Friday, December 18, 2009

Sad Goodbyes

The boys are prepping Mere for their leaving. Tonight, Uncle Hog is keeping the boys over night. All three of them! They have a big night planned of pizza, Alf, coloring Christmas pages, and watching some Christmas shows. In the morning will be Mickey Mouse pancakes!

Meredith is crying.

The boys are so sweet, trying to console her saying, "It's ok, Mere! We'll only be gone for one day!" All this is said in their high-pitched voices. She cries even harder.

I think Meredith is hungry.

But it's still cute.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

St. Nick Visits

As I'm sure you've noticed from years past, Louie likes to lay out what he got from St. Nick to take inventory. He is teaching this to his baby sister, as it is her first St. Nick's Day. She didn't receive candy, but got some tasty baby food along with some much needed socks!

Ben is pumped for a candy cane-shaped tube filled with Hershey's chocolate...bites, I guess. I don't know what Hershey calls their m&ms.

Lou is ready for school, and without knowing it does a great impression of the younger brother, Randy, from A Christmas Story.

Charlie realizes that he found the good stuff in his stocking--the Reese's Cups. From this moment on, he eats every cup he can get his hands on--almost an entire bag--and has a sore belly by the end of the day (Mommy did not realize that he was eating them all, or else she would have stopped him. Not so much because of the possible belly ache, but because Reese's Cups are a favorite of pretty much everyone in the family, not just Charlie!)

Monday, December 14, 2009

Look who's six months old


How I missed (sharing) this milestone, I have no idea.

At her appointment she was 18.1 lbs. (half of which are in her chipmunk cheeks!); 25 inches (?), and not sure about her head, but I think it is in the 75th percentile. I have come to realize that with Lou I knew how many weeks old he was and with Meredith I have to pause to remember how many months old she is. I do realize the significance of development in weeks, but my brain has gotten foggy between numbers three and four!

Miss Meredith is smiley as ever and besides sitting up all the time (she would rather sit up than lie on her belly), she has two teeth half-way through on the bottom gum. Now that she is eating better (veggies are still her favorites), her sleeping has gotten much better, too! We're all thankful for that.

The only thing that she hasn't been developing much of is hair. Her cousin Gracie's is filling in nicely and Meredith is coming to terms with her cue-ball head. It really isn't that big of a deal except for the numerous people who seem to think she is a boy, despite the big pink blanket she's covered in. Oh well. She'll get there soon enough!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Scattered Pictures: 12/5/09

At the beginning of the night they announced all Reds players, past and present, who were there. It was so neat to see the guys I grew up watching on the stage--a good portion of them from the 1990 team, celebrating their 20th anniversary. Yikes! I'm old.

Not sure if she's ready to be immersed into our family's baseball culture. She now knows she doesn't have a choice!

Once again, they had some great activities for the kids. Although, it seemed to me that they were really pushing Goodyear, Arizona, the site of their new spring training facilities. This is still a sore spot for many fans.

She's coming around!

It was really cute--when we were walking back to the parking garage we saw Uncle Hog and they ran up to the window to say hi. Gapper was there too, and came over to wave to the boys. On the right-hand side of the picture is Larry. He said that Charlie's face looked mesmerized by the sight of Gapper. Wish I was on the other side to take a picture of that!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Scattered Pictures: 11/20 & 11/26/09

The Friday before Thanksgiving is what we consider the start of our holiday season, regardless of what the malls try to tell us. We begin that weekend with the Germania Society's Chriskindlmarkt, an event that we've gone to for years now.

Miss Mere and her strawberry hat

The biggest hit of the night--Rudolph noses!


The boys were pretty intrigued by Colerain's Rockettes: 9 songs, 10 costume changes


Jack Frost was just leaving the klubhaus when we were headed there, but then he broke it down for the boys by playing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"

Thanksgiving Morning
we usually begin the day by doing a family bowling tournament at Madison Bowl. I'm not good at bowling, but I go because my husband and sons love it. I came home with the most trophies! Unfortunately, they were for lowest score and most gutter balls.

Billy, Gracie & Joe

Josh, Gracie, Joe, Meredith and Joanie

Meredith and Aunt Joanie

Miss Gracie

Scattered Pictures: 11/13/09

I suppose I'm trying to play catch-up.

Here are some pictures from a beautiful day back in November when we met up with Grandma Alice at Sharon Woods. She had Lexi, Eva and Baby Jay with her that day and we all had a great time. I'm looking fondly at these pictures as the garbage cans are whirling around our yard and our basketball hoop has smashed into the ground for, what I fear, will be it's final time. (It's destroyed!) November was so mild around here, we were able to spend a good amount of days out and about. Winter has definitely made it's presence known today!

Lexi and Benny running to the nature center

Meredith and Eva, born just days apart

The whole gang, although you can barely see Baby Jay!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My Little Girl

I feel bad that I haven't written posts like I used to, like I want to. I feel bad because I know that people who are not in town enjoy seeing what the kids are up to, seeing pictures of what they're doing these days. And even the people who do see them on a somewhat regular basis enjoy checking in, maybe to see a part of their day that they are not privy to. But another reason I feel bad about not writing is for myself. I have written on here before that, for me, the good thing about writing a blog is twofold: I can remember/have proof of what we do with our days, and I have found that in writing about these moments in our days it brings me a sense of appreciation for what I have and an understanding that when I am overwhelmed with the day-to-day activities, things really are good.

I feel absolutely awful that I have been depriving you of pictures and anecdotes of Meredith. She is sweeter than you can even imagine, and it is my joy to show off her smiling face. Since I began thinking about having kids, however many odd years ago it was, I always said I wanted four boys. I just thought that would be so nice. It isn't easy being female, and I didn't know how good of a mom I'd be for a girl-child. What I can tell you, now six months into this, I don't know if I've ever been happier, or more pleasantly surprised with what we have been blessed with, but it isn't about me, amazingly enough! I just hope that I can be as good to her as she's been to me. Meredith has been such a gift and I enjoy her more and more with each passing day.

This is sounding pretty sappy, so I'll stop here and post some pictures for you!

Her strawberry hat from Aunt Erin, Uncle Joe and Gracie





Meredith, on St. Nicholas Day morning--new socks!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

We Love Katie!!

We LOVE when cousin Katie hangs out with us!

(Louie saw me putting up this picture and got sad. Poor kid, doesn't get to go on our fun outings anymore.)

Holding onto my sister



Where have you been?

There's two things we've been not seeing enough of: the zoo and our friends, Owen and Eli. Unfortunately, Louie couldn't join us on this trip, but we still had a good time.

This boy is a climber. He has almost no fear.

Monkey-see, monkey do, and if you can believe it, Charlie has even less fear Ben. Not good for moms with a tendency to worry.


Hopefully it won't be Christmas before we see these guys again!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thoughts of a Parent

It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities--J.K. Rowling

Whenever I was pregnant I would imagine what that child's life was going to be like. What his or her interests would be, what sports would be played, what would direction his or her life would take. I'm not going to lie; some of that leaked into my thoughts after they were born, too.

Is Louie's fascination with numbers and his pretty impressive drawing abilities mean that he's going to become an architect?? (This was one of my dream jobs.) Will Ben play in the Bigs as the pitcher he says he will be? Will Charlie become a speech pathologist?? And Miss Meredith will a shuttle commander (does anyone else have fond memories of Space Camp?).

When I saw this quotation, it really made me think about how true it is. My kids can't be defined by what they can or can't do. Maybe they don't do well in everything they attempt, but they chose to try it, and those decisions help me to see that my children are much more than I could have ever dreamed.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Baby Food

Meredith started really taking to baby food recently.

We discovered that she likes veggies way more than fruit.

And she does NOT like cereal on its own.

She's still getting used to the taste.

But she really does like it!

What I didn't expect

I am one of those people who grows old before her time. I am disillusioned by all the kids who get freaked out by dirt, who know video games better than sports, and who leave behind childhood more quickly than I think is reasonable. Or good, for everyone involved. Yes, I'm crotchety ;)

But there is hope, I have found. I drive two boys home when I go to pick up Louie and these kids have access to all the latest gadgets and games out there. Do you know what they love to do, in fact, they race to get in the van to do this? Play with the Etch-a-Sketches we keep in the back. I have no idea why because, as neat as it is, I find it extremely frustrating not being able to make it do what I want.

Something else is that Louie and another of the boys are in one class and the other is in a different class. While we're waiting one or the other to get out, a group of boys run around the school yard playing something that looks a lot like imaginary football. I am not familiar with this game, but a huge group of five- and six-year-olds call to each other to toss the "ball" and then other go crashing into them. They are having a ton of fun, and I'm so impressed that they are pretending. That's so two years ago!

Fall is fleeting