she doesn't know.  she holds ellie's hand in the stroller and will ask me to put ellie's song on if she starts to cry.  she can feed the cats on her own and usually does this if i ask her.  she loves to bake and cook and craft.  we made cookies the other day and she kept saying 'i'm so excited to make cookies'.  she also loves to FaceTime and talk on the phone.  it's actually getting difficult to have an actual conversation with anyone when she's around because she wants to monopolize the phone.  the other day she corrected charlie when he said shit, "shoot daddy".  and she is so excited for the holidays this year.     

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

project 52:11


things don't have to change the world to be important. 

steve jobs. 

Monday, July 28, 2014

project 52:8


since it is so likely that children will meet cruel enemies let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage. 

c.s. lewis.

sort of hard to imagine anyone ever hurting these two, but i'm sure the day will come all too soon.  i get upset when kids are mean at the playground these days.  but here's to fairy tales, and underdogs, and brave characters:  may they be more than just entertainment.   

Saturday, July 26, 2014

project 52:9


some things take time. 

i will say that it took more time than i thought to adjust to being a family of four.  but now, i cannot imagine life any other way, and i'm so happy we were gifted with this adventure.  i hope these kids will be making silly faces at each other in 30 years.

lately ...


... i love summer.  seriously i cannot say that enough.  i think i could happily move somewhere where it never got below 50 degrees.  it's actually been hot here (for my standards anyway) and we've actually had the ac running.  we usually keep it off if it's below 90 but we've been in the mid-upper 90s these days.  we've been playing in the water table a lot.  both avery and ellie are big fans.  ellie can't really hold her self up yet for long periods of time but she loves splashing away and avery usually does a pretty decent job of sharing with her sister.  she only dumped a bucket of water on her head once! 


...  blueberries were on sale the last time we went grocery shopping.  i feel like this never happens so i bought a bunch and we made blueberry pie.  and then we ate it for breakfast for the next few days.


... sleep.  oh infant sleep.  this is just about the only part of parenting in the first year that i don't like.  sleep is so amazing when it's good and so awful when it's bad.  i'm trying to transition ellie to her crib after 8 months of cosleeping and i'm not sure if it's harder on me than on her.  i physically miss her when she's not in our bed although i do love not sleeping in one position all night long and waking up with my arm asleep.  there's been a bit of crying involved in this transition and i hate listening to her cry.  i just feel awful.  and guilty.  but, i think she'll sleep better on her own and honestly she's waking up after every sleep cycle if i'm not physically next to her so i know she needs to learn to put herself back to sleep.  this is just a hard topic for me and i'm hoping she makes the transition okay.


...  i gave the kids their first dual bath the other night and it was amazing.  i don't know why i didn't do this months ago.  they both really enjoyed it.  well, avery didn't enjoy when i washed her hair but she never does.  i'm hoping this will make bath nights a little easier on all of us, especially when charlie's gone.  the non-slip mat made a huge difference for ellie in the tub since i didn't have to worry about her falling all over the place.



...  avery wanted to try on halloween costumes the other day.  ellie's going to be a bear this year since we have the costume from avery's first year and i'm not about to buy another one since i'll be lucky if she wears it for 10 minutes.  she hated it but we're hoping she'll warm up to it come october.  in her defense it was about 85 degrees and that costume is pretty hot!  avery loved her leopard costume from last year and has been asking to wear it again but she keeps telling me that she wants to be a purple butterfly this year.  i'll have to try and come up with something since she's been pretty consistent.  we've been reading halloween books since june so she's pretty psyched for the holiday already.  she also was insisting that i get out henry's costume, too, but i managed to talk her out of that one.  i can only torture him one day a year.  


...  we've been doing a few things around the house this summer, too!  after not doing anything for a solid four months after ellie was born we've had the outside painted (something it needed very badly), our deck restained, replaced our storm door, replaced a few lights (4 and and more to come!), rearranged some furniture, and hung some lights on our deck.  i need to do another house updated post just to keep track of the things we've done.



...  we took the kids to heritage square last weekend.  charlie was excited because avery actually wanted to ride the rides this year, unlike last year when she would only get on the merry-go-round.  but it was really hot and we got way too many tickets so we decided to play put-put since it required a bunch of tickets.  we did this last year, too, and avery basically just ran around the whole time while charlie and i played the course.  but this year ellie was over it by the time we went to play golf so i left avery and charlie to play on their own while i went to go feed ellie.  apparently avery was hot so she only wanted to play the holes that were in the shade, which was sort of a problem since there were other people who were actually trying to play.  she came back and told me that "daddy said we have to go home because i didn't listen".  funny, only because apparently he never told her that at all.  i think basically she just wanted to eat ice cream and then head back to the air conditioned car at this point.  after lunch we headed out and both kids slept for over an hour in the car while we drove home and packed their pool stuff, stopped at target for a few things, and then headed to the pool.  

Friday, July 25, 2014

ellie: 8 months


8 months feels like she's almost in toddlerhood.  a little too soon for that but wow has she changed in the last month.  i feel like from 6-7 months there wasn't a lot happening for her but from 7-8 she's just grown bigger and gotten older.  i can really see the one year old she'll soon become.  and as always, these ages remind me so much of how i love the second half of the first year.  some of my sweetest moments with avery were in those six months and this is proving true for ellie, too. 

... she isn't crawling but is about as mobile as she can get without being able to crawl.  she rolls all over the place and goes from sitting to laying down and back to sitting easily.  she can get pretty far between this and inching and scooting her way around and it's no longer safe to put her on the couch or bed and walk away.  she wants to crawl badly and is so very close.  
...  she is really into standing and pulling herself up.  she's not quite able to pull herself up on anything yet.  she'll do it all day while holding your hands and has even let go a couple of times! woah kid, too soon! but i caught her successfully pulling herself up in her crib on the monitor the other night and had to drop her crib down the next day.
...  between the two things above this has been a very frustrating month for her.  she wants to badly to be fully mobile but just can't quite figure it out yet and there is a lot of crying in frustration because of it. 
...  she had her first plane ride (three actually!) this month and did great.  
...  she also spent the night away from home for the first time and did pretty well.  thank you cosleeping. 
...  she definitely prefers to be in my company but doesn't seem to be dealing with the same separation anxiety that avery was at this age.  she is happy enough to go to other people or be held by other people and she absolutely loves charlie.  he picked us up at the airport the other night after we were away for a week and she gave him the biggest grin and squeals as soon as she saw him.  it was pretty cute.  
...  she really isn't eating that much as far as solid foods go.  with avery we did a mix of baby led weaning and purees and i think because of that she was eating a lot more at this age.  ellie's usually eating once a day 1-2 ounces of food.  i would feed her more but she's had some trouble adjusting to digesting it and honestly she refuses it a lot.  i know she'll get there eventually and i'm just glad she's breastfeeding well enough that i don't worry about her getting enough to eat.
...  she plays really well on her own especially if someone is in the room with her.  lately avery has been playing with her, so long as ellie plays along with whatever game avery's dreamed up, and it's both cute to watch and nice because it entertains them both!
...  she had her first successful pool trip this month.  we've tried a few times before but we finally were able to get her in the water without her screaming so that was nice.  she loved just sitting in the shallow water and splashing around. 
...  she also had her first beach trip but she didn't do much other than lounge on the blanket and then fall asleep in the ergo.  i even forgot to put her in the sand and i'm so mad about that!
...  she's usually napping twice a day.  her morning nap is pretty short.  longer if she's in the stroller or the car but i can't usually get her to sleep past 20 minutes at home.  the afternoon nap is usually 2 to 2.5 hours and the longer the better or else she's pretty cranky by bedtime. 
...  nighttime sleep has been interesting.  we've still been cosleeping mostly but a few days ago i decided that for both of our sakes she needed to start sleeping in her crib for at least the first stretch of night time sleep.  i know she'll wake up to eat in the middle of the night and i'm fine with that.  the crib adjustment has not been easy (or successful) for either of us but i'm trying to keep at it because i know the longer i wait the harder it will be for her.  also, i could use a few hours to myself in bed and i know charlie is over the tiptoeing into our room when we're ready for bed. so, we're trying but it's not easy. 
...  i'm not sure how much she weighs.  charlie and his mom both mentioned that she looked like she went through a growth spurt but she's still pretty tiny.  she's wearing mostly 6-9 month clothes but some 3-6s still fit and she has a few 12 months that she wears, too.  no doubt she'll be a small one just like her sister. 

happy 8 months, elle.  i cannot begin to explain how much i love you and how happy i am that you're a part of our family.  life is just so much better with you in it and i love all the time that i spend with you, even those 3 am snuggles.  especially those 3 am snuggles.    

Sunday, July 13, 2014

vacation roundup part two: new york + maryland 2014

i have a bunch more pictures that i wanted to include even though we didn't do a lot more things.  i'm always amazed how jam-packed my days can feel when i'm taking care of kids even though i don't actually accomplish that much and the same was said for our days visiting family.  my dad and charlie were only in town until the sunday after the fourth and the kids and i stayed until the next friday.  we took them to cabin john park, which is right by my parents house.  it's such an amazing place for kids and always makes me wish we had a great park like that by us.  the playgrounds are amazing and the train is, of course, a huge attraction for avery each year.  i saw a few friends, and we visited my aunt's house were avery rode her first pony.  i was way more excited than she was about this but i was just excited that she actually got on this time.  we spent a lot of time at home, no complaints here, those are always some of my favorite moments and they seem especially nice since they're some of the most peaceful moments of the day.  


ellie's first time in a swing!

grandma made her a frog and toad and bought her the books to go along with them and avery insisted on sleeping with them.




i have an almost identical picture to this from 4 years ago.  i'll have to dig it up.


this little lady really liked her grandpa marcus.  he even taught her how to stick out her tongue.


getting ready for the train ride at cabin john.


charlie was psyched. 


my mom dug out a few dolls and avery pushed them up and down the driveway approximately a million times. 







hopscotch fail.





this little lady was happy enough to watch all of the sidewalk chalk, baby doll playing, and wagon trips up and down the driveway. 


my mom made some amazing food as usual.  i'm still at shock that i actually have to meal plan and grocery shop again.  i really enjoyed a two week break from all of that. 


all the babies!  we made a trip to southern maryland to see one of my best friends from college.  i cannot believe we have four kids between us.  it was so nice to spend the day together, especially because we parent pretty similarly and it is always somewhat a relief to be around someone who parents the same way as you do.  bonus points if they don't mind that your toddler runs around naked.  


a sleeping baby.  adorable.


this picture looks cute but really they were not into sharing with each other.  two year olds don't believe in sharing.


and more babies! this little dude is three months younger than ellie and managed to survive her smacking him repeatedly on the head.


as much as it was nice to see everyone we are really happy to me home.  the kids never sleep all that well when we're traveling.  they always seem to not adjust to the time change at night and yet adjust pretty quickly in the morning, which means they basically lose 2 hours of sleep a day from waking up so darn early.  i can't complain too much because avery slept in my mom's room while we were in town so she had to deal with her early morning shenanigans, while ellie and i got some extra sleep.  we all shared a room in ny and avery was pretty horrible about actually going to sleep.  odd because at home she puts herself to sleep just fine.  i was a little worried that when we got back home she would be asking for 'snuggles and hand holding' but as soon as we got back she went back to her usual ways, thank goodness.  although she is waking up really early, at least she's going to bed before 9 pm.