Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I can't believe that we are are now into our second year of school! While I don't think any of us are particularly happy about having to get ourselves up and out so early in the morning (I am already counting the minutes until next Summer), there's something that's just simply adorable about seeing how excited Caroline was for her first day as a Three-Day Three...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Which is one of my most favorite movies of all time. But I digress...

I am having a love affair.

Oh Steve, before you go out and buy the shotgun or contact the divorce lawyer, let me put your mind at ease. It is a love affair with a piece of technology which, as a mother and busy woman, I have come to rely upon as my constant companion, and general support system.

Yes readers, I am referring to my iPhone.

Oh, iPhone, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways...

You are my system of checks-and-balances. One look at my calendar, which automatically syncs with my computer sans cords, and I know if I am keeping everything in my schedule on the up-and-up. You make sure that I never overlook anything, whether it be a birthday, doctor's appointment, or most importantly, that Bruce Springsteen tickets go on sale on September 25th.

You are my moral compass (or at least, just my regular old compass, anyway). You help me find my way in this world with such ease and dependability, and for that, I am grateful. Whether I'm driving sans human co-pilot to Delaware for a wedding or finding a good back-route to the outlets, your awesome GPS never steers me wrong. However, you don't ever judge my value system for sometimes using you to look up celebrity gossip on People, TMZ, UsWeekly, or Perez Hilton.

I love how you never question my intelligence or make me feel stupid. By making yourself so simple, all it took for me to get hooked was to plug you in just once to my computer. Somehow, you just knew what I wanted you to know, found it yourself, and put yourself together. Do you know what an amazing gift that is to give to a mother of a toddler and infant? And when you once got accidentally dropped into a cocktail one evening, you never cried or got mad. I almost did, but then recovered when you were replaced (for free, natch) by the lovely people at our local Apple store.

I am more adventurous with you in my life. I have even been brave enough to cook dishes I haven't cooked before just by following the recipe I looked up on Safari and using a kitchen conversion scale to recalculate the ingredients so that we didn't end up with 40 pounds of leftovers. Heck, the fact that I was cooking at all makes my husband want to hug all of the people at the Apple store one-by-one.

You have a gift for distracting children at the times when it counts the most. In stores, in traffic, in doctors' offices, or while I take that shower that I desperately need - you provide precious minutes so that I can gain clarity myself. It could be a video of my friends' first dance at their wedding, a learning game, or the PBS Sprout app, but whatever it is, you consistently deliver.

If it weren't illegal, I would set you on a table in my house while the girls slept and trust you to babysit the girls while I snuck out on a date with my husband. The only issue I see with this would be if you needed to call 911 in case of a fire, but then again, there is probably an app for that, too.

You have a brilliant memory of all the fun moments in life. All I have to do is open my Camera Roll and instantly a smile crosses my lips. Whether it's a photo of Caroline on the swing at the park, Molly snuggled up and sleeping, or Steve and me having cocktails at the Chinatown Hooters (yes, you read that right - there IS a Hooters in Chinatown, and YES, their signage was written in Chinese, and YES, it was the only thing open and still seating late-night that evening, and YES, their wings are UH-MAY-ZING!), after seeing Chelsea Handler live, it's just amazing how happy you can make me in an instant. And now that you have fabulous video capabilities since Steve got the new 3GS and traded me for my older, video-less model, it's even better!

My dearest iPhone, please don't have hurt feelings that I cast your older, more mature version aside so easily - you are so idiot-proof that I was able to simply remove your memory card and put you into the newer, better body. Kind of like plastic surgery - which I am totally not opposed to, by the way (and either way, I know you won't judge me if I ever decide to go for that post-baby tummy tuck - you'll likely give me the directions to the plastic surgeon's office, help me check out his credentials, and find me the perfect post-surgery bathing suit).

While I was initially scared to even enter into a relationship with you because of the necessary switch to AT&T Wireless (Shock! Scandal! - as most of my friends and family are on Verizon), you have proven with your dependibility that I have made the right choice, and I will never stray as long as you don't...

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Dear Caroline Grace,

Well here we are, the night before you turn three. Daddy and I can't believe how time has flown and you've somehow managed to be another year older. It seems like just yesterday that you were still in my tummy, wiggling constantly and keeping me awake at night. Thankfully, you sleep really well these days (now it's your baby sister Molly who's keeping me up!), but just like when I was pregnant with you, you are in constant motion and full of energy. I thought that it might be a neat thing to write you a letter every year for your birthday so that when you grow up you will have a history of who you were when you were young. I also wanted to let you know the way your Mommy sees you and what I love about you as you grow.

These days, you are a girl who loves horses, princesses, and butterflies. Pink and purple are your favorite colors. You usually insist on wearing a dress (and it's usually one of your three Lilly dresses), but never worry about getting it dirty. You can frequently be found running, dancing, singing, and playing pretend. Your favorite foods are cheese, peanut butter and jelly (cut into triangles and served "butterfly-style"), spaghetti (but only if you can slurp up the noodles), berries, and all things sweet. You talk up a storm and have an inclination to negotiate when you want to get your way. You are kind to your baby sister, especially since she now seems to actually notice you, and she just adores you in return. Whenever you are in the room, her eyes are fixed on you, following you and watching whatever fun or mischief you are getting yourself into.

I love your sunny disposition. You are happy most of the time (although when you get frustrated or mad, you do have a bit of a temper - just like your Mommy!). You are a giggly, smiley, silly girl. You are also incredibly independent and a bit stubborn - you always like to try to do things for yourself first before asking for or accepting help (again, just like your Mom!). You seem especially proud of yourself these days whenever you go to the potty all by yourself or get yourself dressed. It doesn't matter that the shoes are sometimes on the wrong feet or that the bow goes in the front of your pants and not the back - when you do it without help, you just beam! Daddy and I just love watching you learn to do new things, and even though it sometimes takes twice as long when you do something for yourself, we are so happy that our Caroline is becoming such a strong, smart little girl.

One day recently, you saw me a bit teary-eyed because I was having a bad day. It was one of those days where nothing seemed to be going right. All by yourself (without any prompting from Daddy), you came up to me and gave me a big hug and said, "It's okay Mommy. Just calm down, and take a deep breath." In that one gesture, you erased all the bad parts of my day and turned everything around. You did what even Daddy couldn't do. It was one of my proudest moments as your Mommy so far, and it once again made me so grateful to have you in my life.

Three years ago, on the day you were born, you gave me the best present I could ask for - you made me a Mommy! Tomorrow, you will blow four candles out on your cake - three for your birthday, plus one to grow on. When you do, my wish for you will be that you have another wonderful year full of new adventures, fun with your family and friends, and that you stay the happy, healthy little girl who Daddy and I are honored to call our daughter.

Happy, happy birthday, Caroline! I love you more than you will ever know...


Thursday, June 4, 2009


Once again, I find myself apologizing to the blog world for being so absentee! I have no idea how some of my other blog friends do it with two (or more) kids, but I simply can't seem to get my act together enough to write on a daily (or even weekly) basis lately! However, it is officially Summer in our house as Caroline is out of school (although is in camp at her school every morning for two weeks), I am happy to report that Miss Molly is FINALLY pretty consistently sleeping through the night (I mean, am I a drama queen or what? I have friends whose kids didn't do that for a year or more...but I digress), and I am beginning to regain a bit of my sanity.

Summer is my favorite season. I mean, I wish it were a bit cooler, and certainly less humid (hello, DC is about as bad as Miami at this time of year- that's what you get when you build a city on top of a swamp...), but I have ALWAYS gotten excited at its arrival. When I was a kid, Summer meant that school was out and we were heading to our house on the Chesapeake Bay for the next three months. We spent our days playing on the beach, going crabbing on the jetties or pulling them from the pots we had put out, taking out the row boats or kayaks, and hunting endlessly for the shark's teeth that lined the shore. Our nights were full of flashlight tag, bonfires, catching fireflies, and going to Buehler's for ice cream. Our beach house is in a very small community, so we were basically turned loose - able to travel from a young age wherever our feet or our bicycles could take us.

We had my parents' house, where I always had a sister to play with, or my grandparents' house down the street, where there were always cousins, aunts, or uncles around. We had lots of Summer friends who had houses down there too (some of whom even lived near or went to school with us during the rest of the year). It was as idyllic as it sounds, if not occasionally boring (but in a good way). I still can't believe that I got to spend my childhood in such a fabulous manner.

The harbor down the street from our house

My mom and me (around age 1) on the beach

A "photo op" with some of my cousins, uncles, and my aunt (I'm in the second row from the top on the left)

Picking crabs at a table behind my grandparents' (I'm the one holding stuff up in the back left)

When I grew up, there was a time when I needed a break from the slow pace of the Bay. Steve and I spent six Summers in a group house in Dewey Beach, DE with one of my sisters, some of our cousins, and alot of our friends. A far cry from the quiet of the Chesapeake, Dewey was an exercise in debauchery and craziness. We spent almost every Friday night each Summer making the drive down Rt. 50 to 404 to 16 to 1, just to make it to The Starboard , which was a mere two blocks from our house, in time for Last Call. We would find a parking spot on our street and that was where the car would stay until Sunday.

A Dewey Night - before and after (that's Steve in the far right corner, and yes, that's me on the right with a box on my, what?!)

My sister Maridith and me, plus a group shot from Jam Session at the Bottle and Cork

Dancing one night, and brunch with Eggs Del Marva and Red Shots the next morning, both at our home away from home - The Starboard

The best bartender in the world - Lincoln!

The rest of the weekend was spent running from bar to beach to bar (well actually, sometimes it was bar to bar to bar) before finally crashing in a twin bed (yes, the two of us in ONE bed) in a room at our house that we named The Naughty Monkey. It sounds absolutely crazy - which it was - but I have to say that those six summers were some of the best in my life so far. We made some of our closest friends there, and watched multiple couples fall in love and get married after living in our beach house (Steve and I were even married during this six-year span!). And who says Dewey romances can never last?! Alas, after six years, we decided it was time for us to settle down just a bit, and pulled the cord on our time in Dewey.

And so here we are, with two little girls, finding ourselves back at the Bay once again. I'm not going to say it's as easy to be there as I remember it as a kid - my parents' house is a lot more crowded now that we are all grown up and have so many extra people in tow. It's also not the most wheelchair-accessible place in the world for me to be, although my friends and family take great efforts to make it so. The community built a fabulous ramp onto the beach for me (and others) several years ago, and have rebuilt it after Nor'easters or hurricanes have tried to take it down. I even found this awesome beach chair that swivels 360-degrees so that I can get sun at any angle, or watch the girls play in the water.

Taking my own children down to the Bay makes me appreciate how much effort my Mom and Dad put into making my own childhood Summers seems so, well, effortless. Despite all the work it takes to get us there, seeing my daughters enjoy the simplicity that comes with the slower pace of life down there makes it all worthwhile. Steve and I even hope to buy our own small cottage down there in the next several years. A girl can dream, right?
Caroline, loving the water and walking my parents' dog, Oscar
Snuggling with Miss Molly on the beach
Caroline trying out our kayak while Molly Rose chills out under the umbrella

A little beer pong on the front porch with my cousin Mikey, sister Suzy, and Steve - see, we haven't grown up entirely just yet (and probably never will)!

Sunday, April 26, 2009


It's been a little over nine weeks since Molly Rose joined our family. She's an easy baby, which has been a welcome scenario for me. Caroline has been really good, all things considered, with our newest addition. Having Molly here reminds me every day of how much of a "big girl" Caroline is becoming. Today, she and I got out of the house for some along time - just the two of us.

A dance school near our house was holding an open house in honor of National Dance Week. The week's official spokesperson was Angelina Ballerina - a favorite in our house. In addition to meeting Angelina in person, the kids could watch her perform, see a dress rehearsal of "Swan Lake" by some of the school's students, touch ballet slippers and costumes, listen to and act out an Angelina Ballerina story, and take a dance class. I was a ballet dancer for almost 10 years before I was injured, so this kind of thing was right up my alley. I was even more excited when I saw that Caroline really liked it too. It was such a fun afternoon - just us girls!

Caroline looks at the day's program. Later, we watched Angelina demonstrate some dance steps.

Our cousins Morgan and Camryn came along, too. Here are Morgan and Caroline with Angelina.
The interactive story time was a favorite activity.
Here, the girls are getting a chance to try out some of the steps for themselves.
It was a fabulous afternoon!

Saturday, April 4, 2009


On Thursday evening, I headed to a "Girls' Night Out" shopping event, where my business partner and best friend Christy and I had a table to sell stationery made by our company, Penny-Bear Printing. I got a chance to do a little shopping myself, and ended up at a booth run by a really cute company called Blossom Bug. In addition to carrying hand-made gift items such as burp cloths, bibs, and diaper cases, they also have an extensive line of bags by Scout. Their products are fabulous - they have the texture and durability of duct tape but are obviously much cuter. I picked up this really cute weekender bag, along with a large coordinating insulated cooler. Both will be perfect for the beach this summer!

Thursday, April 2, 2009


I didn't post about this yesterday because I had just found out about it and the sale was supposed to end last night at midnight, but it's been extended! Boden (including Mini Boden - one of my most favorite kids' clothing lines) is offering 25% off everything on their entire site, as well as free shipping and returns. I did quite a bit of damage last night, but not nearly as much as I would have had the items I bought been full-price. Happy shopping!