Friday, December 10, 2010

Tickle Time

You boys are different in many (many many) ways, but you have two things in common:
(1) You love to laugh, and
(2) You love your Daddy!

video

video

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Slow Down!

Dear Matthew,
I know you have to grow up, but my heart isn't yet ready for my baby to start crawling. You apparently didn't get the memo...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Mrs. Edwards

"If you know someone who has lost a child, and you're afraid to mention them because you think you might make them sad by reminding them that they died--you're not reminding them. They didn't forget they died. What you're reminding them of is that you remembered that they lived, and that is a great gift."
--Elizabeth Edwards, 1949-2010

This is important, boys, and I think the sentiment applies to the loss of any loved one. People often wonder what words, if any, to say to a grieving friend. I can tell you that anything involving God and his reasons will almost universally elicit an internal eye roll from the recipient. I prefer a simple and honest "I'm sorry," "I love you," and "I will remember." Then open your heart and listen.

That's all for today.
xoxo

Monday, December 6, 2010

Backyard Fun

You boys live in a pretty special place--you've had the opportunity to identify hawks, shovel plentiful snow, enjoy frequent hikes, squawk at wild turkeys, explore waterfalls, and even befriend a herd of albino deer residing in a nearby wildlife reservation. I grew up in a special place too--one I experienced as much under water as above. You got a taste of my childhood on our Thanksgiving trip to the Keys, when a manatee swam right up to Mamo & Grandaddy's backyard dock for a snack:


Daddy spotted some fishing line wrapped around our friend's flipper, so we called the local wildlife folks to report his location. They were thrilled to learn his whereabouts and will hopefully help him out!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day

Guys,

Today is Veterans Day. Ours is not a "military town" and I worry--having grown up in a series of such towns--that you will miss out on some of the respect and tradition paid to our servicemen and servicewomen. Many of them are really just girls and boys, yet The Uniform and accompanying responsibility render age-as-a-maturity-indicator pretty useless. Still hard to think of anything but a kid when you see a number like 19 or 23 next to an obituary notice though.

Without getting too preachy, I want you both to hold a special respect for military members, past and present. Sometimes ignorant people ascribe certain views to all members of the armed services--as though a conservative brainwashing occurs during boot camp--but the only thing they all have in common is the voluntary subjugation of their own lives to their country's security. That's huge, and it should never go unappreciated.

So when you enjoy your day off from work, school, or other pursuits on the 11th day of the 11th month each year, I only ask that you take a moment to remember the reason why. Remember, and be thankful.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Artist

Jason,
Lately you've been on a painting spree. You paint at school, at home, with brushes, with stamps, with fingers...if I let you paint with your feet you would! The good news is I get lots of original artwork to frame and display around the house. I think you need to work on the whole tortured artist thing though. You're WAY too happy to be a serious painter!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Sit, Matthew, Sit!

Matthew,
You have officially mastered the art of sitting. This development, while impressive to Mommy, is not nearly advanced enough for Jason, who today asked when you would be able to play chase.



Friday, November 5, 2010

Swinging

As winter looms I dread the temporary end of our daily park visits. Matthew even gets in on the fun now!

video

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Trick or Treat!

"Trick or Treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat!"
-- Jason, a.k.a IRONMAN, Oct 31, 2010, thanks to his father.









Jack O' Lanterns


Today was Halloween! You are more into this holiday than any so far...we've had lots of fun doing all the traditional things, but you really put your Daddy through the ringer with Pumpkin Carving. We found a patter for Ironman Jack O' Lanterns in the store, and since he's your very favorite super hero I just couldn't resist. Especially since I knew Daddy would be assisting you with the actual carving. I think you boys did a wonderful job, and I KNOW you had a great time ;-)








Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Carrots

Matthew,
We started feeding you "real" food. You don't like it.

video

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Work

Jason,

To my great excitement/anxiety/pride/sadness/fear/loneliness you started school this fall. You love the materials--I dare not call them "toys" for fear of being firmly corrected by the Montessori Directress--and tell me you are going to "work like Daddy." Very serious business, this work of yours! Most of the work doesn't lead to something tangible to show us, so you are especially proud of the few items you bring home at the end of each week. I'm going to apologize in advance because--unlike my own mother, who has suitcases full of every single piece of paper I ever produced at school--I don't plan to save all of your work. (Sorry mom.)

However, to ensure future history books have a record of your earliest achievements, I will do my best to hang on to a few representative pieces. I'll start here, with the very first work you produced in an academic setting. Prepare yourself for genius in action:

Friday, September 24, 2010

A quote, for you both


"Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary."

--
John Keating (Robin Williams), in Dead Poets Society


I don't know if people still watch this movie, fellas, but when I was 13 it was a pretty big deal and I was just coming out of a shell. So as cliche as it may be now, it kinda hit home, and I don't get accused of shell-hiding much any more...

You two gremlins probably won't need a former-TV-alien-turned-Academy-Award-Winning-Actor to teach you life lessons, but I promise you'll love the movie.


And I love YOU,
Dad


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Peek-a-boo

Boys,
Nothing captures the essence of our days quite like the following video clip. Jason does something silly, Matthew laughs, Jason does something silly again, Matthew laughs some more, and on and on until somehow it is 11:30 and we're still in our jammies because we've spent an entire morning playing peek-a-boo!

video

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Tummy Time

Matthew,
You recently learned how to roll onto your tummy and happily perform your new trick every time I put you down:

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Swimming, Part 2

So I just uploaded some more pictures and couldn't resist including a few of Superman!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Swimming

We just returned from a surprise end-of-summer visit to Key Largo, where you both had a great time playing in the pool. The water was the perfect temperature for me, right around 92 degrees. Jason, you have no fear and spent most of your pool time doing cannonballs and asking to be thrown in the air, "all the way up to the top of the house!" Matthew, you started smiling, splashing and kicking the moment you hit the water--a water baby all the way!




Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First Tooth

Matthew,
Today, after a few weeks of drooling all over me, your first tooth arrived! Bottom left incisor. Looks like the right is soon to follow :)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Underwear Man

The corollary to the "bury Matthew under all his toys" game: "Underwear Man"

Matthew, you sure are a good sport!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Daddy's Turn -- Some Simple Advice

Hello boys! Today your father is taking a turn as "Guest Editor" on your mother's blog. And by "taking a turn" I actually mean "taking advantage of the fact that your mom left her account logged in." You really have to be careful with this Internet thing; you never know what some joker might do.

ANYWAY...

She'll probably be a lot more careful in the future, and I will most definitely get scolded thoroughly for my hacking. So I'm using this, my likely singular chance to write here, to give you the only really important advice you need in life. Seriously.

Not long from today you'll start rolling your eyes at my goofy pronouncements, embarrassing one-liners, misplaced metaphors, and old-fashioned opinions (just watch how your mom does it, because apparently it's both easy and addictive). That's why I'd like you to pay attention now, while you are very young and impressionable, because this advice matters.

I have to confess that I'm really just paraphrasing a lifetime of things I learned from Noni and Grandpa, your Uncle Bubba, my own grandparents, Father Turi, a couple of really good friends, a few great books, and of course your mother. OK, Star Wars and The Princess Bride too. And exactly for that reason -- yes, I'll say it again -- you have to pay attention. Those all are much more reliable, thoughtful, and interesting than I.

In summary, my sons, this is quality counsel, derived from superior sources than the one most readily available to you (um, me). Read it, think about it, internalize it, and above all I say follow it! You won't be sorry:

Live big, be brave, and love everyone.

See. I told you. That's guidance that will never fail you. It's going to lead you in different directions at different points in your life, but if you keep it in mind you'll always have the best parts of yourself in the driver's seat.

I love you both, thiiiiiiiis much.

-- Daddy

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Matthew's Toys

J&M (Right now I'm thinking it is a good thing Jason wasn't named Steve or Sam!),

You've dreamed up another new game to play together. I like to call it, "The bury Matthew under all his toys game."

J-A-S-O-N

J-A-S-O-N,

Today, after a couple years of producing what can only be described as random scribbles, you decided to start writing! Your first session included cat, hat, watermelon (I had to help you spell this one!), Noni, and, of course, Jason. You're so proud of yourself!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Story Time

Guys,

Now that Matthew's a bit bigger you're beginning to play together. Jason, you like to hold Matthew on your lap (with close supervision) and turn on his toys for him (especially his swing). My favorite brother activity so far is story time. You hold hands while sitting in your respective "story" chairs:

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Gratitude

Dear, sweet Matthew,

Thank you for sleeping so well. Truly, thank you. I will spend the rest of your childhood attempting to repay the favor.

First Movie Quote

J,

Well, it's official. In addition to identifying songs after hearing two measures (Sweet Child O' Mine by Guns N Roses was the first title you nailed, btw) you've inherited your father's talent for internalizing and spitting out movie quotes. Your first one, which you modify depending on the object of your diatribe:

"You. Are. A. TOYYYYY! You're not a [Mommy], you're a child's play thing!"
---Woody, Toy Story (1995)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Jason the Director

Jason,

You've discovered the camera and have been taking lots of pictures. Some of them aren't half bad! You aren't at all shy about directing your models, and I was able to capture a bit of your commentary by setting the camera to "video" yesterday. Excuse the clothes all over the couch; it was also laundry day!

video

(For those who missed it, Little Spielberg demanded, "Look at the camera!")

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Baby Playtime

Matthew,

I just can't get over how adorable you are. With your big brother I was always a bit anxious to get to the next milestone--the next thing always looked so fun! And it was. But now that I know how fast these baby stages will fly by, I want to fully appreciate the present and not miss a thing. All of your smiles and gurgles and leg rolls are so cute I can't stand it! You're just starting to enjoy playtime, which means Matthew the newborn is already being replaced by Matthew the giggly baby. Oh, how I wish I could press the pause button on life sometimes!

Here you are with your favorite rattle:



And turning on the music in your bouncy chair:

video

Monday, July 12, 2010

Tetherball

Jason,

Mamo got you a tetherball for your birthday, and it is a huge hit. I don't know what it is about tetherball, but kids love it! I remember spending hours and hours at my friend Mandy's house playing tetherball. She had a trampoline too. I sure did love that thing. If Mamo gets you one of those I'll have to start taking Valium.

Anyhow, onto the photo documentation:

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Fun in the Sun

Boys,

We spend a lot of time outdoors, and I'm so delighted you both like it as much as I do. I grew up outside--swimming, biking, exploring, boating--and it just feels like home. The feeling of sunshine soaking into my skin (through a layer of sunscreen, of course) triggers a sense of calm and happiness.

Matthew, I think you feel much the same way. If you are upset I just take you outside and you immediately relax and turn your little face toward the sun.

Jason, I can't decide if you like the open space for running or the opportunity to yell at the top of your lungs!

"The River" is a favorite spot for throwing stones:

Hiking through "The Forest" where we've seen deer, butterflies, bees, and even a snake:

Blowing bubbles never gets old:


Just hanging in the backyard with Daddy:

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Happy Boys

You two keep me busy, but how can I complain with smiles like these?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Thank Goodness for Mommies

Boys,

Sometimes you're going to take me for granted. Nearly always, actually. It's okay, I do the same thing, taking my Mama for granted. When someone is there for you 100% of the time it's an easy trap to fall into. But every now and then even Mommies need to hear a big thank you for everything they do for their babies.

So, to MY Mommy, who just spent over a month away from her home and husband just to make things a little easier on me while I adjusted to parenting two munchkins...

THANK YOU!!



Friday, June 25, 2010

2 Months Old

Matthew,

You're two months old already!
Here are your stats:
weight 13 lbs 1.5 oz

height 22.5 in


You're smiling and making lots of sounds, and Jason is your favorite person. You like to do tummy time together. You love to sleep and even gave me a 7-hour stretch the other night! Your favorite place to hang out (other than someone's arms) is your bouncy chair, especially if it is outside:



Jason,
Since I didn't start blogging until you were nearly a year old, I figured I'd include your 2 month photo and stats along with Matthew's:
weight 12 lbs 1.5 oz

height 23.25 in

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Smiles

Little Matthew,

You are starting to smile. It is so cool!

You especially like getting your chin tickled :)

video

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Three Years Old


My little boy. Hard to believe, but you are 3 years old! How on Earth did THAT happen?

Anyhow, since I (still) have neglected to keep an up-to-date baby book, here are a few notable facts about you on your 3rd birthday. Okay, okay, a few notable facts about you two weeks after your 3rd birthday.

You love...
...running, kicking, throwing, jumping, bouncing, hitting, catching, climbing, and anything else that involves balls or being outside.
...your little brother! You don't appreciate all of the life changes he's brought with him, but you haven't taken it out on him (yet). You always ask to hold him, play with him, kiss him, or rub his back. And you like me to narrate your activities so he knows what is going on. You yell "Tell Matthew about it!" if I don't stay on top of my duties.
...gymnastics class.
...cooking! You like to help me prepare your meals--sandwiches, popsicles, and watermelon cutouts are your specialties--and we often bake together.
...playing chase with your friends.
...Guns n Roses. I'm not kidding.
...peeing in the potty.

You don't love...
...the statue in the Broadway Diner's lobby. Can't say I blame you, it is pretty weird.
...the sound of other people singing.
...getting your hair cut. You do, however, enjoy the post-haircut lollipop.
...holding my hand in parking lots.
...pooping in the potty.

You eat...
...sushi and Indian rice.
...chicken fingers and french fries.
...popsicles and ice cream.
...chicken and salmon.
...soup and chicken pot pie.
...mangoes and strawberries.
...carrots and hummus.
...pretty much anything ;)

You say...
...whatever pops into your brain. Seriously. In your brain, out your mouth.
...past tense words with an extra "-ed" on the end, as in "I watched-ed the cars go by," or "You pushed-ed the stroller."
..."I'm sad. I'm going to go hide behind the chair to cry," when you're upset. Then you do.
...really funny things in your sleep.

You think...
...a little too much for my comfort. Gone are the easy days when I could lie my way out of your requests. Now you know people eating cones outside the ice cream place means it isn't closed. Your memory is also a bit too sharp, making distraction difficult to pull off as well.
...question marks are called "mystery letters"
...Matthew's umbilical cord was "poop coming out of his tummy."
...you're a comedian. And you are. But I'm not particularly looking forward to hearing about your antics at parent/teacher conferences. I'm considering sending Daddy instead!

You can...
...climb into your carseat and buckle yourself in.
...count objects up to 49 (after that you forget which tens place number comes next).
...recognize written numbers up to 99.
...locate most U.S. states on a map. Also Chicago, Boston, D.C., New York City, Houston, and Seattle, since Daddy travels to those cities for work.
...identify about 15 words by sight. You know all the letter sounds, but are not quite sounding out words.
...memorize books and "read" them back to me.
...put together 12-piece jigsaw puzzles.
...use the keyboard and mouse to play computer games by yourself.
...hit the heck out of a baseball.
...get your own snacks out of your drawer and the fridge.
...still throw one hell of a tantrum.

You create...
...towers made of building blocks.
...houses out of shipping boxes.
...yogurt finger paintings on the dining room table.
...with glitter, stickers, markers, feathers, foam, glue, stamps, and popsicle sticks.
...each project with every available color. I've learned to stick with the 8-pack markers instead of the 64-packs!

You sleep...
...rarely!

And...
...you have the best laugh on planet Earth :)