Thursday, October 31, 2013

Special Visitors

Waiting for the dolphin show

Ryan's parents drove down to spend Columbus Day weekend with the boys and I. Ryan had to work almost the entire time that Nona and Buca were visiting. The boys were so excited to see their grandparents. Seamus remembered them from our trip home this summer, and there was absolutely no crying. Cyrus adores Nona and Buca, and all week he talked about all the things he wanted to show them about Delaware when they arrived Thursday night. He also had fun telling all his friends at school that his grandparents were coming to see him. You could tell he felt very special.

We kept the boys home from Goddard on Friday. The forecast called for rain so we decided to drive to the National Aquarium in Baltimore. The National Aquarium has been on my list of "must visit", so I was probably just as excited as the boys. The drive was about an hour and half. It was an easy straight shot down 95, and it went by quick. Seamus napped and Cyrus played his NintendoDS3. I was able to partake in adult conversation!

The Aquarium was AHHHHHHMAZING! Our favorite exhibit was the dolphin encounter, and second was probably the shark tanks. Though if you ask Cyrus he will say his favorite was the sharks and electric eels and Seamus would say the penguins. So I guess my favorite exhibit were the dolphins...come on who doesn't love dolphins.
See Seamus loves dolphins

And Cyrus thought they were cool

And this dolphin loved the "Seamus Exhibit"
Nona managed to take a few really awesome pictures with her phone. I love the blue of the pool vs. the silhouettes of my boys. I wish I had taken some video so you could see how excited Seamus was.
 I love watching Tom with the boys. I've known Tom for a very long time, but I never saw this side of him until he held his grandchild. The above picture is probably going to go down in history as one of my favorite all time pictures.

I have always thought that Seamus looked more like me than anyone else, but when I saw this picture I realized that he is Tom's mini. Not only does he look like Tom, he has the same determined walk as Tom. Oh and he dances just like Tom! I love it.
 Seamus loved the big tank! He actually climbed through the little barrier and just leaned against the window watching the fish and sharks swim by. I loved watching him take it all in. The National Aquarium is on our list of places to visit again. We could have spent an entire day in the place and never gotten board.

On Saturday the weather improved tremendously. So we put the kids in the car and drove to Philly! It was  a short 40 minute drive that ended with us at the Philadelphia zoo.
After eight years of the Mill Mountain Zoo (no offense to my Roanoke Peeps), the Philadelphia Zoo was such a nice treat. Did you know it was the first zoo in the United States? We didn't even put a dent in the zoo, there is so much to see and do. We made sure to see the most important animals. We went into the reptile house, and Cyrus was so excited to see the King Cobra, and the American Alligators. We saw the penguins, for Seamus, the Rhino for Cyrus and the Polar Bear for me! 
Nona and Buca bought us a family membership (best present ever!), so we ended up going the next weekend to see the rest of the zoo, ride the carousel,  play on the playgrounds and eat yummy ice cream with friends. 

Usually, we hire a babysitter for one evening when Ryan's parents are in town and we got out to a nice adult dinner. However, since we don't have a list of sitters yet, we decided to make a nice dinner at home. Okay "we" didn't make anything. Tom made a delicious dinner that I can't remember the name of. It is Chicken wrapped around swiss cheese and prosciutto, served with angel hair spaghetti, and asparagus. It was so yummy, and has become one of my favorite meals that Tom makes.  Can't wait for our next visit to eat it again. Our boys had the left overs the next day and they loved it as well.

Sunday Nona and Buca had to head back to Boston. But before they left we ate at a local breakfast place, and played some baseball in the back yard. The boys had a grand time showing off their baseball skills. 
Cyrus has an awesome swing

Brothers playing ball



Are very own Pedroia, small but powerful

We had such a great time visiting! We can't wait to many more visits with family. It is so nice being closer to home.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Boys, Brothers, Best Friends

 Cyrus has always loved the crib, except from 2-2.5 years old when he practiced his ninja skills and climbed out of it every night so that he could snuggle with Mama. Oh how times have changed because now my boy loves to climb into the crib. He really wants to sleep in their with his baby brother. But I am almost positive that the two would never go to sleep, and one of them would end up getting hurt (Seamus loves to pull Cyrus's hair).
Cyrus is such an amazing big brother. He watches us for his little all the time. But his favorite big brother task is teaching and encouraging Seamus. Above Cyrus is teaching Seamus how to control and ride the wild purple T-Rex at our neighborhood park. I wish I had taken video of Cyrus showing Seamus the dinosaurs teeth and explaining that it is a carnivore because it likes to eat meat.

I am so thankful that God blessed me with two boys. I love watching them play, and talk to each other (though Seamus doesn't really talk, but Cyrus somehow knows what he is saying). The best thing is when Cyrus tells me that Seamus is his best friend. I pray they remain best friends forever.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Oktoberfest, Yes Please!


What's awesome about Delaware...EVERYTHING! But you have to love a place that celebrates Oktoberfest, in September! At the end of September we packed up the kids and drove 10 minutes down the road to enjoy a fun filled day celebrating our "German" heritage. Okay so maybe we aren't German, but I can speak some German, and I totally love lederhosen. Oktoberfest was so much fun. For $8.00 entrance fee we could ride all the midway rides as much as we wanted...and if you know Cyrus at all you know he could spend at least $100 just running through the obstacle type houses. I too love ride, but I'm cheap so I won't ride them at carnivals, so I got my ride on big time at Oktoberfest. We also drank some great beer, and bought a beer stein.
Cyrus's first big kid ride ever

Cyrus and I road lots of big kid rides. It is so much fun now that he is tall enough to ride real rides, and I don't have to squeeze into baby rides anymore. We road the Himalayan or some of you may remember it as the Disco Tech, he road the sizzler, and another twisty ride that I can't remember the name of.

Cyrus wanted to ride the blue one because he thought it was Udee (Delware Mascot)

Okay so I guess I'll be squeezing into baby rides for a few more years. Seamus did so great all day. He took a nap in his stroller, and went on the flying birds a few times. He really enjoyed riding with Mama.
The day was even more fun because Kevin and Kate Gruber met us there. I've known Kevin since I was a freshmen in college. He rowed at Umass with Ryan. He got married in September. I really like Kate, and so does Cyrus. Poor Kate was dragged onto a plethora of rides with Cyrus. I think he developed a crush on her. I love the above picture! When the Umass gang became recent grads and started getting married we all deemed that Gruber would become "fun uncle Kevin". You can tell that he and Kate could easily become just that for my boys. We are looking forward to lots more fun activities with the Grubers.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The First Day of School

September 2nd came faster than I wanted. I really enjoyed our first week in Delaware and being a stay at home mom. I think I forgot to mention that Ryan worked while the boys and I tried to put the house in order. We managed to put the kitchen in order. And then a new chapter of our lives began. One that I wasn't looking forward to.
The boys started at The Goddard School on September 2nd, 2013. Cyrus was excited to go to his new school. Not once did he seem nervous about meeting new classmates. He did talk about his best friend from pre-school Collin, but other than that he was ready to go. Poor Seamus didn't really know what was going on. I feel a tremendous amount of guilt that my baby is in "school" and yes Goddard prefers to be called school, rather than daycare. I honestly love the school and love that all the teachers have either their undergrad in early education or their masters. And even at Seamus's age there is a ton of learning going on. I am amazed at how much my boys have learned in just the first month.
Our first morning going to school was hectic! I had to get the boys up, fed, dressed, and have their lunches packed. It was a bit stressful (not nearly as stressful as it is now that I am also having to get myself ready for work as well). The morning was so crazed that I didn't take many pictures at all.

 Cyrus was so excited that his baby brother would be going to school too!
 And Seamus was really excited to carry his lunch box like a man purse.
 Here is a very sad Seamus, after he realized that Momma was handing him over to Miss Kristy. We really love Miss Kristy (the lead teacher for the older toddlers/Director), and we also love Miss Ivory (I don't have a picture of her). Miss Ivory adores Seamus, and loves on him as much as she can.
Cyrus was late for the start of circle time. I am pretty sure that Cyrus was the only "new" kid in his Pre-K class. I actually hadn't even noticed the title of the book on the shelf in this picture, before tonight. Miss Amy is the lead teacher for Pre-K. She just graduated from the University of Delaware with her Masters in Education. Cyrus walked into his class, hung up his back pack and joined in on circle time. Just. Like. That. No clinging to Mama, no tears, no kiss good-bye, no nothing! I had been strong the entire morning. Even when dropping of Seamus, my eyes only watered a little bit. But the minute I walked out of Pre-K, I started crying. Pre-K is very serious, and it only leads to one thing...Kindergarten. OH MY! It is hard to believe that my little boy is growing up so fast. I'm just not ready to send him off to college...you think I am joking, but it is what I think about constantly. Maybe we will get lucky and Ryan will be the head coach at Cyrus's first choice college and he will never leave me.


Saturday, October 5, 2013

Getting Acclimated, our first week in Delaware

I'm going to try and write a little bit about our first week in Delaware. It is true that I felt like we were "home" with in the first two days of being here. There are so many things that I love about living here. The thing that I love the most is our family time. While Ryan coached in Virginia, he traveled a lot. I often spent the weekends alone with the boys, or at least it felt that way. In the Northeast crew races are pretty much local to where you live. The furthest race for us will be Northern Virginia, and it isn't even an over night trip.


Here is a picture of our first family "adventure". The community that we live in has a really nice walking path through the woods. Have I mentioned that we are surrounded by state parks, so much so that I don't even feel like we live near the big city. This is also a picture of the first time the entire family has ever gone for a walk together. Isabelle loved leading the way, and Cyrus loved walking his dog. The boys also loved exploring along the river and playing on the bridges. We are trying to make family walks a habit.
We are also surrounded by more playgrounds than one can imagine. We have spent a lot of time exploring our local parks. The Can-Do is one of our favorite playgrounds. It resides within one of the state parks.  We discovered it our first full day in Delaware.


I am also loving how close the boys are becoming...okay this would have happened even if we stayed in Virginia. However, I think they really look out for each other and are more interested in each other because they don't have any friends here yet.


The boys love to snuggle with each other, but it usually gets them all riled up, so best not to let them do it before bedtime.

I also love that there are so many things for us to chose from to do on any give weekend. Our first weekend in Delaware we decided to visit the Children's museum in Wilmington. It is about 10 miles from us down on the riverfront.




 As soon as we moved to Delaware Cyrus asked when he could try crab. Being in such close proximity to Maryland you get scrumptious crab. It is like living in Boston and eating lobster. When we were finished at the children's museum we made good on our promise (oh yeah we promised Cyrus crab when we moved to DE, it was meant to get him excited about moving, and it worked).
Crab was a SUCCESS! Though he does prefer lobster, which means we don't have to disown him, WE ARE FROM BOSTON!
 
And at the end of our first weekend in Delaware, we did one of the second most important things. We found an amazing Creamery to replace Scott & Ellie's. Ryan discovered it by making a wrong turn, and boy am I glad he did.  Just a few miles from where we live is Woodside Farm and they make their own ice cream. The boys love going to the farm to see the cows, goats, and sheep. I was amazed at how excited they were on our first visit. You would think these two hadn't lived in Southwest VA. I guess I saw a lot more farms than they did.



When we got out of the car the boys had to run to see the cows. I absolutely love the old farm buildings and the creamery. The pumpkin ice cream is AHMAZING. So is the chocolate peanut butter. And they are open year round!

All of this made for two very tired boys!



Saturday, September 28, 2013

A Little Bit About our Little

I honestly do not know how mom's of multiple children keep their blogs updated, children fed, house cleaned, and manage to relish in the greatness of being mom (which translates into spending quality time enjoying their children). I for one can admit if I am blogging on a consistent basis, it is probably because I am pushing a "must do" to the side. I feel bad about it but it is the truth. So adult Seamus, if you are reading this and thinking "gosh she wrote about every milestone with Cyrus, and I barely got a first birthday post" please know that your thinking is normal. I often use to go through Nana's boxes and boxes of photo's looking for pictures of me, and I always found one or two. I mean I was the seventh child, they had been there done that. They didn't need to take pictures of ANOTHER baby. Okay now listen up baby! Normal thinking isn't always true thinking. And while Nana may not have taken 1,000's of pictures of me, she did take some, and my older siblings stole them. And instead of put all my pictures in albums my mother was busy raising children and making sure we didn't kill each other. Now while I'd like to be able to say that I have written 1,000 posts about you and the internet ate them, I can't. However, I can say that I have relished in every moment of your life. I have chosen to be present in the moments and enjoy them instead of being an observer taking pictures, and making mental notes to chronicle them later. I have your story in my head and in my heart. And I am so thankful that God taught me to be part of the story instead of watching the story unfold. So please forgive me for not taking millions of pictures of all your firsts, and forgive me for not writing about all the things you have done in these almost 19 months of your life.

And while you are napping away I am going to at least document a little bit about you. Who knows maybe I will get back in the swing of this blogging thing.

There are so many words to describe Seamus. Most often we hear "Tiny" or "Little" as his description. It is true he is very little. We spent a lot of time comparing Seamus to Cyrus because Cyrus was always in the 90th percentile while Seamus was on the lower end of the charts.

Seamus's 12 Month Stats

Weight: 18 lb 4 oz
Height: 29"
Head Circ: 17 3/4

And

Seamus's 15 Month Stats

Weight: 20 lb 2 oz
Height: 29 1/4"
Head Circ: 18 1/2

During his 15 month well visit I learned that our little boy dropped down into the 10th percentile. He fell right off his growth curve (He was 20th percentile at a year). I have always heard that falling off ones growth curve was a bad thing, and usually that is when the doctors get all up in your business.  Accept for Dr. Craft, probably because I am always worried about poor Seamus's size or lack their of. Dr. Craft took one look at Seamus and looked at me and said "Do you see an unhealthy baby in this room?" He was right Seamus doesn't look malnourished, actually he looks pretty perfect to me, just a little on the short side. Seamus has perfect baby skin with just enough chub to be cute. Oh and the boy eats everything and twice as much as his older brother on a consistent basis.  Dr. Craft said Seamus is obviously a very active little boy, and well that is an understatement, the kid is go go go and then go some more. Dr. Craft also kindly pointed out that I am not the tallest person in the world, so Seamus might have gotten his height from me. However, he told me that it is more than likely that he is just growing at his own pace, and that he will eventually average out, just like Cyrus did.
Seamus 15 months


A few other things about Seamus. He is the strong silent type. Seamus doesn't say very much, or sign very much. He still signs more, please, all done, dog. His actual spoken words, when he feels like it are Mama, Dadda, Cyrus, I want, that, what's that, thank you. He very rarely speaks. To the point where I started getting worried. However, since he has been in daycare we have seen him become more verbal, the other children are rubbing off on him.

Seamus started walking at 14 months. I don't remember it happening like it did with Cyrus. Cyrus started trying to walk and it took him about a month to actually be able to do it. I feel like with Seamus he spent a whole lot of time pulling up and standing, and then one day he just took off walking. He quickly started running soon after.

He climbs everything that is climbable still. It scares me a little bit, but I surprise myself by how much free space I give him. I'm allowing him to figure things out on his own. He loves to climb up onto Cyrus's bed.

The boys love to snuggle!

Okay I am going to have to finish this later. The boys are up from nap and it is time to go to the park.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Hello Delaware

It has been a long time prayer of our hearts that as the children grew older the Lord would provide a stable career for Ryan. It seemed like an impossible task. The only consistent job Ryan has had in the past 12 years is that of a Crew Coach. And God knew that I was not about to up and move my family for Crew. I don't really love crew. We actually joke a lot about it being "the other woman". I have always felt that crew stands in the way of us being a family. Since living in VA, Ryan has coached for VT and LU, both teams were at the club level, and Ryan had to travel long distances for races and often left us for weekends. That is not the life I envisioned for my family. I picture us relishing in weekends as a family, making memories, living the American Dream.
So, you can imagine I was not thrilled when the opportunity to apply at the University of Delaware presented itself. Ryan has been looking at NCAA D1 coaching jobs for a long time, but it was always a known factor that in order for me to entertain such an idea my company would have to be hiring in the same area where the coaching job was. So in June, when UDEL posted an assistant coaching job, the first thing Ryan did was check my companies career page. He found that my company was hiring in the area. Lucky Me. He presented the idea to me, I wasn't thrilled, a lot has been going on in our lives and I was just not ready to move 6 hours away from the support system I had built in Roanoke.
I met with my girl friends and told them of the situation. I asked them to pray that God would close the door on this opportunity, because I was sure that any coaching job was of the devil and a detriment to my sons well being.
There was about a 3 week time period between applying and interviewing. During that time I spoke with the hiring manager for my company on a routine basis. At the start of the process, I was being presented with either selling Math & Science (no thanks), or Humanities and English (I could get by, but yuck). By the time Ryan's interview came about, the company also had a sales position open that would cover U of Del (and would need me to spend a majority of my time there as well as Philly) and it was selling Business, Computing, and Economics (what I was currently selling in Roanoke). At the same time God was softening my heart. I saw this as a once in a life time opportunity for my husband to do his dream job. My work pieces were falling into place, and the Lord was showing me what my family truly needed most; a husband & father who was fulfilled in his work and doing what the Lord called him to. I started praying for God's will in the situation, and prayed that God would ease my nerves and give me a peace about moving (hey I don't like change at all). I knew that this was God's plan for our family even before Ryan was offered the job. I knew it so much that in conversation with Ryan I would say "when you get the offer" or "will you get educational benefits etc".
On July 16th, it all became reality. Ryan was offered the position. I was so proud of Ryan, but also very sad. I was amazed by the work God had, and was, and would do in our family and in each of us personally, but man oh man I was not ready to leave what had become my second home. I could only focus on having to leave Debbie, Carissa and Sophie...What would I do with out them. How could my life be whole with out the women who were so much more than friends to me. How could I leave Jesus Gang...Luckily, I stand on truth and I am well aware that the Lord will keep me. And that moving away from my dear ones is not saying goodbye or losing friends, but it is opportunity to grow my christian family. 
Here I am almost two months later, writing from Delaware...it seems surreal.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Affection

We've been relaxing, and spending our time focused on our family. Which has made me a very laxed blogger. I'm sorry Seamus, I feel like I have let your down by not chronicling all of your firsts these past 6 months or so. I promise to update the blog more regularly...and include all the awesome stuff Seamus has been up too.
One of my favorite things about being a mom right now is watching the growing affection my boys have for each other. Thank you God for blessing me with my two sons. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Joker Rescue Mission

The Joker has been missing for a few weeks. I didn't worry to much because you know he is a bad guy and all. But yesterday Seamus and I wanted to play with one of his ball toys. I noticed that it wasn't working right. I decided to inspect the toy and found that SOMEONE had put the Joker in the tube.
This quickly turned into a rescue mission. It was a long day, and we took every precaution necessary to get the Joker out safe and sound.
We are proud to announce that the Joker is now safe out of the tubbing, and will be transported to Gotham City jail soon!