Family Photos

Last weekend, we dressed up the family in festive attire and met our dear friend Lyndsay of Lyndsay Hannah Photography at Mistletoe Farm in Stow to do a little family photo shoot. At the end of the shoot, I realized that Lyndsay has captured some of the most beautiful moments of our family since Henry joined our tight twosome three years ago. We never thought we would “invest” in photos but I am so glad we do!  First, it supports our friend Lyndsay who is not only a talented and inspiring artist but also is someone who can somehow get even the most difficult of toddlers to smile while she captures that instant and she is a kick-ass boss mama building her business, brand, and style with every shoot. And, to top it off, our home is filled with photos of our little boys growing up and frozen in playful snapshots of their childish spirit and quirky little personalities. No matter how much I want to convince myself that I will remember the details of these days with my babies, I know memory is a thief and that these photos will help bring me and David back to these moments over and over again. This weekend David is away visiting with his family in Florida and I am planning to design some photo books for the home and select some prints to blow up for a fun little project idea I have to decorate our bedroom. Despite living in our home for almost 10 months, we have not committed to hanging up enough decor to make the home feel more cozy and like “us.” But regardless of this, I am so grateful to have these photos from Lyndsay. She has been there for birth, life, moving and has helped capture our past three busy busy years and helped us slow down, look around, and remember these are magical.

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Summer locks

I might take 1,000 photos a day of the boys. Watching them romp about just melts my heart and I want to capture all the moments for now and for when I am old and rocking in my nursing home. I am waiting for Google to create a camera for my glasses so I can stop pulling out my phone to snap these little gems and just blink and have the photo take and stored for me. It has to be the next thing right? Is it out all ready?


It is nap time here and after plugging away at my one letter of recommendation quota for my job, I got lost in my photo feed and smiling about how cute the boys are. This summer their skin got tanned by the sun and Henry has little freckles all over the bridge of his nose. Owen looks like my little Italian baby and as my Nanny would say, “he is as brown as a berry.” They have had so many baths from the dirt and mud that they played in and probably ingested. It has been a wild summer of boyhood and it is exciting to think about what next summer will look like with both of them just a touch older. But what I noticed the most in their photos was their hair. Neither little one had a hair cut all summer it seems. They were left wild to grow and tangle. This morning after playing at one of our favorite playgrounds, we stopped over to the little kid hair cut spot and stood in line with at least 15 other boys (no lie!). The store was teeming in little boys with outgrown hair. It seemed like every mom in there just let the wild locks reflect their wild days in the summer sun. I watched each boy get called up, sit down, and have their hair trimmed. It felt a little sad watching this ritual and the hair fall to the floor. They are only this little and feral for a short period of their life. When my boys were called, I placed them in the seat and watched their summer fall to the ground too. Six days is all that is officially left to our summer home full-time together. I might have cried a little in the car ride home.

Owen Edward: 9 months



Okay, okay….9 months is the SWEET SPOT! Owen is just the most sweet and wiggly baby and I could do this month over again and again. He has really opened up and shared his little personality and though there were sleepless nights, I believe it was because he was really growing, changing, and becoming a little individual.  One of my absolute favorite moments is when I walk into daycare and he spots me at the door. He immediately gets on to his hands and knees and crawls over as fast as he can making a “mmm mmm” sound, clearly, trying to say mom 😉 I scoop the little nugget up and he grabs me around the neck and starts bouncing up and down in my arms. I could just about die in that moment. I LOVE it so much. It is so hard to be away from him from 6:00AM until 4:15PM Monday through Friday, but that moment makes my heart melt and I just savor our evenings so much. I could be his mother forever….good thing this is a lifetime’s work!


This month was an absolute explosion in the movement department for Owen. It can be hard to always have him on the ground exploring with very little caution on his own part, but it is part of his learning process. He is up on those hands and knees and crawling ALL over the house. Up the stairs, around coffee tables, in and out of rooms, pulling up to stand in his crib and crawling onto the backs of the pups, he laughs all the way. This little active man cannot be stopped. He is so curious and just wants to explore, touch, and taste everything. David and I have a bet on the line for when this little dude will start walking independently. Currently, once he has firm feet on the ground and hands on the coffee table, he has attempted to release his hands one at time to stand. As a result of his dare-deviling, David believes that Owen will take his first steps on or before March 11, I however think more likely after said date. On the line is a 6 pack of Dr. Pepper or a Starbucks latte! To the best guesser goes the spoils. Owen has attempted to walk by pushing a little cart and this might indicate which parent will more accurately predict those first steps. And guesses on your part? Once he gets to his destination, he turns around and smiles a cheeky grin waving his little hand. Waving is just the best these days and he waves to everyone and everything. He laughs at us all the time like an emphysema machine gun, and I just want to bottle that sound for lonely nights when I am a mom to two teenage boys!


He has started to enjoy books. Previously we would read and he would crawl away but now books are fascinating to him. He sits or lays in our lap when we read and it is clear that he is listening to the stories, tracking pages with his eyes, and now wants to help turn pages, lift the peek-a-boo flaps and point his finger to images on the page. His little ET finger is everywhere. He holds his pointed index finger up and laughs gleefully when you touch fingertip to fingertip. He also is starting to  know that something is hidden under a blanket and delights in lifting up the blanket and surprise there is a toy there!


We moved! In the middle of December we shifted over two towns and had David’s mom and step-dad over to help us settle in. We unpacked on the first day and began to live together under a new roof. It was a big transition for all of us. The boys gained a much larger playroom and bedrooms, but it was hard for them to sleep alone in their new rooms that first week. Owen woke up every night every 90 minutes and I just about to plug into an IV of coffee to get through the day. The sleeplessness made that week of christmas challenging because whoa sleep is so important, but thankfully the boys’ joy for opening presents and watching the snow fall pushed the “grinchy” feelings away. At the end of the Christmas holiday week, Owen had two teeth and started sleeping from 6:30PM-4:30AM without waking up!!! David had taken on some sleep training in order to help Owen transition away from the 10PM wake-up and I want to knock on all the wood that we keep the routine going. This is SO much more manageable for everyone and even little Mr. Owen is such a happy camper now that he is in a good sleep routine. We have two naps in place from about 8:30AM-10:30AM and 1:30PM-3:00PM and this more predictable schedule is awesome! Thank you Owen, thank you!


There were some fun adventures this month too. Not only did we move houses but Owen celebrated his first Christmas! He was great at opening presents but really wanted to play with all of his brother’s toys and vice versa. He cuddled and snuggled with his grandparents and those two weeks home together made me want to hide away in the woods indefinitely. Owen bounced about at a trampoline park and we were all surprised by how much he wanted to bounce and crawl into the foam pit. He is a fearless little peanut! David pulled him around on his first sleigh ride in the snow and he laughed when Henry fed him snowballs. To end this month, we trekked out to see Discovering the Dinosaurs.


This child can eat. He loves to eat everything and often and is quite frustrated by puree food much preferring real bites of his cuisine. He enjoys pancakes, peanut butter, salad, peas, carrots, raspberries, banana, meat, turkey, avocado, apples, carrots, everything! He wants to feed himself and touch all the textures, particularly enjoying yogurt between his fingers and in his hair. Oh and there was that one time he ate a dog kibble (oops!)


Owen is such a cuddle bug! He loves to be held and snuggled. He rests his end on my shoulder and “digs in” to be as close to me physically as possible and I am not going to lie it is the very best! He squeals with delight when he is tickled, he is crazy for the dogs, and when Henry plays with him and hugs him, I think Owen might explode from his absolute joy. I am ready to freeze time because right now this family amazes me everyday. David just knows how to read his babies, he plays with them in such creative, beautiful ways and I never want this shortest longest time to end.

Owen Edward: 8 months


In 7 days we move this little party to a new home and Owen seems pretty excited! While he has not helped pack a single box, he does plenty of distracting from the task at hand. All of his squawks and babbles are hard to ignore and after packing 1/4 of a box, it is off to cuddle the little man for hours with his brother and dad. Despite the chaos of these particular weeks, we are ever in love with our little monster. And he accomplished quite a number of firsts and discoveries this month which made for a fast 30 days together!


In the eating department, Owen is a pro. He is truly content chowing down on all the table scraps. From pieces of meat, to bread and veggies, and fish, he has yet to find a food he is not a fan of. As a result, he is an excellent little gentlemen at restaurants. We have been able to take him anywhere (so far) and as long as he can munch away on food he is happy as a clam joining in for family meal time. He seems to love eggs and butternut squash soup. While attending our annual “friendsgiving” affair, Owen was eager to slurp down two bowls of Lauren’s autumnal appetizer. I need to get the recipe for him!


Owen has also been busy growing up, much to his momma’s dismay. There is no rush babe of mine! But no matter how hard I hope to slow him down he is starting to pull to standing. His favorite pastime is dragging himself via army crawl to the coffee table than positioning himself just so. Once his knees are under him, he grabs hold of the coffee table top and up he goes to standing! The downside of this is he trust falls. Once he has had enough of his looking around, he lifts both hands and releases. This has obviously created a number of scary moments but our parenting reflexes are on high alert. To ensure his safety, we have lowered his bed all the way and watch him on the monitor work his way to standing in there too. He is tremendously proud of himself these days and claps for all of his efforts. He loves to click his tongue and clap his hands with each new accomplishment. His latest endeavor is waving and the focus is real. His babble game is on too. He is much chattier these days and I swear he is saying dada now. And before bed now that he can sit totally independently he takes his baths with his big brother and my heart explodes from the sheer cuteness of it all.


For his first thanksgiving, we flew out to California to visit with my brother and his family. Owen did great on the flights to and from. He laughed and played and most importantly slept. But he never quite switched to west coast time and delighted in waking up daily at 3AM. He played everyday with his cousins and Smith would sit next to him and say sweet things like “Owen you are my best friend” and my heart would swell. We FaceTimed with all of our family on the holiday and it felt good to see everyone even if only virtually. While out in California, Owen went to zoomar, and the mission at San Juan Capistrano, and the beach, and the ocean institute, and lots of walks in the neighborhood. We tried to soak up all the vitamin d we could. Before we left, we even snuck in a visit with Santa. Owen was not afraid of jolly St. Nick although an older brother might have accepted a photo bribe for a candy cane.


Before we welcome a new month with our little man we need to give a good cheer for an emerging sleep pattern. Despite two bad colds and teething (I really think this is the month he gets those two bottom teeth!), Owen now sleeps from 6:30PM to 2AM and from 2:30AM to almost 6AM. More regular sleep is making for an overall happier house! Thank you my dearest peanut for a beautiful month.

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It has been almost 8 months of inconsistent blogging. The usual excuses are the culprits. Primarily my lack of sleep and feeling pinched everyday for a free second are the contenders for my stretches of absence. As our family grew so too did the responsibilities and returning to work added on top of the heap more stressors and timing issues. By nightfall once the house was quiet and the papers of students graded, there was little energy left for much. Poor David has been so understanding and often from 8PM-8:30PM when I surrender to sleep, we would lay in bed for some pillow talk and have “our time” as a couple in 30 short minutes. But, at least those minutes were uninterrupted! This season of life is good though, I don’t want to give off the impression that we are not happy. Happiness is definitely a constant in the house and in my heart. It’s just very busy feeling and having a stride or a routine that let’s us balance these busy endeavors has been elusive.  Then we thought how do we make our lives EVEN MORE complicated? Ah yes, let’s buy a new house, sell our house, pack, and move all before Christmas! My sister-in-law called these early months with a new baby the longest shortest time and it truly is. Yes, there are hard days, yes we are all tired, yes we bit off more than we can chew, yes we are all laughing, yes we are all eating, yes we are all screaming, but it is flying by and I wish I could slow it all down and stay inside of this manic experience a little longer. I don’t want it to end even though I crawl into bed completely zapped every night.


With the holidays keying up, I am feeling particularly nostalgic for everything and blogging feels like the right endeavor to make some space for. These little dudes and this little life should be documented more consistently because I know that I will want these stories to read and read and read as our days continue.