Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Horrible accidents happen everyday. Usually, we are separated from tragedy by nothing more than a little luck. A bit of chance. A moment of clarity.

Unfortunately, those barriers break down and some awful, gut wrenching things can happen.

A friend of a friend lost their little girl after she was left in the car for a period of time last weekend. Before you say, "That would never happen to me," go read this article. It won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing. It changed the way I think about these accidents. Read it. Seriously. But get some tissues first. It's hard, but read it. Every parent should.

Once you've hugged your children, and thanked your God for the moments you have with your family, take the time to see the family's donation page.

This family is paying to bury their two year old. Surely the $5 or $10 or $50 will help them more by having it than it will hurt you by giving it.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Hair Cut

Hair as of last Saturday (6/18/10)

Hair as of this Saturday (6/26/10):

I know it was just a hair cut, but seriously, how does it make him look so much older?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Our Carpentry Adventure

It started with this:

Which did this:

And was enjoyed by these:

And then there was some of (A LOT of) this:

Which lead to this:

And this:

And finally resulted in this:

And this:

The roof/tarp comes this week and our adventure in carpentry will be over!

We knew that with Charlotte's home-bound needs, Caleb would need a place to play this fall. Sane people would go to Home Depot, pick out a swing set and schedule a delivery time.

Sanity is not a strong suit in this household.

We bought some plans, ordered some wood, measured, cut, swore (a little), measured again, cut again, drilled, aligned, and finally, sledge hammered things in place.

I think we actually had some fun in there, too.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dear Caleb

My little boy.

My first. My whole world. I've been wanting to write you a letter for awhile now, but the words just don't seem to come. How can they? What words accurately describe your world right now?

I wanted to write a letter expressing my sorrow that you have to start your relationship with Charlotte this way. This silly, nasty, drawn out way.

I wanted to write, to tell you, how proud I am of you-- how I know that children come pre-wired, because your father and I have done nothing to prepare you for this situation, and yet, there you are, handling it with grace and strength. (And the occasional two-year-old tantrum).

I'd like to write you a letter that encapsulates my complete love for you, and yet, when I sit down to write, I have nothing. The English language still does not have a word for a mother's love.

Nor can words can describe the ache I feel-- the emptiness that consumes my body when I think about how much I've missed over the past few months. You're suddenly a big boy, in relative terms, and I mourn the time I cannot have, the moments I did not see, the stories I could not hear.

And despite that pain, you fill me with joy. You are completely forgiving. You are honest. You are sincere. You are full of desire to learn, to understand, to comprehend. You are kind.

You are innocent.

You ask everyday how Baby Charlotte is doing. "Oh, she makin' all better? She come home and live with me?" You plead with me to let you go see her. I struggle with that. You want to see this baby, you want to love this child, and I am scared to let you. I'm scared that you won't understand, that you'll pull away, that you'll resent her for taking us away from you.

And you prove me wrong. You love her. As you lay your hand on her back, you rub softly and declare, "Baby Charlotte, you're so beautiful." You tell her this as if you wish she believed it as much as you do. Please remember to tell her that in a few years from now. Sisters need that from their brothers.

You love so unconditionally. So fully. You give your heart to heal others. It's your gift and you give so freely.

But there just aren't words. And so I offer this, this paltry letter, that dims in comparison to its true intent.

These are the only words I have.

And I know, that for you, it will be enough.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Caleb's "birthday cake"

"Want some Mommy? Want some?"

Caleb is getting to that magical place in life where everything is possible and nothing is out of reach. I hope he stays there for a while.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


We love you, Daddy. We love you lots.

Happy Father's Day.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Monday, June 14, 2010


Peter and I ordered some late night Chinese on Friday. I know it was past 10, and good Chinese food comes from people who typically, you know, speak Chinese, but really...

We ordered vegetarian lo mein, vegetarian fried rice, 4 vegetarian egg rolls.

We picked up 8 packs of egg and spring rolls, chicken on a stick, orange chicken, and our lo mein, and fried rice.

Chicken on a stick?

Haha. It might have cost us $28, but it was worth it.

Chicken on a stick.

I'm still laughing.

And we have about 12 egg rolls too many if anyone wants some...

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Throwing Away The Key

This article in the NY Times (regarding children, specifically girls, "playing sexy") makes me want to lock Charlotte up and throw away the key until she's at least 21. And Caleb? Ha. He's never, ever going to school if this is how his friends will be playing at recess.

I'm pretty sure that's what they wanted me to get out of it, too. Not that I should be proactive as a parent. Nope definitely not that. Definitely the "lock them in a room and never let them see the light of day" message.

Friday, June 11, 2010


Logo of Target, US-based retail chainImage via Wikipedia

My entire outfit yesterday came from Target, and not on purpose.

My shoes, tanktop, shirt, and skirt came to a total outfit price of $24.

There are moments that I dream of shopping at places like a department store. Really, I could be so well put together if all my clothes came from Nordstrom. For real. I promise. If you let me, I'll prove it to you.

But then I come back to reality and I think it'll be enough of an adjustment to start looking at the non-clearance part of Target.

Jimmy Choos, you'll just have to wait a little longer.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

More Caleb Creations

I knew I was skipping a step with my muffins.

Mother's Day

Caleb made this for me in his class at the YMCA this year. I was scanning it into the computer so I could have it without having to pack it and move it with us everywhere we go and I thought it should be shared.

I love being as pretty as a pretty.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

National Train Day

Caleb thought that this train had a mustache.

Caleb and the Conductor. Caleb was literally yelling, "I'M ON A TRAIN!! A TRAIN!! A TRAIN!!"

So incredibly excited to be on a train.

May 8, 2010 was National Train Day. There was a festival of sorts at Thirtieth Street Station in Philadelphia and so I booked some tickets and Patti, Caleb and I went down to tour a train. I knew Caleb loved trains and all, but the level of excitement to be on a real train was much, much more than I expected. He was in heaven.

It was crowded and unorganized, but the train tour was definitely worth the hassle.


We had cousins come to visit over Memorial Day Weekend. My brother, Aaron, and his family (wife, Jenny, and two children, Maeli {5} and Joey {4 months}) are moving to California in a week, and they came out to visit, see grandparents, and allow for us to meet their newest addition. Joey was born on Feb. 6, about 3 weeks before Charlotte made her grand entrance. Since our lives have been slightly hectic, we haven't been able to meet this little one. He was well worth the wait. Every morning Caleb wakes up asking if he can play with Baby Joey. About 3 times a day he tells me that "Baby Joey is sad because Baby Joey wants to play with Caleb."

Thanks for coming to visit us. And thank you Maeli for playing so much with Caleb. He loves you so much and can't wait for Charlotte to be big enough so we can come see you. Until then-- good luck with the move and enjoy sunny California!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Caramel apple. A.W.E.S.O.M.E. And yes, this thing easily took 6 years off my life expectancy. Worth. It.

Peter finished his Board exams (COMLEX Step II and the Physical Examination Exam) on May 18, so we packed the kid in, grabbed our swimming suits and headed on down to Ocean City, Maryland.

On the trip down. We're awesome parents and drove our child to the beach at 11:00 PM. Bedtime? Ehh...

Water slide at our hotel's children's pool

We stayed at the Hilton suites in Ocean City and really enjoyed it. The pools (1 indoor and 2 outdoor) were amazing and the children's pool was a huge success with Caleb.

He loved the sand. We could barely get him over the sand dunes before he started digging.

Remember how I said I wouldn't post embarrassing pictures? Oh well.
He wrapped this towel around him and said, "I'm a princess! I'm a princess!" We're going to thank Aubrie for that one :)

Caleb conveniently helping himself to his new friend's toys.

Even the clouds couldn't keep him from playing in the sand.

We were even able to get a trip to Assateague Island in and saw some ponies and lots and lots of trees. Caleb was rather impressed with the ponies and birds, until a pony tried to nibble on his toes. He was thereafter, unimpressed. He kept saying, "We need to go eat some yummy, yummy crabs!" (We had promised we'd go get crabs after we saw the ponies).

Apparently, our car can swim. Who knew a Camry came so fully equipped?

Pony trying to eat Caleb's foot.

Once Caleb saw the crabs, however, he was rather convinced they were bugs ("It's a bug mommy, it's a bug! Don't eat bugs, ewww, Mommy.") and was therefore, unimpressed. He was a big fan of Rita's though.

And oreos.

He poor kid got some awesome sunscreen-and-sand mixture in his eye. It was red and puffy all day. Oreos help make eyes better, didn't you know?

And that was our two day trip. It was awesome. Let's go again!

Abby Marie Knickerbocker

Nick (Peter's younger brother) and his wife Lisa, met their beautiful little girl, Abby Marie on Tuesday, May 25, 2010 at 1:35 PM.

Weighing in at 5 pounds, 7 ounces (and 19 inches), this tiny blessing has us all enamored.

Abby and Charlotte even had a playdate in the NICU. It was brief, (thank goodness!) but the cousins met. Caleb loves his little cousin and can't stop talking about "Baby Abby"

Congrats Nick and Lisa!

I heart Danica

Danica Nelson has been Caleb's photographer since he was 2 months old. Now her husband thinks he's going to take his Ivy League Dental School educated self and move to St. Louis to start a highly competitive Orthodontic program (or something like that) that he has been accepted into.

You all know what I think of that.


Whatever. So he's super smart, talented, driven and successful. I personally think Danica should follow our family around as we move from place to place. Oh well.

Seriously, St. Louis, you're so dang lucky.

Check out her previews of the pictures here.

I know it helps that Caleb is so cute, but she's pretty good. :)

Chester County Hospital May Festival

Apparently, each year in May the hospital where Charlotte currently resides (Chester County Hospital) holds a fundraiser festival. We bought some raffle tickets (no, we didn't win the car. or anything for that matter) and some ride tickets and took Caleb.

When we got there, he pointed to the festival and said, "Look! A party for me!"

Uhh, sorry kid, but if you think that's what your parties are going to be like, you're in for some sweet, sweet disappointment.

So excited to be riding a train.

Can't stop looking at the rides for a second.

Fire engine ride. He was so cute.

Dragon ride. It went up and down while flying in a circle.

Caleb actually did a lot better than I thought he would. He's usually such a scared little boy and I thought the rides would really freak him out, but no way. He LOVED it. Now, every time we go to the hospital (the festival was in the hospital parking lot) he says, " 'member that party for me? It goes bye-bye."

Anyone in the area should definitely check it out next year. The money goes to a fabulous cause and it was a lot of fun!

Pictures from 5/15/10

Blackmail Pictures


I don't really support posting pictures that will completely embarrass children later in life, but there are exceptions to every rule.

How stinkin' cute is he? I love this boy more than my heart can handle sometimes.