May 26, 2012

my schedule.


It's a full load, let me tell you.  First there is this little nugget who takes up most of my time.  It's a good thing she is so cute.  And I don't mind at all - best job in the world!


Then there is this little activity that is so foreign to me I don't even know what to do with myself.  Kevin has pointed out that I need to work a little harder at this "hockey mom" thing.  Here he is instructing me on how to suit up the boys for practice.  "Erica," he says, "you really have to pull the laces tight, and then you do this and this and that and flip this around here and double knot and swing it around," blah, blah, blah.  Can you tell I was listening?  Well, I wasn't listening because my "multitasking" ability allows, well, only one task at a time.  In this case, taking cute pictures of my favorite men in my life who appear to be fully engrossed in their element. 

I also became slightly uncomfortable being in a locker room.  "Kevin," I said, "do the hockey moms come in here?"  "Yes, Erica, the hockey moms come in here," he answered back.  Well, I didn't see any hockey moms.  All I saw was another dad who appeared to want to suit up himself but for the strange not-so-hockyish-hockey-mom wearing a camera around her neck.  Sorry hockey dad!


So anyway, this suiting up thing takes 20 minutes at least.  Two kids, 46 pieces of equipment and no less than 205 drops of sweat later we have this.  They do look cute, don't you think?  Soooo, if you're ever in doubt as to my whereabouts, I'm either snuggling a baby or trying to remember what Kevin told me about the hockey skates.  Don't tell him I wasn't listening.

May 17, 2012

223.

Kevin took this picture with his phone this past Mother's Day of Caroline with her great-grandmother, or Nunny as she is affectionally called.  Nunny calls her "Sweet Caroline" and always comments on her pretty blue eyes.  Nun also liked this outfit because she said it reminded her of how babies dressed when she was young. 

Nunny also is affectionately known in the family simply as "223." As the story goes, in the 1950s, Nunny traveled with Kevin's grandfather to Washington DC as part of a national VFW conference. Kevin's grandfather was a WWII veteran, the head of the local VFW Post 223 in Oakland, active in the community and in politics, had lots of friends and was always running things (sound familiar?). Nunny was a quiet southern belle from Charlotte who didn't exactly like the spotlight. Well, at this conference in Washington, Nunny was asked to participate in a women's event where she was to get up in front of a large group of women and give a little speech, you know, say something nice to represent the Pittsburgh VFW Post 223 women's auxillary. Kevin's grandpap was very proud afterwards and asked her how it went. Nunny said she stood up at the podium in front of hundreds of women, and said, simply "Doris Harris. 223." Then sat down. That was it! So, the nickname stuck. We love you, 223.

May 15, 2012

Dear Teddy,
Thank you for the precious Mother's Day card.  I love it.  Especially the part about how I'm 25 years old apparently.  I won't argue with you.  Nor will I argue about my hair color.  I'm now a 25 year old blonde.  I'll take it!
Love,
Mom

May 14, 2012

your people can call her people.

Caroline Mary Candace is Woman's Day Magazine's "Cutest Kid of the Day".  Click here.  We're interviewing agents if you would like to contact me for an appointment.  Heh, heh.

May 13, 2012

7 magnificent months.

Dearest Baby Girl,
You are 7 months old today, and such a doll you have become.  You are babbling more and more, and of course making that "da da" sound - just like your brothers did!  You have figured out how to free your arm from under your belly when you roll over, but still prefer to lay on your back, sit in your Bumbo seat, jump in the Jumperoo or sit in your high chair.  This is all fine with me.  I'm in no rush for you to grow. 
You have the sweetest disposition.  You love for anyone to hold you and talk to you.  You make everyone around you smile.  I sense that you will be very confident, outgoing and pleasant.  You are also very patient!  All qualities you inherited from me.  (That was a joke.  But seriously, stop laughing.  It wasn't that funny.)

You started eating baby food and we have a morning routine with it.  So far you'll eat anything from bananas to apple sauce to prunes to spinach.  You like it all.  I love watching you patiently grasp little pieces of food with those delicate fingers and slowly try to bring it to your mouth.  I cheer you on each time.

I love dressing you up just to get groceries or go to the gym.  And at the gym the ladies there don't know my name, but they all know yours!  When we walk into the childcare room we are always greeted with, "Caroline is here!  Hi, Caroline!"  When I picked you up the other day I was told that you were laughing and laughing from being tickled.  You silly girl.


I love carrying you close to me in your sling.  I love nursing you, holding you tight, staring at your little hands, and closed eyes.  I love our walks to meet your brothers at the bus stop after school.  The crossing guard, Bill, always asks how pretty Caroline is doing.  The boys hop off the bus, and greet you before taking off at full speed down the street.

You are a beautiful baby.  An elderly lady stopped us the other day so she could look at you.  She said you had eyes like "blueberry pie".  I'm often told by strangers to cherish you, every moment, and soak it all in.  I am baby girl.  I am.  You are so, so very loved.

Love,
Mom

May 11, 2012

the box.

Okay, I know the suspense is killing you. The box.
This is what arrived in the box!
George mailed a Flat Stanley picture to Uncle Matt, Aunt Ida, Max, Henry and Vivian and asked them to take pictures of him in Germany and then send him back to Pittsburgh. Our Stanley has now returned in one piece (but for a missing foot) and it appears he went on quite an adventure!
Here are Stanley, Max and Henry at Ramstein Air Base where Uncle Matt is a doctor.
Here is Stanley checking out the cockpit of a C-130J Hercules.
He also went into the AFRICOM Commander's Gulfstream V.
Stanley also checked out where they live in lovely Kollweiler.
You know what?  Stanley is a spoiled brat!!!
It doesn't end here.  This is what else they sent us.
Cookies and chocolates and gummy bears!
I don't know what all this Germanese says, so I'm going with 0 calories and no fat. And let me tell you, those Happy Hippos are going to be the death of me. Why aren't these sold in the US? Maybe it's for the best. Anyway, thank you Matt and Ida! Now I need to reintegrate Stanley back into civilian life, which may be a task. He keeps flashing me his passport and giggling under his breath.So not cool.

May 10, 2012

Something very, very fun arrived in the mail today.  I wonder what's inside.  Suspense, folks!
On another note, my Teddy loves pickles, which is funny because with each pregnancy I probably consumed enough of them to keep a pickle farmer in good business. I was just telling mom today about the time I was pregnant with George and my OB said to me, "Let's lay off the pickles." I was retaining too much water thanks to those things! Anyway, Teddy was giddy when he saw not only pickles at the grocery store but BIG jars of pickles. So we brought home two because we want to be able to savor them for a long time. 3 days, maybe.

May 6, 2012

Brothers admiring baby sister through sunroom window.

May 4, 2012

I took this picture two years ago and it just makes me smile.
And yes, in a 107 year old house it isn't unusual to find beautiful glass knobs INSIDE closets.  Isn't that funny?  On the flip side, there are many things about a 107 year old house that are NOT funny.  I got so irritated with our decrepit front porch railing that I ripped it out by hand the other day.  BY HAND!  I figured that would kick-start a remodeling project, don't you think?  We'll see . . . Happy Friday!

May 3, 2012

Dear Chips and Salsa:
While stuffing my face this afternoon I realized something.  My last few pounds of baby weight would come off much faster if not for you.  No offense.  Pretzels and Hummus will be hearing from me too.
Love,
Erica

May 2, 2012

george turns 7.

Mr. George is now 7 years old!
His birthday was on a Friday so we had a mini-celebration before school.
He opened a few gifts.  Can you tell which gift was his favorite?
I thought this picture was so cute too!

We pulled George and Teddy out of school early that day and took them to the zoo with Nonnie and Papa.  I think they like the playground as much as the animals!

The next day we had a monster themed party at an indoor, glow-in-the-dark mini golf place.  The decor was creepy cool and we had a party room that looked like something out of a haunted house.

George invited all the boys in his class.  One of them was determinded to hold the now famous Caroline.  She LOVED it as you can clearly see.  This is the same little friend who, upon realizing I was having a hard time getting all the boys' attention (shocking, right?  6 and 7 year olds?  Not getting their attention?) loudly yelled, "Everyone please listen to the beautiful mother!"  He will be my favorite of the friends for like, ever.

During the party I told the kids that I tried drawing a picture of George and not to laugh.  Then I unveiled my poster and we played Pin the Tooth on the Monster.

Opening presents - always complete chaos!

My monster cake.  You can hire me.  Or not.  Probably not.

These boys are hilarious when they're together.  Isn't it funny seeing your kids in their element?  They are so polite too.  It always takes a few "Mrs. Acklin" references before realizing it's me they're talking to and not Kevin's mom!  When I was their age I never got into the habit of saying the Mr. So and So or Mrs. So and So.  Instead I just never spoke to adults!  I probably had Lesley do it for me.  Seriously.

Then they all played a round of golf together and I sat and watched with Caroline and mom and dad . . . realizing . . . when I go home I won't have to clean anything up . . . ah . . .